2012 US Olympic Marathon Trials

Start Line


My bag of pre-race goodies from Christina. *Love*

Shannon surprised me with this beautiful ring! Believe!!!xoxoxoxoxo


Matt got me this great book! I love Marcel!

Wow, what an experience! Before I can begin to talk about my experience, I have to give a shout out to my support crew. I really feel like Matt has to be the best runner support ever! He coordinated our families, worried about my stuff so I wouldn’t have to, and made sure that I had everything I could possibly need while in Houston. He is truly amazing.

The beginnings of very awesome water bottles!



Elite athlete dining tent, they had EVERYTHING!

My Mom and Dad, as well as Matt’s Mom and Dad were so supportive and I am so flattered that they all flew to Houston to support me.

Matt’s Mom

My best friend Shannon, and her husband Mike made the trip as well and I cannot tell you how much it meant to have them there. My Bandido team mates were the loudest fans on the course and my heart was so happy every time I passed them while running. I am going to try to not make this too wordy and use pictures instead.

Brooks running is so supportive of my goals and they HOOKED ME UP in Houston! It was like Christmas all over again!

Elite hospitality suite...breakfast!

Me, Coach John, Alex at the technical meeting…in my sweet new Brooks track jacket!
Alex, Me, Coach, and Susan pre-race

The plan for this race was to lay it all on the line and go out fast. 18:07 5k’s or below. There was no reason to hold back. I could have started slow and maybe ran a 2:35 but for what? I wanted to go for a big PR! I don’t regret it at all.

In the holding area ready to warm up.

I foundย  a great group of girls to work with the first 15 miles of the race. I even PR’d in the half marathon! ha!

I was on 5:50 pace and then it all came crumbling down. I don’t know what happened, I just ran out of gas. I lost my pack and fought the wind on my own. I went from 19th place at mile 20 to 29th place at the finish. Ouch. I still ran a 2:37:37, so if that is my bad day, I am ok with that. I feel like my fitness was good and I was confident that I could just relax and get ‘er done.

Not looking so great, struggling to keep running!


I think I have some figuring out to do with my nutrition still. My stomach was upset those last miles and I was frantically searching for a bush or a port-o, but I made it to the finish and then my stomach was fine, so maybe it was in my head. I feel like I really left it all out there, and that is all I could ask for. This was not a race I was running to run ‘safe’. I will do that next. I wanted to lay it all on the line and just race! No regrets. Getting passed at the end is never fun, but that is the marathon…a humbling experience!



Almost to the finish line, Alleluia!
My Toms were perhaps the best race purchase I have ever made. Putting those on after taking off my race flats was incredible. Really.

Me, Coach John, Alex, post race, with my COFFEE of course! :)


The next day, on Sunday, my sister Marisa completed her 3rd marathon with a new PR! (personal record)

Marisa finished in 3:43..PR by over 10 minutes!!!!

My brother completed his first half marathon in under 2 hours!

L-doggg!!! So proud of him!


My Dad completed his first ever marathon in 5:14! Nothing could have made me more proud then seeing them all run the day after my race. I am welling up right now just thinking about it!

Dad about to cross the finish line of his FIRST MARATHON!
So proud of my Dad!

With Mom, the best support ever! She is AMAZING!

I am feeling great this week, finishing the race at a 6:30 pace probably helped to speed up my recovery, ha! I am SO excited for my upcoming races. Time to work on some speed and I think I am going to run some track races, which I have NEVER done! I will have to go watch a few to see how they are run. That will be nerve-wracking for me I am sure, but, I know I need to do it! I am super excited to continue my training and to become even stronger and faster for 2016!

Post-Houston Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream! My eyes were bigger than my stomach.


  1. An experience you’ll never forget, no doubt – gutsy race performance too. Admire how you just laid it all out there, and accepted whatever came from it. And what came from it was still a mighty-impressive performance.

  2. What an amazing story! So happy for you! What an amazing runner you are…truly inspirational! Congratulations on your accomplishments. Olympic trials are such a HuGE accomplishment!

  3. Wow! Congrats on an amazing race and inspiring so many of us as well as your family! Enjoyed this recap and look forward to seeing what you do in the future..

  4. Congratulations! I wonder if you even realize how cool it is for a middle of the pack runner like me to be able to get a glimpse of what its like to be an elite athlete like you. To read about your goals and what you’re thinking about and how you plan and execute a race like this is amazing. I can only hope to run a 5k at a 6 minute pace some day and you’re blazing through a marathon faster than that! You’re an elite athlete, but you’re also a real person with friends and family cheering for you just like the rest of us.

    Watching the Olympic Trials on TV was so exciting, especially having an idea of the training involved, the blood-sweat-and-tears, and the raw emotion of it all. Its inspiring to read about your experience, so thank you. You’re awesome!

  5. Thanks Greg, Aletia, and Lone! ๐Ÿ™‚ MichaelRunner, you are far too kind. I also remember not being able to run a 5k at 6min/mile pace. I remember when I broke 6 minutes for the 1 mile, it was the biggest accomplishment! Keep believing in yourself!

  6. I was so, so, so excited for you! It must have such and amazing experience. Not only are you superfast, but you seem very sweet and modest. I love the way your whole family is running.

  7. Thanks Melissa! That is sweet of you to say! Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Jackson and I were just thinking about you and wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you and missing you. We are so proud of you and all that you have accomplished. Your the best!!!! Keep it up!

  9. Congradulations on an inspirational effort Ariana!! Glad you to hear you left it all on the line and are able to walk away from the Trials Marathon feeling good about it. Nice job PR’ing at the half marathon distance in the race! I know you’ll be back for another crack at things in 2016 and faster none the less!! The peanut butter cup ice cream looked awesome by the way! Peanut butter cups are sooooo my weakness!! Ha! It’s awesome that you have a running family! Best wishes in your future running. Happy running!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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