I’ve been keeping a secret and I can finally let it out.
For the past month, I have begun training for my first marathon (The Phoenix Rock n’ Roll Marathon in January). I’ve been training for this instead of track. That’s right. I am no longer an NCAA Division 1 athlete. (Not gonna lie, that was hard to type.) The decision to leave the team was all mine, and I waited until the end of cross country season to talk with my coach about my decision to leave the team. (I’m trying to avoid the word “quit” though I am fully aware that is technically what I have done.)
Quit: a word that doesn’t often come up in my vocabulary when I’m talking about myself. I haaaaate that word (more than the word “moist”…bleh).
7 years ago I was a high school freshman, dead last on the JV cross country team, and not the least interested in a future of running.
3 years ago, a senior in high school, I was being recruited by a couple dozen universities across the country and I started to like the idea of being a collegiate athlete.
Yesterday I ended that career, and today I started training for my first marathon.
When I was 17, I signed my Letter of Intent on National Signing Day in front of my team, coach and family at a little ceremony at my high school. One of my proudest moments ever!
Over the past three years at NAU, things just didn’t turn out how I expected. Overuse injuries plagued not just me but our entire girl’s team. In three years I was hit with three major setbacks and it feels like I spent more time injured and recovering than healthy and competing. Instead of training with a team and coach, I spent weeks at a time in physical therapy rehab sessions and substituted running with the bike and elliptical.
So now that my body is back to pre-injury shape, I’m not going to risk another “overuse” issue. I’m taking my training into my own hands and looking forward to my first ever 26.2 mile race in just 60 short days.
Obviously I’m going to miss having a team to train with! Since I was 14, I have had designated “practice” schedules, workouts dictated by a coach and a handful of teammates to run next to. Yesterday had a bittersweet moment emptying out my locker and realizing I’m no longer a collegiate athlete. Sigh, weird, ugh, ahhhh, what, okay getting over it.
So here come the weekly marathon training updates, protein smoothie recipes, core and strength training sessions.
P.S. I hope this post doesn’t come across as regretting my decision to join the team/quit the team. I’m so appreciative of the opportunity to come to NAU as a student-athlete, work with the amazing athletic trainers and meet some incredible athletes. I only wish things had worked out differently, I’d been able to actually compete to my full potential and take advantage of my hard work and summer training. That being said, Long-distance Training > Track Workouts. No more spikes! :D
Posted on November 20, 2013, in College, Fitness, Healthy Lifestyle, Life Updates and tagged athlete, cardio, college, fitness, goals, health, Injury, marathon, running. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.
I wish you the best as you train for your marathon!! Those things are no joke, but you can do it!!!
I hope you join a local running group- there might be one at your college or through a running store. You’ll find a ‘team’ that way to train with for your marathon ;-)
Good luck with 26.2! So exciting, and I can’t imagine how tough the decision to leave the sport you love was but sounds like you made the right choice!
Sure you gave a lot of thought to your decision to leave the team. Wish you the best
with your new goals.
Kenzie, most people will never understand that this was the most difficult blog post you’ve ever written or how disappointed you were that your college running career did not go as you expected. We 100% support you in retiring from collegiate running to peruse your dream of being a marathon runner. We know how trying these last 3 years have been for you, and that you have given 110% to your coaches program, even though it wasn’t the right fit for you or most of the girls on your team. Today is the day your collegiate career ends, but a whole new and exciting chapter begins. With your determination and dedication, you’ll be amazed that your wildest dreams can come true. You’ve proven that you ARE a “badass” runner!! Keep running with passion and enjoyment. We look forward to celebrating with you at the finish line!! Love Mom & Dad xoxoxo
Marathon running is my favorite! I just ran my 3rd Marine Corps Marathon on October 27th. MCM is a great one to run because there are so many spectators, it is well organized, and because there are no elite runners running it, it is easy to place. Trust me you are going to love Marathons! There are so many cool ones to run. Can’t wait to read about your training and first marathon experience! xo
I think I’m going to love them too :) Thank you!
When one door closes, another opens up. Your last 3 years have been difficult but knowing you, your dedication, hard work and determination will take you down the road to a new adventure. I have no doubt that you will be successful in anything you do. I look forward to hearing about your new marathon adventures and don’t forget to include your great pictures.
Sounds like you made the right decision at the right time of your life. I quit my soccer team my junior year in college and I TOTALLY understand how hard it is to leave something that has been a part of you for so long! Its confusing, scary, and sad….But you know, the years go on, and in 5 years from now it will be a whole different team and you will be running marathons and here to tell your story to the next girl! Congrats on all your accomplishments and good luck in your next journey!
Thanks so much for this, just what I needed to hear :)
I was faced with the same decision this year as a D3 runner in Wisconsin. I also chose to no longer run with my team but to pursue marathon running, for many different reasons. It is a VERY difficult decision, but the great thing about running is being able to keep on doing it on your own. Your going to be a great marathoner! Good Luck!
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