Hello Salty Running! I’m Rocket: a tasty little salad herb with a spicy kick. I am pumped to be blogging and excited to not only share my experiences, but to learn from yours!
I have two Olympic Trials marathons under my belt already at age 30, but it was a long road to get here. I started running when I was 12. Just like my mom and older sister, I began my love relationship with running at school in a little farming community in Northeast Ohio, called Marlington. In high school, I was a 4-time state qualifier. My times caught the attention of a few college coaches, and in 2002, I took a scholarship to the DI program at the University of Akron.
My time at Akron was riddled with injury. I broke my foot three times, and at some point, got quite out of shape, but I never gave up hope or stopped believing I had more in me. The future proved me right!
My senior year went well, and I finally began to see a little of the athlete I believed I was. Following college, I continued to run with dreams of being a fast miler. After some physiological testing done by my friend Matt (VO2 Max, muscle type, etc.), I was told I had the ability to be a very good runner, but probably would have to move up from the mile. I replied, “OK, I think I can handle 5k-10k.” Matt laughed and said, “More like the marathon.”
The marathon scared the hell out of me. I had decided a long time ago I would never run one, but Matt pushed me to train for one, and I won my first half marathon, so I couldn’t argue. In 2008, I ran my first marathon in Austin. I finished second and qualified for the 2008 Olympic Trials running 2:43:43. I guess Matt was right! I have since run quite a few marathons, and it is, in fact, my best distance.
Through the years, I’ve endured nearly 40,000 miles, achieved things I didn’t know I was capable of – like breaking 17 minutes for the first time in the 5k, winning marathons, loving the marathon and placing in the top 15 at a USA Championship marathon – and coming back stronger from many injuries and setbacks I feared would ruin me as an athlete. I try to learn from those setbacks as well as my successes.
Lucky for me, I have a great support network to help me along the way, including a fantastic group of ladies, a loving husband, a supportive family and the incredible running community of Northeast Ohio. I am Salty’s and Salty Running interviewee Barb Broad‘s teammate, a proud member of Cleveland Elite Development and coached by Glenn Andrews.
Where the future is concerned, I believe what the Salty Running manifesto says: dream big, then dream bigger! Having two Trials under my belt, I’m working hard to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials in the marathon, and plan to share the journey with Salty readers!
As I race though life, I look forward to sharing my perspective through the lens of an elite runner. I am loud, quite fearless, and very open about every aspect of my life. Running has given me more than I could ever give back, but I hope to do my best to give some to this incredible community here on Salty Running! Look for my posts to be candid, honest, and full of my excitement for this sport and the wonderful ladies (and gents) who are a part of it!