A Wonderful Story

Good morning,

“I just wanted to finish the marathon comfortably, without injuries. I hadn't run a marathon or been running regularly in quite some time. It was my first race back and all I wanted was a finish. Despite quite a few significant setbacks, NFLR helped me not just to find the finish line, but to get there within less than a minute of my personal PR. I never thought I could get there with all the challenges I faced, but the results tell the story of coach and pupil!”

Jennifer Curran October 28, 2018

Last Sunday, one of NFLR’s runners, crossed the finish line at the Marine Corp marathon. The above testimony was captured just a few hours after her success story.

Jennifer’s story began with deciding to take on the challenge of 26.2 only after only 5 months before bringing a beautiful baby boy into the world. I am not necessarily a fan of someone coming to NFLR having already registered for a marathon, as it often leaves little room for proper training. I must admit, while Jennifer had more time than some runners often give us to train them, having only just gotten medical clearance to begin running, I was a little apprehensive.

After our initial consultation, I knew the circumstances were not text book, but I appreciated Jen’s attitude and willingness to trust and follow the coaching.

Being a mother has many challenges but being a first-time mother, a lot of those challenges are new and often unforeseen. I cannot speak firsthand to the challenges of motherhood (nor would I even try), but through talking with my youngest daughter who is a certified running coach, and a mother of a 14-month-old baby, she gives me some insight. The best way I can sum that insight up is: “Nothing is certain, and training schedules have to be fluid.”

Jennifer’s training pretty much fit the “Nothing is certain, and training schedules had to be fluid.” I worked closely with her to alter her training as it fit her abnormal work hours and her duties as a mother AND a wife. Long runs were all over the place, some weeks on Wednesday’s and others sometimes on Friday’s. Thankfully because we have created our own science-based training system, we are able to adjust and stay on schedule.

Just about the time Jen was moving to the stage of training where she would run her 3-long run over a safe period of time, she got an injury that stopped her running. I did not outwardly express it, but that was disastrous!

After a visit to her doctor, Jen was sent to physical therapy and her running would be shut down for 2 more weeks (she had already been off the road for a couple weeks). I was concerned, but I was hopeful if her treatment was successful, we could adjust the strategy and still get her to the finish line.

Thankfully the physical therapy was successful, and they allowed Jen back on the road. However, we now had to dramatically alter her training, and this meant zero long runs of 180 minutes. Normally we want at least 3 long runs of 180 minutes. I feared a run greater than 165 minutes would risk injury, so we scheduled a single run of 165 minutes. This training run would be important, as we would use it to practice her race strategy and as important, instill some confidence.

The 165-minute run went splendidly, and it accomplished all that we both could have wanted.

Off to Washing to DC Jen and her family went.

Looking at the testimony is enough to tell the results of Jen’s journey. This journey was an awesome opportunity for me and NFLR, as well as a blessing. Jen deserves all the credit as she never gave up and she was a fantastic pupil! I am grateful we could play a small role in her story! Congratulations Jen!

Have a great week and get out the reflective gear!

God Bless!