What Makes A Coach?

Who said coaches have to run every single second they are coaching? Right?!

I was struggling with running even before I became ill, but I continued to coach as best I could after losing one of my greatest fans and motivators, my mother. I missed a lot of training runs and when I was out there with my group, I fell far behind or had to walk as a result of taking so much time off. There was nothing coach-like about my running and it started to wear on me. I was starting to think I couldn’t even train for my own race, let alone help others with theirs. I felt like I was a disservice to the ladies and gentleman that got out of bed early each and every Saturday to run the miles. I relied heavily on my co-coaches, but also felt like I was letting them down by not being able to help out with the mileage.

I went blubbering and sniffling to our Head Coach one afternoon after leaving work early to try on shoes – or plead for help, whichever you want to believe. And, as it turns out, one of the greatest lessons I learned that day was that it doesn’t necessarily take a great athlete to be a great coach. For me and many others I coach with at MIT the greatest characteristics of a coach in fact have nothing to do with sports technicalities. A great coach is educational, communicative, motivational and passionate. I started to think about all the coaches I had hear people talk about, but that I had never seen or heard of playing the sport itself.

It was American football coach Eddie Robinson who once said, “Coaching is a profession of love. You can’t coach people unless you love them.” I absolutely love the runners I coach. Perhaps it is because I can relate to them on the most basic premise of all: We all started running to change our lives one step at a time. I’ve stood in their shoes – scared, alone and unsure of me as a person let alone a runner, if you even wanted to call me that. I can relate to their setbacks, injuries, hesitations and fears as well as their victories, achievements and pure elation. I remember the first time I ran two, four, six, eight and ten miles. I know how important it is not to let them get lost in what become the basics to many runners. Every step my runners take is a success and I wouldn’t want to be on any other journey than that!

With the 2012 Olympics currently taking place, I’ve been spending some time observing and reading about the relationships between athletes and their coaches. In fact, there have been many studies conducted on the impact of the quality of the coach-athlete relationship on an athlete’s ultimate performance. One of the most recent and compelling studies was done by Penny Wurthner after the 2008 Beijing Olympics as part of the “Own The Podium” initiative of the Canadian Olympic Committee. The purpose of the study was to identify the factors contributing to a successful or even unsuccessful performance from both the coach and athlete’s perspectives.

After interviewing 27 athletes and 30 coaches, five key themes began to emerge from her research:

  1. Athlete self-awareness
  2. Strong coach–athlete relationship
  3. Optimal training environment
  4. Strong financial and human resources support system
  5. Excellent management of the Olympic environment (primarily by the coach and athlete, often with help from the high performance director and consultants in sport psychology and exercise physiology.)

The first three are of particular interest to me, especially the strong coach-athlete relationship, which participants in the study also viewed as the most crucial factor in winning an Olympic Medal or producing a personal best performance. Building a positive and encouraging relationship with the runners in my group is very important to me. It should be a mutual relationship built on open communication and trust. I want the runners in my group to feel comfortable coming to me with questions and concerns just as they are about personal triumphs and achievements. I care about them as individuals, not just as runners and athletes. Similarly, a number of athletes in the study also spoke of the open-mindedness of their coaches and their willingness to listen to what they each needed and thought. They pointed out that their coaches were also open-minded in the sense of being willing to bring other experts into the team, and that they cared for them as individuals.

I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that I am not an Olympian, nor will I ever be. And I don’t foresee myself coaching Olympians either; but the fundamentals of coaching and the coach-athlete relationship is, in my opinion, the same for everyday runners as it is for elites. The goal of a coach should not only be to help an athlete attain their athletic goals and advance in his or her sport, but to make the athlete feel valued, unique and important, thus creating an optimal training environment. This is a critical piece to my coaching style. Every Saturday when we line up to run, sometimes even before the sun rises, I am there for the participants – to help them in their journey to become the best runner – and person – they can be. If I sacrifice my own training to help someone else then I am doing my job as a Coach, as far as I see it.

The study concludes by stating that while coaches must have superb technical skills and knowledge of their sport, it is not the end all, be all of coaching. The author even states in regards to technical performance on the coach’s part, “Is it enough? I would strongly argue that it is not. Competitive sport, particularly at the world and Olympic levels, is so emotional and competitive that athletes also need a coach to support them and care about them, both as athletes and as individuals. And that is what these coaches do. They care about the athletes they coach.”

At MIT we as coaches are motivators, cheerleaders, pace leaders and inspirational beyond compare. My job is to not only coach and manage participants, but to motivate and inspire them as well. And, with the network of resources that are available to me, I have no reservation about referring someone who needs help or specific medical or nutritional information to a readily available expert.

That is why I am proud and happy to announce that I recently became a Fleet Feet Training Program Certified Coach!



And this is not to say that technicalities in running and in other sports are not important. In fact, as part of our certification we also go to attend a good form clinic lead by 2004 Olympian Grant Robison.


Things like good form, proper gear, nutrition and conditioning are important for coaches to know and pass on to their athletes, don’t get me wrong – a good coach should know how to run! But, I don’t believe that is the only thing that makes an effective coach. It is persistence, motivation, passion and kindness most of all.

What do you think? Have you or do you run with a coach? What does or doesn’t make him or her a good coach to you? Is your coach’s ability to run of great importance to you?


Until the next mile marker,

What the #$%! Happened

I quit my job in the non-profit world on Thursday, May 31 and anxiously prepared for a three day weekend before beginning a new job in my field at a local police department. There was a party; there were drinks and even a cake to celebrate my new endeavor.

At least, this was all the news I planned to blog about that weekend. The big announcement, the big surprise. I had been trying to get this particular position for well over a year and it was worth announcing in a whole post, all of its own. You might notice that did not happen.

You may have noticed I apparently dropped off the face of the earth for almost two entire weeks. If it weren’t for a Facebook post, carefully crafted by my loving sister, my whereabouts may have still remained unknown (okay, not really, but you do get the point).



That sounds serious. I guess it was. At least people keep looking at me like it’s a shock to see me still here up and moving around. So, what the hell happened?

June 2 began like any other Saturday morning. Nothing new or different happened. I woke up early to meet my pace group for a two mile run with MIT. I ran two miles with the 13’s in about 28 minutes (I think, I never did upload the data) and enjoyed some great conversation with my friend and fellow Coach Judi. She walked with me to my car at which point, I casually massaged my calf and said it was aching. I told her Duane thought it might be the start of Plantar Fasciitis and gave me some exercises to do. You have to understand, the three of us coaches appear to be pretty unlucky when it comes to injuries, aches and pains so it’s far from abnormal for one, two or even all three of us to be nursing an ailment or injury at any given time. I mean, that’s why we’re the Lucky 13’s, right? I thought so.


I drove home, grabbed something to eat (my famous stir-fry, I think), showered and took a nap. Nothing new or different. I was feeling good, refreshed, excited for the upcoming running season, especially since my calf felt fine by the time I got home.

I slept for an hour and a half or so and woke up early that afternoon. When I sat up in bed, my left side was hurting, especially when I took a breath. Honestly, it felt like a really intense side stitch. I got up anyway, did some stretches (which I thought made me feel better) and went about my day. I stretched out my calf because that was bothering me too. My honest thought? I pulled a muscle on my run or was severely out of shape again. That couldn’t have been farther from the truth.

My husband came home that evening and I was literally propped up on the couch with pillows surrounding me. I don’t quite remember how I got there, but sitting upright was the only thing that eased the pain in my side. He asked if I was okay and I said I was and that I had apparently hurt myself running. He asked if I needed to go to the hospital and I choked out a no. In the back of my mind, I thought something was really wrong, but I figured I needed to rest (Note to self: Never ignore your gut instinct or husband’s concern again).

Let me back up for a moment, I can be am a hypochondriac most days. If something is physically wrong with me, I probably have the worst possible disease or injury known to man. So, naturally, this would be the one time my hypochondriac tendencies fell by the wayside as I decided to “walk it off.” That would turn out to be the worst possible course of action in this situation. (After all, what could possibly be wrong? I was starting a new job on Monday and nothing was going to stand in my way).

I went to bed early, even for me (like 7:00 p.m.) I tried to go to bed early (like 7:00 p.m.), but the thing was, I couldn’t lay down without a sharp pain stabbing into my left side so I lay propped up in a recliner, only dozing off here and there throughout the night. My husband checked on my frequently, but I maintained that I was fine.

And, just like I had anticipated, I woke up Sunday morning feeling much better. I knew it! That couldn’t be farther from the truth, either. I got up from the chair and took about a half a step onto the floor and the pain in calf was excruciating, which made me wince – drawing in a sharp breath – that then sliced through my side like a knife. Still, I was fine and completely convinced I had overdone it on Saturday.

Without going into monotonous detail about all of Sunday (we’ll move right on to the exciting part), all of Sunday went pretty much like this:

Husband: Are you okay?

Me: Yeah, I think so.

Husband: Are you sure you don’t want me to take you to the Emergency Room?

Me: Yes.

Husband: Are you sure? You look like you’re hurting.

Me: I pulled a muscle, I think.

Husband: Really??

Me: Yeah, I’m pretty sure.

And of course, we exhausted internet resources for any information in an attempt to self-diagnose. We ruled out the pancreas, gall bladder, liver, kidneys and heart. We settled on constipation and I kid you not (ask Judi), I made a fresh ginger and cinnamon tea to ease the pain. I was convinced I was feeling better as I drank my third cup. I may have even of had to go to the bathroom.

Sunday evening, we were supposed to go to dinner for my husband and sister’s birthdays’, but as the evening wore on, I started speaking in two or three word sentences, gasping for air with each word. My husband called my father and said we had to cancel, much to my protest. I remember speaking to my dad who asked if I thought I should go to an Urgent Care or Clinic. Good idea, maybe I should. So, at 6:30 on a Sunday night, my husband drove me to CVS, Walgreens and an Urgent Care – all of which closed promptly at 5:00 p.m. My ability to walk was seriously lacking as we walked up to each of these places. I was limping, mostly dragging my left leg because any pressure I put on it was incredibly painful. 

Husband: I told you we should have gone to the Emergency Room.

Me: I’m fine. Let’s just go home. I have to work tomorrow.

Husband: You can’t breath, how are you going to work?

Me: Actually, I can’t walk either.

Husband: You have to let me know what is going on!

Me: I just can’t breath and my leg is killing me!

We drove home in silence and I went back to the recliner. My husband called my Dad again, who proceeded to call our family doctor and briefly explain my situation.

The doctor (Dr. K.), who I now credit with saving my entire life, called me on my cell phone and asked me how I was feeling. Still unable to speak in sentences and completely breathless, I told him about my run Saturday and how I felt like I pulled a muscle so that I couldn’t breath right. He asked me a few questions and said, “I’m not really sure that this is musculoskeletal, Sara.” I told him I thought I could deal with the pain in my side if I could “freakin’ walk!” He asked what I meant by that, and I told him that it felt like someone had the space behind my kneecap in a vice and just wouldn’t stop tightening.

The long silence that ensued took what little breath I had left away.

Me: Do I panic now or later?

Doc: Panicking is not going to help this situation at all. What I do need you to do is drive to the nearest Emergency Room immediately. If you can’t get someone to drive you there, I need you to call 9-1-1.

Me: What?

Doc: You need to go to the hospital and when you get there you need to tell them your primary care physician believes you are at risk for a blood clot that has travelled to your lung.

Me: You mean like a Pulmonary Embolism?!!!! Like I could die??

Doc: I mean a Pulmonary Embolism. Which is very serious, especially for as long as you have been having symptoms. Do you have someone to drive you?

Me: My husband is here.

Doc: Which hospital are you going to? I’ll call your Dad back and tell him.

Me: I can call him.


I don’t remember hanging up the phone. I don’t remember getting out of the chair. I just remember hobbling down the stairs, limping into the living room and telling my husband to take me to the Emergency Room. I remember crying as I shuffled out to the car and I remember how crying just made breathing even harder. I remember feeling like I needed to panic, but I couldn’t. I remember asking my husband if I was going to die and I don’t remember what he said, but I’m sure he said, “No.” What else would you to say to someone who might actually die?

I remember parking outside the E.R. doors and us leaving the car there. I remember going through security and my husband got stopped for a pocket knife. I kept walking. I practically fell onto the reception desk and said to the lady, “I might have a blood clot in my lung. Like a Pulmonary Embolism.” Again, I kid you not, the receptionist said, “Please stand back and wait a moment because I am currently out of printer paper.”

“THIS HOSPITAL RUNS ON PRINTER PAPER?!?!?!?!” I thought to myself.

I stepped back. I hunched over. I started crying harder. My husband joined me after surrendering his weapon and asked me what I was waiting for. Printer paper. It seemed like we waited forever before a guy came around the corner, loaded up the printers and scurried away. “Now, how can I help you?” she asked me.

“I HAVE A PULMONARY EMBOLISM AND I CAN’T BREATH!” I screamed out loud, I know I did because people were staring.

I did not have to wait after that. I was ushered back into the emergency room, past a row of people in the waiting room, and seated in a chair. A nurse listened to my lungs, heart, took my blood pressure, and looked at my leg and a few other things. No one would answer my questions about what was happening. The next thing I knew, I wasn’t allowed to do anything on my own. I got put in a gown, a wheelchair, and then a bed and was wheeled to a room. Tests, tests, test and more tests. An ECG, a chest XRAY, A CT scan, even an IV.

My Dad showed up. I remember he had tears in his eyes. “This must be it,” I remember thinking to myself, “I might be dying.” Waiting, waiting and more waiting. Until almost 2:00 in the morning when the doctor came in and told me I had a blood clot in my left leg (Deep Vein Thrombosis) that broke off and went into my left lower lung quadrant (Pulmonary Embolism). As a result, my leg was blocked and part of my lung was dead. Hence the excruciating pain, which reminded me, I still felt it.

Morphine. I had never had it before. I felt immediate relief.

Husband: Can you breathe better now?

Me: No, but I don’t even care!

Doc: You’re being admitted to the hospital, Sara. You are very sick.

Me: No! I have to start a new job tomorrow!!

Doc: You can’t go to work right now, honey. You’re very sick.

Me: I’m fine!

The next 48 to 72 hours were spent in the ICU and Cardiac ICU. I couldn’t pee on my own, eat on my own (I only half got food into my mouth) or move on my own. Hell, I couldn’t even sleep on my own because they had to give me a pill for that. I definitely couldn’t breathe on my own because I was on oxygen (due to essentially no air going into my lower left lung) and I would remain on it for the next two weeks. I remember nurses and doctors talking over me in distinct yet hushed tones, asking me about my medical history, medications and overall health. I don’t remember what I told them except that nothing like this had ever happened before. The official diagnosis? A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or a blood clot that develops deep inside a larger vein, usually within the lower leg or thigh paired with a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) or a clot that blocks the blood flow to the lung.  

People kept referring to me as “very sick,” “extremely lucky,” and “hanging in there.” They were saying things like, “Bless your heart,” “It’s okay, sweetheart,” and “Take it easy.” More tests, bedpans, doctors, specialists, special specialists and more nurses than I could count.

It wasn’t until I got home that I learned that most people who are going to die from a PE do so within 30 to 60 minutes of the event. Apparently “Since Saturday afternoon,” was not a normal answer to “How long have you been having this pain?” Now I know? PE causes or contributes up to 200,000 deaths annually in the U.S. alone. One in every 100 patients who develop DVT dies, due to a PE. Immediate medical intervention is essential to reduce the risk of death to less than 10 percent. Thank you Doctor K.  

I would spend a total of seven days in the hospital, still mostly unaware of how lucky I was to even be there. I had a partially dead lung, an acute clot in my vein and no idea what would happen next.

Until the next mile marker, 

In Case You Missed It….


 What the #$%! Happened: The Aftermath. What caused this, what my treatment entails and what the future holds for running, my job and life.



Pace Points: Could YOU Have a Blood Clot? Learn more about my symptoms of DVT and PE and how you can help make sure you don’t have to experience the same thing!




“That’s Why I Pray.” God is not finished with me yet – and that’s why I’m still here! Do you believe in the power of prayer to make a difference? Do you believe there is hope when all seems hopeless? Do you believe in better days? I do now more than ever! The lyrics and meaning of this song got me through some seemingly hopeless moments in the days after my discharge from the hospital.

Cap City Half Marathon: A Spectator’s Report

When it came down to it, weather predictions weren’t at all favorable for the Capital City Half Marathon on Saturday. In fact, there was a heat warning issued on Thursday by the race’s medical director. I had decided not to run the race due to my knee injury and missing too many long runs (insert: everything seems to happen for a reason here) and was pretty bummed about it. I watched as the time goals of the runners I knew shifted from going all out for a PR to running based on feel, heat, humidity and hydration. I can’t say I was relieved I wasn’t running, but I did feel like if I had to sit out a race, this particular day was definitely a good one.

Still, there was no way I was going to miss the race. The Lucky 13’s had trained for this day for the last five months, and I was going to be there every step of the way, even if it meant cheering from the sidelines. Which is exactly what I did.
MIT Volunteer Crew, Cap City 2012 S
The temperature was 64 and humidity was 93% at the start. The only thing that made the weather slightly bearable was the fact that it was overcast. I watched as the clouds hung over the city. A part of me wished they would just release rain (or something) to give relief to the runners below. There was not even a breeze. I was pretty miserable just standing outside. It was a tough race, a tough day and tough conditions. Anyone who ran it should be proud. It was a special race to be a part of with a record crowd of more than 13,000 people. 
Seriously, doesn’t it just look miserable?!

We camped out literally right before the finish line – between mile 12 and mile 12.5. We were on an overpass where spectator support was lacking, but a steady incline definitely was not. The Cap City course changed this year to include a new finish line, and I would say it was definitely difficult. We were armed with cow bells, signs and lots of screaming to give runners that last push to finish the race. I was screaming out names on bibs as people flew by – “You can do it, Rachel,” “You’re really almost there, Tom,” “You’re looking great, Angie!” And on it went, for nearly four hours. Several of them looked startled when I called them by name, and some even looked appreciative. 

Me & Jessica with our cow bells. 


More MIT cheering!

 Who wouldn’t pick up the pace to run away from the two of us?!

“Come run with us, we promise you’ll have a blast!”
(Thanks to the source)

I was hoarse, tired and my knee was throbbing by the time it was all over. Still, it was nothing compared to what I saw on the course, people were passing out, stumbling around and throwing up behind bushes. Medical attention was readily available (especially so close to the finish line), though, so I know the people who were suffering got attention as soon as humanly possible. I think I counted four or five people go down just within my sight. There were some moments that were a little scary, but I’ll give it to the Cap City medical team and emergency personnel for working really hard to ensure no one was seriously injured or ill that I saw.   

I am incredibly proud of the 13’s and my other running friends who ran it, especially the first-timers! NOT AN EASY RACE AT ALL!

Me, Amy & Duane. Amy earned a PR!

Me, Nita & Duane. 

Sandy and Stacy during their FIRST Half Marathon!

Wade and Shirley after their FIRST Half Marathon!

Another huge Congratulations to these Lucky ladies. Julie and Sue ran their first full marathon on Sunday at the Flying Pig in Cincinnati. Love these girls – I am so proud of you both!  

Julie & Sue – MARATHONERS!

Vist Elle on Facebook
AND….A huge shout-out to my sailing friend Elle over at Eat Run Sail. She is running her FIRST EVER Half Marathon THIS Sunday!!!! I am so excited for you, Elle, I can’t wait to see pictures of you as you cross that finish line! I have watched you grow as a runner, and I have every confidence in you that you will do this. I just know it! Best of luck to you and The Captain – have a blast!!! I’ll be cheering for you from Ohio.  
What about you? Did you race this weekend? If so, I would love to hear about i! Looking for a race? Check out this week’s Ohio Pace Per Mile Report for some awesome upcoming events. 
Until the next mile marker, 

VIPing It with Cap City

It’s the eve of the big day in Columbus, Ohio. The Capital City Half Marathon, The Patrón Quarter Marathon and the Commit to Be Fit 5k are Officially SOLD OUT at a Cap of 13,000 athletes. There is the familiar buzz of anticipation, excitement and anxiety in the air around town and in the voices of the runners I have known for months now. It’s been building all week

Race Day is finally here! In less than 24 hours, the Lucky 13’s will have crossed the finish line of another half marathon as another session of MIT comes to a close. For many, it is their first half marathon and I couldn’t be more excited about being on the course to cheer for them. They’ve worked hard for this day since December. They’ve trained for months in wind, rain, cold, a little snow and even some warmer temperatures. I couldn’t be more proud of you and the accomplishments they have made. I have watched them conquer what once may have seemed like an impossible task – they’ve run the miles, shown up before the sunrise on Saturdays and kept up training during the week, even when they were feeling discouraged, down, ill or injured.

MIT 13-Min. Pace Group Winter/Spring Session 2012

During a race week, no matter where you are, it is very common to feel anxious and wound up in anticipation of race day.  It is important to relax, though. Worry and tension create fatigue and sometimes illness. So, I have been reminding the runners in our group to take some time this week to do whatever most relaxes them. I remember being completely terrified for my first half marathon, nearly unable to function (I’m really not kidding), but looking back there was no need to stress myself out so much. I followed the same training plan as them, and I made it through – it was the single greatest accomplishment of my life thus far. I have no doubts that the 13’s will also look back on their race with fond and proud memories. Believe in yourselves, ladies and gentleman – because I surely believe in you!

Remember these three things, if nothing else:
  1. HAVE FUN – I’ve had a blast with you on Saturdays so don’t stop enjoying yourselves now!
  2. RUN YOUR OWN RACE – We’re not in it to win it. Our victories come from achieving what others may have said we couldn’t, conquering our inner fears or accomplishing something amazing.
  3. HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TRAINING AND IN YOURSELF – You can do this. Myself and the other coaches have every confidence in you. You are prepared. You are ready. You will succeed!
All this being said – let the party begin! 😉

My co-coach and friend Judi and I hit the expo last night:

After all, who can refuse a great opportunity to SHOP for running gear?

Cool shirt commemorating the Bicentennial!
LOVE THIS! Front. 

And hang out with the best running friends ever?

Nita, Judi & Me

And I must day, Cap City does it right. The Diamond Cellar, yellow tail bubbles Sparkling Wine and New Balance provided a unique opportunity to upgrade your Capital City Half Marathon registration and get the total VIP experience! We were both grateful and ecstatic for the opportunity. I for one was not disappointed. It was so much fun.

The Total VIP Experience:

The New Balance VIP Official Cap City Jacket. Very nice – black with a sleek logo on the back.

Doesn’t Michael take lovely pictures of my back side?

Love the race shirt! It’s the city’s bicentennial. 

At the Cap City Celebration Lounge you receive the official Yellow Tail Sparkling Wine Flute with race logo that you may fill up as many times as you like during the Cap City Health & Fitness Expo. 

“Yes, Sara, Champagne does count as carb-loading!” – Judi
An invitation to the Champion Panel and VIP Reception from 6–8pm on Thursday, May 3 for the Official toast to kick off the 2012 Capital City Half Marathon.

Free race day parking.

Access to the VIP Tent with catered breakfast and lunch and private bathrooms.

Now that the day is almost here, I am sad I’m sad I have decided not to run tomorrow. With my knee injury, being sick for two weeks and just resuming physical therapy and training this week, I decided it would not be smart for me to run. I haven’t had a solid long run this season, no more than eight miles, and I just feel like I am extremely under-prepared for this race. NO MATTER HOW MUCH I WANT TO RUN, I SHOULD NOT. Please tell me I am doing the right thing. I’m pretty bummed, not running  is always hard to handle. Especially for me.

I will be on the course – start, middle and finish – tomorrow to cheer everyone on! I can’t wait. It’s the next best thing to running. 😉 Still, I will miss being out there with all of you who are running.  
Best of luck tomorrow, friends. Have fun, believe in yourself (I do!) and run your own race! I can’t wait to hear all about it. Run well, run strong, run safe and stay hydrated. Rest up. Tomorrow is going to be a great day! 🙂

Until the next mile marker,

Run the Edge Meet, Greet & GIVEAWAY!

<< Please note: I originally planned for this giveaway to run for a week, but miscalculated the dates, it is open until March 25!! >>

I am frequently amazed at the opportunities I have been granted since I became involved with the Central Ohio running community. After all, being a part of MIT and Fleet Feet Sports has led to some pretty amazing things. I have met running legends such as Bart Yasso and Kathrine Switzer. I have access to coaches, athletes, and knowledgeable medical staff through a training program that is unlike any other in the country. And, I have made friends that have stood by me no matter what.
Run the Edge
Most recently, I was more than fortunate to hear a presentation by Olympian Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano about their new book Run the Edge. Not only that, I got to meet Adam and Tim, interview them on the spot for Pace Per Mile Radio and have their book signed! So exciting.
If you don’t know already, Adam and Tim’s relationship is a testament to the power of running to bring people together over a common bond that is not easily broken. They were teammates for only one year in college at the University of Colorado, but they formed a friendship and shared passion for running that has never faded. Run the Edge unites this passion with over forty years combined running experience, including Adam’s thirteen years of professional running and Tim’s fifteen years as a Psychology teacher and coach. Talk about impressive; enough to make someone slow like me anyone nervous to meet them.
What I didn’t know was these guys are about the nicest, kindest, funniest, most down-to-earth people you will ever meet in your life. I felt like I knew them from the moment we sat down during the interview and the nerves faded away as we began to talk. Amazing. Their distinct passion for running and motivating others to run prevails above all else. It doesn’t matter to them if you are fast, slow, big, small, competitive or not – we are all runners and they make it known that we are all part of the same running family. Positivity and encouragement just radiated from these guys.
In their presentation, Adam and Tim talked about the mirrors of distance running and how utilizing them can help you reach your maximum potential both in running and in life. The mirrors they talked about were Initiative (make someday today); Adaptability (know when to bend and know the line between tough and stupid); Responsibility (there is no one else who can do it for you); and Accountability (say it out loud, make written goals and put them where you can see them.
Lisa, Heather & Me before the show. Lisa got to dinner with Adam & Tim too!
The most valuable part of their presentation for me was when they discussed the “Courage to Start.” It is a point that resonates with me still. If the only thing that is stopping you from getting started is getting started then what are you waiting for? Make today the day you decide to change your life. I did almost three years ago when I joined a local boot camp to shed excess pounds and then decided to run a half marathon on a whim (I found MIT once I realized I had no idea how one actually trained for that kind of thing). Once I took the first step, the rest just seemed to fall into place – running, racing, strength training, eating smart and getting healthy. Still, I have rough days (or weeks or months) and asking myself what is stopping you, Sara? is still important. As Tim and Adam said, “Your journey begins today and again tomorrow and again the day after that!” I thoroughly enjoyed every second of their presentation. They told stories, read from their book and used funny and informative slides to emphasize their points.
The next day, Adam and Tim came out to meet us for our morning run and they couldn’t stop talking about how exciting and amazing it was to see so many people up and ready to run on a Saturday morning. They even took video of us because they said people back home might not believe them! I was lucky enough to meet up with Adam out on the trail (he was walking due to recovering from knee surgery) and we talked about knees and training while injured.
A pep talk before we run! 
Then, I raced over to Fleet Feet (in my car of course) to meet up with Adam and Tim for an interview for Pace Per Mile Radio. If you missed that, you can find it HERE.

Adam, Me & Tim
Now for the part you’re really interested in – the GIVEAWAY! You know I wouldn’t forget my lovely readers. How would you like your very own signed copy of Run the Edge? I thought so. Here it is:

All you have to do is leave me a comment letting me know you would like to win by Sunday, March 25. I will randomly choose the winner and make the announcement here on Monday, March 26. That’s it! Good luck to each and every one of you.
Until the next mile marker,
 Please note, this book was purchased with my own funds and graciously signed by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano on Saturday March 10, 2012. I was not compensated in any way for this posting.
Get Connected:
You can purchase your own copy of Run the Edge HERE and follow Adam and Tim’s adventures on Facebook HERE. Stay up to date with my Pace Per Mile reports HERE and on Facebook HERE.