5 Days Of Marketing to Grow Your Group

Monday:  Grab your partners. When I was first starting out, I went to this huge group run gathering for a half marathon training run. There must have been 200 people crammed in this building all there to train for the Seattle half marathon. The organizer came up to the front of the room and gave the house keeping notes, and then turned the meeting over this young charismatic guy names Ty. He was the manager of the local running store in town, and he talked about getting the proper running shoes and how their store is there to help them out and get them set up, running wise. Being a new coach, I was like, “I gotta meet this guy!”

 I shyly went up to him and asked, “hi, I am a brand new running coach for beginner runners and wondering if it’d be ok if I could put some business cards up at your store and have you talk to my group? I would love to recommend your store to my new people who are new to the sport, and need help getting outfitted.” 

I paused and waited for him to laugh at me, cause I felt like an impostor and didn’t think he would take me seriously. Instead, he smiled and said, ‘Of course! That sounds perfect, and we love new runners.” (Cause why wouldn’t they, they love new customers!) That exchange happened 12 years ago, and we are still a tight knit business buddies. I am so grateful for a reliable place to send my new runners to, and they love taking care do them, and helping them get fitted. 

Monday Action: Partner up with a local, like minded company. You can cross promote each others businesses. 

Name 3 business that you admire, and think you would be a good match to cross promote each others services or goods. 

Think about the kind of people that shop at these places and if they are the same kind of people would be interested in your business. 

Can you make it a priority to call or visit one of the above places and chat them up and see if you could help each other out?

Tuesday: Ask your current (happy) clients to recommend you to their network

“I love you so much” “You completely changed my life” “I would never be where I am today without you” “You look amazing in those pants.”

This is just a touch of things I hear on a daily basis. Well, maybe not daily, but I do hear now and then, and it sure feels good. Like, really good. I when I get that kind of feedback, I am so humbled and grateful to hear it. It just makes me feel like this is what I was meant to do. I also do a little thing when people say nice things, I say thank you and all of that, of course, but I also through in, please tell your friends. Or if I get an e-mail with nice things included, I ask if I can use this as a testimonial. Another extra points thing I do is ask them if they are part of a group or club where they can share my information. I have a pastor in my running group right now, and she loves me, and people listen to her. I asked if there was a way she can share my information with her church. She was happy to, and I got 3 clients out of that, and I think I also get some points in for getting into heaven. (Lawd knows I need it ūüėČ But it was a natural and easy exchange and it paid off. 

 Another example is my lawyer clients. They literally love to talk and convince people that they are right about stuff. I had one happy lawyer client who told or convinced 2 of her lawyer friends, and they told two friends, and so on, and so on. It was awesome. 

Tuesday Action Item. Write down 5 of your happiest clients and send them a little note, saying hi, and if they wouldn’t mind sharing your information with other colleagues, partners, club members, congregation. People are happy to help, and want you to do good. 

Wednesday: Are you a member of a club? When I first started my business, I had also just had my baby, and was a part of this new moms support group cause we were all so tired and needed adult human interaction club. It was great. Every mom except for 1 had joined my group, because they wanted to support me, and be around each other on another non-baby related experience. 

Wednesday action item: If you are a member of a group, announce to your group what you are up to, that you are looking for new members. Or if you don’t belong to a group, sign up for one. You can find a lot of like minded groups on Meetup.com or small business groups. 

Thursday: You are standing in line to use the bathrooms at your local coffee shop and you eyes meet a wall of business cards for local small businesses. Or if you go to a yoga or spin class, you might see a small pile of postcards for local small businesses. It’s a nice way for people to actually take away your information and it can be done on the cheap. Another good strategy is to put them in places where you think your future clients might be, like chiropractors office, physical therapist, or beer halls. (these are usual places I hang out as a runner)

Thursday action item: Create a postcard with what you do, where you are located, (or like to meet people) and hot to contact you. Also think about putting a picture of you in your element or a picture with some of your happy clients (with their permission of course). One of my favorite online free tools for design is Canva, and it’s super easy to use. The print them out yourself or at your local print store and go out to 2-3 places and leave a stack. Print and repeat. 

Friday: Happy Hour Run! In Seattle we have a plethora of breweries. In one square mile in one part of Seattle called Ballard, there are 15 breweries. And do you know who gets thirsty? Runners! So we use to do a end your week with a run and  a pint on a monthly basis. It was a great way for the runners get to know each other and Host a post work happy hour run once a month and make it recurring every month. You can end at a brewery or a place with a good happy hour. You can give tips, and make it inclusive and fun. Make sure you let  people know that you are sponsoring it, and that you are looking for new clients and offer them a happy hour special on your services. 

Friday action Item: Ask 3-5 of your friends, clients or both to join you the first Friday for a post work run and keep it recurring every week. You can also do a Sunday morning bRunch group with a run and a post run brunch option.

Are You A Pro At Procrastination?

   “Wait, I have to write that e-mail. OH! And then I have to check to see if I have coffee. And then I really should completely clean out the garage, and after that, I should go for a run. But right before I do that, I need to eradicate world hunger, then run. And find a cure for cancer. OK: So, I am just going to send that e-mail, see if I have coffee, clean out the garage, eradicate world hunger, cure cancer‚ĶTHEN I will get myself out the door and go run. Wait. Is that a sore throat I feel? Where is my other sock? Maybe it’s the flu. I probably shouldn’t run, cause I will be too tired from the cancer-curing and hunger saving, and I think it might rain later, and I can’t find my stupid sock.” 

  Anyone else has had this conversation in their head like this before trying to go get a run in? A whole avalanche of excuses come cascading down your day and it doesn’t seem to happen? Or you start finding things to do before you get out the door? Well, maybe not you but I do all the time. Also, after coaching new runners for over a decade, I have heard all of the excuses that I am even impressed when I hear one I haven’t told myself. “Oh, you have to stay at home to clean your gutters instead of run. Huh? Ok. That seems like something important and needs to be done immediately instead of running.” (I am still working on not saying this with heavy sarcasm. I will let you know if it’s possible) You may ask yourself, “what’s my deal?” Well, your brain is in charge at that moment and wants to find safe things to do instead of going out to the scary out of doors where there might be lions, tigers or bears, and finds excuses not to run. But hold on to your tiger print pants, I have help. Oh my! 

   There are many of the barriers that stop new runners, but for each little excuse, I have a sack of solutions that will help your brain and your body to get out there and get your running groove on. I like to think of them as a pre-run checklist for new runners. It’s to gently let your head know that we are going to do this “fun” thing called running and it’s going to be awesome. Maybe think of it as a pre-flight preparation. You aren’t just going to shoot up in the air magically, you need to get the captain on board, and the crew and all those little bottles of booze. Here are 5 steps to help get your head all on board with your new running lifestyle. Welcome aboard, we’re so happy you have chosen to fly with us. 

Step 1. Treat Yourself Like A 5-Year-Old. But your clothes out the night before. Pick a time that you are going to head out for your run and set a million reminders on your phone, coo-coo clocks and wake up calls. Tell all your friends that you are going to run so you don’t run into them later and that awkward moment comes up where you tell them that you didn’t run. Trust me, it’ll be easier just to go run.  

 Step 2. Break The Door Down. The front door is a maybe an impenetrable steel door, with spiders on it and surrounded by boo-bee traps. But you, as a runner, have to find a way to get past that door and get outside. It will feel impossible, but once you pass that you are gold. Just tell yourself you are going on a 5-minute jog, and see how you feel after that. This works like magic! 

Step 3. The Crappy First Mile. Please know that the first 10 minutes will always be bad. Always! It’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s a fact. Your body is working on getting used to moving, and your head is not on board yet. Think of your body as a cold car in the morning. When you turn the key and get that engine running, it’s trying to warm up, get all the fluids to where they need to go, get the heater going so you get warm and then push that hunk of steel across the road. And the older the car, the more it might protest. I am not calling you an older car though! You are one of those lean Italian numbers with the leather seats. Anyway, it’s pretty much the same thing. 

Step 4. Keep Your Head Busy. Download your favorite book to listen to on your run. Pick out a playlist that will pump you up and want to get moving, or listen to one of the new bazillion podcasts that are out there about everything that you ever wanted to know. (I even have one, about‚Ķyou guessed it, running). If your head is engaged with whatever is happening in your ears, it’s less likely to pipe up and constantly remind you how tired you are and how out of shape you feel. It will be too busy enjoying pop songs or solve a mystery. 

Step 5. Habit Dammit! Schedule your runs so they are next to something you already are doing. Like‚Ķwaking up (hopefully you wake up every day) and keep that happening. The more your head knows what’s happening, it will think less, and then go out the door on autopilot. You’ll start putting your shoes on without thinking about it and then go run. And that, my new running friends, is the goal and a beautiful thing. 

Who Do You Think You Are?

Tuesday Tip Who Do You Think You Are?
¬†One of the crappy things about having big goals is your brain screaming at you,¬†“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU
THINKING!!” ¬†So, let’s say you want to run a half marathon, and you’ve never done that before. Your brain
might be against this goal of yours and protest in little sneaky ways. It just wants to protect you, but that will
show up in undermining tactics to keep that goal just out of reach. Personal example: When I started
running, and my goal was a 5k. My body was all on board, but my brain was a hard no. It constantly
reminded me:
¬†-My boobs are too big (I didn’t look like a runner) ¬†
-I’m too slow (I don’t run like a runner)
¬†-It’s bad on my knees (a doctor told me when I was in high school)
All of these voices were in my head, which made it hard when I wanted to complete my goal. I needed to
question¬†these, to see if they’re true. Turns out, I just needed a better bra, good shoes, and accept that I
might not win, but I can definitely finish. Ta DA!!

Here are a couple of roadblocks that will come up in any big goal that you have: 
ūüõϬ†Imposter Syndrome: Who do you think you are in attempting this goal. You’re going to get hurt, fail, or
WORSE!!
ūüõϬ†Perfectionist: Having an idea that your goal needs to look a perfect way. This might paralyze you, and
then nothing gets done. 
ūüõĎ Overwhelm: This is my go-to. My brain goes, “It’s all too much” then I crawl back to bed. I am pretty good at this one. Olympic qualifier overwhelmer¬†right here.¬†
ūüõϬ†What will people think: People are going to see me, and judge me. Or my friends/family will laugh at me.¬†

So, how do you get from point A-B, with all the hurdles, trolls and “OH MY GOD, WHAT ARE YOU DOING’s?”
Well, by being aware of them is a big step. When you feel that hesitation, sit with that and listen to what your
head is telling you. Ignoring it won’t work, because it’ll just yell louder and louder. So, you need to see what it has to say, and then see if it’s helpful.¬†
Green Light Actions: Here are a few ways to set up systems to help you support you with all the goal
crushing: 
ūüö¶Support Systems: Accountability partners, groups and good people in your corner. (One of my
self-sabotage tricks is telling the wrong person my big goal. Usually said the person will project their fears onto me, and then my self-doubt becomes crystal clear, and back into bed for me.) 
ūüö¶Make it public: Putting on the calendar and proclaiming it to everyone! (who is supportive, of course).
This might be signing up for a race, booking tickets, or putting a deposit down on something that makes you
throw up a little. 
ūüö¶Set Habits: If you want to run a 5k, start walking every day when you wake up. This will hopefully turn into
running, and then a lifetime habit.
ūüö¶Make A List: Write down everything that you have to do, and bonus points for possible roadblocks that
might come up, and how to navigate them. 
ūüö¶Get started: Just start. Stop talking about the thing and do the thing. The hardest part is the start.¬† ¬†

Running Values

This last weekend, ¬†I got to go to innards of Pennsylvania, and land at an old¬†school kid¬†styled summer camp. This is¬†the spot where I spent the next 3 days with 350 other runners who were there for the Oiselle’s¬†Big
Bird Camp. It was everything that you could imagine a running summer camp having; a lake, bunk beds,
dining hall, tree houses, and acres beyond acres of green rolling trails. This was my second year here, and I
hope to go back next year. 

 Among all these women were, older runners, fast runners, trail runners, fast trail runners, chatty runners,
solo runners, rounder runners, and short runners.

So, all the runners. 

 As I watched all of these women cruise around the grounds, I remembered an exercise I had done a few
months ago reading Brene Brown’s¬†Dare To Lead. The exercise is a huge¬†list of values, and you have to pick 2-3 that you hold in your hand and define who you are. The thing is that all the¬†values¬†are equally valid, and
that one is not better than the other. My values are not better than yours, and if we all had the same ones in
our hand, our world would be pretty boring. I strongly believe that we fall into a heap of problems arguing
and judging each other for having a different system of values. I am sure you can think of some examples in
today’s landscape.¬†
 
 All of these women, and runners, in general, get something different out of running. And that thing is their
running value.  The reason that you run is not better than the reason why I run. And the thing you get out of
the running is not lesser then what I get out of it. So when a fast runner is zooming past you and gets to the
finish line first, it’s not better, she just wants something different out of the movement.
Not better, just different. 

 This whole idea was the spark of my creative project, Why We Run, to show people that we do this thing for different reasons and having respect for why you run, and equally have respect why she does it, and why
they run. Being envious and comparative sucks out all of the respect, and defeats the joy of it all. 

  I am sure there are a ton more, but here are some running values that I have heard over the last 13 years.
Pick a couple that might sing to you, and of course, these are fluid and will be different in different parts of
your life.  
Being in Nature
Community
One on One Time
Competition
Mental Health
Physical Health
Alone time
Adventure
Self Achievement
Growth

If you can’t find one, here are some starter questions to help you uncover your reasons.¬†
 
What do you want out of running?
What part of running do you enjoy?
What is your ideal running scenario?


One of the reasons I love running and it took me years to find is music. Running with music makes me
feel like I can take over the world, and take all y’all with me. It’s literally my jam. I hope you find yours, cause
it’s awesome.¬†

Go get it!
Coach Beth


Upcoming Stuff! 
Half Marathon is Open and we have a $20 early bird discount ENDS Saturday! Training starts 9/28th for fall half. We are training for fall races and would love to have you. 
You can sign up here!

Pack Price¬†is going up on¬†September 9th. If you want to join our¬†pack¬†you‚Äôd get in before 9/9). The price will go up to $125/month for new members. (Don‚Äôt worry current Pack, your price will stay the same. ūüėė )
Pack includes upcoming:
Couch to 5k
Half Marathon Training
Boot Camp
Everything in between. 

join our private FB Badass Group. 
We are starting a sleep challenge next week. Want in? Join here! 

BS On Motivation

I Call BS On Motivation. 

Raise your hand if you have felt the need to punch someone in the gut when they say, “You just need to motivate yourself!!”?¬†
 
Is it just me? No? Ok. Good. 

I want to just throw this out right now: The motivation fairy does not exist. Sorry kids. It’s just not a thing. Motivation isn’t something that you find on the ground, you supposed to get on Mondays, or when you wake up on January 1st. Motivation is just a word people use that makes us feel like we are missing something. ¬† ¬† ¬†
¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†“You aren’t motivated.” “You just need to get some motivation.”

It’s a joke.¬†

If I had a penny for every time I heard, “Can you just come to my house and pull me out of my bed and make me run? I cannot motivate myself to do it on my own.” I’d have enough money to pay for a cup of coffee. (Its actually a lot of pennies)

(I have a little secret if people didn’t pay me to run, I highly doubt I would run as much as I do. <-Fact)

Let’s change the word “motivation” to a “daily habit” because that’s the goal, right? To do something without thinking about it, like autopilot. But starting a habit, you’ll need some of that elusive motivation that doesn’t exist. So then we are¬†back to square one. But there is hope. My trick is planting inspiration seeds in¬†daily life that will lead to¬†start or¬†keep up my good habits and kick away¬†bad daily habits, (like, for me,¬†eating handfuls of chocolate chips when I go to the freezer).

Inspiration (Seeds) + Time sensitivity (Harvest) = Action (Growth)

Social Media: Who you follow on social media plays a part in your habits/motivation garden. People fall into a trap of following stars or people they cannot relate to and have unrealistic bodies that are unattainable or lifestyles that have been carefully manicured. Personally, I do not find that inspiring. I think following people who you can relate to, who inspire is much happier for your head and heart. We see ourselves in people that inspire us, who are real, and who light a fire in us. No offense Kardashians, but you do not light my fire. (Action: Go through your social media and unfollow 10 accounts that make you feel bad.)

Accountability Buddy: Real quick, think of someone who is there for you and supports¬†and you can rely on. That’s a good start to a great accountability partner. Could be a sister, friend or¬†husband. It’s the person who will not let you out of something if you don’t “feel like it”. Cause guess what folks, you never will “feel like” it. Make sure you can be there for that person. It’s an amazing partnership and it works! A training group also is a good start too! (Action: Write down one person you can ask.)

Non-negotiable events:¬†Want to start running? Sign up for a race. Want to travel? Buy the plane tickets. Want to learn about something you love? Sign up for a clinic. The biggest time waster and pest is over-thinking the thing. Just sign up, and do it. It will all work out. Promise. (Action: Write down 1 thing you would like to try. You don’t have to be good at it, just try.)

There’s no better way to start right now. Now. Like now now!! GO!

Pain Tunnel

A year ago, in the hills of upstate New York, I was in a big van, talking to my new best friend Jennifer, who I just met for the first time in real life. We bounced and bopped around to all the 80’s music that was coming out of the radio. We had 2 hours to talk before we got to our destination and us shared stories about parenting, running, and what’s it’s like to be a bishop for an episcopal church. She was kind of expert on this since she was one, and I was not. We got back on the subject of running and training, and she was telling a story of one her triathlons and how the pain tunnel she was in was unrelenting. 
I casually asked her what a pain tunnel was like I knew what it was, but wanted to see if she knew. (I had no idea what she was talking about)

“You never heard of the pain tunnel?” 
“Well, no, I mean, no…no I haven’t.”
“It’s the hard part of the event, where you know, it gets hard.”

Oh, that pain tunnel. Yes, yes, I know that. I had never heard of it called that, and I actually thought it happened just to me. It’s the part of the race/run/event where I remember all the times I didn’t train and now regret. It’s about the time I am good at hating myself and cursing past Beth for what current Beth is going through. 

But when I had this vocabulary in my head, it all made sense, and maybe I should start thinking of ways to help me through these times besides cussing at my ghost of Christmas past. Especially when I do hard things, obstacles come up and need to be looked at, figured out so I can move past them. And of course, the parallels to everyday life are limitless. This is why I love running because of these life lessons. Here are some tips to help me get thought pain tunnels of running and life. 

Ask! Ask for help. Look up to see if someone who has been in the same boat can help you out.

Question: We all tell ourselves stories, and when the shit hits the fan and those stories are usually riding the same fan airflow. Some stories I have told myself before, and sometimes I still do are: 
 *I am too tired. *I didn’t train enough. *I always quit when it gets hard. *I hate running and everyone who runs. 
This is just your brain trying to win, and these stories are not true. 

Take A Break! Not stop altogether, but just take a moment so you can calm down, and see the problem from a different angle. Or maybe just check your body to make sure you have what you need. Maybe you need a drink of water, a walk break, or something to eat. Maybe all of the above. When you are tired and depleted, your brain will always win and then you turn into a toddler who is 5 days past on his nap and is on his 5th tantrum. I feel you, buddy. You’ll be ok. 

Self Fake News

 I put up a new episode of Why We Run. This one is called The Late Bloomers Run Club, where I talk to 3 runners who didn’t start running till the halfway mark of life, then went on to do incredible things. 
  I started to think of when I started running and why it took me so long to get to my first 3 miles. (It took me a year to do my first 5k)
I narrowed it down to three different stories I told myself that I needed to question, put them under a microscope to see if they were true, and then discard them as a piece of self fake news. 
Self Fake News #1: I am broken. When I was 14, my boyfriend at the time told me I needed to take track, cause I was getting fat. So I did. (this was before I knew where to tell jerks where to stick it.) My knees hurt like crazy and when I went to the doctor and he said that my knee caps were tilted, and I probably shouldn’t run anymore. So, I stopped, and felt like I was broken, and fat. I learned later that I wasn’t broken, and I was probably going through a growth spurt, and I was fine. I believed that doctor and boyfriend for years. I am glad I dumped them both. 
Self Fake News #2: I won’t fit in.  When I was in my 20’s, I didn’t know anyone who ran, and it wasn’t something my friends did. No one in my family did either, and I was so hesitant to start running out of fear of not fitting in. Which in hindsight is dumb, but it was that feeling of separating myself was a huge subconscious that it was a huge hurdle to get over. 
Self Fake News #3Quitting is easier.  Even before started running, I wanted to do a marathon. I am not sure where I came up with that particular goal, but it seemed like something I NEEDED to do. What drove me was wanting to know the feeling of accomplishing something feels like. I honestly had no idea how that felt. But when I got close to the end of my training, my head kicked in and was like, “ok, this is hard, this is the part when you quit.” That feeling I knew very well. But something in me wanted to taste of that finishing, and I did. But if I didn’t question that knee jerk reaction, I would not be the marathoner I am, and my life would be very different. 

So, I invite you to be curious about what your head is telling you and investigate the patterns that keep popping up for you when you are trying to reach your goal. Or maybe your story isn’t even allowing you to set goals. Everyone has these “fake news stories” in their head and it is important not to just take it for the gospel, but open them up and take a look at if they are really true. Here are a few that I hear in my head, and from my runners: 
I don’t have a runner’s body
I am too tired. 
I don’t have time.
I don’t know how to _______. 
I don’t have enough money. 

These are just a few. If you have one that I don’t have that you have told yourself, I would love to hear it.

Go get it, tiger! 
Coach Beth

Fun With Fear

*Pre-note. I am afraid of everything. I try to get past all the fear via running, and that helps push me past a few of my 10,000 fears. I have learned more about getting over my fear by trail running than anything else. OK, read on. *
 
A few years ago, my legs and I were flying along an amazing trail next to the Deschutes River, and we were all having a blast! I felt like a 10-year-old on a roller coaster. My whole body was just giddy and I felt completely alive. Then, all of a sudden, the party stopped and a little weird feeling knocked on the door like a cop breaking up a kegger on prom night. Dammit! I was just falling in love with this moment and then YOU show up. Fear, you see, was pointing out to me that I was maybe going a wee bit too fast, and that those rocks that I was effortlessly navigating not two minutes before, were all aiming for me now; all poised to pull me down and mess up my face. So, what did I do? I slowed down and my feet started to shuffle. Then a pencil size tree root found my toe, pulled my foot under my body, and I went like in all slow-motion action. Of course, it didn’t hurt‚ĶI even started laughing because it was so transparent. If you are having fun and totally at the moment, fear is going to whisper something sweet and scary to you and it will push you down if you let it drive your mind.

A wise man once told me, “tramps like us, baby we were born to run.” Well, sorry Boss, but some of us were not born to run. I had to learn how to do it over a long and agonizing year of cussing, crying, and a few tantrums on my way to my first 5k. It took me so long because I was scared. I was scared I was going to die, or that I looked dumb. I worried that if I was a runner, I wouldn’t be cool anymore (I was never cool by the way). Or I freaked out that I would have to start actually taking care of my body and not feed it garbage wrapped in beer cans anymore. I eventually got over it, and upon doing this and talking to people, I realized that the biggest hurdle inhibiting people from running was that they were afraid. Yep, our buddy and sometimes a jerk, fear. I kept hearing from people that they were afraid of being chased, afraid of feeling alone and vulnerable, and my favorite (because I remember this very well), looking weird and getting made fun of. It all comes down to fight or flight. And when we first start running as adults, these fears turn our lizard brains on and we feel like, well‚Ķ We are going to die. But, as you all know, we aren’t going to die from running. Not today at least.

So, slingshot forward to many years of running dozens of full and half marathons, and now I coach people on running their first 5k’s and other races to come. This is great, but I get bored with road running. So, I got a coach and started trail running. Day one, up up up we went, and that familiar little panicky fear friend showed up yelling really loudly in my head. But this time it had a whole new tactic. “You are in the woods? You‚Äôre going way too slow, you are going to get left behind. I do believe that was bear scat you just stepped over. Oh my God! You are going to fall and hurt yourself!” It was all of those things at the same time, and loud. I thanked that choir of quitters for sharing and went on my lovely run. And I am so happy I stuck to it. Trail running brings my heart and soul together and fills up every empty bucket I have in my body. It also reminds me that fear will always be with you, it’s just how you use it. Jess Mullen, one of my coach friends who runs 100 milers for funsies, told me this, “I love fear. It drives me and let’s me know I’m on the right path. If I’m not facing some level of fear, I’m not living life as richly as I could.” I so love this, and I feel it changes the paradigm of fear to fuel for the fire. So, with all my grand wisdom of being a scared little newbie of a runner and getting over myself, and then starting trail running and being new at that, I have collected a trifecta of Go’s to get past fear and get your badass running on.

*Go Slow: Being out of the normal element of your go-to running track will elevate your nerves and get your heart rate going. So, when you start out, know this is going on, and be kind to yourself by slowing down your normal pace a bit. And with trail running, there are fun obstacles like mud, hidden rocks and tree roots that will jump out of taking you down.

*Go with a buddy who gets you going. Being out on a trail is a little daunting, and when the thought of, “who is going to call 911 when I fall off that cliff” creeps into your head, you will have another person there. It’s also nice to share the scenery and loveliness of it all.

*Go fall. Just do it. The anticipation of the fall is so much worse than the actual fall. Usually, the ground is soft, or muddy, and you’ll have the badass bruise for bragging rights.

Why Race?

Why Race?
Ladies and gentleman of the jury, I would like to defend the case of why runners should try on a race from time to time. I’m arguing on behalf of my past self, who was apprehensive on running a 5k when I started running. I was in the mindset that just the running to run was just fine. I had nothing to prove to anyone, therefore did not need to spend money to run the same route I did every other day. But you see my sweet jury, I was wrong, and I would like to educate you on why running races not only needed for runners, but is actually fun, and adds so much more to your passion and dare I say…to your life.  

Exhibit 1: Accountabilty
Let’s face it, races are not cheap, and are not getting cheaper. But if you need some motivation for a scary goal, I HIGHLY recommend throwing down part of a car payment on a race that makes you wanna barf a little. If it scares you, then you will train for it, and do everything to get to that start line and hopefully the finish line.

Exhibit 2: Bling
This is not my thing, but there are a lot of people who LOVE the pretty finisher medal at the end of a race. This also might start the collection of medals which is fun to hang up and compare to each other when you need a push of motivation. (Wait, maybe it IS my thing.) There is a special feeling of someone placing a big hunk of achievement around your neck after a long run. It feels pretty good. 

Exhibit 3: Measuring stick
I still get goose pimples when I see a big ol start line. Then there is a crowd of people, water stops and of course a glorious finish line that makes me kick ass. Running races does add an extra push to your pace. If you are motivated by going fast, this is the best way to show yourself of your potential and it’s a great marker of how far you have come. 

Exhibit 4: Destination/Vacation
Imagine a bunch of your friends, sharing a house in a lovely destination and spending the weekend together. Then imagine at the end of your weekend, you all take to the roads and explore your locale with a bunch of other people for 3-50 miles. On top of that, at the end of that run, you celebrate yourselves with cheers of something frosty, sweaty hugs and a heart full of memories. Sounds pretty wonderful huh. Well, it is, and this is one of my favorite reasons to run races; to surround yourself with a beautiful place, with lovely friends to top off your full heart. 


On your mark, Get Set. GO!
Coach Beth


p.s. here is an old blog of my favorite races. 
p.p.s. For a good racing time, check out Snohomish Running Company. 

Upcoming Stuff! 

  • OPEN!¬†Summer¬†Half Marathon Training¬†3 Spots Open.¬†
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Goal: Failing

On an island off the coast¬†of Europe, I was hunched over on a curb, crying. I had just got pulled off a course for a marathon and pocketed my very first DNF,¬†Did Not Finish, and it broke my heart. I had really trained for this race and put in the work. It was an extremely challenging race, and¬†at mile 9, I was already negotiating my exit plan. ‘Just make it to the next aid station, just make it to the next mile, just make it to the next volcano, just make it.’ But the ‘just make it to the finish’ wasn’t even on my mind. It took me 9 hours to complete 19 miles. Yep, that’s not a blazing 5-minute mile. I had not anticipated the continuous muddy and precarious¬†stairs, (up and down 7,000 feet) my lack if technical trail knowledge and a surprise visit from the hormone fairy, which left me weeping and just a sad sack of a person.¬†¬†So, at mile 19, I got a “ride of shame” to the finish and was done.¬†At the finish line, I was trying my best to be curious with my new found heartbreak.

¬† ¬†“Why was I so upset?” “Why does this sting?” “What could I have done better?”¬†

¬†I realized it just wasn’t my day, that I really REALLY hate¬†quitting¬†and I sure love the feeling of crossing finish lines. So, was this a fail? Yes, but a good fail to find out what’s true, and what to do better next time and try to get over myself so I could celebrate my teammates who did amazing. Little pockets of knowledge in that little DNF.¬†
 
¬† Back to the Tuesday Tip¬†is a review of why to have goals for any race, event or big deal thing you have to do. It helps to break it down to 3 different scenario’s.¬†
Pie in the Sky Goal: All the angles are with you with all the good mojo, the weather is perfect, and you knock it OUT OF THE PARK! This could look like a PR, placing, or a specific time goal that you are after. I like these goals to be specific so it takes out any kind of negotiation when things go bad. 
Attainable & Realistic Goal: This is the most logical outcome that you have trained for and you are pretty sure you can do it. It could also be a time goal or a heart rate you want to maintain that you have practiced before and are comfy with maintaining. 
Let’s Just Finish Upright¬†Goal: This is the one that you pick when things go bad. Your stomach is screwed up from the Indian food you tried last night, and your cat threw up in your shoe, and you are wearing different shoes. Your baby kept you up all week, and your husband snored all night and you got no sleep. (All of the above has happened to me before marathons) And despite all of it, ¬†you still show up and do your best,¬†reset your goal to “Let’s Just Finish Upright” plan. It helps keep the mojo of racing still fun so you will stay motivated and not keep crying on the curb in another country.

Go Get It!
Coach Beth
Upcoming Stuff! NEW! Summer Half Marathon Training! Starts July 19th! Registration opens June 14th. Training for Bellingham Bay in September. Adventure Trail Retreat! Details up on this Friday! Summer Couch to 5k is starting next month!! Special price for returners! Sign Up Here!