Monday, August 20, 2012

Ready, Set... Rest!

    For the past few decades, the penultimate Monday of August (today!) would typically signal the start of a new school year. This year, Drake’s implemented a January study term for the first time, and as a result the fall and spring semesters have each been chopped down by a week.
    Instead of being in the normal “Ready, set, go!” mindset, jumping into a new year headfirst today, I’m spending the week in Steamboat Springs, CO with eight of my cross country teammates. Steamboat is nestled right in the Rockies, so we’re enjoying some scenic runs, huge hills, and burning lungs before ringing in the school year and the start of the season.
    So far our trip’s been super chill. Besides getting in our weekly running volume and cross training, there’s been a lot of down time to hang out, rest, recharge, and get ready to tackle the school year head on. We even started a puzzle yesterday, I can’t remember the last time I’ve done that!
    I’m thankful for the change of pace, I feel like I’ve been constantly on the go since the start of summer, through my time in Ann Arbor, and even the previous week I spent at home. I’m hoping to get in a lot more miles this week, have a great time with my teammates, reflect on the summer, and think more about what I hope to accomplish/learn this upcoming school year!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

10,000 Miles

    Yesterday in the first few miles of my long run, my runnometer rolled over to 10k miles! It actually happened sometime this spring, but I didn’t start logging my mileage on RunningAhead until the end of my first cross country season. Looking back, it’s been a fantastic journey, I can say that I wouldn’t be writing this post if it wasn’t for running, because it was the deciding factor that ultimately brought me to Drake.
    I’m so glad after my sophomore year of high school I decided to give distance running a shot! I initially started running the long sprints in track my freshman year to stay in shape for basketball, but my coach thought I had good potential for cross country and the mile, so I finally gave in and signed up for cross country. I’ve never looked back since, I can honestly say it’s been one of the best decisions of my life.
    I’ve met some of my best friends through running, and have been blessed to travel and run in many beautiful locations. The one thing I really love about it is that you get in what you put out. Through hard work and dedication, I’ve seen my running times drop quite a bit over the past four years. Initially it started off as a selfish endeavor, something I thought I could be good at and receive glory and praise from others for, but it’s turned into an activity where I can glorify Christ. 
Here’s a quick few facts about my journey to 10,000 miles, and now beyond:

The Trip to 10,000 Miles
•    Start Date: 1/24/2008
•    End Date: 8/11/2012
•    10,012.9 miles in 1183:03:23 (49 days, 10 hours, and 23 minutes (7:06/mi)
•    5k PB at start of streak: 17:32 Current 5k PB: 15:34
•    8K PB after Freshman year (Drake): 27:32 Current 8k PB: 25:38
•    10k PB at beginning of streak: 39:20 Current 10k PB: 32:25
•     Notable Running Locations: Chanhassen/Chaska (MN), Minneapolis, Des Moines, New York, Mammoth Lakes (CA), Chicago, London, Ann Arbor (MI), Torrejon (Spain)

State XC Meet, junior year of high school

Chaska Men's XC won sections for the first time my Senior Year

Usain Bolt was the man four years ago, and still is today

Lake Conference track!

First college race

With 2x Olympian Ryan Hall

With Keflezighi, 4th place in the Olympic Marathon today

With one of my best friends Kyle in Yosemite National Park


Missouri Valley Conference 10k 2012

With parents after the Roy Griak XC meet in Minneapolis

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Adíos, Ann Arbor

    I flew home yesterday and have never looked more forward to spending time with family and friends and relaxing. I’m pretty wiped out from my trip and took today really easy, but tomorrow I’ll start shadowing two physical therapists until it’s time to return to Des Moines. My time in Ann Arbor was challenging, but there’s lots of good memories looking back. I could write thousands of words describing my experiences, but they say a pictures worth 1,000 words. Here’s 16,000 from my summer.

The AA farmer's market was fantastic! I made sure to carry on a cinnamon roll yesterday to share a little bit of AA with my mom and sister.

I cooked for myself full-time for the first time this summer. I really enjoy cooking, it's really just chemistry that you can eat!

I accidentally melted a spatula into one of our three pots. Like all good chemists, I brought it to lab the next day to dissolve it with a little Acetone.

With friends at Comerica Park on the 4th of July

1800s baseball at Greenwich Village and the Henry Ford Museum

Colorless Crystals of
Zn2+[12-MC-Zn(II), -pheHA-4]

The Ann Arbor art fair completely took over town for a few days

The Pecoraro Group, Summer 2012

Tacos are one of my go to meals

Canoeing on the Huron River with Maureen and Aaron

Last day in the lab in front of my fume hood

My desk in the Pecoraro lab

With Sibo, another REU student from Peking University in Beijing who also worked on the Metallacrown Project. I learned a lot from him and a lot about China.

"Please close door gently, growin' crystals, thanks"

The archway on the Diag, a well known icon at the University of Michigan

Enjoying some pizza with my friend Christian on our last night in AA. He was my movie buddy for the summer.