Summer Catch Up

I started this entry poolside at the Austin Motel on South Congress. My mom and I wanted to do a mini-vacation before I got back to school and we decided we didn’t want to even go anywhere besides Austin. That is some serious city love, folks.

We spent a couple days shopping on SoCo, running and working out (we have time to do as many yoga classes as we want!), eating out every meal, visiting the Austin Museum of Art and chilling at the kidney shaped pool here. It’s just what we needed; the perfect getaway.

Vacation is a lot more fun when you actually deserve it. I did because, for the first summer in my life, I was busy 40 hours a week. My schedule was pretty sweet, and even though I was doing two things I loved, the whole being-busy-from-9-to-5 thing was quite the draw on  my running, social life, close relationships, ability to run errands and overall stress. Welcome to the real world, I heard.

My two summer occupations were taking two graphic design classes at the community college here and interning at Flotrack.

Graphic design stuff
Wonderful. Four hours an afternoon, four hours a week with lab time included. Time consuming but fun – got to play a lot with Illustrator and Photoshop. I always knew I’d like these programs. I’m sure I only scratched the surface of their capabilities, but it was so satisfying to create my own artwork. I know I need some real art instruction too, but my most recent attempt at that, Drawing I at Baylor freshman year (charcoal and easels? What the heck?), was way too hard. Anyway, the instruction at ACC was decent and you can’t beat the price – about $500 for both classes. Sure, I could have taught myself but that would necessitate purchasing the Adobe Creative Suite and, even harder, making myself do the work. Much easier having a schedule and deadlines.

Here’s one of my projects. We were supposed to make a poster for an event, involving movement. I made mine about my weekly Wednesday run with my friends in Austin. It was one of the highlights of my week. Bonus points if you can tell which super fast runners I used for this poster.

Another fun project was this abstract composition – make a focal point! My prof said I had a good eye for color on this project. High praise! I have always loved color.I also did the blog design you are looking at now in my Photoshop class. For the rest of my projects, you can check out this album  on Facebook.

Flotrack
Also wonderful. I was an editorial intern for this start up media company centered all on running. This fits in perfectly with my job aspirations of communications + running. It was an honor to be a part of the company that I admired so much. I’ve been a Flotrack fan for a long time, thanks to their coverage of my chosen sport.

At my internship, I helped with all things writing – news releases, newsletters, meet coverages and articles, updating media contacts, and other small projects. It was great experience and on top of that a ton of fun. The Flotrack guys, if you’ve seen any of their videos, are fun and passionate about the sport of track. They are just like that in real life! Never a dull moment at the Flocasts offices, believe me.

It was also cool to be in an Austin startup (celebrated five years this summer) full of creative people who work hard every day for something they believe in. As a lifelong Austinite, I’ve always taken pride in Austin’s thriving tech scene, and seeing how that worked on a daily basis was inspiring.

Here’s a couple of the pieces I wrote for Flotrack –

Got to listen to a live teleconference with Ryan Hall, America’s top marathoner, then wrote about it. Also designed this banner that went on Flotrack’s front page.

Feature piece! My boss did this banner.

Conclusion
Both of my summer pursuits were great opportunities, I learned a lot, had fun and surprisingly, found an even deeper appreciation for my city of Austin. Maybe there’s good community colleges across the nation, but there is only one Flotrack  and it’s headquartered right in Austin. How cool is that?!

The bad things about this summer were that I allowed myself to be stressed too much about these obligations, plus getting in all my training. Like I said, it was also quite the stressor on relationships… relationships take time, y’all.

As far as running this summer, fortunately my awesome coach let me take it pretty relaxed. I did mostly easy runs and I went with friends almost every day. Running with the Flotrack guys was also fun – always something to talk about. The hellish heat and drought made me pretty angry when I thought about it, but most of the time I just gritted my teeth and got up at 6:15 a.m. Definitely not optimal training conditions, but it worked out ok. I had my fastest long run average EVER on the last weekend I was home. Last 10 miles of a 12 mile run were at 65 minutes! Don’t know where that came from.

Anyway, now I’m BACK AT BAYLOR – ready to tear it up my senior season in cross country. Stay tuned and Sic ‘Em.

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