Why do I run? I run for a myriad of reasons. I run for the feeling of
satisfaction I get after a hard workout. I run to experience the sights and
sounds of nature. And I run to see how fast my body can be.
In 1992, I walked on to the University of Montana track team with PR's of 20+
minutes for the 5k and 42+ minutes for the 10k. I doubted that I was good
enough to make the team, but I gave it a shot anyway. Within a few weeks, the
hard training helped me lower my times by minutes. I was shocked and thrilled
by my success.
After graduation, I worked full-time as a RN for 4 years, but I discovered
that running and working fulltime were not conducive, especially when I began to
compete at a higher level. My husband and I decided that I should take full
advantage of my running opportunities by training fulltime, so I stopped working
as a RN. It has taken a total commitment for me to start reaching toward my
racing goals. Focusing my energy on running has kept my times dropping.
L: Passing two Kenyans
at the top of "Doomsday Hill" in Spokane's Bloomsday 12k. R:
Among Team USA entourage for Korean International Ekiden.
My running career has blossomed since I became determined to maximize my
ability. In 1999, I competed in USATF Indoor National Championships. I will
never forget the butterflies I felt as the ESPN camera was in my face as I was
toeing the starting line next to Olympic runners.
In 2000, I dabbled in Summer Biathlon (running combined with marksmanship).
Fast running earned me an expenses paid trip, as part of the US entourage, to
the Czech Republic and to Russia for the world championships. There I was part
of the relay team that earned US's first ever bronze medal.
Happy to finish after
climbing ~5000 ft in 7.6 miles in the Mt Washington Road Race.
Since then, I have qualified for and competed in the 10,000 meters at four
successive USATF Outdoor National Championships. I have traveled with the USA
National Team to China and South Korea for Ekiden Relays; to Turkey for
the World Championships for Mountain Running and traveled to Africa for the
Worlds Richest Mountain Race where I placed 5th.
Fall 2002, I was one of six athletes selected to train with Team USA in
Mammoth Lakes, CA for one month. USATF paid for my transportation, lodging and
gave me a daily stipend. I lived in a luxury condo at 8000 feet. Coach Vigil
spent countless hours teaching us his training philosophies. Deena Kastor was
also very eager to answer my questions. She demonstrated for me her resistance
training and plyometric programs.
Seconds after braking 16
minutes for 5,000 meters.
My future plans are to try to qualify for a World Championships
mountain running team and run competitively as a master runner.
My husband, Ray and I currently live in Deer Lodge, MT. On June 28,
2008 I became a mama to Eon. In addition to running and being a mom, I work as
an internet- based running
coach. I coach aspiring athletes as well as fitness enthusiasts. I really get
a great deal of satisfaction from helping other athletes reach their personal
Coaching others helps my own training because I continually study breaking
research and training theory. My improvements and those of my athletes have
taught me that our bodies can do so much more than our minds can conceive. All
you need is desire, a plan and a dream.