Back in 5th grade my parents gave me a choice, I could either horseback ride or run cross country for the school I was going to the following year to make some friends. I chose to horseback ride. I then chose to run cross country too because I needed friends. I also swam, played soccer and softball. Don’t forget the school play, I did that too. My parents chauffeured me around to everything but never pushed me to do anything; they just supported me and encouraged me, all of which I am very grateful for. In a nut shell, that was the start of my running career.
You may now be thinking this doesn’t sound like GP having horseback rode. You’re right. I am Caitlin Dorgan, your new guest blogger! I am looking forward to sharing my running and life experiences with you. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs in the coming weeks and months.
I will try to be as brief as possible while giving you a sense of who I am. Basically cramming years 2010-2017 into one blog. Here we go.... I am 29 years old. I met GP when I was 21 and looking for more out of my running career in college. It is an extremely rare occurrence that I speak about any of my accomplishments so this is one time I will reluctantly tell you about some, so you can get to know me but also see what good coaching can do!
With one year left of college, I had big goals to make a name for myself at the small school in Bucks County PA called Delaware Valley College (now University). I had accomplished a lot but also missed a lot by the smallest of margins and it bothered me to no end. I missed a nationals spot by 1 sophomore year. The Middle Atlantic Conference write up junior year had myself and two other girls as the favorites, any of us could win the conference….I lost the xc conference championship in the last 400 meters.
Senior year I was now working with GP, I felt ready for the year ahead. The write up leading in to the xc conference meet senior year had myself and a couple others listed as the favorites again. This time, I won, on home turf which made it all the more sweeter. I went to nationals, I became an All American, I ran a PR in every big meet of the season, ending with my best at Nationals. If that doesn’t speak volumes for coaching/training, I’m not sure what does!! I also hit a huge PR on the track in my last 5k of my college career.
I hope my experience resonates with the current runners there and everywhere that even at a small school like Delaware Valley University, you can still accomplish great things if you really want it, work harder than you ever thought you could for it and not be afraid to fail to get there. I had the drive, the motivation, the determination but I can honestly say I couldn't have done it without GP. My accomplishments…and my failures have stayed with me and helped me develop into a post collegiate athlete.
While my running was going very well, towards the end of college I started to think about triathlon and began competing shortly after I graduated. I turned pro after winning the Chicago Triathlon in 2014, but it honestly wasn’t what I expected in that racing as a pro puts a lot of limitations on you that I didn't realize. After 3 years I decided to switch back to running with hopes of maybe one day switching back to the 70.3 distance.... I’m sure it will happen eventually!
Most recently, within the past couple years, I won the Long Branch NJ half marathon, became a certified track and field coach myself with GPs encouragement and seriously, who better to continue to learn from? I raced the Chicago Marathon as my first in hopes of going sub 3. I lost 6 minutes in the last 6 miles and went 3:06:10. Before the race, GP told me something along the lines of give it a few days, relax, regroup and think about if you want to do another. I crossed the line, saw 3:06 and said to myself “Well, looks like I’m doing another!” Even though I missed the time I was going for, it qualified me for Boston. This coming April I will race Boston for the first time as my second marathon and hope to go sub 3. I hope you enjoyed my “About Me ” and thank you for joining me on this journey to Boston!