Imagine spending your life working towards checking off the boxes of a list entitled “Things I need to do to be happy.” Go to graduate school, check. Get married, check. Get a great job out of grad school, check. Buy a house, check. Make an adorable baby, check check. Take time off from work to raise sweet baby girl, check. Perfecto! Happy wife, happy life, right?
But what happens if you complete your to-do list and are still feeling rather lost and not completely fulfilled?
Personally I found that things that should have left me feeling emotionally fulfilled left me feeling a little lost and puzzled. For example even though I absolutely loved learning about clinical psychology in graduate school the practical application of in-home child and family services often made my heart shudder and head spin. Working with families in such extreme distress started to wear on me emotionally as I often wanted to just fix many of my clients’ extremely complicated social, emotional and financial problems. But life isn’t ever quite as easy as a simple fix, is it?
After I had Lillian I figured that motherhood would leave me feeling accomplished, happy and utterly fulfilled in life. I mean, I brought a tiny life form into the world to love, nourish, protect and teach. How couldn’t I feel fulfilled? In many ways mommyhood did fill several of the emotional gaps that I had been yearning for, and yet still somehow I yearned for more. Commence phase one of mommy guilt. I didn’t know what to do or what path to take in life so I ran. I went from 5K to marathon in 11 months in 2013 and miraculously qualified for Boston. I ground myself into the pavement as I searched for the answers. What I soon came to realized was that running empowered me. It made me feel strong, capable and confident. After each training run I kept saying to myself, “THIS is what you’ve been searching for Kass.” Without realizing it I had stumbled upon a new passion and sudden career twist.
At my core I want to inspire, teach and empower others throughout my life. These experiences are inherently highlighted in my parenting relationship with Lillian and were even present at times in my experiences as a psychotherapist, yet as mentioned earlier something was still absent. It wasn’t until I hired my own running coach that I began to understand the value that a running coach can bring to someone’s training and overall outlook on life. My personal one-on-one coach, Beth Shutt from Your26.2 not only inspires me to strive for higher goals, but also gives me the proper tools and teaches me how to get there. She motivates and empowers me by crafting workouts that are physically and mentally challenging but also just a wee bit outside of my comfort zone. She knows how to push me to the edge without pushing me over. She knows how to make me bend without breaking. She helped me accomplish my goals of breaking 20 minutes in the 5K, staying focused on training runs and working on reaching goals without burning out emotionally.
Well before I started working with Beth and Your26.2 I was interested in becoming a run coach. That being said our work together has solidified my passion for this career twist with unlimited possibilities. While I started with just one athlete last winter my one-on-one coaching business has significantly grown! Last spring I was fortunate enough to work with 12 talented athletes from all across the country (several from sunny San Diego/LA, New Jersey, North Shore Boston 🙂 and even Virginia). I have worked with each and every athlete to assist them in reaching their running goals at varying distances. One of my female athletes in her 30’s took 12 minutes off her PR at the Wineglass Marathon, while another female athlete (40’s) Boston Qualified by 12 minutes and had a 13 minute PR at Baystate Marathon in Lowell, MA. Also just last week one of my male athletes (age 43) ran and won the Madison Half Marathon in Connecticut with a 1:15:57 run time (just 10 seconds off of his half marathon PR he set 20 years ealier).
I am also working with runners who are earlier on in their running journey. Several of my athletes are working towards their first 5K race or just trying to find a groove out there on the road. Albiet newbies these athletes are passionate and motivated for change in their lives. Their hunger is intoxicating and I am honored to coach them through this life changing experience.
Over the past 2 weeks my inbox has been flooded with coaching inquiries, so I thought I’d take a minute to explain what I do and how I work:
The Lone Runner Coaching Services:
- I gain a detailed history from the athlete including but not limited to the following: run/athletic background, previous/current injuries.
- Create a custom training plan (either to heart rate or pace, however you choose to train) to your current fitness level, plans created in 4 week blocks to allow for plan to evolve along with athlete’s progress.
- Create a race pace/fueling plan for the athlete’s goal race.
- Communicate with athlete on a daily basis. Each athlete will email me a daily workout submission to which I will do my best to respond within 24 hours, unless otherwise notified. In these workout submissions athletes often vent frustrations and ask questions about training.
- Teach athlete about the significance of proper recovery techniques which in turn will improve future workouts!
- Troubleshoot any issues that arise (emotional, physical, schedule) that may impede training.
- Motivate, encourage and inspire AWESOME runners to meet their goals on a daily basis!!! Yep, my job is pretty darn awesome!!
Essentially, I view my role as a coach as to (1) provide the training structure and plan that will keep you engaged and challenged without pushing too hard and leaving you burnt out and (2) to help guide you through the sometimes emotional, challenging and confusing process that is marathon training. It’s snowing- how do I get my workout in? How do I best adjust my training plan to maximize my workouts but also be able to fly out on a Saturday morning (or something like that)? What should I be eating post run to aid in recovery? How often should I change my shoes? Do you have any shoe recommendations for me? ~ I have gotten all of these questions and more from my athletes. While it is recommended that athletes email me daily, some choose to only check in a few times a week when questions arise. Either way I am here to answer any and all questions that you may have- and I do my best to respond to all emails within 24 hours of receipt.
This career twist has been an insanely rewarding experience. Working with others to help them reach goals they never thought possible simply doesn’t get old! 🙂 While I will not “plug” my coaching services too too often on this blog, I am always on the lookout for other passionate athletes who are ready to challenge themselves- and I’ll be honest- I won’t get athletes if I don’t mention that I coach :). Sooooooo…
If you or anyone you know may be interested in working with me as your one-on-one running coach please don’t hesitate to email me with additional questions about my fees and services. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Never Stop Running,
Kass/ The Lone Runner