Recent events have allowed me to re-evaluate my priorities and to decide that it was time to put running back on the front burner. Digging deep and searching for direction, I realized how important running and coaching were to me and these are interwoven with my very core, my soul. Many people have contacted me asking for running help and advice over the years and I’ve happily helped and advised them to the best of my ability. Finally I realized that I have enough knowledge, experience, ability, and responsibility to not only help those who ask for it to the best of my ability but with a bigger capacity to help more people more deeply. With social media and technology, the ability to help more runners improve their lives and healthy lifestyles is even greater.
So earlier in June of this year, I traveled to Hyannis, Massachusetts for the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) certification class for running coaches. It was the first time I have ever been in Massachusetts so that was exciting. Many of my classmates for the course were from other states although there was a high concentration of New Englanders. Somehow the Texans and the lone Nebraskan garnered the instructor’s attention (“even Nebraska”). Also, as an attorney, I became one of the sources for legal knowledge on liability issues during the course.
Arriving the day before, I took the train from Boston to Hyannis, MA. It was easier to figure out how to do that than to figure out the buses. I flew from Omaha to Boston, then the train to Hyannis. It was fun to ride the train, kind of an old-time throwback. Families were traveling on the train with their kids. Dogs were on the train, reminding me of our dog.
Made it to the hotel on a shuttle bus after departing the train. Settled in for the night.
On Saturday morning, I got up early to run (of course!) so I could locate the Cape Cod Community College, the site where we were learning. I found the CCCC and took some pics. Then walked there with plenty of time. But could not find the right building. At least one other attendee had the same problem, so together we were able to navigate and find the site. The instructor asked us latecomers: what underwater animal are you? Easy answer: SHARK! I chuckled when I saw the name of the building having “Maureen Murphy” on it (my aunt’s name, Sr. Maureen Murphy, Franciscan nun), it was like having my family with me in a special way.
We had a full day of learning on Saturday. Came back to the hotel and ran again. We had some homework (periodizing workouts for a couch to 5k runner and a runner trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon). Later that night, due to strong thunderstorms, my entire hotel lost power. Not fun! Fortunately, I had our iPad which was charged so I was able to use that for illumination. On Sunday, we had another full day of class. Since I failed to run Sunday AM, I ran Sunday night. Then I decided to run Sunday night and try not to get lost but left my phone in the room to charge. Unfortunately, I got lost running in Hyannis after finding the Harbor. Asked for directions, was able to get rerouted to the “Circle” near the airport. Only they didn’t call it a circle. They called it Rotary. This reminded me of the Rotary Club. It looked like a large circle, larger than we see in Nebraska.
It was great to meet so many accomplished runners, many who had already been coaching/fitness instructors but were doing this to make it official. Others like me were changing career paths so we listened attentively. Many had run the Boston Marathon before or annually. One classmate was training for a 100 mile race. Great discussions and friendships formed.
Thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learned a lot even about running form which came in handy recently during the 10 mile race.
Returned home. Studied for the exam (even during vacation). Took the 100 question test. Passed it. Then I took first aid and CPR to get certified at the YMCA in Lincoln. Sent in my certification card. Shortly after that, on July 22, 2015, the day after my birthday, RRCA notified me that I was officially a RRCA certified running coach. Euphoria and happiness filled me!
I am looking forward to helping as many people as possible through as many ways as possible (in person, virtual, Periscope). Very excited about the future and coaching people to the next level, magnifying their running experience into something truly wonderful. If you perhaps need a running coach or know someone who does, please feel free to let me know. Thank you!