Flagstaff and Home

It’s been a while since I’ve been home in Greenville. My team and I went to Flagstaff, Arizona for a month of altitude training and then I got to go home to Texas to visit family for the holidays. It’s been six weeks of fun and after having time to reflect on it during my flight back to G-ville, I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned over these few weeks.


Before going to Flagstaff, I raced a couple road races (one in New York and one in Richmond, Virginia). That was my first time racing since before my stress fracture in the summer and it was definitely fun to be back racing again (even though I didn’t run superrr fast). During the couple weeks I was racing, I was in flats a lot more than I had been in them all fall. The week before leaving for Flag, I started feeling a little discomfort in my Achilles. For anyone who’s followed along on my journey since last year, my summary of last year is that I had problems with Achilles tendonitis in my right Achilles in the fall, I got better and got into training and racing well again, then just as we got into serious racing season I got a stress fracture in my metatarsal that took me out for the summer. All that to say that when I started feeling my Achilles (this time my left one), I was pretty discouraged.


Last year part of the reason I was injured so badly was because when I started feeling something, I kept pushing and I was really bad at telling my coach when I thought I needed to stop. This was partially due to pride because I didn’t want to admit something was wrong and it was also partially because I didn’t want my coach to be “mad” or disappointed in me for being hurt or having to take it easy. So because of pride and the fact that I’m a people pleaser, injuries kicked me down last year (or maybe looking back I kicked myself down). I learned that my coach is for me, on my side, and we have the same goals. That means if I’m hurting, we’re both disappointed at the same thing and that’s not disappointment in me as a person, we both know I’m working hard, it’s frustration at the situation. The only reason he would be disappointed in me is if I’m not communicating with him about something that’s going on (which is then a person problem and I need to check my pride). All that to say that this year when I started feeling my Achilles, I told him my coach right away. What was a six-week injury last year turned into me cross training for a couple days at the beginning of Flagstaff this year, not missing any major workouts, and taking care of an issue quickly and efficiently so that it hasn’t bothered me since. My take away from that part of the trip is that pride comes before a fall; sometimes you have to set aside pride and communicate with people who are trying to reach a goal with you because in the end you’re on the same team.


After the little Achilles issue, I got back to regular training. A normal day was basically wake up, drink coffee and spend some time with God (this trip I was reading Proverbs!), drive out with the team to some sweet trails or wherever we were going to workout, run/workout, get some food, go to physio or hang out for a little while (sometimes downtown drinking coffee other times searching Spotify for jams), second run/crosstraining/strength and core work, and then dinner/relaxing and watching White Collar with my training partner Erin. That was the day pretty much every day. It’s not crazy exciting or anything but because of that, there are a couple takeaways:

  1. Sometimes, working towards a goal is mundane and just hard work. It’s not one day you wake up and you’re good at something. It’s working every day doing the same thing over and over because you’ve planned the work and now you are working the plan. You trust the process, sometimes not seeing results right away but still you trust and you do the things every day.
  2. The little things are what make the hard work fun (because I do love my job). The little things like seeing beautiful views from trails and feeling small, like trying reallyyyy good coffee downtown because you need something to help you through second session, like inside jokes with your training partners and laughing so hard during a run that you could possibly die because there’s already a lack of oxygen up there, like looking at all the people like your training partners and coaches and physios and being amazed that they’re so invested in your journey, like making tacos with your training partners at night because tacos are awesome, like stopping at that little restaurant to get a giant, warm, delicious sandwich on your way back from workout. Little things like that. Simple joys that make the mundane exciting and adventurous.


Flagstaff was awesome. After a month of training, I got to go back to the homeland in Plano, Texas to visit the fam for Christmas! I love being around my family because they are awesome and because most of the time I’m around people in the running world so being around them gives me great perspective. Training back in Texas brought back alllllll the nostalgic high school mems as I ran around the places I trained when I first discovered the joys of running. It was definitely hard training at home because I was without training partners and we had lots of fun family activities planned that made my schedule pretty busy so I had to be really careful to get the sleep and recovery that I needed since I was still training as hard as I was when I was in Flagstaff. Being home gave me a chance to learn even more from challenges that arose and the people around me:

  1. My brother and sister taught me that it’s ok to not know everything and usually you can learn something from someone if you listen and stop acting like you know everything already. Another “humble yourself, self” moment for me. My bro and sis are so good about being excited and unashamed to learn and ask questions when they don’t know about something. I want to be a lifelong learner so their example reminded me that to learn, first you have to admit that you don’t know something.
  2. A lot of the people who have had the biggest impact on my life are older people who have been with me since high school. My high school friends were great, super encouraging, and made running and high school really really fun but the people who helped me through really hard times and gave me wisdom when I needed it were the older adults in my life and while I didn’t see that as well when I was younger, I realize that truth more and more the older I get. People like my parents who always encouraged me in running, drove me to practice, helped/help me make huge life decisions, etc., like my high school coach who taught me that hard work pays off and that you can have fun while you work hard (before hard workouts and races he would always tell me, “remember, have fun!” in his South African accent), like my chiropractor from high school who helped me through my first injury (and who has helped keep me healthy for about 8 years), people like my grandparents who always encourage me, see me as not just a runner but a unique human being, and who make sure I know that I am special and loved (because we all need to hear that!). People like that.


These are the little tidbits of wisdom that I’ve learned in the past six weeks from my trips to Arizona/Texas. Some things have been taught to me through running, some from the incredible people around me and I am thankful for them both. Now I’m excited to be back in Greenville and continue my journey training and getting ready to race later in January! Thanks for following along and stay tuned for more updates!

The Base for Goals: Values

Before I set my goals for the year, I like to come up with 5 words that will be my Core Values for the year. For me, goals are things I want to achieve and values are who I want to be on a deeper level so…


Goals = Achieve, Values = Be


I’ve found that when who I want to be (values) lines up with what I want to do (goals), I am MUCH more motivated to continue to chase after my goals through hardships and setbacks. I am also at peace chasing after my goals because they are in line with who I want to be as a person. I like keeping my values and goals separate because my goals are not who I am so they do not own me. They are things I desire and things I am committed to work towards but by separating them I know I am not a failure if I don’t achieve them. I can still hold true to my values and be the person I want to be even if I don’t achieve all my goals and that gives me A LOT of peace.


I thought and prayed about what my five words for this year will be and these are the words I have come up with: Encouraging, Inspiring, Empowering, Balanced, and Consistent. Here’s why I chose these 5 words:


Encouraging: I love encouraging others. It’s one of my love languages and something I’ve always enjoyed doing. I want to be someone who is always pouring out encouragement on others and showing them they are valuable and worth something (because you are!). I also realize that as much as I encourage others, I need to encourage myself. It’s very easy for me to be hard on myself and put myself down. My sport’s psychology professor shared this quote with me: “Be nice to yourself, you’re listening.” It’s so true! I need to be my own #1 fan and encourager. To be my best, I need to talk to myself like I am valuable, competent, and able to achieve what I set out to do. I need to believe in and encourage myself as much as I encourage others.


Inspiring: Running professionally can feel selfish sometimes. My work is self focused and I have to think about me a lot of the time in order to run workouts to get faster and to recover well. One way I can live outside of myself even with a seemingly selfish job is by inspiring others. I remember looking up to older and faster runners myself when I was younger and I hope to be that for younger runners today. I love inspiring people to follow their dreams because following my dreams is a blast and I’ve had great adventures so far. Plus, it’s fun and inspiring for me to watch other people achieve what they’ve set out to do! So it’s kinda like a domino effect.


Empowering: I don’t just want to say encouraging things or look like an inspiring person, I want to be someone who gives other people the tools and guidance they need to succeed; I want to empower people! In the same way I want to empower others, I want to empower myself. Empower = give power; I want to create opportunities and create an environment that gives me the power to succeed. That means I need to think about what I need to achieve my goals, plan ahead, and make sure I create good habits that are in line with my goals.


Balanced: I fully believe that a fast runner is a content runner who arises from a content person with a balanced soul. Broken down that means that I think balance in one’s life is important because if life is balanced, one will be happy, and if someone is happy, it will be easier for them to achieve their goals. The reason I think it is easier to achieve goals when life is balanced is because running (or whatever area of life my goal is in) is not everything to me in life. I also have family, friends, a desire to learn, a spiritual part of my life etc. and these are all important things. Focusing too hard on one goal will take away from other important things in life and will make me sad to be missing out on other parts. When I can balance and let each area of my life flow into every other area, my family and friends give me laughter, rest from running, and encouragement, learning new things gives life excitement, discovering God gives me joy and peace, etc. My life becomes more meaningful and I will enjoy chasing my goals in all areas of life even more.


Consistent: One of my teammates brought up this quote to me the other day: “You are what you repeatedly do.” Short, simple, and true! The more you do something, the better you become at it. My coach also has a great quote for consistency, he doesn’t say practice makes perfect. Instead, he says, “Perfect practice makes perfect.” It doesn’t take any more time to do something correctly but it does take extra effort and thought and that is the difference between blind consistency and perfect consistency. This year I want to focus on perfect consistency, doing things over and over again correctly in an effort to make those my new habits and my automatic response. I want to create habits early on so when races get bigger and I have more on my mind than just practice, things I do are already in line and I can be calm in a storm.



Those are my 5 Values for the year that I hope to live by. This is the first step of my goal setting; it’s the base that my goals are built on and the building blocks for who I want to be this year. Now as I make my goals and plans to achieve them, I’ll keep my values in mind so who I want to be and what I want to do are in line. Thanks for reading! I hope you can spend some time coming up with values to build your goals on. Stay tuned the rest of the week for more tips on goal setting!



I am a professional distance runner for Asics. My main events are the steeplechase and 5k but I’ve raced anything from the 1500 to the 10k. I grew up in Plano, Texas, ran track and cross country at Baylor while studying exercise physiology, and now I am living in Greenville, South Carolina and training with the Furman Elite group. I love inspiring others and helping them be the best they can be which is one of the reasons I made this website. Feel free to explore around and ask me any questions you may have!

Records & Achievements

Personal Bests:

1500- 4:19

Steeplechase- 9:41

5k: 15:39

3k flat: 9:02

10k: 33:11

High School:

3X Texas State Champion

2010 Nike Cross Nationals Champion

2nd at Footlocker Cross Country Nationals 2010



6X All American

4X Big 12 Champion

Broke Baylor school records in the 3k, 5k, 3k steeplechase, and 10k

5th place in steeplechase at USATF Track Championships 2014

2014 NACAC steeplechase champion



14th at USATF 10k Road Championships 2015

2016 Olympic Trials qualifier in the 3K steeplechase

Olympic Trials

I raced at the Olympic Trials this past week and I’ll be blunt and honest; it did not go how I had hoped. In the steeplechase, there are prelims and finals and I didn’t make it to the finals round. I felt relaxed, confident, excited, and the right amount of nervousness before prelims. Strides the day before felt great- my legs were ready to run fast! So what happened? The gun went off, the race started, and after the first 1000 meters I felt like I couldn’t breath. I struggled through the race, trying to make moves up to the front of the pack but my body wouldn’t let me. It was the worst I’ve felt in a race in a long time and I had to dig deep to even finish the 3k. The only thing I remember from the last two laps is the lap counter telling us two laps to go and wondering if I could run two laps without barriers and water jumps (thankfully I made it through). I had been having trouble breathing while I was training in Dallas but I thought it was just hot and humid and I would feel better once I got somewhere cooler with less humidity. That didn’t happen. I’ve had bad races before- everyone does- but this seemed different. After the race, my coach told me that he thought there might be something wrong with me physically like an iron deficiency or exercise-induced asthma so I’m headed back to Dallas to do some testing and figure out what the problem is so I can get back to feeling like myself again.


This was a very upsetting race for me because I had been training all year for this specific race. With so much pain in workouts and so much sacrifice and self discipline to do all the “little things” right through the year it was very hard to see things seem to fall apart when they should have been coming together. I’m not going to say that it’s ok and put on a front of fake happiness because I believe it’s ok to have struggles and admit when you’re going through something hard. However, I am going to say that running- like life – is filled with ups and downs and I still believe God has a plan far greater than any one I could imagine. Even when my body fails me, God never will and that is something that gives me great comfort. Yes, these past few days have been rough watching the trials and wishing so badly that I could be there in the finals but thankfully my hope does not lie in my athletic abilities which will eventually fade away, my hope is in a never changing God who loves me because He loves me because He loves me. He created me perfectly and I know that through the ups and downs in this sport He created me to run and I love worshiping Him through that talent. Even though I didn’t feel like myself at all in that race, I gave it everything I possibly could so there’s no way I can be mad at myself or wonder if things could have gone differently if I were a little more head strong or gave a little more effort. It wasn’t a good race by any means but it is a race where I gave 100% and I’m proud of myself for that.


For now, I’m choosing to be positive. I know I’m in good shape; my legs are ready to run fast and as soon as I figure out what’s wrong I’ll be back stronger than ever. I am so so thankful to ASICS who has supported me for a full year now. I love this company and have received support to become a stronger runner and a stronger person and I am so thankful to everyone in the ASICS family who has been part of my journey this year. I’m thankful for my coach; I love his training and feel like I am a stronger runner this year and hopefully I can get into some races later on in the summer to prove that. He is also someone who has grown me as a runner and a person and he never fails to remind me to “have fun,” with running (which, of course, I do!). I’m thankful for my parents, sisters, family, friends, and fans of the sport who have given me an overwhelming amount of love and encouragement. I’m blessed to have the best agent, Flynn Sports, to help me out with travel and administrative work that I hate doing (yall make my life 2000 times easier!). I’m thankful for all the doctors and massage therapists (especiallyyyy Dr. Ford and Lee Ferris) who have helped keep me together this year. I feel so blessed to have all these people around me who support and encourage me. Especially in the past couple of weeks, I have felt an insane amount of inspiration from all of you and I can’t express in words how much it has meant to me. I wish my race were a better representation of the amazing support I have but there are other opportunities and I’m going to continue to follow my dreams because of the way each of these people above inspires me. With that being said, it’s time for me to get out there and run the world, thanks for reading 🙂

Michael Johnson Invitational


This past weekend I got the chance to race a 1500 at the Michael Johnson Invitational at Baylor. I always have a reason for racing so this week my reason was to get some speed and to get uncomfortable in a fast pace (or at least, fast for me) so that in a steeple, the pace will seem easier and more comfortable even if it goes out a little quick.


The week leading up to the race I was feeling strong. At the beginning of the week, I was very confident in my training and where my body was. That week was also my first week of full track workouts so up until then I had been doing good basework and strength workouts. I was excited to get on the track but also nervous because the track doesn’t lie. On roads and trails there are hills, rough terrain, sometimes inaccurate mile markers (or watches that lie), and workouts like fartleks where I’m just trying to push myself and run fast for a certain time without worrying about how far I’m going each interval. The track, however, is flat, perfectly measured, and how I’ll measure myself every race. So I was feeling strong but a little nervous about how fast I would actually be able to run. On Tuesday before the race, I had some 200s and 400s. I hit the paces I was supposed to, but it was harder than I thought it would be. I felt the lactic acid for sure. I was happy I hit the paces but after that workout, I was more nervous about running a shorter race. Thursday I ran some more 400s and felt a lot more controlled and relaxed so after that workout I was feeling more confident. Talking and communicating with my coach was really good for me too; he always reassures me and he was expecting me to feel how I was feeling. He told me we just got on the track and I have to be patient; it’s all a work in progress and I’ll get faster through the season. This week, he said, was about starting track workouts and getting my legs moving with a quick race. Trust the process. Friday I went out to the track for a shake out. My legs were feeling great and my feet loved feeling fast in spikes. I did a couple of strides Saturday morning before the race and felt like my legs were turning over faster than they had in a while so I was pumped to race in the afternoon.


I got unusually nervous before this race and when I asked myself why I was so nervous, I realized that the thoughts I mentioned earlier were my thoughts about where I was physically before the race. However, I am human so my emotions were also controlling some of my nervousness. Racing at Baylor for me means racing in front of a home crowd so even though I could just be making it up in my head, I felt that people I knew/people who had followed my college career were expecting things from me and I was putting more pressure on myself to perform because of these expectations. Whether I’m making it up or not, I thought, “People expect me to be fast now and to always be at my peak, no matter what part of the season it is.” In my head, spectators only see a race on the track so they don’t always know the reason behind someone racing and they don’t always know where someone is in their training. Especially in races early on in the season, it can be easy for me to get caught up in the idea that I have to prove I’m super fast when really, that’s not where I’m at training wise. I’ll be there when I need to be and I’m getting closer with each workout but I would much rather peak later on in the summer than mid April. All of these thoughts and emotions are just part of my personality; failure is my biggest fear so having someone think that I “failed” by not PRing or winning a race, even if that’s not even my race goal, is something I instinctively avoid at all costs. That’s a pride thing and I realized that I needed to put my pride down and humble myself before the race because I would be able to run faster and more relaxed if I could free myself from the need to meet other people’s expectations (or the imaginary expectations I made up that other people expected from me). Truthfully, I do want people to expect things from me because it shows they believe in me, I do want to prove that I’m fast because I believe in myself, and I do want to run fast, however I don’t want this wanting-to-prove-myself to come from a place of pride. Running is not my identity. I want to run fast and I will always do my best and give 100% in a race but I don’t want or need to run in pride or to prove to other people that I’m worth something. I don’t want my races to be an argument to other people that I’m a cool person or that I can do things they didn’t think I could; I want to run because I love running, I want to see how far I can push myself, I want to inspire and encourage people, and I want to glorify God with a talent he’s given me. I’m learning to put my pride down and race knowing my goal and my reason for racing because that is what is most important for me and how I’ll measure my success in a race. I had my race goal and my focus for this race, so once I let go of the need to perform for other people I could execute the plan. So without further ado…


Thoughts during the race:


Get out! Get out! Get out! Ok don’t get boxed in, just run on the outside for a little bit. You’re fine. Inch your way up. Perfect, not leading but up at the front, stay here. This feels fast (400 split called: “67!”). Yup that’s fast for me. It’s ok, you knew this was going to be a fast race. It’s a good pace, stay with it. Oh man, lactic acid lactic acid. Already? Can I even finish this race? Stop it you’re fine, you’re strong you train for this just stay in it. 800, over halfway there (Girl in first drops out). You’re leading now. Whyyyy are you leading? Because I’m fine, I can do this. Relax. It’s a good pace just keep going. Oh my gosh my legs are screaming. One lap to go. Maggie’s passing, it’s ok stay controlled and latch on. This is hard. You can run one lap…. Thought blackout until 200 to go… ok 200 to go don’t kick too soon. Do I even have a kick? Finish hard, just like the last 200 in practice. I’m getting passed. Oh. My. Gosh. My. Legs. They’re starting to feel wobbly. You only have 100 to go look up you can make it. Stay with them and finish the race. 4:22. Nice, you did what you needed to do. Legs still attached? Sweettt we’re good to go!


So that concludes my thoughts during the race. I was happy that during the race I focused on myself and not other people’s expectations for me because I was able to execute my race plan and run for the goals I set for myself instead. Thoughts outside of myself were mostly about placement and healthy competition. Internally, I was able to acknowledge what was happening in my body, accept it, and counter most of my negative thoughts. I’ve learned that in races I’ll always have some negative thoughts because running fast is hard and it hurts but the better I become at countering those negative thoughts and putting my focus on something else, the better I’ll be able to race. I can take that into normal people life too. Something I can work on is getting into position and relaxing there. Sometimes I make too many moves early on in a race because I don’t relax in a position when my positioning was fine and I could have saved energy for later on. This race helped me practice relaxing in a position and I know I’ll get more practice and become better at running relaxed in a group over time.


All in all, it was a good race. I hope to run faster 1500s later on in the season and I know I will but this race was just what I needed for my first one. It was really fun to race on the Baylor track again and race Maggie (an old teammate and training partner) and see her run really well. After the race, I got to cheer on the Baylor team, catch up with old teammates, and be encouraged by people who came to watch. I didn’t win and I didn’t PR but I reached my goal and achieved my purpose for racing this race, I learned from it, I was encouraged and built up by people who cheered me on, and I got the chance to let go of something that had been a burden for me so now I can get out there and run the world more freely. And now I really get to start running the world! I’m taking everything I have learned and everything I’m working on and headed out to Stanford this weekend to race a fast steeple in a competitive field (race on Sunday covered by Flotrack). Thanks for reading and following along, get out there and run the world! 🙂

Texas Relays


Track season has officially begun! It was so fun getting back on the track again. Earlier in the week, I had planned to go to Stanford to race a steeple but when I thought about it a little more, it made more sense to race locally at this point in the season so with the help of everyone at Flynn Sports Agency, I was able to change plans and race in Austin.


My goal for this race was to get on the track and get used to hurdling while racing again so I didn’t have a specific time goal in mind for this race. The other reason I didn’t have a time goal in mind is this: my focus right now is training, not racing. I needed this race to get into the “steeple rhythm” again but right now it’s time to train hard, not necessarily run really really fast. Running fast will come later if I can be patient and train well now so I didn’t let up on training before this one.


I love racing on the UT track; a lot of significant races have happened there for me from State meets in high school to West Preliminary rounds in college and now one of my first races as a pro. Some of the staff is even the same (like the guy who keeps the schedule rolling and yells at everyone over the loudspeaker if they’re not in line in time). That track holds a lot of memories for me so it was really fun to open up my season there. It was also fun for me because I got to see some people there who really encouraged me and wouldn’t have been all the way out in Cali. One of the Baylor trainers, Brother Kevin, was at the meet and gave me a huge hug before the race. He’s always so uplifting and his positivity always gets me pumped to race. I also got to see my best friend and her parents. They surprised me and came to watch and their cheering during the race encouraged me to keep pushing myself when the race got hard.


Mentally beforehand, I was really excited for the race and ready to put out my best effort. I knew my legs would feel tired from training but I had made up my mind that I was going to run as well as I could and really push myself even with heavy legs. The thing I was most nervous for in this race was the water jump. My first time over a water jump this season was going to be the first water jump of the race so I was honestly nervous about face planting and swimming out of the first jump. To counter that, I decided beforehand that I was going to be strong going into the jump. The natural response to running at a barrier is to slow down but I knew if I accelerated into the jump, I would land farther out of the pit, have a better jump, and there would be a much smaller chance of taking a swim. No matter how nervous I was, I was going to accelerate into the jump.

That being said, here’s a summary of what was going through my brain before the race:

Yayyy track season I’m pumped for steeple!! I haven’t practiced water jumps at all what if I fall (picture self falling)? Don’t do that self how is that going to help you (picture self going over water jump successfully a few times)? You know how to do a water jump, you’ve done it before. You’re going to accelerate into the jump and not be afraid. That’s what’s happening, get it in your mind and go for it. I’m scared, this race is going to hurt. All races hurt, you know how to push yourself you’re going to be fine. This is the first race, focus on your form and relax and have fun. What if I don’t want to hurt? This is what you train for, this is the fun part. We’re doing this. You love steeple, once the gun goes off the nerves will go away and it’ll just be you and the track and that’s your favorite place to be. My legs don’t feel good. What if I can’t go fast? You’re overanalyzing things, you’ve been having great workouts and even if you don’t feel great, you’re going to race and you’re going to do your best. You are strong, you are ready, and this is going to be fun. It’s the first race of the season, just go out there and see where you’re at, no pressure. 

During the race, I felt very strong physically and mentally. I felt that my hurdles and water jumps were the best I had ever run during a race. I’ve been working to improve my hurdle form this whole year so it was nice to see that the work has paid off. One thing I could work on is the start of my race because this one was not a good start. The water jump at the UT track is an outside water jump so the first barrier is about 20 meters after the start of the race. I was slow off the line and a couple of girls cut in front of me before the barrier and I got boxed in for the first 50 meters of the race. Luckily I was able to get out and get to the front but that cost me a few seconds. I had to tell myself to stay relaxed and not get worked up from a bad start. I decided take my focus away from how I started and place it on my form for the next barrier and upcoming water jump. I had a good barrier, then forced myself to accelerate on the water jump and I stayed strong and on my feet! I celebrated a little too long in my mind about staying on my feet through the jump so I wasn’t focused for the next barrier coming up and I ended up stutter stepping over it. That helped to refocus me so after a couple rough patches on the first lap, I set my mind on my form for the hurdles and water jumps for the rest of the race. There wasn’t anyone near me for the rest of the race so around the 5th lap it was a little hard to push myself but the last two laps I was able to set my mind on finishing really strong (plus I had some great people watching and cheering me on). Overall, I was happy with my form and for pushing myself even when I felt tired and didn’t have people around me. I can definitely work on starting a bit faster although usually the first barrier is after the 200 meter mark. I felt improvement in this race and I learned through it as well so I couldn’t ask for more! So my thoughts during the race went like this:

Dang it, bad start. Oh my gosh I’m boxed in what do I do? Ok here comes the barrier don’t get tangled up in people, just wait until after the barrier to make a move. Ok the barrier’s cleared, get out of here. Sprint up to the front. Ok calm down now and relax, second barrier’s coming up. Cleared that. Oh man, here comes the water jump. You can do this. Just relax and accelerate into it. Accelerate accelerate accelerate. Nailed itttttttt! Yessss I can still do this! Oh dang it did not realize this barrier was coming up this fast. Ok that was an awkward way to get over the barrier self let’s not do that again. Focus on your form, you can do this. Don’t think about split times, you didn’t get a great start but you’re going to finish strong. I’m tired. Push yourself you can do this. (hear people yelling for me) People are here for you, you can keep pushing. You’re having a great race, keep going. You feel really fluid over these jumps, this is great! Keep going strong, it’s the last two laps you can go faster. No I can’t. Yes you can, you want to be strong at the end of your races, start that now. It’s going to hurt but you can handle it. All the way to the finish, you’re almost there! (cross line and see time) Yayyy I did it, that was a great opener and it was really fun!! Ok I’m tired now.

So that’s a summary of my thoughts during the race! I felt loved by so many people leading up to the race. Really, I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who wished me luck and encouraged me through the week. I am surrounded by so many incredible people who push me to be my best and who are always there to support me so thank you if you are one of those people; you really make a difference in my life.

For now, it’s back to training and I’m excited to run a fast 1500 in a couple weeks to get some speed in these legs! Thanks for following me on my journey this year, get out there and run the world! 🙂

“Be” is for Boston


Last weekend marked my first race of the track season and the first stop on my journey in 2016! I was excited for the race in Boston (a 3k at the New Balance Indoor Grand Prix) but nervous as to how I would do in it. I knew the race I was entered in was stacked with great competition from around the world so I was excited to be in such a competitive field but also a little nervous. That week marked my first competition and it also marked my first week back fully on the ground since some tendinitis issues. I ran a time trial earlier in the week that didn’t go so well so I was nervous about being strong in a race. Even though the time trial wasn’t great, it gave me the feeling of a faster effort and I started to feel a little quicker as the week went on.

The trip started out well. I drove from Waco to Plano the day before my flight so I got to do some strides at my old high school track, meet some girls on the Plano track team now, and I got to hang out with my parents a bit before I flew out in the morning. Somehow I managed to get the entire row of seats on the plane to myself so the flight was great and I was able to stretch out and not feel so cramped on the plane. I went to the track and shook out right after I got in and then I got to grab dinner and hang out with one of my best friends from college who’s up in Boston for grad school. I got to see her again the next day, race day, and we grabbed coffee and caught up on life for a good amount of the day before I needed to focus and get in the mindset to race. I’m writing in all this detail (my stop in Plano, hanging out with one of my best friends etc) because these are things that helped me so much this past weekend. A runner who is content and at peace is going to be a fast runner and being able to see my friends, family, and run/meet people who are passionate about running at my old track really filled me up and helped me enjoy the journey of the weekend. I was calm for my race because I put myself around people who love and encourage me and I did things that filled me up and helped me relax.

During the race, I felt good the first mile. We didn’t go out at a very fast pace; it was under five minute pace (which was the fastest I had gone since before my injury), but I still felt relaxed and didn’t feel like I was pushing hard to be in the race at that point. After about the first mile, the pace really started to pick up. Mentally, I was still in the race but my body wasn’t ready for the increase in pace so I fell off from the pack. Even though I fell off, I still felt like I was in a race. My mentality is that I won’t back down or quit even if a race gets hard. I got lapped by Meseret Defar on a 200 meter track (she was 25 seconds ahead of everyone so I didn’t feel tooooo bad about that) but I knew that by finishing this race hard and doing my best, I would be ready for even more mentally challenging races ahead. I stayed in the race and my second mile was only five seconds slower than my first so I know that I didn’t back down and I did my best.

Some people might say I had a really bad race but I don’t see it like that. The time was not good, I have run a lot faster than I ran in that race so I’m not going to say that I’m proud of my time or would be stoked to run that time again because I’m not and I wouldn’t be. However, I am proud of myself for getting out there, doing the best I could, and growing and learning from being in another race. I’m proud of myself for getting out on the track and beginning my track season and I’m proud of myself for not giving up.

One of the most important things I learned from this race is to be in the moment and to be ok with being in that moment. What I mean is this: I can’t spend time worrying about where I wish my body were or where I will be in a few months because that moment is not here. The only place you or I can be is where we physically are right now and the only way I can get better is by doing everything I can in the moment I am in to reach the next level. Is worrying about my future in any way going to help me reach a better future? No, it will probably just make me more stressed which will cause me to worry more which will make me more stressed… you see the cycle. Not all stress is bad, stressors and hard times can make me stronger but when I start to worry I end up stuck. I don’t end up doing anything to propel myself forward; I’m just worried and stagnant. So I am learning how to be in the moment and be happy and calm in that moment. I was happy to be on that track in Boston because it meant I was healthy to run and race. I’m content with where I am in training and I know that by being content and working hard in the moment I’m reaching a better future and have big races ahead of me. I’m loving the moments I’m in, I’m filled up by people I’m around who love and encourage me, and (as my coach always reminds me to do) I’m having so much fun running and making myself stronger every day.

Live in the moment, love people you’re around, and get out there and run the world! 🙂


Setbacks or Setforwards?

A couple of weeks ago, I got tendonitis in my peroneal tendon. It hurt enough to stop me from running for a little. I couldn’t push off of my foot and running was painful and not very fun. At first when I decided to take some time off from running, I was really upset. I saw the tendonitis as a huge setback for me, as something that was in the way of my goals and dreams. The reality is, we all have “setbacks” in the time between setting goals and achieving them and they are usually unplanned and seen as a burden. I realized that I was only thinking of what I couldn’t do (which was really only one thing: running) and not everything I could do (crosstrain, weights, core, balance, stability). When I started focusing on what I was able to do, the so-called “setback” turned into a setforward. I was able to get the workouts I needed to get in through cross training so I didn’t lose any aerobic capacity, I got the chance to strengthen muscles I typically don’t use while I was cross training so I felt stronger coming back, I learned how I could prevent this injury in the future (through strengthening certain muscles and working on stability and balance), I have a new love for running and thankfulness for a healthy body and each run I get to go on, and I feel confident for overcoming a hardship and being inventive in how I got the work in that I needed to. The setback became a set forward for me. There are many situations like this in life, not just in running. Switching my mindset from a defeated mindset to a triumphant one helped me move forward and overcome a hardship. Think about your mindset and ask yourself if you have a “setback” mind or one that is “setforward,” then get out there and run the world! 🙂

Best Friend or Worst Enemy?

I was driving around in Chavo (my awesome Wrangler) yesterday after doing some hurdle drills at the track. I had my windows down, the sun was shining, and it was 70 out. In other words, it was a perfect day. Despite the seemingly perfect day, I could feel tension in my body and for some reason I knew stress was crawling around deep inside of me. But why? It was a beautiful day and I was free. I had literally nothing planned that day besides workout and meeting up with my grandparents for dinner. I had already finished my workout and I was headed to one of my favorite places, a park in my hometown with beautiful trails, scenery, and places to sit and relax. School hadn’t started yet so I had no classes, no assignments, nothing. So why this stress? Then I realized:

It’s because of this constant pressure I put on myself that I have to be the best. I cannot fail. It’s in everything, not just running. I have to succeed. I’m constantly wondering what I can be doing to make myself the best because if I’m not making myself better, I automatically think that I’m making myself worse. I had just finished hurdle drills (which is one of my weaker skills) and until I recognized the tension within myself, I didn’t realize that all during hurdles I had been superrr hard on myself.

That’s not right ¦ You’re not good at this ¦ Relax ¦ Stop moving so awkwardly, why do you move so weirdly? You have the most awkward movements ever. Do you look this strange when you’re just walking around?

 Thoughts like that, very negative. So of course I had tension and of course I was stressed out; I had just finished putting myself down for an hour! This made me think of a quote one of my professors told me once:

“Be careful what you say to yourself,

you are listening.”

It’s true! The person you talk with the most every day is your own self. You can be your own best friend or you can be your own worst enemy- and you WILL be one or the other. If you think I’m crazy and you think that you don’t talk to yourself much, you do! We have so many sub conscious thoughts and we tell ourselves so many things, it’s very dangerous not to recognize and think about the conversations we have with ourselves. So many people go through life putting themselves down and not even realizing they are doing it. Think about how that affects them. Let’s just say, hypothetically, that someone walked up to you five times every day and told you that you weren’t good enough for ___________ or that you would never accomplish _____________. Eventually, wouldn’t you start to believe them? You would probably be worse at __________ even if you believed you were good at __________ because they put failure in your mind so many times. So why would I do this to myself? And what can I do to stop it? I figured it out: I’m going to be perfect.

But not “perfect” in the normal sense of the word. I will be…



This is one of the Greek words for perfection. It means “in the state of maturing.” We grow by realizing we are doing something inefficiently and then changing what we are doing, but we don’t have to put ourselves down in order to do that. I want to be constantly changing and getting better, becoming a stronger, more perfect version of myself each day. I want to be maturing. Teleiotes. When I look at perfection like this, it’s much easier for me to want to practice and become better because I realize that failure is ok. I don’t have to be the best but I can always be growing. I can allow myself to mess up because I know that I will get better from correcting my flaws and I won’t get angry at myself for trying. That’s what practice is for! If I were already perfect (in the English definition of the word) then I would be wasting my time practicing. I’m not perfect and I won’t ever be so each day I get the chance to mature. How awesome is that?? We are not stagnate and we haven’t reached our potential; we are created to get better and better. You don’t have to settle for what you are now. You can accept where you are while you progress toward something even better!

I just posted a blog about goals and goal setting. I talked about how important it is for me to set small goals for myself each day to keep me focused on the small things that make up the big picture. These small everyday things are the things I want to check myself on. What am I thinking about during these times? Am I being my own best friend or worst enemy? Am I being forgiving with myself and accepting of any “failures” I may have? Are you? Can we be perfect? I think we can. Let’s do it. Let’s constantly change, grow, and mature. Let’s be teleiotes.


Thanks for reading! Get out there and run the world! 🙂