I began running when I was 13 in order to get in shape for soccer. I was playing for a local travel team and was trying out for the JV high school team at the time and wanted to be in shape for the spring season. Also, my older brother ran cross-country, and I needed a ride home. I started off like most people: slow. We trained at a local college, Berry College, on the trails and hills, and I couldn’t have begun my running career in a more beautiful place (seriously, go run at Berry if you’re ever in NW Georgia!). My first race was hot, rolling hills, and painful. I finished in a defeated 23:03 for 5k…but I was hooked. I improved to a modest 19:50 over the season, but I found a sport I loved.
Following my sophomore cross-country season, I realized that I needed to dedicate myself fully to running if I was going to be fast, so I quit soccer and put my emphasis completely on running. I broke 5 minutes in the 1600m that spring (4:52, I think) but it was over the summer that I saw big improvements. A post-track 5k road race brought a nearly 30 second PR (17:45), and I was able to consistently train in preparation for the fall.
Over the next 2 years I improved my 5k PR from 17:45 to 16:32 and my track PRs from 4:52 to 4:38 (1600m) and 10:29 to 10:06 (3200m)That fall (2004), I improved my 5k PR from 17:45 to 16:49, and in spring track my 1600 PR from 4:52 to 4:42 and 3200 PR from 10:29 to 10:15. I concluded my Senior track season with a Region Championship (1600m) and qualification for the State Track Championships (1600m). It also led to the first big accomplishment of my running career, a college athletic scholarship!
I started at Berry College in the Fall of 2006 and luckily performed well enough to join the top 7 (scoring) runners on the team. Training through a few minor injuries in the fall, I was able to qualify as a part of the team for the NAIA National Cross-Country Championships in Louisville, KY. Improvement continued through the spring with small PRs in the every event from 1500m to the 10,000m.
I quite school after my freshman year to live and work in Africa for several months. During that time, I think I ran twice. Maybe 3 times. One involved a psychiatric patient, but that story is for another time. Anyway, it was an incredible journey that took me to Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
I eventually returned to the US and running in Spring 2012. In preparation for rejoining the team at Berry in the fall, I built my mileage back up and ran some low key track and road races. A breakthrough came that summer with a big 10k PR at the Peachtree Road Race (33:48). With a solid fall of training and racing I was able to qualify as an individual for the NAIA National Cross Country Championship (Kenosha, WI this time) and for the NAIA Track Championships in the spring (marathon-my first!).
Over the course of my last few years of college, I was able to PR in everything from the 1500 to the marathon ending up where I am today record wise. Here are my current PRs as of today:
1500: 4:09; 5000/5k: 15:52; 10,000/10k:33:20; Half-Marathon: 1:13:20; Marathon: 2:37:07
So, as it stands, my last race was the Publix Georgia Marathon in 2012 (well, race I trained for). This blog is my pursuit of that training again. As a formerly decent runner, I put pretty high expectations on myself. I want to get mileage up into the 80’s-90’s on a weekly basis, and I want to PR at everything 5k and up. But, as the namesake for this site says, my ultimate goal is singular: sub-2:30:00 for the Marathon. Let’s get to it.
“The Trial of Miles. Miles of Trials.” (Once a Runner)