Hey, my name is Tay!

Hello!  Thank you for joining me on this adventure I call life!  I thought it would be fitting to start this blog by introducing myself, giving a little background, and telling you about my journey thus far!  

I grew up in Logan, Utah and played soccer throughout my childhood.  I always loved watching the Olympics and was fascinated by track.  However, I didn't begin running competitively until I started high school.  I happened to stumble upon cross country when a summer soccer practice was cancelled and I was invited to run with the cross country team.  That day they were doing a timed mile and I happened to beat all the girls and half the boys on the team.  After that, I began to compete in cross country and track where I ended up winning the state championship for 3200m.  In retrospect, it's crazy that one seemingly insignificant event (missing one soccer practice) could change my life.  

 2008-The day I won State in the 3200m.  Due to this race I was able to get recruited by colleges!

2008-The day I won State in the 3200m.  Due to this race I was able to get recruited by colleges!

I was fortunate enough to get recruited by many colleges to run, and ultimately chose Weber State University for many reasons.  I chose Weber first and foremost because of the nationally recognized radiologic technology program.  Education comes as a first priority as a student-athlete.  Second, I have a great amount of family in the area, with many relatives who went to Weber and have gone on to be very successful in their lives.  Last but certainly not least, I chose Weber because of the amazing coach, Paul Pilkington, who has helped me develop into the runner and person I am today.    

 2014- Winning the Big Sky Conference 10,000m Individual title my senior year at Weber State University. 

2014- Winning the Big Sky Conference 10,000m Individual title my senior year at Weber State University. 

During my time at Weber State University, I completed an associates of Radiography and a Bachelor's in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), all while competing and training as a full time student-athlete and working as a computed tomography (CT) technologist at a local hospital (I also worked at an indoor skydiving facility but I'll save those stories for a later time)!  I was definitely very busy! 

At Weber State, I was lucky enough to meet my incredible husband, Kurt Ward, who was also a member of the Weber State track team!  After I graduated with my bachelor's degree (Kurt had graduated one year prior), we packed up and moved across the country to Auburn, AL where Kurt began working on his his PhD in Kinesiology.  I continued to work on a Master's Degree of Radiologic Science through Weber State during this time, worked as a CT/MRI technologist, and began to train for a marathon.  

 Kurt and I met at Weber State University.  We were on the Track and XC teams together!  Our love for each other and running has made our life together quite amazing!

Kurt and I met at Weber State University.  We were on the Track and XC teams together!  Our love for each other and running has made our life together quite amazing!

My first Marathon was the Houston Marathon in January of 2015 where I ran 2:38 and qualified for the Olympic Trials!  I couldn't believe it!  I was so happy, and felt very excited to see what else the future might hold.  Competing at the Olympic Trials in February of 2016 was also a very memorable experience, and one I may go into more detail about in a future post.  But for now, I will just say it was a very mentally strengthening experience that taught me to tough it out.  

 In my first marathon (2015 Houston Marathon), I qualified for the Olympic Trials! I was all smiles!

In my first marathon (2015 Houston Marathon), I qualified for the Olympic Trials! I was all smiles!

I have continued to find great success and have been very blessed in my life.  This last year I completed my Master's Degree in Radiologic Sciences from Weber State, got sponsored by Brooks Running, won the 2016 La Sportiva mountain cup and won the 2016 Philadelphia Marathon in a time of 2:36.  The highlight of my year was accepting a position as an Instructor of Radiologic Sciences at Weber State University!  It is my dream job and I finally got to move back to Ogden, Utah!  Kurt is still in Auburn for a few more months while he finishes his PhD and will move back as soon as he is done!  

 2016- Master's Hooding Ceremony!  I can't believe I get to teach at Weber State now!! These people are now my colleagues and I couldn't be more grateful!

2016- Master's Hooding Ceremony!  I can't believe I get to teach at Weber State now!! These people are now my colleagues and I couldn't be more grateful!

We are excited for all the adventures ahead and I can't wait to share it with all of you!

Love,

-Speedytay