Distractions as of late

Running has taken a back seat these past 2 weeks as I had some big non-running things going on in my life, namely interviewing for the Marshall Scholarship for graduate study in the UK. I was incredibly honored to be a finalist for the Marshall and was proud to represent my school, which hasn't had a finalist in quite some time. I was honored, excited, thrilled, but mostly just scared shitless about the final interview (pardon my French, but it's a pretty accurate portrayal of my state of mind...)

I spent the week leading up to the interview studying my butt off -- rereading my honors thesis, catching up on all the latest news in international development, reading articles about empowering poor women in developing countries... not to mention learning about British politics and memorizing everything there is to know about the graduate program I'd applied for...  I trekked back to Davis for a mock interview and holed up in Starbucks frantically going over my resume (the caffeine did wonders for my nerves). At any rate, I thought the actual interview went decently, but I found out this afternoon that I was not one of the 40 students selected as a recipient of the Marshall Scholarship :(

Not gonna lie, I was pretty bummed out this afternoon. I really wanted to this scholarship, and I'd let myself imagine what it would be like to win it... so my "We regret to inform you..." email this afternoon was a bit of a bubble burster. But I'm trying remain positive and see it as a sign that right now, I'm meant to be a runner. At this moment, I'm not meant to go to grad school in the UK; I'm meant to be a runner in San Francisco. Up until now, I'm not sure I've completely accepted this identity as a runner -- I've still only been halfway committed to this dream, with things like the Marshall or other "what ifs" lingering in the background as possible life paths. But now, all the uncertain "other" life options are fading away and running is moving back into center stage. For the first time in a while, I know definitively what I'm going to be doing for the next 20 months of my life -- living in SF, working, and most importantly, training as a professional runner. It's refreshing to have some clarity and I'm motivated to now fully commit myself to this running goal.

I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine and a schedule with my training; I take confidence from looking back at training logs with weeks of uninterrupted training and lots of miles, and I've got nothing but running ahead of me for a few weeks. With nothing else to focus on but my daily workouts, I'm excited to live the runner's lifestyle of run, eat, sleep, run again, eat more, sleep more... :)

I also want to be sure to give a big thank you to everyone who has been so supportive these past few weeks as I've navigated the Rhodes and Marshall scholarship application processes. Many, many thanks to Avi, my family, countless professors and coaches who wrote my letters of rec, Mark Foncannon in the UCD Scholarship Office, Dr. Paul Salitsky with UCD Sports Psych, and great friends like Brooke, Hannah, Becca, Kristen, and Fitz -- your support means the world! <3

And finally -- some pictures from a recent run near the Golden Gate Bridge -- I took my iphone with me on the run and got these photos of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean :)

 Start of my run, by the Golden Gate Bridge

 Sunset over Baker Beach

And this is why I love training in SF!

"Run often and run long, but never outrun your joy of running."
-Julie Isphording, Marathon winner