I was the girl who
despised the “mile” run in Juinior high and some of high school. I was gasping
within minutes, although I was quite fit. Doctors blew it off as
exercise-induce asthma and gave me an inhaler; it didn’t help. After years of
frustration, I was correctly diagnosed, I had vocal chord dysfunction. For part
of my therapy, I also began doing what I once feared, running. I remember
calling my dad, in tears, the first time I ran a mile straight. I heard about a
15k run in Coronado, and knew I had to try. I came in 10th to last out of over
1,000 people, but I am positive I had one of the biggest smiles crossing the
I continued running.
It became spiritual, my time with God, myself, and nature. In January 2006,
while I was running the Rock n’ Roll half marathon, my vocal chords closed at
mile 4. I nearly passed out, and an ambulance came. My dad met up with me to
give me a hug and encouragement. I pressed on and finished. At the age of 16, I
ran the Rock n’ Roll marathon in 4:57. Months after, I ran the Women’s Nike
marathon with my mom ( her first marathon). After marathoning for a year, I
decided give something new a try; triathlons. After hearing about the “
Ironman” triathlon, I KNEW I had to do it. November,2008, I became the youngest
female that year to finish Ironman AZ. I finished in a wonder woman outifit,
and tears rolling down my face. My grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and
brothers were at the finish line.
The first year of
college brought on new struggles; room-mates, caf food, hard classes and boys.
This is around the time an eating disorder began. I ran less, and was
constantly low on energy. I signed up for my first ultra ( PCT 50 mile) near
the end of my Freshman year. I was curious to see just how far I could go. The
race was a disaster. My camelback was too big I realized, and I often stopped
because of stabbing back pain. I was not prepared for the distance. I dropped
at mile 32, dehydrated and grumpy. Two things hit me about this race, the people
and the beauty of being out running on trails. I got a picture with Catra
Corbett (and talked to her for a while) , and was encouraged by Jakob Herrman.
These people are stopping for pictures during a race?? HAHA! I finished my
first 50 with Jakob Herrman’s help a few months later.
At this time the
thought of running a 100, started crossing my mind…. I DNF’d my 1st 100 attempt
at Javelina Jundred 2010, but what I learned through that race has helped me
grow tremendously as a runner. February 2011, at the age of 20 I ran and
finished my first 100 mile run,
The Rocky Road 100.
With lots of friends help and hugs, I had a blast. I realized just how far I
came, not just in this race, but how running has changed my life. I can do
things I put my mind too! Since that 100, I have finished 9 more 100 milers and
35+ ultras, including Western States. It was a lifelong dream to finish that
race, and with the help of my family and best friends, I did just that (
birthday weekend too!).
The ultra community
has taught me so much about friendship, perseverance, and to truly embrace each
and every day. Life is such a gift, and I am so blessed I have found a sport
that I love and am passionate about. Smile through pain and embrace the moment.