The 3 Things I Did To Run In The NCAA National Championship:

I know you have some BIG DREAMS. 

I did, and still do too! 

Straw hats

Do you dream of making it to the state meet OR winning state?

Do you dream of competing in college?

Do you dream of getting a new personal record?

Do you dream of completing a marathon?

I wanted to send you a little of my back story and some of my secrets to success.  My hope is that my experience can help you reach your goals, dreams, and top performance.  Here are three of my MUST HAVES:

#1 ALL IN approach.  If you decide on a fitness, health, or nutrition goal, you need to be ALL IN.  A half-hearted commitment will not give you the results you are looking for.  When I was a sophomore in college, my main events were the 5k and 10k for most of that track season (the long endurance races).  Prior to this time, I had only run the steeplechase ONE TIME at a very low-key meet.  As we approached the big SEC meet, my coach wanted me to focus on the 10k because I was ranked 6th and had the best chance at scoring points.  Even though I was ranked higher in the 10k, my heart was in the steeplechase.  My coach and I compromised on running the 10k on Thursday and the steeple (if I still felt up for it) on Friday.  When I raced the 10k that evening, I did HORRIBLE!!!  It was one of my worst collegiate races.  My head was pounding with a headache at the 4 mile mark, I lost heart, and I jogged it in with a slow time for my fitness level.  Less than 24 hours later, I had my steeplechase race.  I was fired up for it to prove that I was a steeplechase runner (not a 10k runner).  I was passionate about the race!  I had HEART for the race!  I truly loved it.  I ended up scoring 5th place in the SEC, breaking the University of Alabama record, and getting a qualifying mark for the NCAA Regionals Meet (the meet before Nationals).  This is a clear distinction between an athlete having passion with an ALL IN attitude vs an athlete going through the motions.

#2 NUTRITION was down to a science.  I had a consistent routine every hard practice and every race.  When I was a young athlete in middle school and high school, I had a sort-of routine for nutrition, but it was NOT science based or well thought out.  I used to get stomach aches before or after races and I just wrote those off as a normal response to pushing my body to the limit.  Fast forward to the summer after my freshman year of college.  I discovered that the reason I had stomach aches was due to a gluten sensitivity! (disclaimer: if you have a sensitive stomach, do not just assume the answer is gluten.  It could be a number of things.  I am just sharing my own personal experience).  This was a game changer!!!  Other things I really nailed down to a science by the time I made it to Nationals was the timing of my pre competition meals/snacks, exactly what foods I had for those meals/snacks, timing of pre race caffeine, amount of caffeine, when to stop drinking water so that I didn't have a water-belly, my ideal race weight, and more!!  Do you know how this helped me in my competition??  It took the GUESSING out of the picture.  If anything was out of the ordinary in my race, I could say for certainty that it did not have to do with my food, hydration, or weight.  I KNEW that I prepared EXACTLY how I needed to prepare for each and every race.  

#3 Reliance on the Lord.  My theme verse when I was a senior in college was Ephesians 3:20-21 which reads, "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."  When I was a junior in college, I was tempted to quit the team.  Even though I only had a year and a season left, I was really discouraged and run down.  I had a pretty bad indoor track season, a rough conflict with a coach, and was questioning if I had finally plateaued in my running career.  I really had to sit down and ask myself, "Why are you running?"  Some of the things that were coming to mind were the wrong answer: I didn't want to run to please my coaches, or my parents, or to be viewed as a successful person.  I had forgotten the main reason I started running in the first place, which was to bring God glory through the fun and pleasure of running.  Once I was able to refocus on the fun of running and really truly being thankful for where the Lord had placed me in that season of life, I was refreshed.  Funny enough, that next outdoor season (after my rough indoor), I ended up qualifying for the NCAA National Track Meet in the steeplechase.  Thank the Lord I didn't give up and quit.  He can do way more than I can ever imagine.

Did any of these stories resonate with you?  I would love to talk more about it with you- to hear about your dreams, and to share more of my experience and expertise.  Please feel free to fill out a contact form, and I will personally write a response back to you.  Best of luck in your fitness journey.

Hi, my name is Katelyn Greenleaf, Registered Dietitian, Nutritionist

NuLeaf Nutrition strives to...

1. Provide scientifically-backed information to help athletes find a nutrition plan that fits their individual health/fitness goals.

2. Educate people in achieving optimal nutrition in attempts to prevent the development of chronic diseases. 

3. Improve total health by emphasizing balance in the diet and physical activity.

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