Introducing Parsley!

imageHello everyone! I am stepping far out of my comfort zone with this, but am looking forward to joining the community! I am not a social media-type person, but enjoy writing, and have guest blogged elsewhere, so am taking the leap to become part of this party!  After meeting Salty and Cinnamon in Jacksonville, I started reading your stories and found them interesting, informative, and liked that they are collectively in one place. So I hope to contribute and help others along the way.

I started running in high school and competed through four years of college. While I was pretty good, I didn’t necessarily take it as seriously as I could have. After graduating I ran for fitness for a few years, as I adjusted to life in the Army and being out on my own. I then somewhat randomly got into Modern Pentathlon (swimming, shooting, fencing, horse jumping, and cross-country running) and had the amazing opportunity to train at the Olympic Training Center for two years. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot living the life as a professional athlete! After fracturing three bones in my back falling off a horse during riding practice, I decided it was better to keep both feet on the ground and stick with running.

The cross country team my cow (junior) year at West Point. This photo is full of successful women, including a future Olympian, pro-triathlete, and nationally ranked cross-fitter. That’s me, second from right.

Over the years, my running journey has covered a lot of ground. I had the opportunity to compete full time for the Army, running in national level races and competing on military teams around the world. I ran through a second deployment, this one for a year, battling sandstorms and plantar fasciitis. I took breaks from serious training or competing, which was probably good for my body and has helped contribute to a long career. I’ve competed in everything from 800m on the track to a trail 50-miler and enjoy the range and variety. Ultimately, I enjoy pushing myself and finding new challenges.

After having my second child in 2014, I got out of the Army to stay home full-time with my kids. I now telecommute for a global public health foundation and fit in running in all my free time (ha ha). My biggest accomplishment is qualifying for a 3rd Olympic Trials Marathon after having two little ones and training mostly while pushing the double jogging stroller. I guess that shows the power of muscle memory and a solid foundation from years of running! I think it also shows how, sometimes, when you don’t put a lot of pressure or expectations on yourself, you’ll get surprising results.

How I get in most of my running these days: my favorite training partners, Evelyn (3) and Adelaide (1).

Now that I know I can do it post-baby, my goal is to qualify for one more Trials in the next cycle. I also want to get back into the more mellow world of trail running, and enjoy the balance of competing with also running for sheer enjoyment. I look forward to sharing the journey with the Salty community!

I have fun trying to sprint, enjoy long runs in the mountains, and everything in between. Former competitive runner (3 x marathon OTQ & trail marathon national champion) currently working through a lingering injury. I write about trying to stay competitive while raising young kids and moving into a new post-competitive stage.

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  1. Welcome Parsley! I think we ran against each other in the Patriot League (you graduated in 2000?). Congrats on qualifying for three trials. And props for doing the bulk of your runs with the double jogging stroller!

  2. I’m so happy to have you here! I’m so intrigued by the pentathlon. What a weird conglomeration of sports! And I love we’re developing such a badass crew of stroller runners. Yeah!

    1. It does seem like a weird mix, but is supposedly based off the skills an ancient warrior would need to cross the battlefield. Not too popular in the US, I think it takes too much time and money for people to really commit to it, and hard to get into in the first place. Just running is much simpler!

  3. Welcome! Looking forward to reading more about your experiences, seems like its a wide variety of things- and that is really cool! I appreciate the sentiment about trying to find a balance between competing and running for enjoyment- I can relate to that in a lot of ways.