Each morning when I wake up while most of the city sleeps I am reminded of how grateful I am to be able to continuously morning after morning wake up and just run. Starting at an hour when I will likely run for over an hour and still never see the sun seems daunting but yet I am not phased. On my run this morning I thought about how easy it would be to not get up and run, to sleep in and stay up late like every other normal person my age. Thursday morning as I ran up my least favorite hill I had no desire to quit. Yes, I am chasing a dream, but doing what I am doing is more than just going after a goal. I was given the drive and passion and the ability to compete at a high level and the work ethic to go with it for a reason and I will not quit until I have served my purpose. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and we are all given our unique qualities in life in order to leave our own individual marks on society. I have set goals for myself and whether or not I reach them is all part of the process. You can never fail unless you fail to overcome what doesn’t turn out. Every mistake in life is an experience to learn from and as long as you see the other side, you can never fail. If my story, no matter how it shakes out, can make a difference in the lives of others I see that as a win so I remind myself of this every time I doubt my abilities. Taking steps to focus on my training is still a scary thing for me but I am relying on my faith that if I am doing what I am truly meant to do it will all work itself out.
- Twin Cities 10-Miler 10/4/15
- Columbus Half-Marathon – 10/18/15
- US 12k Championships (must qualify at the TC 10-miler) or Richmond 8k 11/14/15 or 11/15/15
- LA New Years Half-Marathon (marathon practice race!) 1/3/16
- 2016 US Olympic Trials Marathon – Début Marathon 2/13/16
A month ago I got the opportunity to spend a long weekend with 18 other amazing Oiselle women. I was able to share my story with them and I hope I was able to make a difference in their running journey. They may not know it but I learned more from them through this experience than I think I taught them. The reflection on my own story and the mistakes I have made really resonated with me as I was planning my talk and I realized one important thing that I hope every runner will hold in their heart especially when things get tough. That one thing is that we as runners are all the same. No matter what our pace, no matter what our body type is and no mater how old we are, we each struggle, we all get down on ourselves, and we all feel inadequate at times. Elite athletes have bad days. Every run is not sunshine and rainbows and if anyone tells you that they feel amazing every race and workout they are liking lying. Things don’t always go as planned and we deal with it. So no matter what you are feeling trust me it is normal. One bad day will not be the end it just means tomorrow will be better. The one thing I heard from a lot of these women was that they worried they weren’t fast enough and were scared to come to camp and be the slowest but I can tell you from experience that putting yourself in a situation that feels uncomfortable will only make you stronger. In running you have to willing to be uncomfortable and that works in 2 ways. You have to be willing to push yourself in a race to a place that feels uncomfortable if you want to reach your full potential. You also shouldn’t be scared to come in last which is uncomfortable but that is how you get better. I went to NC State because I wanted to be surrounded by people who were better than me and now here I am today thinking about the marathon Olympic trials. Its nice for confidence to run some races and place well but sometimes its good to go to a big race and just put yourself out there. I raced at Freihofer’s 5k for Women this year which I can say was both terrifying and humbling. I fell off the elite pack immediately but ran my fastest road mile. If running were easy everyday there would be no challenge and where is the fun in that?! I don’t run simply to win races, I run to get better because that is what really matters.
Last fall was a big step for me in my post-collegiate career but last fall was last fall and its now 2015. I can’t rest on previous accomplishments and I cant expect for this season to come easy. I like to feel like each season I am starting from scratch working my way back up from nothing with no expectations just goals. So now after a long holiday season of family and lots and lots of eating..I am now regaining my focus and getting my butt back in the gym. To take it a step further I purchased myself one of Lauren Fleshman’s Believe Training Journals to push myself a bit further. If there is one thing I have learned from my tough year last year its goal setting and planning! So what’s up for this spring? So far its a bit undecided but I do have two goal races beginning with the Gate River Run in Jacksonville on March 14th and then US Outdoor Nationals in June. I plan on doing a 5k in mid February to get myself tuned up going into Gate RIver and then the rest of the spring its back on the track! I am toying with running Raleigh Relays and/or heading out to Stanford. Ultimately I want to do whatever it takes to get myself to Eugene. Whether I qualify in the 10 or the 5 I don’t care I just want to be there! I have heard great things about that track but sadly never got the opportunity while in college. My last season at NC State was my one opportunity to run NCAA nationals in Oregon but the pressure got to me and I ended my collegiate career just short of qualifying for nationals. Nonetheless I am going to really work hard this season to be smart and get the work in. My words of wisdom for this season, “Take the “small” that God has trusted you with and make it a success. Each little success will eventually lead to a big success.”
February 14th – Sweetheart 5k in Rocky Mount, NC
March 14th – Gate River Run, Jacksonville FL*
March 28th Raleigh Relays – 10k or 5k
April 3rd – Stanford Invitational (maybe), Palo Alto, CA
May 2nd – Payton Jordan Invitational, Palo Alto, CA OR May 3rd – The Rocket Mile, Rocky Mount, NC
June 26-28th – US Outdoor Nationals*
July 25th – Beat the Heat, Winston Salem, NC
August – Sir Walter Mile
There may be some other races in there but so far this is the plan! Here’s to 2015!