We’re Back!

Winter break is long gone and we’re getting back into the swing of things here at Champlain: classes, homework, cross country, and squeezing a social life somewhere in there, too. We’re now in Week Two of pre-training for the marathon (half marathon for some of us, full for a few others). Having a set training schedule is really helpful when you’re busy with so many other things; it can be hard to gather the initial motivation to step out of my warm, cozy dorm room, so that gives me the push that I sometimes need. Plus, once I’m out there, I remember how nice it is to be able to get outside and away from the piles of work in front of me, to clear my mind and hang out with my teammates instead of staring at my computer screen.

This is my first winter in Burlington. You know those times when people warn you about something, and you say Yeah, yeah, I know it’s cold in Vermont, I’ve heard all about it. And then you get there, and right around January expletives start streaming out of your mouth because you can’t feel your face/ears/hands anymore. No? Just me? Whatever. What I’m saying here is, it’s cold. There’s no getting around that. But after I got over the initial shock and stopped shouting swearwords, I realized it’s not quite as horrifying as I thought. I tend to find that I might be cold for the first five, maybe ten, minutes of a run, and then I’m fine. Once you get started and get in your own little zone, whatever’s surrounding you doesn’t matter all that much. And we just got awesome sweatshirts that my co-captain Brian designed. AND your friends will think you’re a total badass for running in 10 degree weather. Badass or crazy, maybe. I don’t know. Either way you’ll seem cool, I swear.

An Introduction

Hi everyone! I’m Alicia Tatone, a first-year Professional Writing student at Champlain College and a co-captain of the XC team. When I’m not running I like to read, write, draw, and take long walks on the beach… wait, nevermind. This isn’t that kind of site. Anyway, I’ll be popping up on here somewhat frequently for the next couple of months, posting updates about my training for the VCM Half Marathon in May. I ran cross country and track all throughout high school, and continuing to do so since coming to Champlain last fall has been wonderful, but this is something entirely new for me. I’ve never considered racing to be my foremost priority as a runner – it’s something I do as a part of my team and to work on improving myself, for sure, but it’s not why I run. I didn’t decide to run this half marathon to finish in first place, to win a medal or a prize (although, admittedly, prizes are pretty cool… I wouldn’t mind winning a pie at some point). Those things matter to some extent, but what matters most to me is challenging myself. I know that I’m capable of running 13.1 miles, and I’m going to prove it to myself. I’m going to do it.

With that said, what I’m setting out to accomplish is easier said than done. Most goals are. There are always obstacles, distractions, something or other that can stand in my way if I let it. That stuff tends to make me a little nervous, as by nature I’m easily distracted. I get excited about something, decide to focus on it, then get excited about another thing and then another thing and then I might lose track of at least one of those super cool things. Thankfully, though, that’s where the Champlain XC Team comes and swoops in to my rescue. Having a team full of awesome people, all set on achieving similar goals, is so helpful when trying to accomplish something. Running with a few other people, or even just one other person to keep you company, is exponentially better than running alone. It’s always nice to have someone to share conversation (or perhaps misery, if you’re running hills or some other particularly gruesome workout) with. That, along with having a training plan that spans from the time I go back to school after winter break right up until the race in May, is how I know I’ll stick with what I set out to do. Having the sort of support system that a team provides is pretty awesome. Also, pasta parties. Pasta parties are awesome too.