Counting blessings and giving thanks

I know I'm a week late with the Thanksgiving blog, but it's been a busy past few weeks... between the USF women's XC team qualifying for NCAA's (hence a 3 day trip to Terre Haute, Indiana), racing a 5K Turkey Trot in San Jose, and spending Thanksgiving with my family, I haven't had a spare moment to sit down and blog. But better late than never, right?

I’ve got a lot to be thankful for... so in the spirit of the holiday, I'm sharing with you some of the things I'm most grateful for this season, both in running and in life. Here goes!

This fall, I'm thankful for...

My loving family and boyfriend
Good health
A flexible job that allows me to train at an elite level
A roof over my head in a beautiful city!


Training partners
Being in the Bay Area, I’m surrounded by elite distance runners who are chasing dreams just like me. On any given day, I get to run with an All-American, an Olympic Trials qualifier, or sometimes even an Olympian! I'm continually inspired and motivated by those around me.

And this fall I gained a training partner in the form of UC Davis steeplechase school record holder Caitlin Fitzgerald – my new roommate! It’s been incredibly beneficial to have a fellow runner just across the hall, who makes sure you get out of bed to run every morning and holds you accountable in doing your second run, even when it’s dark and rainy out. Not only is Fitz a great training buddy, she even bakes apple crisp post-run! Delish! :-) Yay for awesome training partners in the City by the Bay!


Consistency in training
I've been blessed to have been injury free for the past 6 months, allowing me to string together week after week of solid training and high mileage. This consistency in training has not only paid dividends this fall, but has laid a strong foundation for the upcoming track season and Olympic year. I’m excited for what’s ahead!


The opportunity to give back to the sport
With the USF women at NCAA's in Indiana
As a volunteer assistant coach at the University of San Francisco (USF), I've had the chance to give back to the sport that’s provided me with so much. In helping out with the USF women a few mornings a week, I hope that I can pass on some words of wisdom to the next generation of runners, and maybe even inspire some of them to give post-collegiate running a shot.

Also, being on the sidelines as a coach instead of on the track as an athlete has lent a fresh perspective to my own training and racing. Coaching has served to further my own development as an athlete and I'm excited to continue being a part of the USF program.


A kind, caring coach
Since moving to San Francisco and embarking on a post-collegiate running career, my dad, Bill Gregg, has been my coach. I've had my fair share of coaches over the years... and now I'm really grateful to have a coach who is not only kind and caring, but who challenges me to both work hard and to find the joy in running. Our collaborative coaching relationship is just what I need at this point in my career, and it's working - the fitness and PRs prove it. So thanks, Coach Dad, for helping me thrive!

A 5K Road PR
On Thanksgiving Day I ran in the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot Elite 5K in San Jose. Despite a slightly stressful 36 hours leading up to the race, I ended up having a really good race, running a road PR of 16:35 and finishing in 8th place overall. I came through the first mile right with the main pack in 5:13 and held strong through 2 miles (10:35) as the pack started to dwindle. With a strong last 100 meters (complete with the pain-train face!) I passed Alvina Begay to finish snag 8thA very fun way to start off a family-filled Thanksgiving!
    Last 100 meters!
Chowing down post-race on a Thanksgiving feast!

New Sponsors!
I'm really excited to announce two new sponsors supporting me as I chase my Olympic Trials aspirations: Apercen Partners and Avi Goodman Photography.
Apercen Partners is a tax consulting firm serving clients in Silicon Valley. A new partner of New Balance Silicon Valley, Apercen is providing financial support to elite runners through their new Olympic Development Program. Meanwhile, Avi Goodman Photography is the latest venture of my talented med student/photographer boyfriend – he’s helping capture my best running moments on camera. I’m super grateful for the support from these two new sponsors - THANK YOU! Check out my Sponsors page for more info on them :) PS - if you want to sponsor an elite distance runner, email me at runjoyfully@gmail.com
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Turkey Trot race pics courtesy of Avi Goodman
At the Turkey Trot with my little sis Kallie!
As you can see from the long list of things I’m thankful for this year, I have a lot of reasons to count my lucky stars. The chance to pursue a sport at an elite level is not option for everyone, and I try to remind myself each day how blessed I am for this opportunity. I’m trying to make the most of it!


Whether you ran a Turkey Trot or spent the day baking pumpkin pies, I hope you all had a WONDERFUL, joyful Thanksgiving!


Next up for me: USATF XC Club Nationals in Seattle, WA on December 10!