Saturday, August 27, 2011

20k Prep

Most people have nightmares about their organic chemistry final or a big presentation.  Abnormal people like me have nightmares to this day about journal check in high school English.  This is probably because it was the easiest "A" you could get, yet I could never manage to write a paragraph every day.

Anyways, on to the USA 20k Championships!  I returned to my hometown in Virginia where everybody knows your name to visit family and friends and to get in some sea level training two weeks before the 20k.

My arrival to the east coast has apparently triggered natural disasters.  Upon the first day of my arrival, we had a 5.9 earthquake come through our town and up the coast.  Currently, Hurricane Irene is making her presence known along the east coast.

GOES satellite image of Irene. 
So far, training has not been impacted by the changing weather patterns.  Coach Greg McMillan has had his athletes doing time trial efforts before races to keep us in touch with what race effort will feel like. This past Thursday I had an 8-mile Time Trial.  My Mom hopped on her bike and we hit the appropriately named "7.5 loop" (plus an add-on).  It was nice to have company, as she helped to keep me from falling asleep at the wheel.

The course was rolling hills on pavement with about 2.5 miles on gravel roads.  Final time was 44:55 for 8+ miles.

Start of the 8 mile time trial.

End of 8 mile time trial.
Living right next to the George Washington National Forest has its perks, although these trails are more rugged than the trails in Flagstaff.

So many options just over the hill, including heading towards Shawl Gap.  All of these signs are literally in one location at the top of the hill.

Elizabeth Furnace is very popular for
tourists and locals alike.
SR 619 is part of the time trial course.
I've lost count how many times I've
trekked down 619 over the years.
Massanutten is well-know in these parts,
including the MMT 100 Mile Run.

Play time on the boat at Lake Anna before the storms came.

Gidget, Super Bee's sister, going for a swim with her frisbee.
Lake Anna.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Crossing over to the dark side of blogging....

This is my first attempt at blogging, which is huge considering I have always been cemented against keeping diaries or anything of the sort.  The closest thing I "journal" are my running logs, which admittedly are sometimes hit and miss.

But I digress.  Let me back up and give a quick history of myself and my running journey.  I hail from Virgina, where I began running track and cross country in middle school.  Up to this point, running was quite unenjoyable, just ask my parents who heard (and still do) the complaints first-hand.

Finding the joy of running led me to multiple state championships before moving on to compete for the University of Virginia.  While a Cavalier, my career took another leap, and I ended my time at Virginia with multiple All-American finishes.

High School State Cross Country Championships 2003

Cross Country NCAA Regionals
Thanks to great coaches along the way, I never "burned out" and improved every year.  Really, it was a storybook career up to that point.  Or was it?  In my heart, I knew, and still know, I had yet to really tap into my potential.  Which leads me to my current position as a member of the adidas-McMillanElite team coached under Greg McMillan in Flagstaff, Az.

Two-mile Time Trial in Flagstaff, Az with McMillanElite
After about two long unprecedented years of struggles with injuries after college, I am finally finding my groove again.

Growing up, there was a cross-stitch of a quote hanging on our wall that always sticks with me:

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

I've always marched to the beat of my own drum, and I truly believe that following your instincts will mean leaving your own trail and subsequently, success.

Enough of the gory details...Please allow me to introduce my border collie Super Bee, aptly named after the Dodge muscle car.  Since she was born, she's had the V8 engine that keeps on powering!

Super Bee 
Super Bee is one of the best friends and training partners one could have.  This past week she logged 55 of her own miles with me, never missing a beat.

Finally, I owe a great portion of my success to my never ending support from my family (Mom, Dad, Mema and Hal for logging lots of road time) and closest friends (you know who you are!).  Even though there are a lot of solo miles logged, it wouldn't be possible without knowing there are people who believe in me out there.