New Year – (Almost) New Everything

The most common question I got in the past year was: What are you going to do when you’re done school?  People who know me well weren’t shocked when I would reply that I was going to pursue running further. Those that didn’t know me well would give me a slightly confused look and follow with, “Just run?”  My answer would always be a resounding “Yes.”

Somewhere between my first day at cross-country practice when I was in elementary school and the end of my five years at the University of Nebraska, I decided that my running career wasn’t going to end when I finished school.  I think deep down I probably knew it, long before I really realized it. I remember being out on a run with some teammates talking about what it would be like once we were done running at school. Some were excited about the freedom they would have, while others, myself included, had a hard time imagining it at all. My life has revolved largely around running since I was in grade.  Picturing it without scheduled practices and set workouts terrifies me.

The question I then had to ask myself was where I was going to train.  I missed Canada and ideally wanted to be back in the land of snow and maple syrup. (Side note: I have consumed a whole 540ml can of maple syrup in the past 10 days, entirely by myself. I love the stuff – clearly.)  I had a few options but decided to not make the final decision until I got back home in the fall.  This way I could fully focus on my summer races and enjoy my trip through Europe.

Long story short, I decided to train with Victoria based coach Wynn Gmitroski. A small, highly focused group has always worked best for me, and that is exactly what I would get by choosing to work with him.  I went out to Victoria for the first two weeks of December for a bit of a training camp and after only a few days I was 100% sold. The attention to detail is incredible and Wynn’s knowledge base extends far beyond just the running aspect of training. He is not only my running coach, but also my strength coach and physiotherapist. He can see things in training and then understand and fix them during a treatment session and vice versa.  I love that there will be no miscommunication between these aspects of my training because he personally has seen and knows exactly what I’ve been doing for training on the track, in the weight room and what I’ve been receiving for treatment.

With the decision made to join this group I packed up my things at the beginning of January and headed down to Scottsdale, Arizona for winter training. I’m the only girl in the group at the moment but I’m pretty familiar with training alone, so I’m not finding it too difficult. Even though there have been a lot of changes in the past few weeks (and I know there will be even more in the upcoming months) I have never felt better or have been more confident about a decision regarding my running than I am in the one I made to join this group. One thing has stayed the same and that is my passion for the sport and my determination to get better. I know I am in the best place I could be right now and couldn’t be happier.


{ My new go-to running route – one of the many Arizona canals }


{ A new student card so I can use the gym at Scottsdale Community College.  I have to admit that Artie the Fighting Artichoke is a pretty awesome mascot, but I’ll still only ever bleed Husker Red and Rider Green. }


{ The desert landscape is slowly growing on me. The palm trees are my favourite. }

4 thoughts on “New Year – (Almost) New Everything

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