=PR= Distance Training Programs

About 4 months after I had my third baby in 2011, I was ready to begin training for my 7th marathon.  Though I was a fairly experienced runner (having learned from nearly every mistake in the book) and a certified running coach at the time, I really felt that having a coach of my own and training with a group would be extremely helpful to me.  I believed that I could train for and run a marathon in less than 4 hours (my personal best was a 4:35), even though at the same time I knew that this was a tremendously ballsy goal to have as a nursing mom of three.  The fact is, I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself and to have the support and encouragement of others along the way.  In addition to that, I knew that I wanted to learn what it felt like to be coached as a runner, since I am a running coach and believe that is an important perspective to have when working with clients.

I had heard really great things about the training programs offered through my favorite local running store, Potomac River Running.  The head coach of the =PR= Distance Training Program (DTP) happened to be someone who was in my coaching class when I became certified, so I knew her and I understood and agreed with her approach to and philosophy on training and racing.  It seemed like a perfect fit for me.

I signed up and I am telling you – I never looked back.  Joining the =PR= training programs changed my running and to be honest, changed my life.

I made the most amazing friends.  Friends who are my friends for LIFE.  I learned, and am still learning, so incredibly much about this sport that I love so passionately.  I have grown as a runner, and more importantly I have grown as a person.

a wintery track night with the girls

That summer and fall, I took my marathon time from a 4:35 down to a 3:41.  I signed up again in the winter and brought my time down further to a 3:34, qualifying for Boston for the first time in my life – a dream I truly never imagined I would even shoot for.  This fall I ran a 3:25 and in a few weeks I am gearing up to run even faster if all goes as planned.  I have set new personal bests in every distance since joining the =PR= training programs, and I truly believe I still have more ahead of me.  I have no doubt about it, actually.  This whole experience, this whole process, has opened my eyes to the fact that we are ALL capable of so much more than we ever thought possible.  We really, truly are.  And I am not just talking about running faster times.

It is about SO MUCH MORE than that.

The Distance Training Programs are gearing up for the spring marathon season and registration is open now.  I am really excited because this winter I will be an assistant coach for the DTP in Reston with an awesome team of coaches – including my sister Jodi!  This makes me smile ear-to-ear because there is really nothing I love more than helping others discover what they are made of through the sport of running, and sharing in their journey with them.  I cannot wait for training to start in a couple of weeks!

If you are interested in learning more about these awesome programs or if you want to sign up (which I highly encourage you to do!), you can find all of that on the web site HERE.  We are having a kick-off meeting on Sunday, November 25th so now is a good time to sign up!

Have you ever joined a coached training group?  Ever tried one of the =PR= training programs?  What are your training plans for this winter season?

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