Thursday, December 09, 2010


So I decided that today would be the day that I finished my blog on being a coach.  You see over the past year, I have been exposed to another side of athletes, a side that I am not a big fan of.

If you have been following my blog for any amount of time you know that I have been a runner for most of my life and a coach since 2004.  You may also have noticed from pictures I have posted, I am not built like Deena Kastor.  Like many people I have struggled with eating issues, weight issues and health issues for the greater part of my life.  However, I did not until recently think that what my current size was or was not did not effect my ability to be a good coach.  Kind of delusional I guess. 

I started my marathon journey in 1995 with Team in Training in Charlotte, North Carolina.  So it seemed quite fitting that I would start my coaching career with Team in Training.  In 2004, I took the leap.  Disney Marathon 2005 would be the first finish line I crossed as a coach, albeit an assistant coach, but a coach.  While all my marathon finishes have been super emotional there is nothing like crossing the finish line with a first time marathoner and experiencing the emotions they have as they reach their goal.  I was hooked and I realized that coaching was my passion.

Fast forward to 2008, and I am now coaching Marathons and Triathlons for Team in Training.  At this point, I had decided I wanted to pursue coaching as a job as well.  Beyond Endurance was founded.  My philosophy in regards to coaching is and always has been helping someone to achieve something that they had always dreamed about but never felt possible.

Now there are many people out there that do not believe if you finish a race with a pace slower than 10minute miles, you are not racing.  In the minds of these people - these athletes are not runners much less athletes.  Well I disagree.  As soon as a person makes a decision to complete an endurance event, whatever the distance, they become an athlete.  Will they go to the Olympics no probably not but their accomplishment is no less amazing or extraordinary. 

Back to me now - after a divorce, cancer and several person struggles - my weight changes as my mood does.  I am not skinny, I won't ever be.  Does that make me less of a coach?  I don't think so.  I think your ability to coach begins with  your ability to listen.  Once you can understand what the goals of your athlete are then you can help them to achieve their goals. 

It is very hard for me to not get frustrated when I hear people saying that unless you have been there you cannot coach it.  Well I have crossed the finish line in over 35 marathons, I have completed more half marathons and 10k's that I can count.  I have complete the Goofy Challenge 3 times, completed 2 Half Ironman races, numerous sprint and Olympic triathlons and attempted an Ironman.  I have coached 15 seasons of TNT participants and had 100% of my teams cross the finish line at their half marathon, marathon and triathlon.  Most of my athletes were first timers when they came out but many of them are repeat offenders now.

I am also the Triathlon Coach at the Lake Nona Y.  In the 8 months since I arrived, the program has changed, I think for the better.  Many of my athletes have completed distances they did not think they could do and all of them have accomplished their goals.  We have brought home many age group awards and are looking forward to the new year.

So back to my original comments - You don't have to look like Deena Kastor or run as fast as Chrissie Wellington to be an athlete or a coach. 

All you need is PASSION.  Passion for your sport, passion for job and a passion for life.  Everything else is just a bonus.

When I cross the finish line at my Ironman it won't be in under 10 hours, It might not be in under 14 hours but will that make my accomplishment any less?  Heck no, I will still be an Ironman.

So if you think you cannot do something you cannot but if you think you can, YOU WILL and I can help you get there.

Talk to you soon!
Coach Beth

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

All I Can Say Is I Am Sorry - It Has Been A While......

Wow,  I am not sure where to start.  I had many goals for 2010, I have hit some of them and not hit some others.  While I know this year is not quite over, for some reason the past few days have been very retrospective for me.  For sure I have been slack, slack, slack on posting to my blog.  If everyone had my password, you would see that I have started several posts but left them unfinished.  Why?  Not sure.  Some days, I think because I don't want to admit the truth, some days because I am not sure I want everyone to know what I am thinking, other days there was a distraction from a child, or a phone call or an email.   At any rate, for many reasons, there are posts unfinished.

I haven't completely taken a break from blog-land, I try to check all of the blogs I follow as frequently as I can.  Thanks to everyone who has been doing a great job of updating their blogs so I have some wonderful online friends to read about.  Let me see if I can catch you up on everything that has been going on this year.  I might repeat some notes or comments from a previous update, but I really want to check off my list.

Coaching - At the beginning of the year, I had mentioned that I was focused on growing my coaching knowledge and coaching business.  In order to do that, I needed to complete several coaching certifications and training classes.  What that meant for me as an athlete was this was not the year to race much, my budget had to be directed towards achieving my goals.

1.  USA Track and Field Level 1 Certified Coach - Done
2.  Team in Training Tier 2 Triathlon Coach Certification - Done
3.  Road Runner's Clubs of America Certified Coach - Done
4.  USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach - Done

I am still in the process of finishing my USA Cycling Level 3 Coaching Certification and my USA Swimming Coaching Certification.  I am hoping to complete the exams for both of these before the end of the year.  Wish me luck.  As far as racing goes, I completed a few half marathons and a couple of triathlons.  Nothing super exciting but like I said this year was the goal of growing my business.

I was hired here in Florida to coach the Lake Nona YMCA's Tri Team Vortex.  We are 80 members strong.  This was a new experience for me.  While I have been coaching since 2004, this was the first time I had taken over a program that had been previously coached by another coach.  As I was learning about my team, I also had to prove myself as a leader and a coach and a person who accomplishes what she sets out to do.
After an amazing first season, our team came away with many, many firsts, many great accomplishments and many great rewards.  I think as a team we have grown and come together as a bigger family and I am looking forward to an even bigger 2011.  Currently we are planning our racing season but we have some exciting races on tap:

1.  Melbourne & Beaches Music Marathon, 1/2 Marathon
2.  Wildman Triathlon
3.  St. Anthony's Triathlon
4.  Pineapple Man Triathlon
5.  The Nation's Triathlon
6.  MiamiMan Half Iron and Olympic Triathlon

This list is by no means all inclusive.  As a team we are still defining our goals for the next year.  We are definitely going to add some new events - long distance open water swims, century rides and the Warrior Dash.  It is going to be a crazy ride.  If you would like to join us, COME ON!  :-)

I am continuing to coach Team in Training and on that front, I had a great St Anthony's / TriMiami season and an equally awesome Nation's Triathlon season.  We had a 100% success rate of completers at all three races.  How awesome is that.  This was my first year as a coach for The Nation's Triathlon.  What an amazing event.  I had the best time with my team in DC.  As I mentioned above, this race is already on the list for my YMCA team and of course for TNT in 2011.  Depending on my coaching schedule, I would love to race this race one day.  I am currently coaching the 2011 St. Anthony's Triathlon team we are 22 strong and charging towards our goals.  I am also working with our local chapter to create a 70.3 team.  Our goal is Ironman 70.3 Augusta.  I will keep you posted.

I was interviewed for a local magazine and an article was published about triathlons and me.  :-)  Here is a link if you want to take a second to read: Triathlons: Do you have what it takes?  I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed taking part in the creation of the article.

My daughters both tested for the next level of their black belts and have joined the leadership team at their school.  I am so proud of them and I will post more on their exploits and accomplishments in a different blog because I am a proud mom and there is way to much to tell.

Well that is it for this post.  I have much more to write so talk to you again soon!