Coaching

2016.

I sit here writing my 2016 recap with a full heart. 2016 was a special year. For many reasons. Some that I will share and others that do not require recognition on my blog. From running to my personal and business life, we covered a lot of ground this year. I will try to keep this concise {but can't promise anything}. I do. September 24, 2016, will forever be the best day ever. Our wedding took place in Ottawa on a perfect fall day. We had so many family and friends (including many in our bridal party) travel great lengths to celebrate our special day with us. From the morning 5K run with one of my bridesmaids, to getting ready with my crew (who made me feel so beautiful), to the ceremony at our Church, the photos with the talented Amanda Urbanski, the flowers (and much more) from Blue Thistle Florist, to the reception, dinner and dance party with our nearest + dearest family and friends at Mill Street, everything was perfect. This day is a big part of why 2016 was so special. ♡

Trip of a lifetime. We left for our honeymoon the day after our wedding. We flew to Rome from Ottawa and spent four days exploring the city. We then boarded a ship in Civitavecchia, that sailed from southern Italy, to Greece, to Turkey and back. We saw and experienced so much on that trip. Our day in Kuşadası, Turkey was one of my favourite days of the year.

In Ephesus, Turkey

Athens, Greece, with the Acropolis in the background

Two more marathons. I ran my 13th and 14th marathons this year: the Ottawa Marathon (recap) in May; and the Hamilton Marathon (recap) in November. I learned and grew a whole lot while training for these races. Despite an achilles issue in the summer (a huge thank you to my teammate and physiotherapist, Joey, for helping me through that injury), I shaved 13 minutes off my marathon time in 2016 + I'm that much closer to Boston.

The difference between 2015 and 2016 for my running really boils down to one thing: confidence. Thanks to my running coaches (Ken + OAC Racing Team and Lindsey), I have matured as a runner and know what I can expect from myself. I no longer define my training and race plans with what ifs. I look back on the 3,157 kilometres that I ran in 2016 and know that I showed up in running this year. I now run easy runs faster than what my tempo runs used to be. And to think that used to be "impossible"...

As part of joining the OAC Racing Team in the spring, the 2016 Ottawa Marathon's Team Awesome, and connecting through social media with runners from all over the globe (some turned "real life" friends!), I am so grateful for the running community and am reminded daily as to why this sport means so much to me.

With Mom + Dad after qualifying for Chicago at the Hamilton Road2Hope Marathon

More distance covered with friends

Workouts down by the river with the OAC Racing Team

Emilie's Run with the OAC Racing Team

More treadmill kilometres

Coaching business. I am a firm believer that if you have a burning desire to do something, you should do just that. A year or so ago I started thinking about starting my own coaching business. This year I have taken steps to realize that goal, including getting my coaching certification through the North American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals. I am looking forward to formally launching my business in Spring 2017, and am literally bursting with excitement for the possibilities. You can bet your bottom dollar there will be lots of action on this front in 2017. Stay tuned. In the meantime, I would love to connect with you on Facebook! Like The Pacing Life's page here.

Run Ottawa Board of Directors. As an active member of the Ottawa running community, including my involvement with Run Ottawa in 2015 and 2016, I decided to seek nomination to the Run Ottawa Board of Directors. As of November, I am very pleased to be serving as a two-year Board member and look forward to being a part the continued success and growth of the Run Ottawa events and run club.

Run Ottawa Board of Directors

 

Salty Running. I joined the Salty Running team! Salty Running covers all things running and is focused on female runners who have big dreams. Our readers are people who are serious about their running and I am honoured to work with the talented group of ladies behind the site. As the first Canadian contributor on the site, I naturally chose Maple as my online persona. You can see my introduction here and my first article on Lanni Marchant.

Collect memories, not things. 2016 was also full of many mementos from time spent with friends, including trips to DC and Montreal. As I get older, I am more and more grateful for my people. The lazy mornings, the late nights, the LOLs - I couldn't do life without you.

Fun nights with good friends

In D.C., with two of my favourite people

In Montreal at the Atwater Market in spring

The best sister in the world {and my Maid of Honour}

Wishing you all the best in 2017! ♡

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Updates on running & coaching

IMG_1638Thursday marked exactly two weeks since I had to sit out a workout. These past two weeks have been focused on rest and recovery. I knew that in order to continue training for PRs in the fall, I could not afford to let my achilles get worse. With the help of my chiropractor, physiotherapist, yoga and a stationary bike, I am happy to be easing my way back into training. With eleven weeks to go until he Hamilton Marathon, I'm focused on getting to race day strong and ready. To do this, I will continue practicing yoga, doing strength exercises prescribed by my physiotherapist, and listening to my body. The two weeks off reminded me how much running is a part of my life. In order to avoid a future injury, I will have to pay better attention.

In other news, I am loving every minute of the Olympic coverage. From the marathon to the 800m, it is so inspiring to watch the athletes compete and fulfill their dreams. Last night was the final for the 800m. Melissa Bishop ran such a brave race! It was tough to see her finish 4th, but it was a Canadian record nonetheless.

I wanted to provide you with an update on my North American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals (NAASFP) Marathon Coach certification. I completed the first phase, a 100 question multiple choice exam, last Sunday. It was tougher than I expected, but I am very pleased to say I passed! Candidates require 80% or better to pass, so I'm very pleased with the result. The next step are my Case Study and my First Aid and CPR certification.

STEP TWO: Case Study  The Case Study provides the candidate with an opportunity to demonstrate an ability to apply the knowledge necessary to successfully coach prior to working with a live client.  The candidate is given some basic necessary information on the prospective client including goals.  Based on this information the candidate will design a training program to help the client to achieve his or her goal.  A score of 80% or better is required for a pass.

STEP THREE: First Aid and CPR Certification  Maintaining First Aid and CPR certification is a requirement of certification with NAASFP and critical for working safely with clients.  In order to proceed with the Practical component the candidate must have completed this step and submitted a copy of the certificate to NAASFP.

The final and fourth step is working with a NAASFP master trainer to develop a plan for a volunteer athlete for a marathon. Ideally, I will have steps two and three done by January in order to train my athlete for a spring marathon. Onwards!

https://twitter.com/thepacinglife/status/766652365831278592

What has been your favourite Olympic moment? 

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine

Do things.

I've been thinking about this post for a while. I write many posts in my head. Some stay there, some get started, and some (only some) lead to me pressing publish. I'm writing to tell you a bit about my plans with running and my DREAM BIG DREAM of becoming a running coach. I've decided to blog about this journey in the event it helps someone one day in realizing their own dream or in becoming a certified coach. This is a story of acting on dreams, taking a leap of faith, and crossing out the possibilities of future what ifs. Let's back up a moment. Two weeks ago I announced on Twitter I was enrolling in a coaching certification course. Becoming a coach has been my goal for sometime now. The love I have for running and seeing others accomplish their goals drives me immensely in this journey. After having benefited tremendously from having a coach of my own, it feels very right for me to be on this path.

https://twitter.com/thepacinglife/status/755692104597200896?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

I've given a lot of thought to this decision. I recognize there are many courses out there, and I also realize you certainly don't need a certification to be a coach. But, me being me, wants to get certified. After researching extensively all the running coaching certifications out there (there are more than you think), I've decided to get certified through the North American Academy for Sport Fitness Professionals (NAASFP). The intensive course will leave me with the Marathon Coach (MC) credentials. The NAASFP course appealed to me as it was more than just your run of the mill weekend course. It is a course that combines theory and practice and will provide me with the necessary foundation in becoming a worthy coach for runners of all backgrounds.

There are four phases to the Marathon Coach certification. As outlined on the NAASFP website:

STEP ONE: Written Exam The exam is a comprehensive 100-question, 3-hour challenge of the principles found in the course material.  Candidates register for a scheduled exam date and time.  The exam is posted on-line for the scheduled three hours.  Candidates may reference course material during the exam, but a thorough knowledge of the material is necessary to complete all questions within the time limitation. Immediately upon completion the exam answers must be submitted electronically to NAASFP. A score of 80% or better is required for a pass.

STEP TWO: Case Study  The Case Study provides the candidate with an opportunity to demonstrate an ability to apply the knowledge necessary to successfully coach prior to working with a live client.  The candidate is given some basic necessary information on the prospective client including goals.  Based on this information the candidate will design a training program to help the client to achieve his or her goal.  A score of 80% or better is required for a pass.

STEP THREE: First Aid and CPR Certification  Maintaining First Aid and CPR certification is a requirement of certification with NAASFP and critical for working safely with clients.  In order to proceed with the Practical component the candidate must have completed this step and submitted a copy of the certificate to NAASFP.

STEP FOUR: Practical  The Practical is the opportunity to work with an actual client while the guidance of a Master Trainer is available electronically.  The candidate finds the client and signs them up, gaining permission to have the client’s information released to NAASFP for monitoring.  The candidate will design a full and monitor a program that must be a minimum of 18 weeks and appropriate for the client’s goal, factoring in their current fitness level.

Step One is currently scheduled for August 14th. After completing my masters degree in 2009, I never thought I would be saying that I'm heading back to the world of text books and studying. That said, I could not be happier (in fact, I am SO far over the moon). I look forward to keeping you updated on this journey and will one day be honoured if you considered working with me to reach your own running goals. For now, I will leave you with this excerpt from a book I read a little while ago.

"...because chasing the dream in your head looks surprisingly like work. Don't just stand there. You are good at something for a reason. The timing is never right. Forget that. It rarely falls into your lap. You are probably not guaranteed success. But off you go because we were not created to stand still, even though that is safe and familiar and you are guaranteed never to fall or stumble or grow weary. We were made to run." - Jen Hatmaker, For the Love

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or find me on TwitterInstagram and Strava. Check out my running story in Canadian Running Magazine