Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

I've long been told that my future is in the marathon. Longer races have always suited me better - in high school I ran the 2-mile and in college they quickly pegged me as a 10k runner. Post-college, the marathon was a logical next step...
But I wasn't quite ready. I had (and still have) unfinished business in the 10k. For years I'd nourished the dream of running the Track Trials, so although many people encouraged me to give the 2012 Marathon Trials a shot, I deferred. While I surely would have had a better chance of competing at the Trials if I'd run the marathon (over 200 women qualified and got to compete at the marathon trials vs. the 24 women accepted to race at the 10k trials), the 10k still holds my heart.

And so I look ahead to the 2016 Trials aiming to be on the starting line in the 10k, but I'm also taking people's advice... and, get ready for it... I'm giving the marathon a shot!
Yup, this 10k gal is moving on up! You'll still see me on the track in the spring, but watch for me racing 13.1 and 26.2 in the summer and fall and chasing a qualifying standard!

With this decision to transition the half and the full, it was also time for me to make some other changes in my running. After successfully (and joyfully!) collaborating with my dad on training for the past 3 years, I felt that the time was right to officially bring another person on to the "Kaitlin Running Support Team." This means having someone else write the workouts and hold me accountable for doing them. As amazing a coach as he is, at this point in my career, I needed someone other than my father to be the one pushing me. 
Dad and I have had a special relationship that not many fathers and daughters get to experience - that of coach and athlete. For 4 years in high school and 3 years after college, Dad has been the man writing the workouts, holding the stopwatch, and rooting me on with love and support. It was exactly what I needed after college and it worked fantastically well - I PRed at every distance and dropped a minute in the 10k! And most importantly, I loved what I was doing. What an incredible journey the past 3 years together have been! 
Dad challenged me in workouts, but he also challenged me to take a moment during each run to pause and say to myself, β€œI’m the luckiest kid alive!,” no matter how crummy the run or the day might be. He challenged me to find the joy in running and find gratitude.

Dad's given me one of the greatest gifts a coach can give an athlete -- a lifelong love of running. Back home in Davis, he is passing on the gift of running joyfully to the next generation of speedsters as he continues to inspire hundreds of high schoolers every day. He will always remain a part of my Running Support Team and running will be a special bond we'll always share. And when I debut at 26.2 next year, I know he'll be on his bike racing from mile marker to mile marker to cheer me on, a proud smile on his face as I cross the finish line with an equally joyful grin.

Going forward, I'll be working with my friend Dena Evans, former Stanford coach and current coach of New Balance Silicon Valley. Dena has been by my side throughout my post-collegiate running career, taking me under her wing with NBSV in 2010. She's been an integral part of my running career for the past 3 years, so when I decided I was ready to give the longer distances a shot, Dena was the logical go-to. Dena has my back 100% but she also tells it like it is - she's not sugar coating anything and she's holding me accountable, which is exactly what I need right now. And perhaps most importantly, Dena understands my Running Joyfully mantra. I'm confident this relationship will work out well!

Next up for me is a Turkey Trot here in Cleveland on Thanksgiving while I build up mileage and get accustomed to the higher volume workouts that come with half marathon training. Exciting things on the horizon!