Stanford was obviously was not my best performance over 10k (I ran 33.53ish). I’m finding that the faster my personal bests get, the more difficult it is to beat them. It seems like that would be an easy concept to grasp but I’m still coming to terms with it.
Just two track seasons ago, my junior year at Penn State, I ran a personal best in every single race I ran that year in indoors and then outdoors until our outdoor conference meet, which tends to be tactical. That tells you two things: 1: I finally got it together and figured out what it meant to be an elite runner. and 2: My personal bests were not very good.
That was only two years ago. Since then, my expectations for myself have gotten higher. There aren’t many people in this sport that run personal bests or achieve great things and don’t think, “well…that was great, but I could be faster,” or “I did alright, but there are still a lot of people who have run better than me.”
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that my performance at Stanford (and Seattle for that matter) weren’t bad, but they aren’t quite where I’d like to be.
I would love to run personal best times in every single race I run. Sometimes, that’s what I expect from myself. But the reality is that that hasn’t happened this season.
Do you want to know what I’m doing about it? The same thing I’d be doing if I had run best times or beat everyone in my races. I’m working hard and looking ahead. Because in the end, I could linger on a bad race or bask in a great performance. But what good do either of those things do for me tomorrow when USAs are still 3 months away?
PS: Ryan and I are making a video of a day in my life. It is going to be fun and super stylish!
I graduated from Penn State three months ago. Usually, college graduates start working hard on the job hunt months before they graduate in order to line up a good position to start their adult lives.
Not me! I got married, graduated, and decided to become a professional runner! But most people would just recognize me as a housewife with a hobby.
I deal with the daily question of, “When are you going to get a job?” I guess it seems to most people that I’m being a huge bum on a log. Sometimes I wonder if I really am too lazy or unmotivated to go out and join the rest of the college graduates in the “real world.”
But you see, I’m being pulled in another direction. I’m in the not-so-unique position of being good enough to try my hand at continuing with competitive running after college, but not being good enough that people see it as a legitimate career path.
For me, I’d like to see what I can do with these legs that run more miles than I typically drive in a week. Why not? My car shows more signs of breaking down than I do. I’m young and there is no other time in my life that I’ll be able to do this.
So here it is, my official statement to anyone who is wondering when I’ll get a “real job.”
Right now, my job is to give everything I have to becoming the best runner I can be.
I’ve lived in a lot of places over the last 6 years. Last count it was 9 different places in that time. Along the way I always managed to have great places to train. I was thinking about it the other day and I realised that one of the great things about running is that you can do it anywhere, and most places you’ll live have everything you need. This isn’t a very novel conclusion, but it’s true!
For instance out here in Boalsburg I have a half mile blacktop (asphalt) loop at the War Memorial, a half mile grass loop around Yoder Memorial Park, and access to miles and miles of trails out at Shinglestown Gap and Tussey Mountain. I also have my local gym Victory Sports. All of this is within about 3 miles of my house. I even live on a great quarter mile hill if I need any more variety.
The only time things get difficult is in the middle of winter when there is snow and ice everywhere. This winter I made some “screw shoes” that are old runners with sheet metal screws stuck in the bottom. They are good to run on pretty much any surface!
I was running out at Shinglestown in them the other day, and got bitten by a dog. It got bruised and swollen and bled a little. The dog felt bad though so I didn’t kick up a fuss. It is hard to know whether to complain or just let it go. Hopefully it was a one off and the dog is not a serial nipper.
So here it is, my first ever blog entry. It’s been a little over a week since my trip out to Seattle and I’m finally sitting down to write about it.
Although my race wasn’t as spectacular as I would have liked, 16.16 in the 5k, I did have a pretty amazing experience. I got to go along with Kristin Metcalf and visit with Oiselle. It was so awesome to check out the headquarters and meet all the great people that run the place. I got to chat with a lot of the Oiselle ladies and felt right at home. The entire company is made up of runners so they were excellent fans at my race. I had a whole Oiselle team cheering section!
The cheering section helped me through my race even though it wasn’t my best race ever. Since then, I’ve just been recovering and getting ready for some quality work before the outdoor season.
Until next time – run in what you love!
So for those who don’t know, last year Kara Millhouse and I got married (that’s her above). Kara was a distance runner at Penn State, and now runs professionally for Oiselle. Kara is getting ready to change her last name, and we thought “Hey!” why not have us restart this blog up. So while the name is going to stay the same, the blogging will now be done by both of us. It’ll take a little while to get the website up to date with all of Kara’s info, but once that’s done, we’ll also be posting up her sponsors. She is actually out in Seattle getting ready to race a 5k in about 45 minutes. It was a chance for her to get a fast indoor race in, as well as meet all of the amazing Oiselle staff. I get really excited for her to have these opportunities, and we’re really looking forward to her having a great year.
As for me, I have been taking a hiatus from the sport. We had a lot going on the last 6 months with a wedding, buying a house, and starting a new job, I decided to take some time away. It’s the first time in 13 years that I have purposefully taken an extended period off. I started back running a few times a week in mid-January, and I’ll keep doing that for a while longer. I’m not sure if I’ll ever start training full-time again, but who knows. I do miss racing but currently I’m living vicariously through Kara!
Hopefully the race goes well and Kara will write her first blog next week. She’s pretty nervous about her writing, so hopefully our tens of readers will go easy on her.
To keep in line with the current website theme of an Australian living in America I just wanted to share with everybody that no, my name is not Ron. Apparently everybody I ever talk to through work thinks that, so I’m working hard to Americanize it. Life’s tough but we do what we can…
In 2009 when I ran 1.46.7 I went home to Australia to see my family. My Pa told me he was so proud of me and that I’d given him another reason to hang around in life a bit longer – to see me wear the green and gold. It was the most inspiring thing anyone ever told me and I thought about it every time I ran. I am so thankful for every day we had from that moment on, and so lucky to have been loved by such a wonderful man. He loved his grandchildren all so much and was proud of everything we did. I love you Pa.
I started a new job as Chief of Staff with Partners Financial Group. It’s pretty hiney-kicking fun. An awesome group of people and I’m learning a lot. It’s the first time in ten years I’ve really felt normal and removed from the world of serious running. I’ve still been training 3-4 times a week, but with working, hunting, and studying for a finance related exam it’s not a workload of an elite, semi-pro, or even a high class hobby-jogger. I’m 24 though and there is always time to comeback though right? It’s hard though when you don’t have a group to train with. Working 8-5 and then going out to train on your own sucks.
It takes a lot of courage to walk away from something you love in the hope of finding something better. I’m not that brave though and I keep looking back over my shoulder… I still hold out hope that I can find the energy and the right situation to help me be the best I can in every facet of my life. People used to work and run and kick tail at both. Maybe that can still be me?
If you’re in State College and want to drag me out for an evening run, please do. Heaven knows I need it…