I am NOT a former track star or cross-country champion, so this run coach bio will be unique. My sports of choice growing up were baseball, football, and wrestling through high school. I learned all about coaching and helping others from my father. He was involved in youth baseball for 30+ years as a coach and league president. A big portion of my childhood was spent at the ball field learning how participation in athletics leads to life lessons about health, teamwork, accountability, inclusion, volunteerism, and community.
My own opportunity to start coaching came when both of my children started participating in sports. Of course I jumped right in enthusiastically. Some of my happiest memories are the times spent coaching my kids and their teammates in soccer, wrestling, softball, and travel softball. When my own children “aged-out” of our township youth programs, I continued as a volunteer coach in our community.
Running entered the picture around the time that I focused on improving my own health by losing a significant amount of weight and improving my nutrition and overall fitness. I toiled for hours and hours on the elliptical and treadmill, but those started to get pretty boring after awhile. One day, my then 11-year old daughter and I decided that we were going to give running a try. We enthusiastically downloaded the couch-to-5K app as our guide and pushed out the door.
We completed all the training run/walks together and “raced” our first 5K. I vividly recall how happy I was after finishing, but also remember struggling to then walk up stairs. However, as soon as the soreness subsided, we signed up for another race! My next choice was joining a running club, and it ended up being a life changing decision. I instantly found other people who gleefully wanted to talk endlessly about running gear, training, upcoming races, and a fair share of aches and pains. Soon enough, I was talked into…err…encouraged to try running a 10K, then a half, and then (incredibly) a full marathon.
This is about when I jumped into my love of the sport with both feet. It wasn’t just the blissful feeling I got while running, but also, the training process and science behind unlocking constant improvements. I devoured as much information as I could, and quickly filled a bookshelf with dozens of running books. I keep signing up for new and ever-challenging marathons. I also decided to train for each new race by following a different plan and book by some of the worlds best coaches. I became fascinated by the training process and comparing and contrasting the various coaching philosophies. In just three years, I went from the couch, to losing 100 pounds, to qualifying for the Boston Marathon!
Over the ensuing years, I have expanded my interest in running to all aspects of the sport. I became active in several running clubs, helped organize races, volunteered at events, enthusiastically spectated, served as a race pace leader, and fundraised for some amazing charity teams. I started officially working in the industry as a Run Coordinator for Life Time Athletic, and still lead their group runs. To bring things full circle, I earned run coaching certifications from multiple organizations. My favorite accomplishments have come from helping others take those initial steps in a C25k program, crush a 10K PR, finish a first half in my pace group, attain the elusive BQ , or cross off that bucket list ultra.