Hello! I’m Nona, a twenty-something living and training in beautiful Flagstaff, AZ.
I share my house with two really wonderful guys:
One really likes cars and the other has four legs and is really kooky.
I’m a simple gal. I’m fueled mostly by coffee and peanut butter. I’m never one to turn down a glass of red wine or a good margarita. Hand me a cookie or some ice cream, and I’ll be your best friend for LIFE.
I’m happiest, however, when I’m in my running shoes.
I didn’t begin running consistently until the Spring of 2007. I grew up in an extremely active family and was a very active kid–I played softball for five years, soccer for thirteen, and did track all four years of high school. But, I despised running. In fact, I chose to Pole Vault in high school because running more than the length of the runway sounded down right tortuous.
It wasn’t until I got to college that I found the motivation to lace up. Without the demand of organized sports and a sluggish, lazy first semester of school, I put on a pair of running shoes and ran my first mile. I huffed and I puffed and basically died.
I stuck with it though, got stronger and faster and ran for exercise throughout my college years. I found myself loving running. And I fell in love with Flagstaff in a way I wouldn’t have if had never started running. I found myself on trails and experiencing true winter running. I ran 3-4 miles consistently, sometimes throwing in a five miler if I was feeling really ambitious. I remember the first time I ran 7 miles, completely accidentally. I shocked the pants off myself and felt elated–who knew I could do that! That’s a high I’ve chased ever since.
I moved to Charlotte, NC in July of 2010 after graduation to pursue my graduate degree. On the opposite side of the country from my friends and family, while feeling utterly alone (talk about culture shock!), I found solace in running. It was what I did when I felt low. It was an escape for me; an outlet from the depression and loneliness. I wanted to run all the time, so I began training for a half marathon…that I never actually ran. Seven months after moving to Charlotte, I left my graduate program, and training plan, behind and moved back in with my parents in Los Angeles. It wasn’t an easy decision–but it was the best one for me at the time.
After six months of working full time, and six weeks wanderlusting around Europe, I found myself back in Flagstaff, yet again pursuing my Master’s degree. I was back in the place I had first fallen in love with running, and decided to train not just for my first race ever–but my first marathon.
2012 was a big year for me. In January, I finished my first marathon–the P.F Chang’s Rock’N’Roll in Phoenix, AZ (4:05). In June, I climbed Mt. Whitney–the tallest peak in the contingent United States–a 22 mile round trip that climbed to 14,500ft. In October, I ran my second marathon–the Long Beach Marathon in Long Beach, CA (3:59) and graduated with my MA in December. I was a little bit exhausted.
I took some time off. Six months to be exact. I couldn’t even imagine running, let alone training for a race. I let my body and my mind rest and when I was ready, I laced up again.
In April 2013 I found myself in Boston days before the marathon. I was standing at the finish line days before the race, and I knew in my heart I wanted to cross that line someday. Then, that Monday happened. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing as I watched the race footage. Like so many others in the community, I felt attacked and hurt, and the desire to make it to that race was even stronger then before.
I slowly started to come back. I was completely out of shape and starting from scratch. I decided to take my time, knowing there was no way to qualify for 2014 and set my sights on 2015 instead. I ran a half marathon that October and took the winter off from running. I registered for the Utah Valley Marathon and started training.
In June of 2014, I finished marathon number 3: Utah Valley in 3:42. SEVEN minutes shy of that BQ!
As much as I wanted to jump at another marathon, desperate to qualify before that September deadline, I finished the marathon with a bum foot. I took six weeks off and started training again.
I qualified for Boston at the Phoenix Marathon in February 2015. It was a by-the-skin-of-my-teeth qualifying time and I have no idea if it’ll get me to Hopkinton in April 2016. For now, I’m playing a lot on the trails and lining up trail races for the fall.
I hope you’ll stick around!