A Grab Bag of Updates
Interestingly enough, the beginning of September still managed to be a busy time for me despite not finding myself in the classroom for many years. Although we’ve now been in Delaware for 4 months, the moments of transition continue to consume our lives. There continue to be many “firsts” and I have been collecting enormous amounts of new information as I settle into our new digs and acclimate myself to a new environment, new culture, and new set of running opportunities. Thus, I will consider this post the “potpourri” category on Jeopardy and share some of the more relevant pieces as I head into the fall season!
Delaware Running Company
My job search continues for academic/Student Affairs positions, and it continues to be a full-time endeavor. However, it doesn’t provide a lot of structure to my daily routine, and I tend to thrive on structure. Thus, I sought out a part-time employment opportunity and was fortunate enough to begin working at the Delaware Running Company. This local running store has been a staple of the Delaware running community since 2002 and it could not have been a better fit for my interests and passions. I am privileged to be able to spend my time talking about running, racing, and fitness with an incredible group of folks, and I have the opportunity to help folks set and achieve their running goals. I’ve already learned a great deal more about the industry, and I’ve received a crash course in Cross Country culture, as it is not an aspect of the sport I’ve ever been involved in. I work with incredible colleagues, and am constantly learning more about a sport I value and love. The running community in this area is enormously diverse, committed, passionate, and strong, and it’s a wonderful feeling to be a part of that. It’s also a wonderful feeling to add so much additional knowledge and experience to my coaching repertoire as I expand my expertise and develop additional resources and connections. I’ve often joked with friends, as well as with the epicurean, about how much fun it would be to open a running store/gluten-free bakery/coffee shop, and short of a rather substantial life shift, this opportunity fills that desire pretty darn well! You’ll no doubt be hearing plenty more about my DRC experiences as time goes on, so keep a lookout!
Last Saturday (September 5th) was my birthday, and the epicurean whisked me away for a wonderful weekend in Providence with friends! Prior to our Saturday departure, I decided to run a casual 50K on Friday and get to know my new stomping grounds even better. It proved to be quite the scorcher, with temps hovering around 90, and the humidity once again well above 80%, but I pushed through and had a blast in the process! I’ve tackled the distance itself plenty of times in the past, but as I’ve mentioned before, the landscape in Delaware provides a far more hilly challenge than anything I had experienced in Iowa. Thus, this was also a great test of my endurance level and training over the summer. I kept my pace in check, running solo, and knocked it out one mile at a time. I made sure to hydrate extremely well, knowing that the heat and humidity would be sucking me dry as it has been all summer.
After a short recovery run on Saturday, we headed out for the surprise weekend. The epicurean had managed to keep our final destination a surprise, which is a huge accomplishment for her! We headed north with our bags packed (running clothes included, of course) and adventure awaiting us. We stopped for lunch in New Haven, CT, where the epicurean had lived for quite some time, and I was treated to the best sushi experience of my life. She had been talking about the wonder that is Miya’s for almost as long as I’ve known her, and the experience did not disappoint. The chef, who has been featured in numerous major publications, believes very strongly in sustainable agriculture and sustainable seafood, and thus his menu is constantly changing based on what is available and can be sourced ethically. The result was a wonderful and unique culinary experience that included a pumpkin squash miso soup, fried Japanese knotweed (an invasive species), amazing salmon sashimi, and several incredible rolls, including one filled with deliciously seasoned and fried crickets. The flavors were all carefully balanced and blended into a delicious treat for the taste buds!
From New Haven, we continued north and eventually found ourselves in Providence to visit some amazing friends for the long weekend! We had the opportunity to continue a zakuski tradition, the result of the epicurean’s and our friends shared Russian background, heritage, and experiences. There was much delicious food, vodka, and a special birthday Pavlova based on my own Minnesotan love of “green fluff”. When I wasn’t enjoying the wonderful food and drink, I was taking advantage of the opportunity to run in yet another new location. I found a fantastic trail in Providence along the Blackstone River and ended up going further than I had planned, as my curiosity for what was just around the next bend kept me going. More importantly, my legs felt fresh and strong after my 50K two days earlier. I tacked on a hill workout the next day in the area, which had some insane hills thanks to its location in the river valley. All said, it was a wonderful weekend and there was no better way to have spent my birthday!
It occurred to me that I haven’t said much about my fall racing plans as well. In part, that was due to my wanting to wait and see how life sorted itself out a bit before registering for too many events. I think the schedule has finally been set though, and I’m excited to see how everything unfolds!
October 10th- The PB & J 50K Fat Ass …it’s hard to argue with a free race in a beautiful location, with a good friend!
October 11th- The Army 10-Miler…nothing like recovering from a 50K with a fast 10-mile race 🙂
October 17th- Baltimore Marathon
November 21st- JFK 50-Miler
December 28th- Across the Years 48-Hour Race
In other news, the weather finally broke this weekend a bit and offered up some cooler temperatures, which were a welcome relief! I can’t tell you how excited I am for fall and some amazing races! What do you have on your schedule? Whatever your goals, continue chasing 42 🙂