The fall semester has finally begun, which means our whole team is back together again in Tallahassee! Luckily, after our preseason camp in Boone (N.C.), we had a week to enjoy FSU without the stress of classes. And you guessed it, that included more running, more naps, and more food.
Ok, it involved other activities, but we are definitely a team that sticks to a similar routine.
Now that we are back on our home turf we got to see one of my favorite and least favorite people this week, Natosha Gottlieb. She is our amazing strength and conditioning coach, who always makes me stronger and more sore every time I leave. These mixed results are why we have a love-hate relationship (love you, Coach Tosh!).
Aside from the physical work, there were lots of fun events planned before the start of school. After a tough late-week workout, Coach Kelly (Phillips) revealed her soft side and had us over for breakfast and swimming! She whipped up a feast, and we were served blueberry, chocolate chip, and classic plain pancakes. They were so delicious. Honestly I was a little surprised! She also brought out a huge emoji float for the pool that Emily Edwards took on the task of blowing up. About 10 minutes later she got the job done; just a little bit of cardiovascular training.
Our teammates who didn’t travel with us to camp at Boone, had a 5k time trial on the track under the lights for an 8 p.m workout. The women’s and men’s teams gathered in the bleachers to cheer them on as they ran around and around the track (12 ½ laps) in that good ole Tallahassee humidity.
Our nutritionist, Jake Blattner, was the hero of the night and created a homemade banana and pear ice cream for the whole team and he also brought frozen grapes. One thing you can count on is that this team will always get excited about food! So if you are ever trying to get on the good side of a member of the women’s cross country team, there is your ticket.
We finished up our final day of summer with a long Sunday run. It was our first day of practice as a whole team and we had quite the turnout!
Later that afternoon Student Services planned a “Welcome Back Picnic” for all student-athletes at the Florida State University Reservation. There was food, games, a water slide, music and lots of other activities for all of us to enjoy. The main participants on the water slide were children of staff members, but of course our team immediately joined in the fun. Coach Kelly also made an appearance at the picnic. We attempted to convince her to go down the water slide, but unfortunately she declined the offer.
Summer has officially come to a close and classes are in full swing, but luckily for us we are already escaping. Thursday our team is returning to Boone for our first race of the season on Friday. And this trip is going to be even better than the last for one very spectacular reason – we get to fly!
No 10-hour trek up to North Carolina this go around, and more importantly no smelly vans.
Hailey Hendry is a sophomore business major from Brentwood, Tennessee. A fixture in the cross country lineup’s top seven throughout her freshman year, she hopes to build on that experience in her second season with the Noles. Hendry will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the FSU women’s cross country team team throughout the season.