“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”
Truman Capote, Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Yes, it’s indeed time to make some decisions about spring goals. As I look forward, I’d also like to express my profound and heartfelt appreciation to those who support me. Their continued encouragement is not only amazing, but also inspiring and reassuring. They’ve stood with me while I’ve pushed my personal boundaries, and they’ve stayed by my side when I’ve stumbled. That says a lot. “No (wo)man is an island, entire of itself.” I’m fortunate to be in the company of these kickass people!
Kevin’s the man behind Granato Racing, and the one who builds me up to my race paces. When we first started working together, he insisted on “trust and patience.” Putting my trust in Kevin has been a wise decision. The working relationship you have with a coach is crucial to how far you can progress together. I’ve relinquished some of my Type A control in training and have put the reins in Kevin’s hands. The guy has made me faster and stronger in such a short amount of time. More than I ever expected. He’s supportive, responsive, and calls me out on my bullshit when I start to go rogue on my paces. Exactly what I need! I’m looking forward to seeing where we go next.
Jason’s the personal trainer who whips my muscles into shape to support my quest for a faster marathon. He makes me work each week through body weight exercises, agility drills, plyometrics, and good old classic weightlifting. He “trains me like an athlete” to get stronger, focusing on correcting some physical imbalances. As a black belt in Taekwondo, the guy knows a thing or two about suffering through training to achieve a goal. He offers great advice, unwavering support, and much-needed humor. He always knows when his workouts are successfully pushing me to new limits: I stop bantering and go quiet. The tell-tale sign he’s making me work hard.
Generation UCAN – the product itself – transformed how I feel on my runs. People look at me in disbelief (and maybe hope?) when I tell them two packets of UCAN pre-run keeps me fueled for 22-mile runs! However, it’s absolutely true. I wouldn’t tout the quality of a product in which I didn’t believe. What’s even better are the amazing people behind the company. They’ve partnered with me since I trained for the Eugene Marathon. You can find me hanging with these great people at various race expos, explaining there’s a better way to fuel for your athletic endeavors. Any day I get to work with the UCAN crew is a fun, happy, and well-fueled day!
Likewise for another amazing product in which I believe: Saucony! Their shoes have been an elemental factor in bettering my runs. I rotate between three models of Sauconys during training: Ride (for easy/recovery runs), Kinvara (for tempo & long runs, and long-distance races), Type A (for speed work and short-distance races). Their shoes fit my feet well – and I wish I could wear the Type A for every. single. run. (I don’t, though.) The people at Saucony have been great helping me select the proper shoes in which to train. Their mission is to not only create the best running shoes, but to actually inspire people to run. I admit, any time I lace up a pair of Sauconys to run, I know it’s going to make my day feel better. I appreciate all the thumbs up they’ve given me as I constantly work to find my strong.
Granato Racing Teammates
Kevin’s crew of Granato Racing runners is a fast and friendly bunch. I love being part of a team, spread out nationally, who train and run hard. They’re also just really awesome people! Teammates Chanthana and Tim took such great care of me as I arrived to run the Chicago Marathon. They seriously went above and beyond making everything stress-free on race weekend. I’ve had so much fun cheering for my teammates as they’ve run incredible races this year. Not only do #IheartKG, but I adore the #GranatoRacing team. You guys fuel my fire!
Family and Family of Friends
What a fortunate problem to have: there are too many of you to name individually! Yet, I appreciate the support I’m lucky to receive from both family and friends. This running quest has been, for me, a personal one that many times is about much more than running. It’s been a gateway for personal empowerment and improvement. From the friend I’ve known since I was seven years old, to recent friends, to the incredible online community of runners I’ve met, I’m forever grateful for the encouragement you endlessly offer. Many of you have seen me from my first race at 11-min/mi pace, to recently watching me bust big-time trying to run a 3:23 marathon. Point is, whether that first race or the most recent, the love and support has been equal. The advice, the listening, the kinds words when I succeed and when I’m injured…it all charges me up for the next time I run. There has been no kind sentiment that’s gone unnoticed.
To all of you, I say: Thank you, thank you, thank you! I look forward to running many more (faster!) miles with you by my side!