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I really used to love baseball and softball as a kid in L.A. My high school softball coach made the unfortunate decision to say to me, “Hey, you’re pretty quick. You should do cross country to stay in shape during the offseason.” Unfortunately for him, I never went back to softball. Once I discovered running, I was like, “Sorry, Coach. I just like this better.”
I was recruited to run on the track team in college, but I didn’t get along with the coaches super well and fell off of my running. I wasn’t really sure what to do with my life after graduation, so I decided to move across the ocean to Hawaii for a couple years. That’s where I met my husband, and that’s where I rediscovered my love for the sport. I started to run races and compete again. I flew from there to run the Boston Marathon, which was supposed to be once in a lifetime, but I just kept doing it.
I ran the Chicago Marathon this past October, and it was the best race ever. We’re in San Diego now, so I flew out Friday, ran on Sunday and came back to work on Monday. I went to the airport still eating my pizza from right after the race. But I ran really well — I was giving kids high fives, I was waving to people, and I was able to complete the race in 2:45. Seeing that time, I thought, “What if I made myself go into that pain cave for a little longer? I think I could have done better.”
The qualifying time for the Olympic Trials is 2:38. That’s when I thought I could hit it.
To train for that, I’ve got long runs on Sunday, about 22 miles or so. Mondays are pretty chill with more social runs. Tuesdays, I’m on the track for about 13 to 16 miles, and Wednesdays are weights or a nice little run around my block. Thursdays are another hard run — I’m at about 16 miles right now. Fridays and Saturdays are pretty chill, like an easy 10 miler, which is nice. Training for the Olympic trials as intensely as I am and working the way we do at Suffolk is both tiring and rewarding. It really pays to have a supportive partner and a place to come home to. I don't think many runners have the workload that I have, but it’s just another thing that makes me stronger.
Reaching the Olympic trials would mean a lot. No one in my family gets it at all. My parents are supportive, but they’re first generation Mexican-Americans and they’ve never been as competitive about sports as I am. But being their daughter definitely makes me a hard worker. My dad is in the construction field and started his own business doing residential work on the side. He's always striving for more. He came from nothing. So, I'm here to make the next generation better.
If I ever had that opportunity to represent the U.S., it would mean the world. I just think of my parents being super proud. I'm freaking stoked to get there.
Bre Guzman is an assistant project manager in Suffolk’s San Diego office. Her next chance to qualify for the Olympic trials is at the Eugene Marathon in Oregon on April 30.
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