Happy Hump Day and welcome back to the Running Coaches’ Corner linkup. Today I’m posting from the road. I’m nearing the end of a four day trip to visit the in-laws. As such, my post today isn’t super detail-oriented or super-sciency. Today is all about the “feels.” More specifically, my unlikely journey to run coaching.
My Unlikely Journey to Run Coaching
If you would have asked me 10 years ago what I’d see myself doing professionally, I would have said something like “marketing manager,” “graphic designer,” or even “attorney.” Never would I have said running coach or blogger. The journey I’ve taken has been unexpected but extremely rewarding.
I’ve posted before about why you should hire a running coach, how I write training plans, and the nitty gritty of how coaching has impacted my life. I don’t intend on rehashing those points but instead I’m going to tell you my story and how I feel today.
I started running to lose weight after the birth of my first child. I had been overweight for about nine months. My best friend at the time was rail thin — naturally so. She was one of those people that could have a baby and the very next day fit right back into her pre-pregnancy apparel. I found myself constantly comparing myself to her and I frankly just felt miserable. After grumping and frumping around for nine months postpartum, I finally decided to do something about it and I started running postpartum. There’s a lot more detail about this time in my life in this post, so I’ll spare you the details here. In any event, I finally lost weight and fell in love with the sport of running along the way.
I ran through my second pregnancy. I wasn’t running far. Up until that point the farthest I had run was 6 miles anyway. It wasn’t until after my daughter was born that the running bug really sank its teeth in.
When Running Goals Become Real
My running became much more serious in 2014. I had lofty goals. 10-milers, half marathons, and then in the spring of 2015, the whole enchilada: the marathon.
I really just wanted to see if I could do it. Amazed I could create, carry, and birth babies, I was really in awe of just how much my body was able to do. I could gain 40 lbs and then lose it. I could run 13.1 miles. What else was I capable of? The obvious next step was a marathon.
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.”
It was during marathon training in the winter of 2015 that I realized I had a passion for running and needed to share it with everyone. I enjoyed talking shop with other runners at races, on training runs, and at local running shops. I felt compelled to help others that wanted to learn to run. Not only that, but I wanted to help others improve as athletes and reach their goals.
It was ironic timing, really. I was in the middle of a tough training cycle where I learned both humility and resolve, and ultimately injury. But something clicked during all those training miles and I realized I wanted to coach others and share my love of the sport with the world.
So here I am. A running coach and blogger. There are a ton of wonderful coaches out there and I’m so lucky to have an amazing coach myself. A good coach uses science and intuition to finesse the best out of an athlete. It’s an art form, really. I’ve learned how to be an effective coach through this art form over the years and it’s helped me tremendously as both a runner and a coach.
I’ve been very fortunate to work with some incredible individuals and athletes. Some have come to me wanting to learn how to run and asking for lots of pointers. Others have come with lofty goals like crushing a half marathon PR or tackling their first full marathon. I’ve worked with individuals, groups, and even kids. It’s been such a cool experience and I’m glad I took the leap of faith to get my run coaching certification when I did.
Of course, there are times of weakness, too. I’m not the fastest runner out there and I used to question my own credibility. But I’ve come to respect that there will always be someone faster and there will always be someone slower, regardless of your pace and ability. I may a terrible marathoner but my marathon ability doesn’t have anything to do with my knowledge base or passion for the sport. It also doesn’t determine my effectiveness as a coach. What it means is that I’m just not great at running marathons. Granted, I’m hoping to change that in 2017, but if it doesn’t pan out for me, then so be it.
Running is hard. Coaching is, too. If I can ease the anxiety, assist in athletic improvement, or positively impact just one person’s life through run coaching, I declare that a success.
Coaching is a tough, rewarding, and wonderful gig. I’ve loved every minute of it and I wouldn’t change it for the world. As far as a marketing manager or attorney? I’ll hang those careers up for a rainy day. I’m confident in my career choice and I’m glad I made the decision to go the run coaching route.
TALK TO ME!
What’s one “unlikely” thing you’re extremely passionate about?