The past three months have been rough.

I went through a period directly after the Salzburg Marathon when I vented my let down by  jumping in a bunch of short small events with no recovery or down time in between. Fortunately, I had cruised most of the marathon, and my body wasn’t as beat up as it normally would have been. So, four days after the marathon, when I hopped in a 4 kilometer road race in the city where I live, Graz, I wasn’t fresh, but I wasn’t worried. I won the race on a kick, coming from behind to surprise the leader, who thought he had the race wrapped up. I continued with a few more similar races, getting outkicked in each. I guess I let my head get ahead of my body. I’m more of a long drive to the finish type, and not so much a kicker.

The consequence to running these events is that when all the racing finally caught up to me, I was KO. Both fortunately and unfortunately, it all caught up to me just in time for two weeks of tests. The amount of stress I felt was comparable to nothing I had ever experienced, and I was physically and emotionally torn down to a point where I couldn’t control myself. It was frighteningly intense. The fortunate part is that I had no time for training, and was forced to take a two week break (of course I got a little running in!).

It’s been a month and a half since, and I’m about ready to open myself back up to the world. A build up for my latest goal, the Graz Marathon on October 14th, has already begun, and I’m in full swing preparing for the next round of Exams in the middle and last week of September. Conveniently, on my birthday. I just need to get through these, and if all goes well I’ll be allowed to begin my actual course of study at TU Graz University in October.

For those who aren’t aware, I’ll be entering a five year program (3 years to bachelor/2 years to master) in Earth Sciences. My goal of wrapping up a bachelor degree by my 30th birthday is out the window, but I’ve gotten started, and the hoops that I need to jump through are the biggest road block left.

For those more interested in the training side of things:

I’m hitting around 90 miles a week, which is 30 a week more than I ran in my build up for Salzburg, and I feel pretty fit. Ironically, given the increase in mileage, my short speed intervals are incredibly fast and enjoyable right now. Unfortunately, my tempo work is the opposite. I guess it’s a sign that I need to focus a little bit more on that right now and make sure the quality is there.

Regardless, I’m in need of a good long slog through the mountains and forests of Austria. I sure do wish some of my good friends could be here to pass the time with me. I’m a bit lonely, but mainly because my German is okay, but not good enough to really fully express my thoughts and ideas.

I hope that you’re all well, happy, healthy, and in pursuit of your wildest dreams.

Bis Bald,

Andy

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