Thursday, May 28, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Meredith Gordon of New Albany, Ohio
Having once qualified for Boston before, Meredith clearly had what it took to reach success in running. So, what made her choose to start working with a coach?
Meredith is a marathon veteran having completed over a dozen marathons, including 4 trips to the Boston Marathon. Yet running has not always been a part of Meredith’s background. Here’s what Meredith had to say about her background in sports:
I have always been involved in sports. I competed in gymnastics for 8 years and even won a state title. I did tennis and track high school. In college I was on the varsity rowing team. But, I didn't start distance running until after college. I didn't know what to do with myself when I didn't have studying to do anymore. I signed up for my first marathon just one month after I graduated college.
With a dozen marathons under her race belt, which is her favorite? The Boston Marathon. Of course!
After a poor performance at the 2008 Boston Marathon I had decided I was done with the marathon. I had run 10 and most of them had been 3:39s. I wasn't getting any better and it was frustrating. I had intended to sign up for Ironman and hire Elizabeth to coach me in the Ironman, but after several triathlons in the summer of 2008 I remembered that I didn't like to bike and decided to give the marathon one more try. After researching a couple different coaches, I knew that Liz was the right one for me because she agreed with my goals, realized my physical limits and injuries, and understood my competitiveness. I have absolutely loved working with a coach.
Working with a coach is a huge step, requiring a commitment of time and finances, not to mention turning control over to someone else. With all of that invested, has working with a coach helped? Here’s what Meredith said:
Even though my husband and my dad have run marathons, they can be very subjective of your evaluation of your abilities, goals, etc. It's nice to have someone more objective who believes in you, your abilities, your goals. I love having someone to push me beyond what I thought was possible. It's great being accountable to someone beside myself. I love having someone on my side who understands the runner I want to be.
Working with a coach is one thing – actually committing to it and doing the hard work to reach your goals is another. After qualifying for Boston in October, Meredith worked hard through winter to reach the Boston start line healthy, ready and injury-free. How did it go?
The only race I'm signed up for is the Nike Women's Marathon on October 19th in San Francisco. I hope to do another half marathon this summer and break 1:37.
Reaching athletic goals is impressive – especially when it involves 26.2 running miles. How about someone that does this while managing a successful and growing business? Here’s what Meredith said about balancing her drive for running with running her own business:
When I worked in industry, I found that most people didn't understand my commitment to running. To me my priorities were God, Dave, family, and running...in that order. Now that I own my own business and make my own hours I love that running can be such a huge priority. I love being able to run when I want to run and not when my work schedule dictates it. And I love that I can choose the races I want to do and be able to travel to them because I can say, I'm taking a vacation now and I'm not working on this weekend because of a race. Owning my own business has been the best thing for my running.
When I started working with Meredith, it became clear that she was willing to do what it takes to achieve her goals. She got it. She changed her way of training, incorporated heart rate zones into her training and started running more on her own. While it is never easy to run on your own and push yourself, only you can understand and pursue your commitment. She quickly caught on to the work and a new way of thinking about herself. The impossible became possible and with that she kept surprising herself. Together, these patterns will keep her as an achiever - not just a completer - of future races.