About 2 weeks ago, I drove down to Nashville with some friends from Ohio Northern University to participate in my first post-collegiate race: The Music City Distance Carnival. Coach Maus, his wife, the sophomore phenom Matt Molinaro, and I made the trek down over 2 days in the week after nationals. Matt and I were both hoping for a better finish to the season than had occurred at NCAA’s. We were set to run the Invitational 800m.
I met up with my new team, Atlanta Track Club Elite (ATC, hereafter), in the lobby of the hotel 5 minutes before we were set to leave for the track. Coach Andrew Begley dropped off a huge box with shoes, gear, backpacks, water bottles, uniform… And told me to find an outfit and we’d head to the track. Coming from a D3 school meant that I wasn’t used to getting quite so much free stuff… Needless to say, it was a little overwhelming.
The night at the meet was a whirlwind. My race was mediocre, but it was good to get my first shot out of the way… And get used to racing in my tiny little new uniform!
It stormed some, and I met up with some friends from this meet last year. The meet was sponsored by English Muffins, so I got some for free (random). Good times all around.
I said goodbye to my ONU friends and head back to Atlanta with the team. I’m living with some of the other girls in the coaches’ house. It’s been awesome to get to know them and start to see what life will be like as a “professional” athlete. The culture is definitely different from EMU (more on that later, I’m sure). Life is quite exciting these days. Who knows what is going to happen.
Some highlights so far:
-Portland Track Festival… we got to see Galen Rupp drop a 56-second last lap on the 5k. Plus, my teammate ran like 13:30 or something in that same race, so he is likely going to the Olympic Trials.
-Portland Rose Festival… watching all the sailors walk around in their uniforms, plus flowers all over the street
-Dave, the talking cat. He’s the loudest cat I’ve ever met. And his name is Dave.
-First track workout in the early AM at Georgia Tech, downtown Atlanta. Chewed caffeine gum and ran the fastest 600 & 200 of my life (in practice). These folks don’t mess around. Ready to start improving!
So I’m easing into Hotlanta… I’m sure things will be different once I start working, but it’s great to have this time to transition and get to know my new teammates. Love it already 🙂
PS. I’m about 2/3rds done with fundraising for my Dwell year… I’m so grateful for the support!! If you’d like to donate: https://www.youcaring.com/hannah-chappell-dick-564977#.VykeFn9T2sY.facebook