Making Moves in the Off-Season

Hanging up my racing shoes for a little bit and focusing on other goals in the off-season.

When I wrote down my personal running goals for 2018, they looked a little bit like this…

  1. Break 1:40 in the half marathon
  2. Qualify for and be accepted into the Boston Marathon
  3. Run the year in miles (2018 in 2018)

I am proud to say that I accomplished those first two, sometimes a few times over (I would go on to run a 1:37, 1:36, and 1:35 half in 2018). However, after marathon season was over, I was left feeling a little down because I no longer had something to be working towards. I am a very goal-oriented person and the only goal left on my list was to run 2018 miles in 2018. Because of my hamstring/adductor muscle strains that set me back for a month, I recognized that this goal was going to have to be put on the back-burner for this year because resting and starting 2019 injury-free was more important to me than trying to catch up for missed time in October; sadly, I had been a little ahead of my goal until October’s injuries set in.

Feeling down between not being able to run and not having any goals for the rest of the year, I had time to think about the other areas of my life that haven’t received as much of my attention during a busy training cycle but deserved my time of day. I set new goals for this…

  1. Figure out my career situation and make a move that would make me happier
  2. Obtain my coaching certification from the RRCA
  3. Develop a business model and plan to be able to take on athletes for the 2019 season

Having these newly cemented goals in mind helped me focus my time and energy on other areas of my life rather than dwell on what I couldn’t do. Thanks to focus, perseverance, and the power of prayer, I am happy to report that I’ve made big strides on these goals since October.

I took my unhappiness with my current job into my own hands and began seeking out new opportunities at the company I work for. I recognized that I liked the culture of my current employer but that the role I was in was causing much of my unhappiness. I was able to land a new job in a different department, negotiating a slight raise, in a role that is going to allow me to utilize more of my marketing skills on top of my analytical background. While the offer has officially been signed, I’m still waiting to move over to the new group as I transition out of the old one, but it’s giving me a light at the end of the tunnel after what seemed like months of total darkness.

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Gaining strength through motivational books to make a change in my professional life and lead to overall happiness.

In mid-October, I also took the RRCA Coaching Certification class to become a certified running coach. It would require taking an exam after the course and a hands-on CPR and First Aid certification course but on October 31st I was officially recognized as a certified coach and am excited to work with athletes on their own running goals! I have always known that I wanted to coach other runners after having such a positive experience with my running coaches in high school. I didn’t realize just how big the market was for post-collegiate coaching until the last year and was excited that just because I wasn’t working in a school that I could still be a coach to other runners.

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RRCA Coaching Certification Book with the Road Runner
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RRCA Coaching Class in Downers Grove, IL

That being said, since obtaining my coaching certification at the end of October, I have been working hard on getting my business up and running to be able to take on athletes with Spring 2019 goals. I have begun my work to set up my business as an LLC and to work through a business model to operate the most efficiently and effectively. I am thankful for having a business background to help with the implementation and operations of my business and for my dad who is a lawyer to help me through the legal aspects of owning your own business (aka the not so fun part about being a business owner but one of the most important pieces). I have had a few people reach out to me asking when I will be taking on athletes and I am beyond flattered by this; my goal is to start working with athletes for their Spring 2019 goals and outlining plans in December. I want to make sure that before I take on athletes, however, that I am fully set up to create the best experience for my athletes. This means having a well-designed website with information about services, a tool to share an athletes’ weekly plans through, and having all of the backend pieces of a business set up (i.e. LLC formation, contracts, insurance, income-tax information, etc.). There is a lot that goes into starting your own business and as much as I want to start working with athletes already, I want to do this right so that everyone involved has a positive experience.

My running shoes may have been getting some time off this Fall as I recuperated from an intense 2018 training cycle and injury post-season but I still feel busier than ever between switching jobs at work and working to get my business up-and-running by December. These are busy, but also very exciting times and it’s hard to believe 2018 is almost over. As crazy as it sounds, I’m a bit thankful that my injury happened when it did because it forced me to slow down and remember to focus on other areas of my life that were in need of my attention. Don’t get me wrong, it’s been tough to see friends out there doing long runs in the Fall and getting to enjoy this great time of year in Chicago for running but as soon as I accepted my “fate” I was really able to hone in on the rest of my goals that were just as important to me as my personal running goals and actually make a difference in my daily life. I’m hoping that with the new job I will be happier and have a better work-life balance which in turn will allow me to be the best athlete and coach that I can be in 2019. 2018 has been one heck of a grand adventure and it’s not over yet! I hope that in a few weeks I’ll be writing a new post that says I’m ready to start working with athletes because I’m so excited to help others chase their unicorns in 2019.