Thank you for taking the time to visit Valley to Peak Endurance and consider me as your coach! I believe that one of the most important aspects of successful coaching is building a solid athlete-to-coach relationship through honest and frequent communication.
In an attempt to begin this process and allow you to get to know me and Valley to Peak Endurance before making the big decision to hire a personal coach, I would like to share my story, give you insight into why I became a coach, and teach you a little bit about my coaching style. Thank you for reading!
Meet your Coach
I didn’t start out as a naturally fit or talented runner.
My story as a runner begins with struggle, frustration and plenty of pain and discomfort to go around. I began running recreationally in my early high school years, and didn’t realize at the time that there is actually a way of running that is beneficial and healthy, just like learning swim technique or how to throw a football correctly.
Almost as soon as my running began, my injuries began too. I was slightly knock-kneed and pigeon-toed, and struggled through various forms of knee pain, chronic shin splints, ankle instability, and more. Unfortunately, I was told by several professionals that I just didn’t have a runner’s body, and that I should stop before I wreck my knees and my body for good. Regardless of what others told me, I had a deep passion and love for running that I couldn’t shake, as well as a sense and some sort of understanding that knew there was more- injuries don’t just “appear” for no reason, and if there is a reason for them, there must be a way to fix them as well.
After becoming nearly obsessive about trying to solve my running mystery, I switched my major in college from Nutrition to Exercise and Sports Science. While I wasn’t working, studying, or trying to run, all of my extra energy went into self-study and reading on the subjects of running, form and biomechanics, mindfulness in movement, and more. That’s when I discovered the ultra-marathon, and vowed to myself and others that I would run one someday.
With the passion that I already had and the knowledge that I was gaining of “how” to run properly, as well as with the help of a few professionals who were key to my journey, I was able to build up to the half-marathon distance with less injury, and sustain that fitness level from thereon out. In 2011 I also began backpacking, and set my sights on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Over the next several years I prepared by running in the off seasons, hiking and backpacking longer and longer trails in the summers, testing out gear and food until I found my “style”, and becoming a total nerd with online research of all the ins and outs of backpacking and long-distance hiking, until 2015 when my dreams came true and I hiked the Arizona Trail and Pacific Crest Trail consecutively, totaling 3,400 miles in 5 months.
During those months I pushed my mind body to the limits, making it my goal to hike a “fast” hike and to test my physical and mental strength more than anything. I hiked countless 30+ mile days, several 40+ mile days and one 52 mile day, as well as some huge weeks with 235 miles being my biggest mileage week (and still is to date!).
When I returned, I knew I finally “had” the endurance piece that I had been dreaming of, so I quickly transitioned my hiking endurance into running endurance, running my first 50k race in early 2016. From that point on I was hooked, and have since run 2-3 ultra-distance races per year including a 100 miler, as well as countless unsupported 30-50 mile days through the mountains, many of them solo, which remains my true passion and area of expertise.
The best part of it all is that I have remained injury free since 2015 amidst running 5-6 days/week year around, and continuously pushing my limits to find my peak potential. Outside of running a business and coaching, I reside in Winthrop, WA with my life partner and two step daughters, and we are excited to be welcoming my first baby into the family in April of 2019. I am still running, hiking, skiing and yogi’ing my way through pregnancy!