Once I started running, I signed up for a few races, and was proud of myself for just finishing. I then found a few training programs online, but never followed them that diligently. I even asked for advice from a few of my “runner friends”, read a few books, and did some online research on how to become a better runner.

I eventually “plateaued” in my running – I couldn’t really get below a 10:30 pace on my long runs, and could barely pull down a 9:30 pace for my races (which was great considering I started at an 11:00 mile). And my body was always dealing with these nagging injuries. I kept researching, kept reading, but couldn’t quite get any faster. If running was so simple, why couldn’t I get any better? Maybe I wasn’t meant to run “fast” after all?

Then, just over 2 years ago, I decided to hire a running coach. I told myself I’d try it for a year – if I wasn’t getting any better, I at least knew I was meant to be a slow runner, that I tried, and that I’d continue to enjoy running at that pace. I remember being incredibly embarrassed when I reached out to a few coaches – I was reaching out to people who were fast, who won big titles, who had sponsors. I was a 10:00/mile runner. I felt like I had no business emailing these people unless I wanted to win races or qualify for Boston – I felt like a fraud. But I followed through, and after chatting with three different coaches, I took a deep breath and sent my first month’s payment off to one of them.

I officially hired a running coach – Steph. We talked through my goals, where I was starting from, when I had time in my schedule to do my workouts, etc. Let’s just say Steph is one of those “fast runners” with a sponsor, cool racing uniform, and may have won a race or two recently. I was horribly out of shape, slow, and hadn’t been running much prior to us starting together. I was scared. Steph was patient, eased me into workouts, and didn’t overwhelm me with technical jargon.

After almost a year of working with Steph, I hadn’t beat a time goal I set for myself, but I actually started to believe I was fully capable of meeting that goal. I finally started to get faster, I was stronger, I was a better runner than I was when I first started. SO while I will still never be a super badass, top tier runner with a sponsor anytime soon, I am worthy of coaching. In fact, any runner who desires to be better is worthy of coaching.

And that’s what I love about BEING a running coach. I want to help people transition out of the “I found a running program online” phase to the “I want to actually become a better runner” phase. Your desire to become a better runner already makes you worthy of a coach, so go out and find one that you click with. Go out and find the best version of you. Chase down that goal, get faster, reach further.

You deserve it.

 

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