I’d had glimpses of greatness in college, and the truth is that I just need to know how good I can be! Every time I achieve or surpass a goal I want more. I want to be better. I want to be world class. And the number one lesson I’ve learned this summer and fall in pursuing that greatness: surround yourself with a wonderful team of people who will enable you to pursue your goals. My team is small but stellar. I work with Coaches Magda Boulet and Tom Kloos. I have a mentor in agent Ray Flynn. I stay healthy with help from bodywork pro Lucie Samuel Charping. I’ve partnered with ElliptiGo. And my family is a rock. I have all of the people and resources I need to be successful.
I started training with Coach Magda in July and my running took a turn for the best. I quickly learned that being a pro is a full time job. And I loved every minute of it! We put together a summer racing schedule starting with a road mile in Pleasanton in August and a 10k in October. I kept on improving and started to get into more races. I raced the Falmouth Mile on Cape Cod, the Maui Road Mile in Hawaii, and the 5th Ave Mile in New York. I was starting to feel pretty comfortable about racing the mile and somewhat anxious about racing my first 10k. But Coach Magda assured me I was ready. Turns out she was right. I won my first national title in Boston at the Tufts Women’s U.S. 10k Road Champs. As a result of my race at Tufts I was selected to represent the U.S. at the Chiba International Ekiden in Japan.
I had a great buildup for the race in Japan; I was healthy and loved training with Coach Magda, marathoner Clara Peterson, and masters stud Brian Pilcher. Magda was selected as the U.S. team coach for the Ekiden and we headed to Japan together on November 19th.
The Ekiden race experience and the entire trip to Chiba was a learning experience and extremely rewarding. As a newbie to international competition, I felt like a sponge soaking in every detail. My U.S. teammates were incredible. Ekiden veterans and Olympians Magda and Dan Browne were our mentors. The Japanese hosts were incredibly gracious. And the race was AMAZING! The Chiba Ekiden is a co-ed relay and the most team-oriented event that exists in distance running (in my opinion). There are six legs: a men’s 5k; a women’s 5k (my leg); a men’s 10k; a women’s 5k; a men’s 10k; and a women’s 7k. I ran my first road 5k, set a PB in the 5k by almost 30 seconds, and our team was third overall and on the podium! An American team hasn’t been in the top three in quite a long time so this was absolutely thrilling. It was truly humbling to be in the company of so many talented athletes and coaches.
After a little break I am back to running and headed to the mountains for some altitude training. I continue to be inspired daily by the people I train with and the trails that I run. Bring on 2013! Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, and Happy Running!