It is difficult to remember a time when running was not a part of my life. I have faint memories as a small child of eagerly peering out the dining room window waiting for my mother to come striding down the lane as she finished her ritual morning run. Growing up, I ran frantically from my three brothers who I was certain would, one day, have a hand in my demise. I ran to the bus stop because the Comfort children were notoriously “always late.” I ran on the playground, the basketball court, and on the soccer field. And then one day, I realized that this beautifully simple yet invigorating activity which had become part of my very being was actually a “sport” -- thus, a runner was born.
After winning an Illinois state title in cross-country my junior year of high school, it dawned on me that, perhaps, my running career did not have to end when I graduated from Peoria Notre Dame. In 2008, following a flurry of college recruiting visits, I left my hometown of Peoria, Illinois, to embark on an adventure as a student-athlete at one of the finest academic and athletic institutions in the country. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I became a two time second team All-American and a two time Big Ten Champion in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. I had the time of my life and, at the same time, my passion for the sport of distance running grew stronger. In fact, my passion was so strong, that upon graduating I began a professional running career and took on a volunteer coaching position for the UW women's cross country and track team. It was during this time that I was offered sponsorship by Oiselle, a fantastic women’s running apparel company based out of Seattle, Washington. During my time as a professional runner, I clocked a 1:12 half marathon, a 2:35 marathon, qualified for the 2014 World Half Marathon Championships, as well as the 2016 Olympic Trials where I placed 26th. I attribute many of my successes as an athlete to the support of my family, my collegiate coach Jim Stintzi, and my former coach but forever friend, Stephanie Rothstein Bruce (a sub 2:30 marathoner).
Today, as fate would have it, I continue to run. Although I no longer do it for a living, my passion for this sport has never been greater. Running taught me more about myself than I could have ever imagined. It made me gracious, humble, gritty, and fearless. In fact, I believe that all runners, no matter the age, size, or ability, should be called ‘warriors.’ We have a little something extra in our souls; something that makes us willing to push through and test our limits. That “little something extra” is exactly what I hope to give to, and bring out in, my athletes. I have a deep desire to share and spread the enthusiasm, joy, and fulfillment I have found over the years in this lifetime sport of running. Coaching will provide me with that exciting opportunity…and I can’t wait to get started with you!