Tag Archive | MCM

Friday Five – 5 Reasons to have a Running Coach

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme is a Free Friday.

I went with 5 Things I Like about Having a Running Coach.

For those that have been here, you might remember that I recently started with a Running Coach.    Yes, I still feel funny saying it and somehow I even felt a little bit of a fraud like who am I to have a Running Coach.   Then I remind myself that I’m me and that not only can I have one, but so can anyone.   She is my running personal trainer and I deserve one.


1.   I no longer need to spend countless hours trolling to find the right plan to follow and then let wondering if it is the right one for me.   Caolan sends me a plan customized for me and my goals.   It is not a one stop shopping plan.  It’s a what does Christine need to do plan.

2.   I am learning.   Yes, I’ve read books, blogs, and talked to other runners before but somehow this is different.   Since I’ve been working with her I feel like I have learned so much.   If there is something in my plan that I don’t understand why she wants me to do it a certain way all I have to do is ask.    She then explains her reasoning, what she is looking for me to get out of it, and why she thinks its an important part of my training.

Case in point – Monday’s are the days that I normally do my long runs.   On the schedule for next week, she wants me to do my 9 miles with no fuel making sure to have my recovery drink ASAP when done.   This seemed strange to me, so I asked.   She then explained that ” Doing long runs at an aerobic pace without fuel forces your body to rely on fat for fuel rather than (limited) glycogen. This only works at an aerobic pace where you can actually rely on fat. At faster paces we must use glycogen (which is why races and tempos must be with fuel).”   She also suggested it is good for mental training and some other stuff.  Her explanation made sense to me and maybe it’s a good thing to try to tap into my fat as I do have some to spare:)

**edited to add that she further explained this is not done for weight loss but that it does encourage fat metabolism which most of us can tap into.

3.   I don’t have to think anymore about “What I should do today?”   I already know.   It’s actually helps me plan out my week and is a real time saver too:)

4.   It’s keeping me on target while training smarter not harder.    The first thing she had me do is slow down my everyday aerobic runs as I was running them close to a minute too fast.   I used to do most of my runs at a 10:20 pace or faster.    She has slowed me down to at least as she calls it a 11+ and many and 11++.    My post half recovery run was done at an 11+++ which was lovely.   So now most of my runs are at and 11:20 pace.    You wouldn’t think a minute makes that much of a difference, but it does.


5.  It is giving me confidence as I gear up to start my MCM training that I will be able to meet my goal.   Caolan knows my goal is to finish MCM strong.   I’m not going in this to be fast and in our conversations we are thinking possibly a 4:30ish time or that’s what she thinks.   That is 15 minutes faster than Philly, but I must remind myself that I jumped into Philly last minute without a lot of “real” marathon training.  I will trust her and the process and see where it takes me.    More important to me though is to run the whole race unless a planned walk is built into it.   I walked at the end of Philly (unplanned) and for some reason it bugs me.   I know that MCM ends on a hill or there is a hill very close to the end.   I want to go into this with the confidence that when I get there I will still be running.

Have you ever had a Running Coach?


I wrote about this is my Blog Post Dreaming The Dream Until I can’t Dream It Anymore.   I’m not your typical runner.   I don’t have the runner’s body (what ever that is).   I wasn’t athletic ever, but I’ve become a runner along the way.  I have a passion for it.   I have a need for it.   I love to share it.   So I think to myself, why couldn’t I win to be on the cover of Runner’s World.   Wouldn’t it be cool if just your average running mom made the cover?    So, please vote for me here.

Living and Learning

Living and learning go hand in hand.   Opinions evolve as does your experiences grow.   When I first started running, I knew of a couple of people that had running coaches.   I thought to myself….. What a waste.    I know.  I know.   I’ve evolved now.   I understand that there is more to running than putting on running shoes.   I also understand that you don’t need to be an elite runner to have a coach anymore than you need to be a professional bodybuilder to have a personal trainer.   I didn’t think of it that way.    I apologize to my hopefully new running coach.

I get it now.

No, I do not have to be an elite athlete.

No, I do not need to plan to “win” any races.

(Although, lets be honest for us mere mortals showing up at the starting line is a win).

No, I do not need to think that I am suddenly a top of the packer.

worth it

What I am though is someone who wants to improve.

I am someone who is smart enough to know that there is a whole Hell of a lot of things that I don’t know.

I am someone who has a full race schedule coming up that found a little overwhelming.

I am someone who is striving to do better than I did yesterday.

That is all.

No more.

No less.

My epiphany came when I realized that a cookie cutter plan would not work for me.   I have had personal trainers in the past at the gym.   No one though twice about that.   This is no different.   Instead of teaching me routines to use at the gym though, she will help me get the most out of each run.

I will say that after our initial chat today that I am frightened especially when she said she will build my running up to 40 miles a week.   WHAT!?!     She, as most coaches, takes this seriously which I should hope so since this is her job.   She knows what she’s talking about too having just completed her 3rd Boston Marathon and now a week later getting ready to run Big Sur Marathon.    I hope I am up for the challenge.

It will be nice for change not to have to figure out if I am following the right plan as she will create a plan just for me:)    It will be nice just to focus on the task at hand.

If all goes well we will start in the beginning of May which is only a week away.   She seems to think that with my past results it might be possible for me to get a 4:30 at the Marine Corps Marathon, but that seems out of my league right now.   I guess that’s why we are starting the training now.

Wish me luck.

Have you ever had a Running Coach?

Anyone Can Run…..


Anyone can run.   Really.   Unless there is a medical reason, anyone can run.   Not everyone likes to run.  I know that too being someone who used to say she hated running.   Although in retrospect it isn’t that I hated running.   It was more that I had never given running a chance.   So I unequivocally state again that anyone can run.   That being said, there is a difference between just running and running well.   This is the crossroads that I am at now.  I’ve been running for a while now and I’ve gotten to the point that I might just want to run well.

Now I am not saying that I want to move to the top of the Pack or become a leading Master runner.   I am saying that I think it might be time to take my running up a notch.   Take it the the next level.   Right now, I’ve been following generic training plans for specific events.   I will say these have been amazingly helpful and I’ve learned from them.   I know that without my Runner’s World Hat Trick Specific Training Plan that I would not have been able to run those events as well as I did.    Online training plans are wonderful and will get you where you need to go.   My problem that I am encountering and is starting to freak me out a bit is that I need to form my plan to start training for the Marine Corps Marathon while being prepared for other events.   I seem to be going a few different directions at once.

Case in Point….

  1. Running many events of different distances for the 9 plus 1 plan
  2. Training for the Iron Girl Sprint Triathlon
  3. Training for the Marine Corps Marathon and the final hill at the end of it.

Now I would have no problem following a plan on my own to train for one of these events, but I’m really having a problem wrapping my head around training for all of them at once.   Probably because I don’t know what I’m doing and have no background in this field.   Yes, I read my Runner’s World, Running Times and such but I’ve really been only running since I finished my first Tri in September of 2013.    I’m in a bit of a quandary.   I know I need to train.   I know that both the Tri and the marathon will require serious training with the marathon only being a month after the Tri, I will need to train for them at the same time.    That being said, I need to figure out how to train without over training, without causing injury, and without causing burnout.   That is where a running coach might just be what I need.

I used to think that a Running Coach would be reserved for the “serious athlete.”   The top of the Pack athlete.    The career athlete.   I used to think that a Stay-at-Home Mom wouldn’t need a Running Coach.   What would the point be?   Then I realized what the point would be?    The point would be that they know what they are doing.    The point would be that they can help me reach my goals.   The point would be that they can help  generate a plan just for me.   Just like I’ve hired a Personal Trainer at the gym in the past, a Running Coach can help put me on the right path for running smartly.   To help me run well.   A  Running Coach can help me reach my potential while at the same time giving me the skills that I will need to get to the end of the road all in one piece.

This is where I am now.   I’ve started process.    I have not hired a coach yet, but have contacted one to see her thoughts.    Surprisingly, the cost is not as high as I thought it would be.   To be honest, the monthly cost is cheaper than hiring a Personal Trainer for two sessions.  Plus the coach that I am looking at has different packages depending upon my need.   I don’t pay a gym membership right now and can justify the cost too.   Although the biggest justification of the cost will be the peace of mind it will bring me.

Even though I have not hired a coach yet and am still investigating, just the thought of it is easing the stress.    I am days away from turning 46.   I am a Stay-at-Home Mom.    I am a middle of the Pack runner.    I have much to learn about the art of running and training.   Bottom line is that I was wrong.   A Running Coach is for an athlete at any level and I am worth it.

worth it

Do you have a Running Coach??

Have you ever had one?

Marching Onward…..

As many of you read, I got into the Marine Corps Marathon in October.   I’ve told the people I need to tell and now am moving onto the planning stage.  Yes, I know it’s 7 months away but it is never to early to plan:)   Besides, I don’t know ANYTHING about getting around DC.  Yes, I’ve got 7 months, but that will go quickly.   So much to do and so much to think about.

The first think I’m thinking though is I’m nuts.   Then again if you know me or have been reading this blog long enough you might already realize this.    I just really don’t know what possessed me to enter the lottery.   Probably the thought that I could say that I entered it, but didn’t get in so I’m not running a marathon this year.   We all know how well that worked out.

Moving Along…..

My first concern outside of having to run the marathon is where will I stay.   I know nothing about DC or the course, but I quickly learned a few things.    I then looked at the available lodging and with any luck picked the right hotel.   It seems to be in the right area for the start and finish.   At least I hope so!!!   Either way, I’ve got that reservation booked and the rest I will work out.

I’ve looked at the course and have to say I’m excited.   I’ve never been to DC.   It’s been on the list.    I think to see it all this way will be an amazing experience.   It starts between Arlington Cemetary and the Pentagon.   Then me and 30,000 other people will wind through the streets of historic Georgetown on our way near the Kennedy Center.   Then we follow the course to the “Run To Honor” section where flags commemorate fallen soldiers.   Then continue onto views of Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History,  the National Art Gallery, the Capital Dome and other DC sites.   I’m thinking I want to just run with my camera, but I think I’ll be a bit busy to take pictures.   Busy trying to muster up the strength to “Beat the Bridge” at mile 20.    Yes, this marathon apparently ends on a hill.   Oh my!!!!     I didn’t have the energy to carry a single rose at the end of Philly, I’m not sure how I will manage this.   I think the momentum of the event will have to carry me through it.   That and I’m going to train, train, train and then train some more for this:)

Can you tell that I’ve given this some thought this weekend?

Now that the shock has worn off, I’m marching forward with my plan:)


What Was I Thinking?

So I had a little shock this morning!   I wasn’t expecting it in the very least.   Everyone said it was so hard to get into and as my marathon lottery luck in the past left me high and dry, I had no expectations this time around.   I wasn’t even paying attention to the lottery.   I, actually, forgot about the lottery!   Then  a funny thing happened when I was checking my email this morning.   I found out that I got in.  I looked at the email.   I put the phone down and walked away because I knew I wasn’t seeing right.   I had some coffee.   I looked again and found out I was still in it.


Holly Smokes!!!!

I was not planning on running a marathon this year.



But This says differently


Now this is not to say that I haven’t thought about it, but I really, really, really wasn’t planning to run one.   I never imagined that I would get to this race.   To say I was shocked is a bit of an understatement.   For those who saw my first post today, you will know this to be true,   I didn’t even finish it!!!

So maybe my luck is changing.   Either way, I guess I’m running a marathon.   Good thing I front loaded my NYRR races and will only have to do two in the fall.   Although, when I looked ahead to October this is the schedule that I have:

October 4th – Paine to Pain HM

October 11th – NYRR Staten Island HM

October 18th – Superhero HM

October 25th – Marine Corps 40th Marathon

Holly Smokes!

Breathe,  Breathe, and Breathe some more.

It will all work out.   I’ve always wanted to go to DC and this will be a lovely way to see it.

Now all I need to do is tell Dear Hubby tonight:)

Time to go inhale some calming lavender!

Has this happened to you?