In some ways I think of my running career as a well executed race: it begins controlled and you gradually increase your effort until the finish line is near and you are running all out. That’s not to say I started out my career running slowly, but rather that my approach to running and my commitment to it has gradually escalated with time.
I laid the foundation for my running career at Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, running with my friends in Annadel State Park. Aside from the obvious benefit that running in a hilly park provides, those years laid a foundation of love for the sport. My teammates then were (and still are) some of my greatest friends and being able to escape together in a beautiful setting for a few hours every day and call it “practice” was a treat other athletes simply can’t relate to. In that time I fostered a deep passion for both training and competing and by age 18 I was already a life-long runner.
In my years at UC Davis I learned that in order to be really good at this sport the commitment to both training and lifestyle have to match the simple passion for running. As I’ve moved through the ranks of collegiate and post-collegiate running the effort I put into the process has intensified. As you move from high school to college, to post-collegiate running the expectations heighten, and so too must your goals and your commitment to the daily tasks and the lifestyle required to train and compete at a high level.
Now as a coach at UC Davis I try to model that success comes from discipline in training, constant belief in what you are doing, and the willingness to take risks (both in training and racing). I am very fortunate to be in a situation where I can pursue my own running objectives and balance that with coaching athletes who are pursuing their own. I love the entire process of training and competing and I enjoy every day that I get to test my limits and then challenge others to test their own.