Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Formerly banned..

Sorry everyone! I meant to say formerly banned. Different, but maybe an issue?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Elite Athlete Summit, Miami, FL

This past weekend I flew to Miami to take part in the Elite Athlete Summit.  I had no idea what the weekend would be like, as I had little information going in.  When I confirmed by attendance in early September, I imagined I would be getting information about how to access resources now available to me based on the USATF tier system, going on training runs with top American distance runners, and enjoying some time in the sun.

The trip turned out to be more stressful than I thought.  First of all, I had to fly out of Seattle two days after moving there.  Second, it takes a looonnng time to fly from Seattle to Miami.  Granted I lost three hours, but I left Seattle at 6:00 am, and arrived in Miami and 6:00 pm.  Add in a baby throwing up on me and a night-time treadmill work out after traveling all day.  I was wreck.  Third, I was the only distance runner at the meeting, so I did all my running alone, mostly in the dark along a busy road that was not quite a highway.  Finally, we had meetings all day long, so when I had a tidbit of free time I was either running or trying to get a quick recovery nap to help with the three hour time loss, so I had little time to enjoy the vacation.

At the same time the trip was an amazing experience.  I got to meet a lot of the world’s top athletes including Sanya Richards-Ross, DeeDee Trotter, Queen Harrison, and Jessica Beard.  I also got connected with many former athletes who are now part of the Athletes Advisory committee.  I was picked up at the airport by Aretha Thurmond, four-time American Olympian in the Discus, and I got to meet Jon Drummond, Olympic Gold Medalist, and Anne Gaffigan, former American record holder in the steeplechase.  The hotel we stayed in was glamorous (pics below)  The food we ate was delicious (my first time at Benihana and Fogo de Chao).  And our location on Miami South Beach was enchanting (for swimming, not running).  We got to hear from USATF CEO Max Siegal and President Stephanie Hightower, and we got to give them our feedback.

The weekend was different than what I expected.  As usual, I questioned some of USATF’s decisions.  The weekend seemed a bit over the top compared to the other ways I could use support for my running. But overall, I am grateful for the opportunity, and I believe I have a better picture of what life is like at the next level of track.

Pretty fancy, eh?

The lobby.

Cross Country Moving

On Sunday, October 13th, my dad picked me up in Otter Tail, Minnesota to begin our cross country journey to Seattle.  I had spent the last couple days in Minnesota celebrating the wedding of Gabe Anderson, my University of Minnesota and Team USA Minnesota teammate, and Justin Grunewald, also a former gopher runner.  The wedding was awesome. Everyone was delighted to see a couple who has gone through a lot together be in such a solid spot on their wedding day. Many of my best friends were there, as well as friends who I greatly respect but don't get to see very often.  The best part of the weekend was dancing from first to last song on a full dance floor, and then hearing everyone chant for more.  I had a hard time leaving from such a fun day, but I was thankful to be part of it.

My dad was kind enough to accompany me on my move.  We made the drive with my '99 Camry, packed to the brim.  The poor guy didn’t have enough space to push the seat back to fit his long legs, but he didn’t complain. The first night we spent in Miles City Montana, where I did some scary running on a dark highway in the rain.  The second day we made it to somewhere in Eastern Washington, after a day filled with scenic views from mountain tops.  I was astounded by the beauty of nature we saw passing through the Idaho panhandle, especially the Cote de’ Alene Lake. 

I’m rooming with John Holton, recent University of Minnesota graduate and stand-out 400m runner for the gophers.  He is also a recent replant in Seattle, so we can be overwhelmed together by the dense city.  Thankfully for me, he has already looked at a couple places in Seattle; so on the day I got into Seattle, we looked at the basement unit of a duplex and signed the lease. 

I’m excited to explore my new home and get to know my new teammates!

                         Mike Cheever - what a guy!  We found the Fremont Troll in Seattle.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sarah's Styles

I have long admired the styles of fashionista Sarah Barker, wife of Team USA Minnesota coach Dennis Barker. So, I was very flattered to be put on her MNstyle blog.  Check it out!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Brooks Beast!!!

Please excuse my long absence from my blog.  I have been pursuing the next stage of my running career and now I have exciting news:

I am moving to Seattle in a week to join the Brooks Beasts team!

This is a big change for me.  I grew up in Minneapolis, I attended the University of Minnesota, and I have run with Team USA Minnesota for the past two and a half years.  My parents, grandparents, and numerous friends and support systems are in Minneapolis.  I love everything about then Twin Cities, but I think this is a perfect opportunity to do something new, take a risk, and try to become the best athlete I can be.

I have been trying to leave Minnesota for a while.  When I was looking at colleges, my parents told me I had to leave the state.  My mom ran at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota, the town she grew up in.  While she had a positive experience at the school, my Dad grew a lot from leaving home (also Brookings), and going to Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.  I agreed with their logic, and visited colleges around the nation, but my best official visit, by far, was with the University of Minnesota Track and Field team.  So there you go.  When I graduated from college, I had been mentally and physically sick for the last two years of college.  When I decided I wanted to try to continue to run competitively, Team USA Minnesota took a big chance on me by letting me on the team when no one else would have wanted me.  I am so thankful for my time on my team.  I have been able to develop as an athlete along with my wonderful teammates.  I will miss everyone very much.

The Brooks Beast team has a lot to offer.   I had the opportunity to visit the team for a few days in mid-September, and enjoyed meeting all my future teammates.  The team is hope to a very talented group of women: Katie Mackey, Brie Felnagle, Lindsey Allen, Jessica Tebo, Deborah Maier, Phoebe Wright, and Erica Moore.  I can’t wait to get my butt kicked in practice.  Danny Mackey, the coach, has coaching the team as his full-time job, which is a rare for professional teams.  As a result, we are able to meet six times a week, and Danny is present to oversee everything from track work-outs to weight-lifting.  Brooks is investing a large amount into the team from a large travel budget to a winter training trip and summer racing trip, medical support, and nutritional help. Plus the winter won’t be nearly as bad!
                                                                          New Teammates

I am busy packing, but I will continue to update about my new situation!