I fell in love with running when I was 4 years old. I ran my first 5k that year with my dad and grandfather. I’ve been fully devoted to the sport ever since.
I began running competitively in a youth running club at the age of 6 and qualified for the junior Olympics each year in cross country. Continued through to high school when, despite being the smallest kid in school (4’8″, 85 lbs), I made varsity my freshman year. I improved every year and qualified for the Sate meet in the 3200 meters in track my junior year, running 9:14. I would say I wasn’t a typical high school runner – I put in extra morning runs, waking up at 4am to get in the miles. It paid off though, our team won the California state cross country championship and I earned an athletic scholarship to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
I had made it to a Division 1 NCAA team. Once there however, I experienced some major setbacks. A car accident, drug and alcohol addiction, an extremely difficult school load, even a case of pertussis. I lost my scholarship. I stuck with it though, and things turned around by my 4th year. I ran 14:13 in the 5k, twice runner-up in the Big west conference 10,000 meters, and had the opportunity to run in the NCAA cross country national championships.
It never crossed my mind to quit running after finishing college. Immediately after my college eligibility was over (the day after my last race!) I signed myself up for my first marathon. I didn’t know what I was getting into and had almost no time (3 weeks) to prepare, but I ran 2:24:42 at San Diego Rock and Roll Marathon – 18th place and 1st American. I was in love with this new event.
In 2011 I began working with my coach, Joe Rubio. I started studying the sport of running, researching different training methods. I saw steady improvements each season.
In 2013 (at the age of 29!) I had some major breakthroughs. 2 minutes off my half marathon, and 6 minutes off my marathon – I ran 2:15:44 at Grandma’s Marathon.
Over the years – working with Joe Rubio, lots of reading, interacting with athletes of all abilities, 28 years of experience, running on different teams with different training philosophies – I have learned so much about running. And slowly but surely, people have begun to ask for my advice; a little more each year.
Now I realize that beyond just competing, I’m passionate about the sport of running. I find true satisfaction in helping people run faster and achieve their goals