Look at the beautiful trees!

I just finished racing the National Junior College Cross Country Championships and it was amazing!!!! I have been waiting all season for this race. My goal was to win (I like to set the bar high). I did not reach my goal today but thoroughly enjoyed the journey. I predicted the winning time would be about 1745 it was 1748. I ran 18:54 and finished 7th in a field of 300+. In case I have not mentioned it before (ha ha) I am more than 2 decades older than everyone. I hope I can inspire women out there to go after your dreams regardless of age, don’t be afraid to dream big. It is often about the journey not the result.

Bekah, Taylor and myself making a mad scramble at the start.

We lined up in box 34 out of 49. We would be running straight into the wind for the 1/3 mile then right turn into a chute about 8 people wide. Since my goal was to win I knew I needed to go all out to get up front and not risk getting boxed in. I cant wait to see pictures of this start because it was crazy!!! The wind was really kicking at the start but I felt calm and determined. My teammate Taylor was at my side for the first part of the cattle herd then we lost each other in the shuffle to make it into the chute. Upon entering the chute I saw a Central girl up ahead and decided to catch up to her. I recall hearing someone shout 520 pace as we neared the 1st mile. I wore my Garmin but only planned on looking at it after the race. First mile was 553, not bad considering the wind.

Start line. This picture does not quite capture the madness that happened.

We winded through the beautiful autumn trees and it was really pretty (i noticed this prerace since during the race I was only focused on the runners in front of me). I was going all out after mile 1 to try to catch the leaders. Nearing mile 2 I could see a couple of girls stretched out way ahead, I knew I would not be winning today most likely. I am proud that I did not back down at all and stayed positive and focused despite the burning in my lungs. You never know what will happen! I could sense the other girls slowing down and tiring a bit. I think I was in around 15th place based on the shouts from the crowd. I focused on breathing and running as fast as I could. In my mind I thought about passing as many girls as I could. My previous marathon experience has provided me plenty of opportunities to have to dig deep.

I had maybe 3/4 miles to go and really let loose, it was great to hear my coaches Eamon, David, and Derek cheering me on. We had a little downhill dip followed by an uphill and then all out sprint about 100 meters to the finish. I surged with all my power and strength physically and mentally and passed 3 more girls on the straight away to the finish line. I was a mom on a mission. Knowing I was missing Katherine’s state meet I was going to make the most of my experience.  I am happy with my 7th place finish and it helped our team place 6th overall.

I am so proud of all our girls! Once we finished we spread out on the course to cheer on the guys. The wind seemed to have picked up more or maybe it was that bad for us too. I had a great time cheering on our guys and they finished 7th as a team.

Post race I was approached by a couple of college recruiters wanting to know if I had plans to run somewhere next year and if not would i be interested in their school. With a big smile I explained my situation as I guided them over to our team telling them about our 3 sophmores.

I am sure over the next few weeks as school winds down I will reflect back on this experience and especially this day, I can honestly say I have no regrets!!!!!

I wrote this the night after Nationals and got caught up in a whirl wind of family obligations and homework when I returned. School is winding down but I have the heaviest load this last few weeks.

On the podium accepting my award. Our guys were all yelling :Yeah MOM”.

Coaches Derek, David and Eamon at Nationals Rend Lake, IL

Prerace Pasta Dinner with our Nationals Team

I landed home Sunday afternoon and Katherine and I headed out to the other side of town. She had competed in state on Saturday (4th in bars overall) and the team award was going to be announced this day. Despite my exhaustion I am glad I took her out there for a priceless moment as her team took 1st place overall in state.

29 girls from Gold Medal Gym help the team win 1st. The trophy is almost as big as her friend Renee.


Nationals here we come!!

We arrived safely in St Louis last night. We needed to pick up a team member and coach that had taken the train. They suggested we meet them under the Gateway Arch along the Mississippi River. Wow this brings back memories since I grew up in Il along the Mighty Mississippi as a child.

Sky harbor airport getting ready to fly to Nationals

It was really exciting to reunite with Jose and Coach David, now our team was complete. The plan was to eat dinner and drive to Mt Vernon. Luckily there was an Old Spaghetti Factory (OSF) right near the arch. Cool and weird at the same time. We often eat at OSF when traveling for races since they offer gluten free pasta. We enjoyed a filling dinner and drove to our hotel.

I am really looking forward to our race on Sat, this Nationals race has been the focus since I decided to run xcountry last year. I have done my research on what to expect and just want to enjoy the last race of the season. Can’t believe it is almost over!!! We are going to check out the course this am.

Regional Champion!!!!

I have been so busy the last couple weeks! About 10 days ago we went on a road trip to Fullerton, CA to race at Cal State Fullerton. It was a great field size and lots of faster runners. I placed 24th out of about 130 Division 1 schools from around CA. We were the only community college in attendance.

This week was our Regional meet, last race before we head to Nationals. The day before the meet I had my 43rd birthday. My goal at Regionals was to win! I was not sure what to expect and had a few plans formulated in my head. All week I had been visualizing the race to help me mentally prepare.

MCC Women’s Team wins 1st at Regionals

The race started out at a nice easy pace. I had identified a spot about 2miles in after you came up a hill to make my move (or adjust as needed). Prior to the hill we ran down into the center of the park and I found myself in the lead. By the time I was up the hill I was pretty sure I was alone. It is not my habit to look behind me so I did as planned and took off like a crazy fast woman. My friend Flash was at the hill cheering me on. With about 3/4 of a mile to go I took a quick glance and could not even see anyone. I decided to dial it back a bit (save it up for Nationals) and ran it in to finish 1st. I ran 1855 and won by 22 seconds!

I think the best part was my kids standing on the hill cheering and screaming “Go mom”. They were there with big hugs at the finish and were squealing with delight. That made this whole season so worth it. My husband was also there and amazed to see the race unfold.  My mom and her husband Stan got to see the race and several friends came out to cheer me on. It was so nice to have support on the course. The one regret is that my dad was not alive to see this race! I credit him for my running genes. He would have been thrilled to see this race and I am sure would be following me to Nationals.

Our Women’s team won Regionals which has not happened in Division 1 in 20 years!!! The girls and coaches were super excited. We got a super cool huge plaque. I hope they find somewhere nice to display that at MCC. It was a team effort to win the meet and I am so proud of all the girls. The only sad thing is we could only run 7 girls. Bri and Amanda I am so proud of your spirit of the sport for coming out to cheer us on like maniacs and take pictures.

We are heading to Nationals in a week and the race is Nov 10 in Rend Lake, IL. I am buried under a mountain of homework, projects, kids sports and selling our old house. I am taking 1 day at a time and getting a little more rest. The most important part now is the mental training and visualizing winning at Nationals. My ideal goal for our team is a top 5 finish.

I have one bit of mom guilt to contend with. Katherine qualified for the state gymnastics meet and it is the same day as Nationals. I have to break the news to her that i won’t be there to watch her. I think I will wait until after her meet this weekend.  That makes my job at Nationals that much more important. If I am missing out on something so important I darn well better make it worth my time! National Champion here I come!

From Joy to the World

SF Bay Area Based Portraiture and Marketing

Jay Dicharry's Website, An Athlete's Body

Jay Dicharry, physical therapist and biomechanist

Zucchini Runner

Eat clean. Live well. Be active.

Training Notes

from fastkate

The Local Elite

Live/Laugh/Love Running


Masters marathoner