Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Very First Running Camp

Before I dive into the bulk of my post, I want to give everyone a quick update of my training/racing schedule....

Unfortunately, I have decided to call it a season.  My Achilles tendonitis that I touched on in one of my previous posts, has been a bit of a pain in the you-know-what.  I was hoping to get back into racing on the track again this season, but it just doesn't seem to be in the cards for me.  I'm taking it all with a grain of salt.  It can be hard to get over injuries, especially when you're as stubborn as can be.  But overall health is crucial in this sport and taking time off now is better than a bigger layoff down the road.

On a lighter note....I was very fortunate to be part of my very first running camp this past weekend - The Montauk Project.  Some of you may have seen ads for it or a few of the hundreds of photos that have been posted on Instagram (#MontaukProject). I was told it wasn't your normal running camp, and it wasn't.  It consisted of a small number of runners that had varying backgrounds in the sport.  There were some runners that had run multiple marathons and were gearing up for a season of Fall races, but there were also some athletes who had just picked up the sport within the past few months, or weeks, in order to attain a healthier lifestyle.  I must say, it was one of the greatest experiences I have had as a professional track and field athlete.

My primary goal leading up to the camp was to share my experiences with the runners and teach them about the sport from a physical, as well as a mental, aspect.  What I experienced though, was much more.  I was able to take a step back from my focused and intense outlook on the sport, and remember the reasons why I started the sport in the first place.  Fun, hard work, and comradery.  I find that sometimes I get so caught up in my training and competition that I lose what are truly the best parts of the running world.  The thrill of competition, where you toe the line to see who the fastest man is on that day.  The experience of meeting and training with other athletes, all with the same goal - to get better, whether it's as a unit or as individuals.  And the fun of traveling to new places and seeing the fruits of your labor unfold before your eyes.  Those are some of the best parts of this sport.

This running camp truly captured those aspects, in my opinion.  No matter the skill level or experience of the athlete, every person that took part in the camp put their all into every run and every workout.  They rallied around each other during hard sessions and supported each other during recovery runs.  Blood, sweat, but luckily no tears, were shed during the four days of the camp.  I watched a group of relative strangers become one cohesive unit that were reluctant to leave each other as they all parted for home.

I found myself coming away from the camp with a new, refreshed mindset as my current season comes to an end and I shift my attention to next year.  I feel inspired to continue to give back to the sport of running and every person that is involved in the running community.  I hope to continue to share my knowledge and experience with anyone that is looking for help, advice, or just an overall pep talk.  I love my sport.

For questions, comments, or suggestions, feel free to post below or email me directly at!

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