I am officially a USA Track and Field Cross Country Specialist! Even though I don’t coach a cross country team, I found the course incredibly valuable and it was a honor to learn from Dr. Joe Vigil, who coaches two of my favorite runners, Brenda Martinez and Deena Kastor.
The course was spread out over two days, a Friday afternoon-evening session and Saturday morning-afternoon sessions. There were 129 other coaches there with me, all of whom were equally as excited. We covered everything from team dynamics to hill workouts as well as lab sessions on the track and a short but tough cross country course on the Villanova campus. Coaches Vigil and Scott Christensen were amazing. Their combined knowledge was mind boggling and there was certainly no shortage of stories after so many championships, Olympics and runners.
During dinner the first evening I spent time with my phone plugged into one of the classroom’s few outlets. It also provided me a little bit of bonus time with Coach Vigil. I was honored by his feedback and surprised to hear him say how much he loved the marathon. While I’m not sure I share the same sentiment as a runner, I definitely agreed with him as a coach. To really be successful at the marathon, you must change your life. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when you give everything you’ve got to training.
I can’t wait to employ some of the training and coaching techniques I learned. As many of my runners prepare for fall marathons we’ll definitely have some cross country inspired fun. If you coach, just want to become a better runner or learn from the best, I highly recommend taking this class. I am definitely a better coach because of it.
Have you ever run cross country? What do you like most about it?
It’s Week 4 of marathon training but instead of basking in the lovely miles I’ve been ticking off I’m celebrating my job. As you know, I’m a running coach, personal trainer, otherwise motivator and I love it. There are lots of advantages to loving the work you do. Less stress, more excitement and more satisfaction on a daily basis are just a few. There are plenty of other things I could do and I’d probably even make lots more money but I wouldn’t have nearly as much fun. Settling for something tolerable and being unhappy for 40 or more hours a week just doesn’t sit with me.
Yes, it’s hard getting up before the sun most days of the year. Standing out in the cold and 20 mile an hour winds isn’t always awesome either. Figuring out how to build and run a business without any full time help is a challenge all its own. At the end of every single day, however, it’s worth the cold toes and horrible sock tans. Here’s why:
Improvement. I have clients with all different backgrounds and abilities. It really doesn’t matter where they start. Seeing them want to put in the work it takes to be better is all it takes. That’s why Team ECRP‘s motto is #DestinationFaster, not Destination 5 Minute Mile. Who cares how fast you are right now if you’re ready to work hard and get better? It’s pretty much everything when I receive an email from a newly faster runner that reads “If I never run again, Meredith, I want you to know today’s run was the best run ever and it would not have happened without your help…Thank you!”
If that doesn’t make you think you’re doing the right thing, I don’t know what will. I am so proud of my athletes when they find success. That’s why I’m celebrating my job this week. An email like that gets you through the challenging sessions and is a great reminder that so matter where someone starts they can always try to be better. It’s an honor to watch people work hard for their goals and even better to guide them on their journeys.
Do you celebrate your job and what’s your favorite thing about it?
The days are getting shorter as fall head in and I’m busy busy with training, working and, most importantly, getting East Coast Run Project going. We had out first group workout Saturday with another warm day, plenty of sun and a tasty team breakfast afterwards. It’s exciting to be launching the team because it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted it to stand for beyond successful athletes.
ECRP is focused on creating better athletes in any sport that requires running based movements. We are dedicated to improvement and building durable participants. Our team is filled with resilient, passionate runners who look forward to working hard every single day.
I’m writing blog posts, improving my photo skills for better Instagram pictures and continue to refine the Project’s mission every day. It’s hard work getting off the ground but I know it’s worth it. Building happy, healthy athletes that experience fewer injuries and have successful race days is the most rewarding experience I can ask for.
In addition to building East Coast Run Project this fall, I’ll be kicking off my fall race season with the Rock n Roll Virginia Beach 5k on Labor Day weekend. With a goal to PR at that distance I’m hoping this week’s cooler, less humid weather sticks around or makes a comeback Sunday morning. Next up after rocking through a solid 5k is pacing the 2:00 group at the Morgantown Thirteener. West Virginia will be my 21st state and with ‘mountainous’ terrain, the easy pace should make a solid last long run before my 10k race/taper the next week at Heart of Ghent 10k. Then, before I know it, I’ll be heading into the Wineglass Half Marathon to attempt a new half marathon PR.
Please give East Coast Run Project a follow on Twitter and Instagram!
In the first week of Unbeatable Mind training I filled out a form that featured both three month and eighteen month goals along with the steps I would take to accomplish them. One of those goals was to launch my new running enterprise, East Coast Run Project. I’m really excited about it and can’t wait to help more runners reach their goals each year.
Here’s a little more about what East Coast Run Project is:
East Coast Run Project is the ideal training program for any athlete looking to improve their running skills. Whether you’re working towards a BQ or running the bases more efficiently, ECRP will help you achieve your dreams. Using a completely customized individual plan based on your specific goals East Coast Run Project will guide you to success. Key elements of each plan include sport specific training, strength training, mobility work and building mental toughness. With a focus on hard work and understanding the value of each workout session, ECRP is the guidance you need to reach any running goal you have.
That’s what I’m excited about. Supporting people who are willing to work hard and know that not every day is what you expect but continue to fight for their dreams. Getting the Project launched was a challenge for me. I am a list person. I make a list each morning of what I need to accomplish for the day and love seeing all the things I’ve crossed off by dinner. East Coast Run Project was on my list for quite a while. I struggled with getting organized, figuring out what I wanted the brand to look like and how I would balance it with my personal training clients and blogging. Something as simple as writing down the specific steps I would take to launch ECRP got me quickly to where I felt comfortable putting this new brand out in the world.
I’d love for you to check out the East Coast Run Project website, follow on Twitter and ‘like’ on Facebook. Thanks!!!
There are only a few hours left in March and that makes it past time I update with March 2015 Edition of Right Now. Here are a few of my favorite things as the year’s third month draws to a close, including some solid running, rewarding coaching and good reading.
Running: My Prairie Fire training has been going very well. Rock n Roll DC was a great run, Shamrock was a blast and even though my first 16 miler of the year yesterday was colder than I had hoped at ‘feels like’ 26 degrees with some chilly 10-15 mile-an-hour winds, it was a fantastic run. The wind wasn’t as bad as I expected it to be and I settled into a comfortable pace that left me quite happy. You can check out all of my latest thoughts on my goal spring race here.
Coaching: I have been working with a friend of mine from college who lives in the nice, sunny warmth of Tampa for a few short months. She doesn’t know I’m writing about her, so this lovely lady will remain anonymous today, but I am very proud of her. One of the best things about coaching is being a part of someone’s journey to reach their goal, no matter what it is. This client wanted to shed some unwanted pounds, tone up and run a faster 5k. Since the beginning of the year, she has successfully finished multiple 5ks, her first 8k, her first 15k and her first 10 miler. Watching people fall in love with running is another coaching bonus! She’s looking forward to a RunDisney event soon and I’m excited to be a part of her journey.
Reading: I love Game of Thrones. It’s a wonderful show but, as usual, the books eclipse the film. Because George R.R. Martin is in no hurry to release the next installment in A Song of Ice and Fire, I took the dive into his 300+ page tome, The World of Ice and Fire. It’s loaded with background information on the various houses of Westeros and even though it has difficult moments (hello, family trees!), the story is worth every second. It’s a must read for any fan.
What are your favorites from the last few months? Are you involved with any coaching?