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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Guest blog post: Crystal chasing Boston

One of the athletes I coach wrote a blog post to help my readers get to know her.
Crystal has been one fun athlete to watch over the past 4 months! I can't wait to see what she can do this year!!

                 Meet Crystal!!

"I started running in Junior High with my Aunt as my track and cross country coach.  I enjoyed it, but not many 11, 12, 13 year olds have enough discipline to really LOVE getting up early to run.  I didn't stick with it in High School unfortunately, but that doesn't mean I never ran.  I did, just off and on. 
Then came college and soon after the dreaded freshman 15.  Thankfully it was more like the Freshman 8 for me, but it was enough to spur me into action, so I started running.  Four miles felt like such an accomplishment, and then when I hit six, I felt like I could conquer the world.  I really didn't know anyone who did road races, so that thought literally never crossed my mind.  I continued on as a casual (and usually just an occasional) runner throughout college.
During my first year of law school I was going through a rough breakup, and recalled my aunt mentioned the marathon (she has run a crap load of long distance races!!!  She is a rock star).  I thought this was be just the thing to get me out of my funk.  So without nary a race under my belt, not a half, not a 10k, not even a 5k, I signed up for the marathon.  Nothing seemed weird about that, in fact, I never even thought about it.  I joined a running group and my life changed.  I forever became the girl who had to get home early on Fridays for her Saturday long run!
I clocked in my first race right around4:32.  In fact, I just saw the picture my mom snapped.....cotton sports bra and all.  YIKES!!! I really knew NOTHING.  Since then, I have ran San Fran, Chicago, NYC, New Orleans, Houston multiple times, and a few others.  In 2011 when I went froma 4:19, to 4:11: then to 4:05, I started actually thinking about Boston. Then when I ran Chicago in 2012, at 3:52without any significant changes to my routine, I KNEW it was possible. 
I briefly had an in person coach, then found out I was pregnant.  I was able to keep running throughout, sticking with an 8 mile "long" run through the 8th month (I dialed it back to just 3-4 miles at a time the last month) and knew I'd be ready to jump back in after giving birth.  I pulled together a training plan two weeks post-delivery and began training around 5 weeks out (nice and easy of course).  As I got faster, I knew I should get a coach...and in comes Becki.
I had just read about her  I read how she coached her husband to an amazing first marathon race, and thought, maybe she'd coach me.  I emailed her blindly, and thankfully, she agreeded!
After 6 or so weeks of working with Becki, it was marathon day (unfortunately, my first race, Memphis, December 7th, was canceled).  I followed her race-day game plan to a T.....and found myself with a nice new PR: 3:40:31!!!! 

While I don't always follow the plan perfectly (whether it be a bad day, the baby, life in general), I try to do exactly what she asks.  I know the next phase of working together will only get better as I have grown to trust what she puts out there for me, and her instincts.  It is amazing having someone to bounce ideas off of, to push you, and give advice about the craziest things.  Not only that, it gives me great confidence knowing she has raced so many distances out there....not to mention having won a marathon.....a BIG marathon!    We are now going to be working on my shorter distances, and getting my leg speed up, and I am pumped to throw down some new PR's.....and hopefully in the not so distant future, nab that Boston Qualifier (3:35)!"

So you can all keep up with her progress in the shorter distances this spring, Crystal has a blog about her adventures juggling being a bad ass runner and a heck of a mom! Check it out at 

P.S. Pregnancy update coming very soon!! Sorry my computer had some water damage, (I still love you Ry) but it's tough to do a blog post on a tablet or phone! 

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