Monday, October 20, 2014

On Running

When I was in 6th grade, my older sister took me for my first ever run.  She is four years older than me and was already running on the high school cross country and track teams.

I'm pretty sure I hated it.  Running is hard, after all.  And I'm sure I was out of shape.  But I wanted to run 7th grade track, so I kept at it.  Funny how one small decision can define the course of your life, even if, at the time, it doesn't seem like a big deal at all.

I did run 7th and then 8th grade track.  I was nothing special certainly, but it was fun and I made some friends.  For someone who was (and still is!) awkwardly shy, making some new friends was all the reason in the world to continue to run.

In 1993 (yep, I'm that old), I was a freshman in high school.  I was super excited to run cross country that fall.  By that point, I loved being on a team for the friendships, but I had also fallen in love with running itself.

That love affair would last for the next 20+ years, and continues today.

That freshman year that I spoke of?  We won the State CC Championships.  I was the 5th runner on the team.
My teammates have always been my closest friends.
On any given Saturday in the fall...
I know you love the mesh basketball shorts!  Uniforms have changed a bit these days...
I know the picture is out of focus, but I keep this one to remind myself that I AM capable of some knee lift...
Cross country can be muddy.
We were probably supposed to be warming up, but instead we were fooling around on the bus.
This scenario played out often in my HS races.  I would lead for a long time and then Chrissie would outsprint me to the line.  I never had much giddy up and go.

After that freshman year, I made another conscious decision that also changed the course of my life.  I decided that I wanted to be the very best I could be at running.  Which meant working hard and making some sacrifices.  From there I started to win a few races and decided I wanted to run in college.  In the fall of 1997, I headed off to Penn State to continue my running career.

Either my freshman or sophomore year of college, NCAA Nationals was held at the University of Kansas.  This here is Jim Ryan and I.  :)
The 3 Beths: myself, my coach Beth, and my teammate Beth.

I didn't have to search hard to find a picture of Kim and I running together.  We've (literally) been running in the same circles for years.  :)
Running not only gave me amazing friends and some of my best memories, but it also gave me my husband.  My teammate introduced me to Oscar when I was a sophomore in college.

In 2001, I competed in my last Big 10 Championship and Oscar made the drive (with Kim's mom, no less!) from Penn State to Indiana University to watch me race.

After college, I continued to run.  Because running is one thing I know how to do.  And because I love it.

A particularly cold race...
One of my best friends and college teammates and I, after running the Cleveland Marathon together.  This is still my stand alone marathon PR, although I've since run faster in an Ironman.
Finishing a local half marathon.
Of course now I focus more on triathon.  Luckily I still get a good dose of running with tri training!  But it's safe to say, running will always be my first love.

This past May, Jesse and Tim of QT2 approached me about taking on the run coaching portion of the business, Your 26.2.  I was thrilled!  And super excited and thankful for the opportunity.  Coaching others who share the same passion for running as me?  And they pay ME to do this?  DEAL!!  Although at first I wasn't sure I was qualified, I then realized I've been training a lifetime for this job.  From the time I went on that very first run with my sister, almost 25 years ago, to now and all the years, miles and memories in between.  Running sure has been good to me.


  1. congrats BETH!!! I loved coaching and i know you will be excellent at it. You do it already with your business its just a different discipline!

  2. This is one of my fave updates of yours. Sometimes life takes us over, and we lose track of who we are, and here you let us in.

    You know I have liked you for a long time, and it wasn't for any other reason, but I clicked with you. Many times I could relate to you, and I don't know all the reasons. We definitely are not the same people, but we both have a History, and it probably is an important part of who we are. :)

    xo :)

  3. You are going to be an amazing coach!! Also, that third to last picture - SO COLD!! Frozen, for REAL!

  4. Congrats to you-on both Kona and coaching! I enjoyed following you on race day and was super excited to see you finish! Best wishes to you on this new journey with Your 26.2!

  5. beth - this is a great spin-off of QT2 and it's so exciting you are leading the charge. you will be great! i quit triathlons this year due to back pain but after months of yoga and strength training, i am missing the running, so just hired a boston-based running coach! wishing you the best with this new endeavor! - kim k.

    1. so i am watching the coverage of IM mont tremblant, looking for you, and there you were! looking good lady!!!! - kim k.