When summer arrives for a person like myself, things could not be any better. Running in the summer, despite the humid 90 degree weather in Southern Ohio, has always been my favorite time to run. There are no restrictions, no mentally challenging workouts, no schedules, and so forth. At my level, I am free. When I was an incoming freshman, I "felt like" I was bound to the schedule coach sent me in the mail with mileage and what he expected during the summer. Now though, I am an experienced Bear calling my own shots figuratively, but still keeping in mind that I am a College Cross Country Runner. There is still work to do on this team, My Team. I am only working 20-25 hours a week as an intern at the Shawnee State Park Golf Course while continuing to live at Reece's house for the summer. I have minimum expenses and minimum income so I guess it all evens out in the end. Whatever the case, the situation for me this summer will provide me for endless amounts of time and energy to spend running..... free.
The past Spring as talked about in the past was my best season of running ever. 7/9 PR's are only the least that I could of dreamed of. Beginning this summer and thinking about the previous 5 months led me to think about the goals that I set out at the beginning of Winter.
The first goal was to compete in the Dirt Dawgs Dirty Dozen Trail Series monthly. I never once competed in a race in this series but I am not saddened by not achieving this goal. I was still able to race a couple trail races that were far more fun then the series races could ever of been. Plus, running trails without competing is just as pleasing for me.
Goal number two was to run trail 3 or 4 times a week. I never actually kept track on how many times I ran trails or made a conscious effort to run exactly 3 or 4 runs on trails a week, but the continuous thought was to run trails as many times as I could over the spring season. This can be hard sometimes with a college and practice in town. I just tallied 60 Trail Runs from my log and that is in 19 weeks. So, I was averaging just over 3 runs on trails per week. That is not including all the running I did on the little 300 meter loop behind Reece's house. I ran trails more then ever and by the end of the year I was running trails 6 times a week, only running in town for workout days.
The next goal was to Enjoy Track Season and Post Great Times. This track season was more enjoyable than ever and that might coincide with the fact that I was running fast times. I achieved this goal more than ever.
The last goal was to run 100 miles for 10 consecutive weeks. While making this goal, I did not know how possible this was going to be. It ended up being very possible as I ran 100 miles for 10 straight weeks plus another 5 weeks at 95-100 miles.
All of these goals pretty much run together and achieving one leads to the success of another. I have always thought it was necessary to make goals just to keep my mind on track to do the right things. It has worked so far. But, for this summer, I only have two simple goals, ones that are very vague and can only be recognized by me and people close around me. They are:
Become an Aerobic Animal
I am highly motivated to begin this summer and to journey on to my final Cross Country season. Those two phrases are all I need to do. The rest will come. "The Hay is in the Barn" for me and I cannot wait to see the fire burn.
My life is more simplified as ever, just what I have wanted. Let's see where I run to next.....