It has been awhile since I have posted a blog and I am now a mother of two amazing children Stevie 2, and Cali 3 months. Time has flown by. Cali is a great baby and Stevie has been such a good Big Brother to her.
|Stevie and Cali|
My return to running has been going well and I will be posting more about my training soon. I was recently featured in a New York Times article where I went head to head with a guy named Rob Brink in a track workout in New York city. This workout definitely jump started my training for the marathon trials and I will be writing more about it in upcoming blogs.
Today, I wanted to post about my running story. I was recently asked by my good friend Tina Muir to write a blog for her website about my running story. Tina and I met at the Cherry Blossom Ten Miler last year and I am honored to share my story on her blog. So, here is my story.
To understand my running story you have to understand my background and where I came from. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona with my parents Terry and Helen Gorton and my younger sister Lindsey. My parents grew up in Michigan and had a blue collar, hardworking, and humble attitude. My parents started their own sign company and worked hard to make it a success. They started their business out of our living room and built it into well-known business in the local community. My sister and I watched my parents put their heart and soul into growing the business and making it successful and it made us want to work hard in whatever we did.
I grew up playing several sports (t-ball, soccer, softball, basketball and swimming), and I had early success and really enjoyed swimming. I started by swimming on the local summer recreational team and became one of the top age group swimmers in the state. By the age of 9,I joined the club swim team to train year round. It was by far the best sport to be involved in growing up in Arizona to avoid the heat! However, it was also a tough sport that showed me how to work hard, set goals, and gave me an amazing aerobic system. By the age of 12, I would often have two hour practices twice a day. Eventually I became one of the top age group swimmers in Arizona and qualified for the Junior National Championships.
My first introduction to running, came in 6th grade PE class when we had to run a mile for time. I ended up running a 5:45 mile and beat everyone in my class including the guys(which made me love the sport right away). The cross country and track coaches recruited me to run on the middle school teams. I joined the teams, but continued to swim on my club team. I ended up winning our District and State middle school championships in 7th and 8th Grade for cross country and track. When I went to Mountain Point High School, I was recruited to run cross country, however it was the same season as swimming and I decided to swim. I told the cross country and track coach I would run track in the spring. In my freshman season of track I was 4th in the 800, and 2nd in the 1600 and 3200m at the state meet. The next year, I decided to concentrate on running. I had accomplished more in one season of running than I had in 8 years of swimming. I was very successful in a short amount of time without a lot of training and I wanted to see what I could do with more training and hard work. I ended up having a very successful high school career where I was a 10 time State Champion in track and cross country, a Junior World Cross Country team member, Junior National and Junior Pan American Games Champion in the 3K.
|Running at the 2003 NCAA Championships |
with Mollly Huddle and Sara Hall
After high school, I ran at the University of Colorado where I went on to be a 11 Time Big 12 Champion, 9 Time All-American and won two NCAA Championships team championships as well as two individual titles. Since graduating, I have been running professionally. I have made a World Cross Country Championship team, was the USATF Runner-up in the 10K in 2006, Pan-American Games Champion 2007, 4th at the Olympic Trials and the US 8K Champion on the road.
|Winning the Pan American Games 2007|
What is funny is when you look back at an athlete's career or a person's resume it only lists the successes. What I think would be much more interesting and inspiring is to see the list of “failures” or struggles they had along the way. In my career, I have had my biggest successes in running and life when I haven’t been afraid to fail. In my running career I have had:
- Countless Lost Toenails/Blisters
- 4 Stress Fractures
- 2 Posterior Tibial Tears
- 1 Posterior Tibial Surgical Repair
- 1 Appendectomy
- 1 Year of Mononucleosis
- 2 Cesarean Sections
Most of these struggles have been followed by a breakthrough and have made me much stronger, and hungrier to succeed. I know that I am not an anomaly and many others have had similar experiences. 3 months ago I gave birth to my daughter Cali and in 7 months plan to compete in Olympic Marathon Trials. Coming back from pregnancy and running at an elite level is not easy and can be very humbling. I know there will be a lot of sacrifice and struggles along the way. As a new Mom, I want to inspire my son and daughter as well as other Moms to never be afraid to go for their dreams. I want to show them that it doesn’t happen overnight and it takes a lot of miles, hard work and sacrifice to get there. It is important to me to have them watch me work hard for my goals like I saw with my parents work hard for their dreams and inspire them to do the same in their life. Stevie will be old enough to remember the Olympic Trials and I want him to be proud of his Mom. I also want my little girl to understand that she doesn’t need to be afraid to go after her dreams like I am chasing my dreams of becoming an Olympian.
|Slattery Family 2015|