Hey Salties! I am so honored to be here! You can call me Turmeric, which is known for many healing properties. It seemed like a great choice, as just under a year ago, my husband and I experienced a miscarriage. I have spent these last ten months recovering and healing. The hole in our hearts will never be completely filled, but we are doing our best to patch it up. Our grief brought us closer than ever as a couple, and we have learned to never take the small things for granted!
I am originally from a town called Waukesha in southeastern Wisconsin, just outside of Milwaukee. I began running in middle school, when I showed up for cross-country practice thinking we were literally going to be running across the country. The coaches told my parents I was too thin to run, that I needed some meat on my bones. Little did they know, I had been athletic since I was about 6, mostly as a speed skater. I was determined to prove them wrong.
High school came around and I quickly became one of the top runners on the team, being forced to train with the top JV guys (who despised me for it). My senior year, though, I failed to make it to State in cross-country and thought my running career was over with. Track came along, and our 4x800m team made it to State! But, we were placed in the fast heat with our team consisting of two freshman, a junior, and myself. We had a miraculous race at sectionals to qualify us. But by the time I got the stick at State, we were so far behind–there was no coming back. I was devastated. There was no way I could run in college with that running resume.
Then, I got a call from the head cross-country and distance track coach at the University of Minnesota that changed my life. He let me walk onto the team, no strings attached. Gary Wilson was his name–he formed our team into some of the strongest women I’ve ever met.
College running was different, especially running Division I. My times were nothing to speak of, especially the last two years. I ran with some of the fastest women in DI running–many whom are now professional runners. Our team won two cross-country Big Ten Championships, and four track and field Big Ten Championships. To place in the Big Ten meant you had a very good shot in going pro after college…in other words, at these big events, I was a GREAT cheerleader!
During the end of the year cross-country banquet my sophomore year, Coach Wilson announced that I would be a team captain the following year. This was one of the best opportunities I’ve ever been granted. I led our team not because of my running abilities, but because of my passion and love for running.
My passion comes from my dad. He was my biggest fan, especially when it came to running for Minnesota. He was diagnosed with thymus cancer while I was away at school and sadly passed away my junior year, which is why the last two years of my running suffered. I wanted to quit so badly, but my coach told me no–he was right. My dad wanted me to run.
After living in several states after Minnesota, I eventually moved to Cleveland, Ohio to be with my husband. I have since turned to the marathon and half marathon as my favorite weekend adventures.
I work as an ICU nurse by night, 12 hours shifts that generally kick my butt, and make me go home to hug my dog, Oscar, and my husband harder and harder. I’ve run seven marathons with one DNF and more half marathons than I can recall. I run with passion, a lot of heart, and my dreams are big. My biggest accomplishment after I qualified for Boston was a 10 minute PR, taking me down to a 3:20. My PR is a 3:19 now, but I know I’ve got more in the tank.
I hope to inspire you to push a little harder, strive a little further, and embrace what you have right now. If you are reading this and have the capability to run thanks to two healthy lungs and legs that can move you, we are both pretty damn lucky.
Did you start off in a different sport before you became a runner? Has running helped you overcome grief?