Professional endurance athlete. U.S. 50 mile road champion. 2:44 marathoner.
My journey into the running world was somewhat unconventional. Although I dabbled in team sports in high school, I was never very active as a kid. Upon starting my first office job back in 2007, I became especially sedentary. As my weight started to creep up, I knew I had to do something to improve my fitness. Many of my warmest childhood memories center around the White Mountain Region, where every summer I would venture north to hike up some of New Hampshire’s tallest peaks. The decision to take up hiking as an adult seemed almost instinctive. It was as if the mountains I loved so deeply as a child were calling me back.
What began as a goal to simply get in shape led to my discovery of the White Mountain 4,000-footers. Suddenly, I found myself filled with an urge to stand atop all 48 of New Hampshire’s tallest peaks. First, in any season. Then, in a single winter season. And ultimately in consecutive calendar seasons. As my peakbagging obsession grew, I started to put together longer and more challenging routes in the mountains. As my trail mileage increased, the transition from hiking to running seemed to come naturally.
I quickly learned that I could travel even faster by jogging the downhills, then the flats, and, in time, some of the uphills. Upon discovering ultrarunning in 2009, I suddenly found my calling. Trail ultramarathons are still my passion and primary focus, but I did unexpectedly discover a love for road marathoning in 2013. My long-term goals are to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials and to attempt to break the women’s 50 mile world record (possibly in December 2015).
Some folks have told me it’s not possible to balance ultra-distance trail performances with faster road efforts. Nonetheless, I always seem to gravitate towards the path less-traveled. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that no dream is ever out of reach if one is willing to take a risk, work hard, and follow her heart.
Running has truly transformed me as a person. The sport has enabled me to achieve things I never thought possible and inspires me to be the best I can be. It brings me comfort and balance as I juggle a hectic work and training schedule. Most importantly, it brings me happiness – a deep, fulfilling, overwhelming sense of purpose and joy that’s tough to describe via words. My life certainly seems crazy sometimes, but I would not want things any other way.