The Other Side of Racing…

You guessed it (or maybe not)…coaching.

I’ve known for a long time that I want to coach triathlon, running, and strength. Why you might ask?? I could go on for hours about why, the list is LONG. I’m going to try and make this short and sweet…

I love the feeling of being fit and fast. I love setting goals for myself, working hard to meet those goals, and then trying to put everything together on race day to accomplish them. I love doing things that most people don’t even dream of. I love dreaming. I love pushing myself beyond my set “limits”, embracing the suck (thanks Coach Jen Harrison), and suffering. I love triathlon, it’s that simple. All of these things make me feel alive and when I’m happiest. I’ve been blessed to work with THE most amazing coach for the past 4 years (see above, Jen Harrison) who has taught me all of this, and I want to do the same for others.

I was lucky enough to be given that opportunity this year with 2 new athletes.

Side note…for those of you who don’t know, I went and received my USAT Level 1 Coaching Certification last October in Kona and have slowly been dreaming this coaching business into life. The pieces are starting to come together, and I’m loving it! My coaching business is called FIT Coaching, and little by little it’s becoming exactly what I had hoped for…

 Thanks for the logo Mattie P!!
Thanks for the logo Mattie P!!

Ok, I’m back. So these 2 athletes…I was stoked when they approached me about coaching. Stupid excited. They were both very new to racing, and had both registered for the Chicago Marathon. And NO, they didn’t know each other…just a coincidence 😉 Both had never run a marathon, and one of my athletes had never done a triathlon (or a century ride) but wanted to do both (including a 70.3). They were two totally different athletes as well…one was a masters male with past injuries and the other a younger female with young kids. We started working together early spring with plenty of time to get ready for the Chicago Marathon and their other “B” priority races.

It was so much fun to live through their training and racing all spring and summer. First triathlon, first century ride, and MANY firsts with distances for their long runs. Every weekend was another “win” making it to 18, then 20…you get the point. I loved talking through their long run/race day nutrition, gear choices, race plans, and of course the VERY few mini-meltdowns. It totally took me back to my first few years of racing. Loved every single minute of it.

Before I knew it the Chicago Marathon was here. I felt like a mom all weekend. Talking with both athletes, making sure they were eating enough, staying off their feet…total nag. On race day, I couldn’t stop tracking them. Sending texts I knew they wouldn’t get until later, and SO excited to see them both finish with GREAT races. Then came the post race recaps and phone calls I received. Made me cry to hear how well their days went, how great they felt to accomplish this goal, and how thankful they were to work with me. I’m crying even as I write this. This was it, this is exactly why I want to coach (see above). Having the opportunity to have a positive effect on their lives, it’s so gratifying.

Ashley post Chicago Marathon - could she be any cuter?!  OH!  And why does she do this??  To set a good example for her kids.  Adorable.  And yes, I had her permission to post this ;)
Ashley post Chicago Marathon – could she be any cuter?! OH! And why does she do this?? To set a good example for her kids. Adorable. And yes, I had her permission to post this 😉

Then came this…

 Ashley finishing her first half at IM 70.3 Austin with her husband.
Ashley finishing her first half at IM 70.3 Austin with her husband.

The email I received following this race was so touching. Hearing how excited she was, how emotional it was for her to finish…it really doesn’t get any better than this. For the athlete or coach.

So what’s next for FIT Coaching?? I’m getting all of the pieces in place…Facebook, Twitter, and hopefully a website soon. Oh, and more athletes. Duh 😉

Very much looking forward to many, many more experiences like I had this summer with two incredible athletes.