Monday, February 25, 2013

15k, Coming Right Up

I decided a couple months ago I would run the 15k road race championships.  A trip to Jacksonville during Minnesota’s snowiest month? Yes, please.  A reason to taper between U.S. Cross Country and the track season? Sounds like a good idea.  Another team competition with Meghan, Ladia, and Mckenzie as teammates? I know we can rock it.  I was thinking the event would be a great way for me to get a taste of a longer race while doing a great strength workout before track.

But now that the race is a couple weeks away, and the entry list is out (, I am not as confident in my decision to run the race.  The race is almost twice as far as the farthest distance I have raced so far – an xc 8k, and the field is incredibly deep.  Richard Fannin, Gate River Race Director, sent out some stats about the women’s field this year:  

Women field

·  29 women with 15:59 or better at 5,000

·  36 women with 33:59 or better at 10,000

·  31 women with 1:15:59 or better at half-marathon


Yikes! Those are a lot of fast women.

Runner’s Space ( will be there, so check out the race on March 9th.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Sexual Violence - A Week of Inspiration and Revulsion

On Valentine’s Day, I was ecstatic to see so much participation in Eve Ensler’s One Billion Rising event to create a conversation about sexual violence, healing for survivors of assault, and a way for participants to advocate against sexual violence. Ensler has had an annual V-day event, but this year it seemed particularly well-attended.  In the Twin Cities, there were dancing and performance events; I was on calI with Ramsey County Sexual Offense Services, so I was disappointed I couldn’t attend.  I have loved Ensler’s work since the first time I saw her play, The Vagina Monologues (If you have not seen this play, I highly advise you to do so ASAP).  While continuing to be a playwright and author, Ensler has become an advocate to end violence against women and girls around the world. Here is a short story from NPR about the day:


However, I was also saddened this week to learn about two events in the running community which highlighted the issue of sexual violence. 

First, Olympic 400m runner Oscar Pistorius is in the second day of his bail hearing for the charge of a pre-meditated murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.  Pistorius shot her three times from outside a locked bathroom door, claiming he thought she was an intruder.  How anyones first thought of a locked bathroom door means an intruder is in the house is ridiculous, and a pathetic defense.  How would his girlfriend’s presence make him believe a dangerous killer was in the house?  And wouldn’t he have made sure there was a stranger behind the door, by talking to the person, before shooting at them four times? Of course, I do not know the details of the case, but I am pissed off that a man who was so successful and famous seems to think of girlfriends as easily dispensable.

Second, I learned former University of Toledo head cross country and track coach, Kevin Hadsell, resigned of his coaching position at the end of January after a former runner told University officials Hadsell was sexually harassing her through lewd text messages.  Hadsell has been accused of dating and having a physical relationship with several of his current and former athletes throughout his tenure at Toledo.  Hadsell started grooming some of his athletes in their freshman and sophomore years by incessantly texting them.  If they responded, they were rewarded with more attention as an athlete; if not they were ignored. There was an “in-crowd” of women of the team who he was friendly with outside of practice, and these women were the one who got to travel.  In addition, he has been accused of drinking during practice, giving alcohol to underage runners on the team, and driving the team van while intoxicated. 

I am so disgusted by Hadsell’s abuse of his position of power.  I cannot imagine trying to be a student athlete in an a team environment where there are so few boundaries and the coach is turning women against each other in order to have more control over them individually.  His actions are completely unethical and, in some instances, illegal.  I hope he is held accountable for his actions, and I really hope he is not allowed to coach anywhere else.

Here is two text conversations he had with one of his former athletes who helped him coach the team:

Hadsell: "I don't know but it was honest and that sucked because OB and Kelly didn't know that."

Andrea: "Oooh oopsies. Well that was a long time ago though."

Hadsell: "Exactly. Dude I hate shit like that. People don't think about all the good I've done when they make a call like that."

Andrea: "Honesty - I bet it was strategically done when were having all this success to try to tear it down. I mean really, because if that person was really concerned why wouldn't they place the call as soon as they knew about all this?"

Andrea: "And uhhh you can date former athletes correct?"

Hadsell: "Exactly. Pussies."

Hadsell: "Dude don't mention a word of this to anyone."

Andrea: "If it were to get out it would put a serious dark cloud over our program"

Hadsell: "Yes. They even said I can from the day they graduate. They don't care."

The university had nothing to go on except for an anonymous phone call, and Hadsell was apparently cleared. If he was at all chastened by the investigation, he didn't show it. Here's a series of texts from Oct. 7, five days after he'd complained that someone was out to ruin his career with allegations of inappropriate relationships with his runners. Around 10 p.m.:

Hadsell: "Fuck"

Hadsell: "I want to talk."

Hadsell: "And Be real"

Andrea: "Okay we can"

Hadsell: "Dude. Straighgt up...can I trust you? And. Are u really interested in me?"

Andrea: "Yes you can trust me"

No further texts for an hour. Then:

Hadsell: "Fuckm."

Hadsell: "Are u awake?"

Hadsell: ":("

No further texts until 12:57 a.m.

Hadsell: "I guess not. Fuckk."

Four days later, while in Wisconsin for a cross-country meet, Andrea told Hadsell she knew he'd been sleeping with Caitlin, who had graduated the previous spring. Hadsell denied everything.

Andrea: "you really don't lead her on at all?"

Hadsell: "Dude. I don't. I don't completely discourage. I'm a guy. Duhh. That's honest."

Andrea: "I knew it"

Andrea: "Hahahahaha"

Hadsell: "Like you know what I mean. You're not ENCOURAGING. But you're not"



Hadsell: "Not gonna lie. I would hook up with [Caitlin] (I havemt) but if she wasn't psycho I would."

Hadsell: "But you and I are far too cool not to."

Andrea: "She is psycho! I told you!"

Hadsell: "If I fuck her I'm fucked"

Andrea: "Literally"

Hadsell: "It may be a good ride. Just sayin."

Hadsell: "But now sure of the rest of it."

Andrea: "Ugh"

Hadsell: "?????"

Andrea: "Hahaha noting man"

Hadsell: "Hahaha. That she may be a good lay?"

Andrea: "No I'm sure she is"

Andrea: "But she's just crazy nano"

Andrea: "Man"

Hadsell: "Not worth it."

Hadsell: "Dhe talks a big game."

Andrea: "I'm sure"

Hadsell: ".maybe you talk a big gAme?"

Andrea: "MAYBE"

Andrea: "Hey I'm going to bounce soon man"

Hadsell: "Fucmkkk. :("

Andrea: "I know man"

Andrea: "Obvi Ill keep in touch"

Hadsell: "Dude."

Andrea: "Dude"

Hadsell: "Fuck man."


Sunday, February 17, 2013


Good news!  I recently signed a small contract with Brooks, my first formal contract with a shoe company.  I’m excited to work with Brooks, since I’ve been wearing their shoes since I started running track as a freshman in high school.  During my first trip to a running shoe store, I picked out the Brooks Adrenaline, and I’ve been rocking them since.  I was fortunate to race in The Wire distance spike for my recent 3k and the Mach cross country spike for the U.S. Cross Country Championships.  They were both light and very comfortable.  I’m excited to represent Brooks and appreciate their support.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

US Cross Country Champs

I made my goal of finishing in the top 10 at the U.S. Cross Country Championships by coming in 10th, just a couple places, and a few seconds, out of making the world cross country team.  When I first looked at who was entered in the race, I thought I could have a good day and finish 20th.  The field was very deep and included four Olympians. 

I started out conservatively, in about 20th place, and after the first 2k loop, I started to slowly pick people off.  I was in a great zone most of the race, just short of redlining, but moving well and not in pain.  Unfortunately, my spike came untied at 4k, and I decided to spend a few precious seconds tying it in order to save my feet.  When I got back up, a few people had passed me, but I tried to hang onto Sarah Hall, who had also started farther back and was now making her way up through the race.  I got back into a good rhythm, but my shoelace came untied again with 2k to go.  I decided to let it stay untied as I was starting to redline and didn’t think I could make up the ground I would lose.  I worked hard the last k to pass Hall and McKaig, but they got me, although I did manage to outkick Brianne Nelson the last straight away.  Meghan Peyton also had a great race, finishing in 13th, just a little bit off me. 
                                                        Starting out conservatively
                                                                Awards for Top 10

I ran 27 seconds faster than last year on the same course in softer and sloppier conditions.  I’m excited to see what I can do on the track!
              Minnesotans after the race: Me, Meghan Peyton, Ladia Alberson-Junkas, Hassan Mead
                                                       Parents drove from Minneapolis to watch
                                                     And Joe came from Madison to cheer


The Jack Johnson

I’m behind in my blogging!  I got a PR in the 3000m at the Jack Johnson Invitational at the University of Minnesota indoor track, and I haven’t even written about it.  So here is my brief recap: Meghan and I decided to do our annual 3k race at the Jack Johnson meet as a tune-up for the U.S. cross country championships.  I’ve been feeling great in my track work-outs, so I was excited to see what I could do in a race.  We trained through the week without tapering, but I still felt ready to go the day of the race.  The Jack Johnson is always fun – there are a lot of Minnesota track alumni, my parents and  grandparents are able to come cheer, the track officials are familiar.  Meghan and I decided to go out at 9:20 pace, with the hope of switching off leading every 400m.  I took the first 400m, Meghan took the second, but wasn’t feeling in top form, so I lead the rest of the race for a time of 9:19.  Just a little PR, but I’m excited to know I could run faster with some tapering and a more competitive field.


And here I am talking to Flotrack: