Hello and welcome to my blog. I am a Registered Dietitian (RD) and an avid runner. I have run 40 races including 8 half marathons and one full marathon. I have a long-term goal of running a race in every state. So far I have run a race in 15 states (including Washington DC). Had I started running when I was 16 instead of when I was 23 (wow I’ve been running for 6 years already) I would have a lot more states checked off the list. I’ve been blessed enough to travel to 37 states so far.
I began running in fall of 2009 and ran my first race in March 2010. Once I began running I changed my eating habits in order to feel better during training and wow, I lost 20 pounds in less than a month! So this newfound love for running also sparked my interest in nutrition and how it had such an impact on my athletic performance. So in the summer of 2010 I returned to school to pursue a degree in dietetics at the University of Southern Indiana (USI) in my hometown of Evansville, IN. My life changed dramatically after this. Before I began running and lost weight, I was working several part-time jobs and didn’t really know where I was going in life or what I wanted to do. Once I returned to school I was motivated and determined and I achieved a 3.98 GPA, which was such an improvement from my first undergraduate degree 3.28 GPA. I attributed this to pursuing a career I was excited about! What a great feeling. So after my two years at USI I had to do a dietetic internship (DI) in order to be able to sit for the RD exam. I chose and was accepted into the Coordinated Master’s Program (CMP) at the University of Utah (Go Utes!) where I was able to pursue a master’s degree in nutrition with an emphasis in sports nutrition (my passion!) while completing the internship requirements for the RD exam – perfect! During my second year at Utah I was able to intern in the athletics department with an awesome sports dietitian, Beth Wolfgram. I worked with a variety of sports teams including football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball, swimming & diving, skiing, and men’s golf.
After I graduated in May 2014 I interned at the University of Louisville and University of Virginia. Currently, I am a Performance Dietitian for EXOS at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center in Minneapolis, MN. This position is unique in that it is similar to my collegiate athletics positions but in addition to collegiate athletes I also work with youth, high school, and professional athletes as well as adult exercisers. I meet with the athletes individually and assess their current nutrition habits and address areas for improvement. Again, I believe in making small changes over time, which can lead to big results! I also provide group presentations for athletic teams and organizations.
I have struggled with knee pain and injuries in the past. When I trained for my first full marathon back in October 2013, I joined a running group and had a running coach to help me through and I am so thankful I did! My running coach Lisa Menninger was the best! She built in “rest” weeks and allowed me to listen to my body rather than continuing to push for further and harder runs every week, which I might have done if I had printed off a training schedule from the Internet. See, when I have a training schedule, my Type A personality says I must do what the schedule says! This is great motivation but can become counter productive when feeling ill, tired or experiencing pain – then it is better to listen to your body and take some time off. In addition to my running coach, group runs, cross training and strength training I also incorporated regular massages to help me get through my full marathon training program. And again, I am so glad I did this! I found a couple of excellent massage therapists who were trained in sports massage and were familiar with the aches, pains, and ailments of a marathoner. I truly believe these massages were a big factor in my not getting injured during that training time.
Finally (for now), I have always had a love for photography and have wanted to get into taking pictures of families, kids, and eventually weddings. I have done several photo shoots for friends and they were so fun! I was even fortunate enough to take photos for a good friend’s wedding and although it was a lot of work and a very long day, I loved every minute of capturing the moments throughout her special day. I have taken several photography classes over the years but I never pursue it to the fullest extent that I know I should. But I am learning to be more confident and pursuing the things that make me happy so I am going to keep working towards this goal.
Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy RunEatSnap!