Erin Finn, a senior at West Bloomfield High School in Michigan, looks like any bright-eyed, petite 18 year old you might meet.
However, Erin is the High School Indoor National Record Holder in the 5k based on her win at the New Balance Nationals Indoors last Marchin 16:19.69. She's also earned All-American honors in in cross country and represented the US in the USA vs. Scotland XC dual meet in 2012.
Erin has committed to continue her running career at the University of Michigan in the fall, but life and success haven't always come easy to Erin. After a quick start to her high school cross country career, she lost most of her freshman year to a stress fracture. Last November, she tried to fight off the flu at the Footlocker Regional, but was unable to qualify for her thrid straight trip to San Diego.
She has bounced back nicely so far in 2013, though, and her 10:18.23 3200 "workout" on 1/10/13 earned her the spot as the new US leader for that event. We at the NSAF thought it would be fun to follow along with Erin as she works her way toward defending her NBNI 5,000m title with stops along the way like representing the US again at the NACAC Junior XC Championships in Jamaica. It is our distinct pleasure to introduce to you, National Record Holder and girl-next-door, Erin Finn!
Erin's Blog Entry for January 28, 2013
I am nodding off as I type this; with two hours of “sleep” (or rather lying in bed with the lights glaring as people traipsed in and out of my room) to run on, you probably can empathize with me. However, these previous few days have undoubtedly been spectacular. This past Wednesday afternoon, I took my last first semester final of high school and embarked upon a journey to Jamaica to compete in the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Cross Country Championships. Aside from the necessity of sleep (we left our hotel in Mandeville at 2:30 in the MORNING to catch our flight back home to the States), the trip taught me a few things:
• Lizards on the wall of a hotel room are a good thing (they ate the bugs that were in the room before)
• Wifi is something to be cherished
• Cellular contact with your parents, although sometimes very annoying, can be dearly missed
• “Juici Patties”, an extremely popular Jamaican fast food, are NOT burgers, but are as good as their name implies
• There are many things in life worth more than $1000 (of Jamaican currency!)
• After weeks of near-frostbite and windburns, a sunburn is a welcome pain
• Hydration is much more important in the hot, humid weather than the sub-zero degree, dry Michigan weather
• Jamaican Powerade (and Gatorade) tastes like the juice that your mom used to let you get at the gas station if you were behaving during a road trip
I cannot thank USATF enough for selecting me for the 2013 NACAC XC team; I learned so much from the senior athletes and had a wonderful time with the juniors. I have found that experiences like these are critical in preparing athletes for the next level of competition.
Now, about the race!
The course, a two kilometer loop around the Golf View Hotel Golf Course, was described as having “undulating” hills; this is another way of saying that the hills never ended! Seriously, they kept going, and going, and going. And then they still went. After two trips around this course, I was definitely happy to not be racing the senior men’s eight kilometer race. I pulled out a win on the slightly long cross country course, and then tacked on some extra miles with my USA junior teammates as we cheered on our fellow competitors. The senior men’s race, however, was one of the most exciting of the day, as Cam Levins and recent University of Michigan (my future school!) graduate Craig Forys, ran stride for stride for the last 1500 meters until Craig created an upset and snagged the win!
After this inspiring weekend, I am recharged and ready to retool for next Saturday’s USATF Junior Nationals. I hope that I can meet some of the senior athletes!!!
(see more of Erin's photos on our FaceBook page)
Erin's Blog Entry for January 21, 2013
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! As I am sure most students around the nation are, I am not only thankful for King’s work in improving racial unity, but also the day off of school that his holiday gives me!
Today also marks the first day of the week of my trip to Jamaica for the NACAC (North American, Central American and Caribbean) Cross Country Championships.
Excitement and other emotions are definitely on the rise, and every once in a while a pre-race jitter shoots through me (I wonder what random passersby think when they see me jump, seemingly out of nowhere).
This also means that today was my last workout in the United States until I return home! Considering the fact that the fartlek consisted of four miles through the snow and ice in the 14 degree Fahrenheit Michigan weather, I am quite content with taking a few indoor treadmill recovery runs. It is safe to say that I will not be exiting the house again today; it is far too cold for my liking.
A few fun facts about my week in running:
- I saw a squirrel get run over for the first time on a run and was close enough to hear the crunch. This was a devastating affair; I don’t know if I would’ve been able to complete the workout if this event hadn’t occurred at the end of my run. By that time, all of my tears were frozen anyway. RIP little buddy.
I had a mini freak-out (well maybe my mom wouldn’t call it mini) about my hip after falling on the ice. But lo and behold, I am fine! I learned that I have a weak gluteus medias; strengthening, stretching, and icing this should soon end these tiny panics (until something new begins to hurt).
- Lots of Lance/Oprah in the news. Here’s what I think: You compete to see what you can do, to challenge yourself. What is the point of competing, if it’s not even you?
I went to the University of Michigan’s first indoor track meet of the year! The girls ran really well and I spent time with future Wolverines Jamie Morrissey and Jaimie Phelan. It is seriously impossible to be more excited about anything than I am about next year! Go Blue!Well, now I must end this sweet reprieve from studying. Final exams begin tomorrow at West Bloomfield High School, so I have quite an agglomeration of things to do before my flight takes off for Jamaica on Wednesday!
Erin's Blog Entry for January 13, 2013
What a weekend! Since Thursday evening, I have ridden a roller coaster of emotions. The track and field world has been on a roll (or maybe a “run” would fit better?) for the past few days as well. To recap everything for you, here is a handy dandy list (with a little bit of what I am feeling added in there just for kicks):
• 6:30 p.m., Thursday, January 10, 2013: 3200m workout at MITS Michigan #2
o “Hmm… moving my legs a little. And there is no ice! This is new. And I feel pretty good! Ha ha!”
• Post race:
o “Oh snap that’s the number one time in the nation right now!”
o **Commence jumping around like a giddy eight-year-old on Christmas morning**
• 5:30 a.m., Friday, January 11, 2013: Sports Club West Bloomfield Lap Pool
o “WHY didn’t I actually go to bed earlier last night?! And what am I doing with my life?! It’s not even six in the morning!”
o “What’s a 3200m?” says person at school. “I bet I could beat you!” says random passerby with an 8:28 mile PR. And so ends my hope of track and field receiving any significant recognition in my suburban Midwest high school.
o **Odd twinge in leg when I step incorrectly during my run**
o “OH MY GOSH THE WORLD IS ENDING! I can’t be hurt! No!”
• Three seconds later:
o “Whoops, all good.”
o USA gear for upcoming trip to Jamaica for NACAC XC Championships has arrived!
o Once again, **Commence jumping around like a giddy eight-year-old on Christmas morning**
• Evening, Saturday, January 12, 2013: Hear about Mary Cain’s incredible 3000m National Record
o **Become SUPER impressed**
o “What can I do to be more like her?”
o See this:
o **Become SUPER motivated**
• ALL DAY, Sunday, January 13, 2013 (with wonderful reprieve of a run):
o Homework :/ #studentathleteprobz
So, as you can tell, things have been crazy in the Finn household. Personally, I hope that they stay that way for a little bit!