The best part about running is the bonds you build with your teammates.

Hello Coach McRae – thank you for allowing me to interview you for my first new blog segment – ‘Running Interviews’.

Tell me a little about yourself, not running related? My name is Coach McRae. I was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. I came to NC to go to College and to get a change in environment, something more slow paced and relaxed. I always loved sports growing up but more importantly I always had the drive to want to help people. That’s what brought me to my major in studying Athletic Training and the simple fact that I loved and had a passion for Track and Field. I didn’t want my Senior Year of College to be the last impact it had on my life. So I decided to Coach the year after I graduated which was the start of my Coaching Career.

When did you first start running? I first started running in 3rd grade with my club team the East New York Impalas.

What is your favorite running workout and your least favorite workout and why? My favorite running workout to do was between a ladder and plyometrics. The ladder is great because to me at least I’m not running the same distance over and over again. It gave a little excitement to the workout by the changing distances. Plyometrics is just awesome because I love everything that has to deal with jumping and increasing vertical. I really don’t have a workout I never enjoyed to a certain extent, I just loved fitness.

Do you do any other sports other than running? I’ve played basketball, tennis, and volleyball.

Do you have a favorite race? I used to love doing the 100m Dash in my younger years but as I grew older the one that always stuck was High Jump.

How do you fuel your body the week before a race? The best way to fuel your body the week before a race is to eat plenty of carbs meaning pasta and rice. But you cannot forget to eat some good protein such as your red meats that are high in iron and of course your vegetables. Other than the food aspect it was always important to make sure you are hydrated very well. Water should be your first best friend, juice should be your second best friend and soda you should try to stay far away from. ha-ha.

Do you have a favorite person to run with? Growing up I always enjoyed running with my best friends and or teammates.

What’s your favorite thing about running? The best part about running is the bonds you build with your teammates. When those teammates become family to you there’s no better feeling than that.

What’s your favorite running distance? My favorite distance to run is a total of 3 miles. There is nothing like running at your own pace and still being able to enjoy the outside environment.

Do you have a favorite running outfit? Or a lucky clothing item? I don’t have a favorite running outfit but I do have a thing for socks. How I picked out what socks were going to be lucky to me was which ever pair of socks I would wear the day and or week I had a good practice I would wear it at a meet and if I did good in them I would wear those socks at every meet until they started to develop holes and such in them.

How do you fit running in with your family? The only kid I have is my lovely dog named Luna. Usually when I go on morning or late night runs she comes with me so that’s our bonding time other than the regular goofy play time we have. Other than that every time I’m back in NY visiting my family I typically run as early as 7am so it doesn’t really bother our bonding time because they are usually still sleeping especially if its a weekend.

Do you have a running bucket list of places or trails you would one day like to run? I actually do not have a running bucket list. To me as long as I’m working out I feel good but I do want to run a Marathon one day.

What does your team mean to you? My team/my athletes as far as Coaching go mean the world to me. From the energy they bring to all the laughs and hard work that’s shared. All the teams I was on growing up left everlasting memories of fun in which I’m trying to let my athletes see. If you trust, believe, and fully support your teammates watch great things happen!

Who inspires you? The person that inspires me the most is my mother. She is the most hard working, strong minded role model I know. She always told me to be the best that I can be and that when I ever find something I am truly happy with doing pursue it to its fullest. She is also the woman that introduced me to ketchup and the original pack of skittles which are the two best items ever made.

Thank you Coach McRae for sharing your running insight and being my first interviewee. I also have a lucky pair of socks that I like to run in!


Too much Splenda

Day four of being on 10 sachets of Splenda and Budesonide.

I usually have pretty good skin as I have a very healthy diet due to not being able to eat my favorite sweet and yummy things.  So,  I am blaming the 10 packets of Splenda a day to have caused my face to break out. Also the Budesonide has made me quite wheezy and my throat has been itching.  My family has decided that I should stop the medication to see if the wheezing goes away. Will update you all on this in a week or so.


Not a great day.

I ran my slowest time of the season today.  Our team headed out to Southern Vance to run our last Northern Carolina meet before the championships next week. I hadn’t felt great all day long – I was tired.

The race started off at the back of the school in a wooded area, the grass was long and the start line was narrow. The boys went off first and then within 5 mins the girls lined up to follow on behind the boys.

The gun went off and I had my usual fast start, however its seems my main competitors (a group of girls from one school) now know my drill of a fast start. They ran out fast with me and then ran 3 in a row just in front of me. I was very frustrated during the race as I could not get through them and was running in long grass and uneven ground to try and pass them.


My emotions kicked in after two miles of being frustrated which did not help (something I need to work on). My stomach started to hurt and I was getting more and more upset about not being able to get through the 3 girls and having to run around the remaining boys.  The last 400 meters took me through the parking lot of the school and onto the track. As I approached the track entrance the girls in front of me turned the corner and dashed for the finish line at the same time as the football team that had arrived in the parking lot walked across the parking area. Parents yelled at them “runner coming through” so that they would move out of our way.

I came in 2nd for my school and 6th overall.  I know I should have been able to squeeze through the group in front of me – next time elbows will be used.

Not happy!

Hmm… A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down…

Today I received my medication for my EOE Disease.  The idea is that the Budesonide will reduce the inflammation in my Esophagus. Initially the Dr. gave me a inhaler to use with spray medication. However at $400 for a 4 week prescription my Mum declined the medication and we requested something a little more affordable, especially due to the fact that I may have to take this for a long period of time.

This morning I had to mix the 2 ml of syrup with 5 sachets of Splenda sugar. The Splenda helps the syrup stick to my Esophagus and not go directly into my intestine. I then have to wait 30 minutes before I can eat or drink again.


I will be doing this morning and evening. Not sure what I am expecting from this, as I am usually unaware that my Esophagus is inflamed.



Matthew gives me the edge (NC Elite)

From the moment of arrival, I knew that today was not a day in which I intended to stay warm, or dry. I was ready and prepared to race in this type of weather,  I had vivid flashback to states the previous year. We set up our usual tent, but added another sheet of tarp, to keep out the sideways rain from coming in. The dads stood holding the tent during both the boys and girls race.

The boys warmed up straight after our unattached ‘team’ got our numbers.  We were unattached as our school district had told our school we could not run. A few of our team decided that if parents allowed we would run unattached, not in school kit but instead with a bright pink headband!

The boys set off on their race, as we watched whilst warming up. Finishing quickly, they told us that they had “run PR’S!!!”, which gave us 3 girls some hope for our race. Later we found out that the boys race had been shorter due to the officials sending them the wrong way during the race.

When we had finished our warmup, our clothes were already soaked from the elements of Matthew. We stood at the start line with the wind and rain pelting into our faces. It was going to be a hard battle to get out fast and position well against the weather and other runners.

Positioned well at the start of the race

The course was very muddy. I settled into my pace and was in the top 15.  At one point it was running through a grassy river, ever step was heavy with soaked spikes.  Around 2 miles I heard my Mum yell and tell me that I was positioned 12, it gave me the motivation to push through the storm.  I laughed at myself as every part of my body was dripping wet but I was so thirsty and had a dry mouth.


As I turned the corner onto the last 200 meters I could see the finish line and pushed past a couple more girls as I crossed the line.  I walked the shoot and was so happy to hear a man tell me to collect my medal – I came in 9th position and was overjoyed that I had done so well in such bad weather. My Mum insisted that it was my English genes that made me impervious to the weather.


Overall as an unattached team we did really well. Out of the 8 of us, 3 of us received medals and the rest of the team were pleased with their overall times. Most of all we had a fun experience.

Thanks Matthew!



All County @ DA!

It was a warm day, but with a nice breeze, good conditions for running. As our team arrived at the location of our race, a local private school, we placed our bags and numerous running necessities under the shade casted by the tall trees.

We arrived a little late, so the boys headed off to warm up as soon as we arrived. Soon, it was the varsity ladies to warm up, as there were 2 races for each gender: JV and varsity. We ran up and down the schools campus and quickly warmed up.

We rushed back to our bags to find our well worn spikes and socks. The starting line was bright, as there was no shade for the first 300m of the race. Once the gun went off I positioned myself for a good sprint out, to run with the leading pack.

We had run only against one of the other teams this season and so the other 5 teams were a little unknown to us and although I knew roughly what times most of the girls from the other schools would be running, I was a little nervous about a couple of them.

The leading pack confirmed my predictions apart from one girl who was a freshman and would eventually become quite a surprise to all the leading girls.

The course was a little muddy and loops around 3 tough hills which go through the woods at the back of the school campus. As we headed into the woods on the 2nd loop I was positioned 7th and my team mate was ahead of me.  She yelled at me to catch up with her and run as a pack.  I picked up my pace and joined her side.  On the final loop we continued to run together and pull away from the pack behind us.


As my feet touched the track I knew we had only about 200 meters left to go.  I quickly looked across to the finish line and could see the unknown freshman cross the line for first place. I started to lift my knees and sprinted past the hosting teams top girl.  I came in 5th, just behind my team mate who was 4th and our number one runner who grabbed 3rd place.

It was great to get a medal and to finish in the top 5. The best part of the evening was for our girls varsity team to win All County for the second year in a row. Hope to make it a ‘hat trick’ next year!!




Cosmic Appreciation Post!

There is a hidden gem in Downtown 9th street, a place that can only be reached by taking a flight of stairs and going through a series of doors (that lead to other local stores on the street)! Cosmic is a restaurant that serves authentic Mexican food, a personal favorite of mine.

Usually I ask for no cross contact with the flour tortillas and other products, of which they accommodate for including a note to the chef. I order the corn products to avoid gluten consumption.

Always a reasonable price for a teenager just looking for a great and fast meal.

Cosmic serves food to- go or for in restaurant eating. If you are interested (I would definitely recommend it!) here is the link to the menu:

My fave order: Two chicken tacos with rice, beans, salsa, and cheese.

This has been a quick appreciative post of a local restaurant, because after all it is ‘support local stores Saturday’!