After one of my best summers of training yet, it is time to get back into the swing of school. In all honesty, August is my least favorite month of the year. Starting school again is always hectic and waking up at 4am for morning practice is near impossible after a summer spent sleeping in. What's different about this August though, is that it is my last first day of high school. Senior year is here, and by the time September rolls around, I know I'll find myself back in the rhythm of training, studying, and racing.
Finding this rhythm can be pretty difficult at first. Over summer, I get used to having the time to get lots of sleep, run as long as I need, and stretch, roll and ice. When school starts again, the time I have to do these necessities narrows and I have to make sure that I'm taking care of my body while keeping up with school. One of the ways I make sure to keep my training up and my body healthy during the busy parts of the year is cross training. Before I became a runner, I was a swimmer throughout the majority of my childhood. This background has been extremely useful as a way to build on my running with something that also cleans out my legs and serves as a recovery workout. I swim 3 to 5 days per week during the season and it's a great way to shake out my legs after a long day at school. After morning practice, I try to make sure to get a good stretch, and I always take an ice bath after workouts. Getting used to my alarm again may take a little time, but I definitely think one of the biggest advantages of being up so early for practice is getting to watch the beautiful Arizona sunrises after your run!
Something new to look forward to this year is all of the much-anticipated senior activities. These of course include college applications and college visits. The application process has proved to be a bit a work but looking at all of the places I could potentially find myself has been incredibly exciting. I have planned a couple of official visits and I can't wait to get on campus and get a better feel for the reality of college running. In the next couple months, I hope to narrow down what I'm looking for and take the next steps in becoming a collegiate runner.
(Above: The last time that Chaparral was in Division 1, the Lady Firebirds placed 7th in the Girls race at State led by Abi Archer and Rachel Turner, who were then freshman.-photo by J Turner)
It seems crazy that senior year is already here! It feels like yesterday I was a freshman trying to figure out high school.