Hill yeah!

Thursdays in our XC team usually consist of a workout- either on the track or on hill repeats. Thursday this week was dedicated to hill repeats for varsity on the newly found hill in the center of our city. Our goal for practice was to do 8-12 of these hill repeats near the skate park. The netting laid around the skate park’s premises for the intention of grass development added to the extra ‘umpf’ to get up the hill (no grass was harmed). I can’t forget the mud that pooled just before the finish at the top.  It made the last few feet slippery and unstable to lift our knees for the final push to the top. The workout was tiring alluding to success!

Looking forward to fun Friday with freezy pops and games to kick off summer running!


Challenger Circuit Track day!

Today is Tuesday and in Cross Country terms that means a Track workout! But to my surprise we had a circuit laid out for us consisting of 4 elements, and 50m sprints in between each exercise.

  1. We started at the line and sprinted to the first set of cones where we did 15 lunge jumps.
  2. We then sprinted to the next set of cones where we completed 15 shoulder pulls with stretchy bands.
  3. After the shoulder pulls we sprinted to the next area for our sit-ups with 10 pound weights, these were pretty awful as they combined yesterdays hard-core ab workout.
  4. The final destination was quad bridges and as each runner went through the group cycles the mats we were laying on became very soaked with sweat- not ideal, and ew!

It was a very fun and productive second day of practice and everyone was rooting for each other; I can’t wait until practice day 3.



Mandatory parent meeting

This evening was the DSA XC’s mandatory parent meeting- in it we spoke about the goals of XC season, uniforms, gear, what to bring to practice etc. At the end of the meeting parents signed up for volunteer opportunities, chatted to the coaches and student reps. As a team captain I introduced myself to runners and parents, helped parents with uniform advice and answered general questions about the team and Brevard Distance Runners Camp, of which I will dedicate a separate blog post to nearer the time.

Start of XC season with a meeting!

Today was our XC interest meeting- and the first meeting concerning the start of the 2017 cross country season. It was so busy with new and returning runners. The freshman were very vocal with lots of of questions. As co-captain I got to talk about the upcoming season and share my past experiences with those that wanted to listen. Many people attended which hopefully means we will have plenty of runners for this season!!

Annual Angels Among Us 5k

It was the morning of my annual Angels Among Us 5k and the air was unusually warm, making me excited for a fun 5k. The turn out was huge and there were plenty of blowup kids activities and balloons to go around! After finding our friends I walked and began to line up and hear the sirens of the police for the race. At the line I spoke to many people around me as we all prepared ourselves for the uphill battle. Upon the words- “START” hundreds of people including myself ran through the start line and the race had begun.

The first mile was scenic and rather painless, as I ran up and down the hills along the Sarah P. Gardens and down towards the Duke Chapel. Coming back from the loop around the chapel meant I was halfway home, and began to feel the restriction of the GoPro strap I had wrapped around my chest, limiting my breathing and provoking my asthma.

The last mile and a half, was enjoyable when I forgot the wrath of the GoPro. Reflecting in the last mile made me feel empowered and ready to finish all at once. There is a hill right before the finish line, which I was able to increase my speed on and sprint to the finish, collecting my yellow participation ribbon and a cup of coffee- whew!

Turns out even though I ran the race for enjoyment and not necessarily for time, I still placed second in my age group.  I raised $1,100 this year to support the Duke Brain Tumor Center which I think brings my total over the years to more than $15,000. I really appreciate the generosity of all my supporters, that donate to me annually from all across the world (Shoutout to Moldova)!

Not a bad way to start the day.

At DUKE there is HOPE.

Battle of the Blues

I spent a warm, sunny afternoon sitting track side at the William Morris Stadium at Duke watching the Battle of the Blues. I was sat next to Sydnei Murphy’s parents who must have been very proud when Sydnei set a new school record for Duke in the long jump.

Duke Track and Field were up against UNC and Michigan State. I especially enjoyed watching the women’s track events and was very happy when the women’s 400M took first place with a new school record of 52:91 – Go Duke!

Duke women took first place overall with 75 points, Michigan 2nd with 62 points and UNC with 59 points.  Duke men came in second place with 54 points, UNC with 45 points and Michigan men came in first with a mighty 101 points.

A fun afternoon.




Ahoy! I’m off to sea.

Late last summer I applied for a volunteer position for the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust. They were looking for volunteers to work on board the sailing boat ‘Silurian’, which sails from the Isle of Mull off the Scottish coast to monitor the whales, dolphins and porpoises in the Outer Hebrides.

Fast forward to October and  I was nominated through a teacher at school for the Governors School program. I knew this was a great opportunity and privilege but spent the remaining part of my day at school thinking about how I would work in my cross country running over the summer and building our team if I was away at Governors School for 5 -6 weeks of the summer, plus I was still holding out to hear from the Hebridean Trust.

When I got home from school that evening I was extremely excited to receive an acceptance email into the teen volunteer program and immediately knew I wanted to have the opportunity to volunteer in the area of marine biology over Governors School.

I will be heading to the Isle of Mull in July. During our 8 days at sea we will conduct monitoring via visual sightings and acoustic surveillance around the Hebridean Islands. As a volunteer I will be living and working onboard the sailing boat for the duration of the volunteer period. With a team of 8-10 other high school students and 2 members of the Whale and Dolphin Trust we will work, cook, clean and monitor the ocean – I am looking forward to the whole experience. This will be my first time at sea!

The Sailing boat Silurian.

One of my main concerns when I applied for the opportunity was ‘what would I eat’! I emailed the coordinator and explained that I had Celiac Disease and they were very helpful and knowledgable about my situation.  They will be able to provide the sailing boat with non gluten food items, and I will be careful during the week when we are in the galley cooking and eating together. I am looking forward to seeing what gluten free goodies the UK has to offer.

I am so looking forward to this once in a lifetime opportunity!

I will be able to share my story in August with you.





Joining the 10 Club!

I have just finished my 10th Saturday morning Parkrun, officially joining the 10 Club! The Saturday was mild enough to finally wear brightly colored shorts! The turn out was big, and I placed in the top 5! The best part of the morning was the free 10 Club shirt that was waiting in my runner’s account!

Our group photo!



Track club, weekly run down!

This week at track was filled with intense, but satisfying workouts! On Tuesday we did a well rounded mid distance workout in which we completed 2x 800, with a 400 slow jog, 2x 600, with 400 slow jog, and lastly 3x 200- of which I knew I had pushed myself, because afterwords I felt ready to throw up.

I wasn’t able to attend Thursday’s practice, but I am very excited for next weeks practices!