Run Long Run Strong Endurance Coaching, LLC

Jennifer S.

12 Jun

Run Long ~ Run Strong: How old are you?
Jennifer Stewart: 40.

RLRS: Tell us a little about yourself (kids, married, job)?
JS: No human kids, but two active dogs (a German Shorthair Pointer and Lab/Golden mix that keep me on my toes and join me for long runs.  I’m married, and work for a health care consulting company based in Washington DC (but mostly work from my home office in Colorado).

RLRS: When and why did you start running?
JS: I grew up in Northern California near gorgeous trails.  I’ve enjoyed hiking and running as long as I can remember.

RLRS: What keeps you motivated to train?
JS: After sitting at my desk, I love to get outside and move.  I moved to Boulder because the trails are so beautiful and varied, and they help encourage me to get outside.

RLRS: What are your hobbies outside of running?
JS: All the typical Colorado activities: mountain biking, stand-up paddle boarding, backpacking, pack burro racing, canyoneering, nordic and downhill skiing.  And playing my banjo!

RLRS: What is your favorite race?
JS: I love the Red Hot Ultra in Moab.  It’s a gorgeous course that’s run mostly on slickrock.  The views are amazing and the trail is super fun. (It also routinely humbles me, since it’s hard for me to train for an ultra over the winter).

RLRS: What is your bucket list event?
JS: The Grand Traverse ski race.

RLRS: What is the funniest thing to happen to you during a race?
JS: While training for a long race, I had to slog up a hill alongside a road.  A car passed me right before the summit and everyone in the car cheered…. and when I made it to the top of the summit, the car’s passengers had strung toilet paper across the road and cheered for me when I ran through it and “broke the tape.”  It still brings a smile to my face.

RLRS: What is your proudest race moment?
JS: Standing at the starting line of an Ironman and knowing I had managed to adequately prepare… despite a full time job.

RLRS: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you first started running?
JS: There will be seasons to my running– times I want to run long and times I don’t; times I want to run with a group, and times I want to run solo; times I’m faster and times I’m slower.  It doesn’t matter which season I’m in.

RLRS: What is your best piece of advice for new runners?
JS: Find what makes you happy with running and do that. Don’t feel like you have to conform to what brings others joy.

Coach’s note: Jennifer is indeed tackling her bucket list race this year. We wish her the best!!

Cynthia T.

08 Jun

Run Long ~ Run Strong: How old are you?
Cynthia Thompson: 50 years old

RLRS: Tell us a little about yourself (kids, married, job)?
CT: Two sons, ages 31 and 20.  Oldest is married and has given me three adorable grandchildren (5 and 2-year old boys, 6-month old girl).  Single. Work as a purchasing manager in the chemical industry.

RLRS: When and why did you start running?
CT: I started running at the young age of 46 when I realized I was playing in two different tennis leagues but still felt like I was out of shape – and I quickly learned that I was even more out of shape than I believed! I put myself through an unplanned C25K and . . . kinda got addicted!

RLRS: What keeps you motivated to train?
CT: I love the friendships I have developed running – having so many amazing women to train with keeps me going even when I am having a rough time.  I also love a challenge – once I have committed to a race, I hate the idea of letting myself down!

RLRS: What are your hobbies outside of running?
CT: Wait, there are things to do outside of running? OK, OK.  I still play in a Summer tennis league, I try to get on the water as often as I can with my kayak, I live the dream as Mimi to my grandkids whenever I can . . . and does binging Netflix crime series count as a hobby?

RLRS: What is your favorite race?
CT: I try to never run the same race twice – I like the adventure of trying new and different things!  I have to say that Big Turtle 50 miler is my favorite to date – but maybe that is because I am so very proud of the accomplishment of it.  It was a beautiful course too in the Daniel Boone National Forest in KY.

RLRS: What is your bucket list event?
CT: There are too many races to run! I love the idea of the Volcanic 50 which circumnavigates Mt. St. Helen’s – I so vividly recall watching that volcano erupt, and the idea of running it fascinates me.

RLRS: What is the funniest thing to happen to you during a race?
CT: Hmmmm . . . I was struggling with IT band pain during the Carmel (IN) Marathon, and there was an aid worker with pain spray – but I couldn’t pull my compression pants up far enough for her to be able to spray the outside of my knee!  So  . . . yeah, I kinda pulled my pants down right on the side of the course (yes I was wearing moisture wicking undies – no mooning my fellow runners)! Sadly, it didn’t even help much and I ended up finishing the half instead of the full.  But hey, it was quite the moment!

RLRS: What is your proudest race moment?
CT: Crossing every finish line for a distance PR has been a proud moment – but I definitely became the most emotional when I finished my first full marathon (Little Rock).  I will always be thankful to my friend Cari for running the entire 26.2 with me, motivating me, and even singing Disney tunes to me LOL.

RLRS: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you first started running?
CT: I wish I knew that every runner has insecurities, fast or slow is a matter of perception, and your only competition is yourself! (Sorry, I know that’s more than one.)

RLRS: What is your best piece of advice for new runners?
CT: Join a run club and run with friends!  I have formed some of the most amazing, supportive friendships through running, and the training is so much nicer when you do it together!

Laurie C.

04 Jun

Run Long ~ Run Strong: How old are you?
Laurie Chick: 53 (54 in July)

RLRS: Tell us a little about yourself (kids, married, job)?
LC: I have been married to my husband Jack for nearly 21 years.  I have two daughters, Jessica (from a previous marriage) and Kailey.  Being that my husband has some years on me, I have been fortunate to have shared the life and love of 5 Granddaughters (from his grown children).  I left the workforce to stay home and raise my younger daughter who is now 15.  It was then I snuck in some schooling and received a degree as a Certified Surgical Technologist.  I worked in the OR for a period of time before returning to more familiar territory when I took a Human Resource job doing payroll for the State of CT.  

RLRS: When and why did you start running?
LC: I started running with a friend of mine when I was about 40.  For many years, we met in the early morning hours several days a week and pretty much stuck to a three-mile route.  From there I added more distance and eventually started signing up for various runs. 

RLRS: What keeps you motivated to train?
LC: I stay motivated by my desire to stay active and to improve as a runner.  Creating challenges for myself provides further motivation.  This year I signed up for the New England 10 Miler Series. It is this type of challenge that leaves me no choice but to get out and run.  Having Coach Faith to be accountable to is a huge motivator. Above all, it’s the quiet time spent during a run and the way I feel afterwards that keeps me lacing up my sneakers.

RLRS: What are your hobbies outside of running?
LC: I love photography, kayaking, taking day trips – whether it be to Maine or Vermont, NYC, or a ferry ride to a nearby island.  I enjoy sitting on the beach in Kennebunkport and hope to do a lot more traveling to faraway places in the years ahead. 

RLRS: What is your favorite race?
LC: I’ve enjoyed all the races I have taken part in, but I think the race I had the most fun running was the Manchester Road Race on Thanksgiving in 2017.  It was the first time I had run with my sister and we had an awesome time. I especially loved the energy along the route.  It felt great going home afterwards and putting a Thanksgiving meal on the table.

RLRS: What is your bucket list event?
LC: My bucket list event isn’t just one event.  I have a crazy idea of wanting to run a race in each State across America.  Not sure how realistic, but I haven’t given up on it yet!  A more realistic bucket list item is to run another half marathon – a Disney Half, perhaps Disneyland Paris. 

RLRS: What is the funniest thing to happen to you during a race?
LC: Can’t think of anything at the moment.

RLRS: What is your proudest race moment?
LC: My proudest race moment was running the Falmouth Road Race with a very special friend.  We ran for the benefit of The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp and in honor of her young daughter who was battling cancer at the time.  It’s a very special memory for me.  I’m happy to add that after 7 years, I’ve made it through the selection process and will be returning to run again this August.

RLRS: What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started running?
LC: The value of working with a great coach.

RLRS: What is your best piece of advice for new runners?
LC: Whatever your goals, your journey as a runner isn’t always going to progress the way you would have hoped. Each day will bring new challenges and along with your accomplishments may come possible setbacks.  Never give up on your dreams, but don’t be afraid to explore a different path if the one you are on isn’t working for you.  Success as a runner looks very different for each of us.