The Accidental Coach

Today was supposed to be the second 5K for my friend Kim, but unfortunately the event was scrubbed thanks to our lovely deluge (part of the course was under water) so we hung out for a while but I didn’t get to watch her run and cheer her on, but something occurred to me after pacing Jennifer through her first 10K, although I consider myself still a newbie, I have some other running friends who look up to me for inspiration.  That’s a little humbling.  I don’t offer them advice or try to “correct” them, I merely offer encouragement, but sometimes isn’t that what a coach is good for? After the teaching and training is done, to just clap and say “You can do it!”

The New Years race was Kim’s first and we stayed together step for step the whole way (well, except that little part where she ran off and left me, but I caught up later).  It wasn’t Jennifer’s first race, but I believe it may have been her second? (She will correct me I’m sure if I’m wrong).  Kim didn’t need much encouragement from me as she rocked the race, but she said she wouldn’t have done it alone, having a friend there made it worthwhile.  I wasn’t running in her race today but I promise to come up and watch and cheer so I was bummed the race got scrubbed.

The 10K two weeks ago was Jennifer’s first and although she had covered the distance in training, as I had mentioned she struggled, but I stuck with her and coached her through it and she did awesome.

Now my friend Gray is slowly starting the transition from walking to running and wants to go up to the mountains for some trail running, which seems daunting even to me, but if he’s game so am I.

It’s amazing and humbling to have people watch what you do and then want to do the same or similar.   Kim and Jennifer are both already contemplating their first half marathons and I will be there at least in spirit to cheer them on.


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  • About Me

    I am a recent graduate in Food Science (NC State, 2009) and I work for a major food manufacturing company. I love food, but I can no longer eat anything that crosses my path. About 24 months ago I begin a serious struggle to get my obesity under control and reduce my chances of developing Type II diabetes. Since September of '09 I have lost 50 pounds and I still have a long ways to go. I've started eating better and exercising more, including taking up running.