The question of how I got into running is a pretty basic question, right? Well, the answer is not so simple.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a family that has always been active, so my days in team sports started early. Unfortunately, running was viewed as more of a “punishment” during those days. A new medical diagnosis got my dad into running, and his better habits rubbed off on the family. Soon enough, everyone had caught the running bug, except for me. As I hit my undergraduate years, I no longer had team sports and found myself with a lot of energy built up. Since my family was already pretty active in half marathons and marathons, I decided to pick up running as well. It ended up being the perfect solace for me.
Over the years I struggled with pace and enjoying the run, but after my grandfather’s passing, I started to love running. Suddenly the tides had changed and I found myself wanting to just be outdoors with some running shoes and music. It was my escape and it became a passion of mine.
Just like how I fell into running, the way I fell into coaching was a beautiful accident, too. People always say that you know you’re a runner when you find yourself talking about running a lot. Well, that certainly was the case for me! I started feeling energized when I talked about running to others. I found myself enjoying teaching about pace, how to get faster and increase distance. I started hearing feedback about how those tips helped, and I found a new passion in motivating others. I support myself through coaching with my dad’s input. I actually call him my coach as he sends me training plans, tips and tricks to get better. He’s one of my biggest supporters and is the main reason I started running.
Just as my dad has always said, it’s all about passing along what you know. And, just as he has taught me, I am excited to coach my cadet, Amy, this fall! We connected about a year ago through blogging. Our blog chats turned into e-mails, text messages and Skype sessions as we discovered a true friendship. During one of our many talks, we decided we would run a half marathon together. She also mentioned eventually wanting to do a full marathon. When the #26Strong program was presented to me, I mentioned it might be the perfect timing for us to run a full marathon together. After a few days, Amy contacted me and said, “let’s do it!”
She currently resides in Toronto, Canada and I am in Nashville, Tenn., so we will continue to hold our social media friendship and training until race day! We will run a similar training program, focusing on running three days per week. At the end of each week we will discuss how training is going via phone or Skype. We could not be more excited to be part of a program that is dedicated to empowering women!
For more on the Saucony 26 Strong program, which pairs up 13 coaches with 13 marathon rookies, visit 26Strong.com.