Breaking out of the shadow

The past four years have been life changing for me.  I earned an undergraduate and masters degree, married my college sweetheart Ryan Sheehan, accepted a position as the Assistant Women’s Cross Country/ Track & Field Coach at Western Michigan University, and am pursuing my dreams of post collegiate running with the sponsorship of Brooks.  I have lived in three different cities, attended two different universities, and have had five different coaches.

I have never been a “superstar” with the publicity and the pizzaz of some high school or collegiate runners.  I am not a household name within the running or coaching community.  I have always been in the shadows of slightly better teammates, my husbands amazing athletic ability, and those with more experience.  However, I hope to find a way to establish my own greatness in running, while encouraging the athletes I coach to do the same.

In high school I was known as a basketball player, who dreamed of one day playing in the WNBA.  At some point along the way I found out “white girl can’t jump.”  I discovered running as a mode to increase my endurance on the hardwood.  As a result I developed a passion for running that is found in my daily life.

I decided to dedicate all my energies towards running at St. Francis University, a small Division I school tucked away in the mountains of central Pennsylvania.  After a lackluster undergraduate career, which involved injuries and coaching changes, I decided to continue my education in graduate school at the University of Louisville.  With a full year of eligibility,  I achieved a collegiate goal of qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the 10,000m.  The guidance and mentorship I received Louisville  encouraged me to pursue my passion for running through coaching, resulting in being named the women’s distance coach at Western Michigan University.

After all of these life changes, I think I am finally feeling ready to tackle some big goals.  With the love of my amazing husband Ryan, the great guidance of our coach Artie, and the support of numerous friends and family I am really looking forward to the upcoming months of racing beginning with the US Club Cross Country Championships in December.