Each month, 2013 RRCA Roads Scholar Alexi Pappas will provide a blog post offering an update on her training, competition and life in general as a post-collegiate road runner.
"I’m glad I’m not the only crazy out here.” said the man who always walks his dog at exactly the same time I always run the Amazon trail. We pass each other daily—generally we simply exchange friendly eyes or a wave. It is true: there is something special about Eugene, a place where not even the sky’s most wretched brew will stop the trail rovers from roving. Fall has come, and I feel lucky to be back in Eugene.
For me, this month brought with it new and old. After spending the summer racing and writing on the east coast, I arrived in Eugene with a mattress-tied-to-the-roof-of-a-car parade and moved into a new place—I live a shocking 5 blocks from where I did while a 5th year runner for the University of Oregon last year, but still-- the new place indicates “new year!”
After my last race of the summer season—my first outdoor 5k (where I finished 3rd at the US Champs in Providence!), I eagerly began practice with my new team, the Oregon Track Club Elite. I am so glad to once again be a part of a team. And it does really feel like a team. I took the month to adjust to the new training style, and also adjusted my goals and mind-set for the professional race calendar, which I learn is very different than a college runner’s three-season schedule.
I feel lucky to have had the chance to race in the NYRR’s 5k Dash to the Finish—my first race with new coach Mark Rowland and new teammate Sally Kipyego. The experience showed me that I can compete with the best, but I still have a ways to go. I loved the energy of the NYC Marathon weekend, and felt an enthusiasm for the sport that I carry with me back to my friends on the trails of Eugene.
Your Loyal Roads Scholar,
Follow Alexi on Twitter - @alexipappas