The Road to the New York Marathon

August 19, 2019

I’m two weeks into my training for the New York Marathon this November, having rolled right into it from the Rock N Roll Chicago Half Marathon in July. After my previous run coaching experience, I realized that I really needed a program that was really catered to my life: full-time job, teaching group fitness 3-6x a week, and of course, quality time with my family. A cookie cutter plan wasn’t going to work for me, even if I could personally make some tweaks. So I made a change and eagerly dove in…

Standing with my coach, Jess, at the Running PTs office.
With my coach, Jess, at a recent Pilates workshop that she held for the North Carolina Oiselle Volee.

…To working with Jess from Pace of Me! I have been lucky to know Jess originally through my local Oiselle Volee group, as she’s an active participate in our group runs, track run sessions, and just an overall wonderful person that I also follow on Instagram. She teaches Pilates, has 3 kids, and has race experiences that range from her first marathon at over 5 and a half hours, to Boston qualifying times. I admire her running journey and, after having the chance to chat with a couple of people who are coached by her, wondered if she would be the right fit for me as well. I reached out to discuss the opportunity and we had a nice chat about what it would entail: both our expectations and how we could work together. After our initial conversation, I filled out a lengthy questionnaire that went through my running goals, day to day aspects of my life, training, nutrition, etc. It honestly felt great knowing how much she was actually going to take my information and use it to cater a program JUST FOR ME.

I’m not trying to be selfish here, but I know that in order to be successful in these goals, I need there to be an understanding that my life is hectic. I don’t want to make excuses for missing workouts or targets, but I also don’t want to be setup for failure at the start. A perfect example is my second week of training with Jess: I had my busiest week of teaching yet. 7 classes, with one being a double day. How can I make sure I’m getting my run training sessions in, but find a balance for the cross training and strength training while letting my body recover adequately? Jess assured me it wouldn’t be an issue. I gave her my teaching schedule, and she perfectly adapted my run schedule to fit within it. Complete with a rest day and easier runs built in around particularly hard workout days. We had some crazy weather here last week and I was able to reach out to her and come up with a plan to modify a couple of my runs accordingly as I couldn’t get outside to get them in (treadmill was a backup plan but I try to avoid it unless it’s my only option).

Running on a tree root covered single track trail through some thick shrubbery.
While camping, I was able to get my long run in on some single track trails and use time as a measurement rather than just mileage. I never would have planned that change personally, so it’s great having the perspective of a coach to modify a workout so that it’s still challenging but factors in the environment where your run will take place.

So now, two weeks in and I’m already feeling so much more confident in my targets. I won’t reach these goals overnight, but I know that when I put in the work, I’ll start to see the results. I’m excited to get back to where I was when I was hitting my PRs in 2016, and then take it beyond! New York is less than 3 months away, so it’s time to really prepare myself while progressing my half marathon goals as well. I’m excited about how this next marathon race day is going to feel compared to others (not just because it’s the NEW YORK MARATHON) and about the excitement that my weekly run plan now brings me.

How are you working towards your running goals? Have you worked with a running coach?

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