Training for any race, whether a 5K or a marathon, leaves a definite mark on a person. You learn a few things about yourself. Sometimes you learn that you’re more equipped to hit the snooze button than you originally thought. Sometimes you learn that you have a little more to give than you ever knew. Either way, taking on the opportunity to jump into a training program and work towards that race goal is eye opening and exhilarating.
Since I’ve started working with distance athletes, both as a nutrition coach and run coach, my athletes learn a lot about themselves – and they help me learn a lot too! They have big “ah – ha!” moments, and sometimes just little insights. But either way, once they cross the finish line, they know themselves just a little bit better.
Two of my coaching clients have shared their stories and allowed me to share them with you. I hope you find them as motivating as I did!
If you had asked me a year ago if I considered myself a runner I would have laughed in your face! I did not HATE running but it was in no way my first choice of activity. I had been conned into running my first half-marathon in September of 2014 and knew then that a half-marathon was the farthest that anyone was going to get me to run. Fast forward to April of 2015 and my two best friends were pushing hard to get me to run the Marine Corps Marathon with them. The simple answer was NO! I wasn’t ready and did not know if I would ever truly be ready.
As fate would have it, I received a free registration for the 2015 MCM and caved to peer pressure. I was in desperate need of help! I did not know how I was going to survive 26.2 miles of running. Melissa was there, eager to help me and hone her skills as a running coach(really a life coach). She was there every step of the way. She took the time to listen to my fears and reservations. She compiled the data and created attainable goals/milestones. She checked in on me each week(if not more) to see how I felt. She supported me even when I did not complete my running homework! Because of Melissa I was ready to conquer the Marine Corp Marathon. Melissa kept me grounded and helped me realize that it was never about my finish time but about the experience and accomplishing an incredible feat.
I am proud to say that 2 years after enduring 3 long months of chemotherapy for metastatic lung cancer, I ran and FINISHED the Marine Corp Marathon in 5 hours 45 minutes. Running the marathon was by far the most difficult thing I have ever done, but I was prepared. I was prepared because Melissa got me to a place where I believed I could do it. I was prepared because Melissa is amazing and takes the time to care! I was prepared because of Melissa!!
Ask me today and I will tell you confidently that I am a RUNNER!! I love running and I am already planning to conquer the 2016 Chicago Marathon for my 30th Birthday. Yes, I will be using Melissa to get ready for that too!
I got so many things out of using a coach for this seasons training, I can’t thank Melissa enough! What I can truly take away though is the importance of a schedule, variety, and accountability! I ran regularly but I was not strategic in my workouts; I wouldn’t push my self beyond adding an extra mile or so to a long run. When working with a coach I found myself doing and enjoying (?!?!) speed workouts and other challenging runs and I never was too intimidated by them for I knew I had that person who believed in me and that I had to report to. I saw benefits not only in my increased confidence overcoming these goals but I found I was performing better on my typical runs as well.
My favorite piece of training gear was my Garmin Forerunner watch. So easy to use and worked well to track all my workouts. My favorite place to run is the Georgetown Waterfront and my pump up song would have to be Remember the Name by Fort Minor!
Interested in getting started towards your running or endurance goals? Contact me about nutrition and/or run coaching.
Want to start with some group motivation and aim for a 5K? Join me (as your coach) and Spright in February for 2 Run Classes:
What has been the biggest thing you’ve learned during training?