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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Olympic Trials 2016 Recap

If you have looked at the results from the Olympic Trials, it took you awhile to get to my name on the list of finishers. You would have to scroll through the names of 140 other women, before seeing mine. My goal was not to be that far down on the list. In fact, I had not just hoped, but I had trained to be further up on that list, about 30 minutes further up on that list, had the weather been more formidable.  My training had been nearly flawless, including the fastest 10 and 16 mile tempos of my life while feeling very well within myself.  Eight days after the 16 mile tempo, where I had averaged 6:04 (goal marathon pace),  my butt/hip tightened up.  It finally did let up about a week later, it only cost me 2 full days off, but quite a few miles.  Instead of the typical 6-10 miles I would run daily during taper, I was getting in 4-5 miles.  My last long run was 21 days prior to the race, and missed some final workouts. None the less, I was pretty convinced it would not be to big a deal, so long as I could get to the start line healthy, I believed, I could put my fitness to the test along with my Cleveland Elite Development, and Oiselle teammates.

Ryan and I arrived in LA and LOVED the LA Athletic club, where we stayed. We enjoyed our time together, and loved coffee on the rooftop!

I met all of my Oiselle Haute VolĂ©e teammates and we did a cool photo shoot. It was so much fun to meet them all.  I feel very blessed to be a part of Oiselle. Despite our serious faces, we were all laughs between shots!

I spent time with all the ladies racing from CED and former Clevlanders Nicole, and Heidi as well. I loved getting to see everyone. I did get antsy, and taper/pre-marathon angry and had to apologize for being sassy! haha, sorry ladies, I love you (I know I don't have to tell you that)!

The day was hot. As we warmed up, I thought about how lucky I was to be pain free, and so excited to be able to race. I was thrilled to be at my 3rd Olympic Trials.

The gun went off, and we had a great group of gals together. The goal was to run smart, and NOT be the carnage that the heat was going to leave along Figueroa street.

Jess, Nicole and Ellie, toward the back of this pack in pink (Jess) and yellow tops(Nicole and Ellie), all would run well in the heat and finish in 58th, 71st, and 29th respectively!  
Beth would run a stellar race as well and finish in 43rd.

Our group came through the mile in solid flying V formation, I felt well within myself in 6:18.

Despite my best efforts, and being around some amazing gals to help pull me along, I simply did not feel like I could settle in on a pace. I was running 6:30's for miles 6-10 and still felt off. 

I shifted focus to just trying to maintain effort. I was starting to really struggle and feel quite a bit of anxiety during the second loop. I was having a hard time believing I was feeling this poorly and we weren't even at the 10 mile mark yet! 

At mile 11 I was certain I would not be able to finish the race. I took a second, let Ryan know I may have to drop out, shook it off and started running again.

The crowds were incredible.  The Oiselle cheer section held some of the best spectators athletes could ask for.  Screaming words of encouragement and making me grin. Seeing Ryan 10 times on the course was incredible, as well as my family, and so many other friends.  The support was amazing, and I hope my smiles showed how much I appreciated you all out there...for so long! 

When I saw Kelsi Nutter on the sidelines in her boot, I remembered how lucky I was to be out there.  Injury is very prevalent, and I was so lucky to be "pain" free and running in this race. No matter how long it took to get to the finish line.  I resolved to finish unless I would worsen my injury. I was feeling no pain in my butt.  My legs were trashed, they felt beat up like they typically do around miles 20-22 by mile 10. 

I had become part of the carnage, I had trained so hard not to be part of.  Slow or fast, we pressed on.   Around mile 22 I caught up with Lyndy Davis, and the 2 of us worked together to get through the last hellish lap. This was huge for me! Thank you Lyndy! I felt so uplifted by every cheer, every person spending their Saturday to cheer for us! 

As I neared the finish line, I couldn't help but smile.  16 miles earlier I didn't believe I would be able to cross that line.  After swallowing my pace pride, and making the decision to hang in there, despite things not going the way I had wanted, I felt proud to finish the race. 25% of the women who started the race did not make it to the finish line, due to the heat, injury, and many other reasons. The longest marathon of my life was completed. 3 hours 11 minutes and 37 seconds. 7:18 pace. I was disappointed yet proud. 

I had a great time later that night, with some amazing ladies, and signing posters for all the people who poured their hearts into cheering us along earlier that day, and talking all things running, racing, and Oiselle.  We are lucky to have such an amazing support group! Thank you to everyone who spent the day cheering us on, and supporting us, you are inspiring, incredible, and make running worth all the rough days! 

Early the next morning, Ryan and I had to say goodbye to the sunshine and head home.  

While I wanted a lot more out of this weekend in the way of faster results, and higher placing, I know better races lie ahead. I am thankful for this opportunity!  I am hungry to get back out there, train smarter, work hard to get my core issues resolved, and with a little luck and a whole lot of work, I plan to give the 2020 Olympic Trials hell! On to the next one. 


  1. Way to stick with it and FINISH. You're amazing! Head up Wings WAY WAY out!

  2. You are such a rock star for gutting it out. Congrats on Trials are such an inspiration to me and so many others!

  3. I was there cheering all the runners on. Huge congrats to you for crossing that finish line. The heat was brutal. I live and run in CLE too and cannot imagine how tough it was to go 26.2 on those shade free streets. Fantastic work!