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When One Marathon Ends, Another Begins

When we talk about the year 2020 for years to come you’ll get a mixed bag of responses. No matter good or bad---it will be a year where life changed for everyone in so many regards. Like so many out there right now the COVID-19 pandemic has squashed so many things both big and small. I had set out this year to run my very first marathon which was supposed to be on November 1st 2020 in what would have been the 50th running of the New York City Marathon. A milestone for myself, the NYC marathon and something that a year ago I wouldn't have even considered a possibility.

I truly entered the lottery expecting to not get in on my first try. I laughed it off and told my family "Why not try?". If I don’t get in then no big deal, there is always next year.

The email that brought me joy, adrenaline and then pure panic.

Fast forward to February 26th and getting the email saying I got in—-Cue me almost spitting out my coffee, squealing like my 3 year old and repeatedly saying AHHHHH in a high pitch annoying voice. I genuinely didn’t think I would ever get in on my first try and was fully prepared to set my sites on a local marathon instead figuring that would be more manageable since I've never even attempted 26.2 miles before. After the initial shock wore off I went into my type A planning mode as asked “How in the hell am I going to run the NYC Marathon 9 months?!?” Meanwhile, no one could predict what the next few months would bring.

Not only would the entire world be upended but the running community would be stunned with the fact that small races, big races and the Olympics would all not be happening as planned.

Once Boston postponed their race and more news came about the pandemic I knew I would more than likely be deferring my entry to NYC regardless if the race went on as planned or not. Lack of races, disappointment of not getting to do NYC and the pandemic overall all helped to contribute to my hiatus from running. Going from feeling SO excited to knowing that my goal race wasn’t going to come to fruition, let alone if even my local race was going to happen--- I couldn’t push myself out the door. Training felt like such an abstract thought without a firm goal to push for. As all the emotions of the changes set in I re-examined my why (featured in last weeks post HERE if you missed it). I picked myself back up and decided to just make the most of this time running wise with no idea what the end goal may look like. Since I’m a solo runner and tend to love the race experience because I get to interact with other runners I started searching for something to fulfill that void. So I fired up my trusty sidekick Google and looked at clubs, social media groups and other ways to be more involved with the running community.

Road Runners Club of America

I came upon RRCA and the certification they offer to become a running coach. Immediately I zoned in and knew that I wanted to get my certification and further help other runners both new and seasoned reach their goals and be the running buddy so many of us lack especially during this time. All the classes available were already sold out and the wait lists were lengthy with no end in site. I checked the site daily for openings and joined my local running club hoping that eventually I could get a spot and start building my knowledge and experience even more. After months of trying, checking and some failed attempts to get a spot---I’m excited to share I finally got into a class and am on my way to become a certified running coach!!!!

Now here is where the story for me gets even more amazing—-the course that I will be taking will fall on the exact day I was supposed to be in NYC for my first marathon.

I always like to think everything happens for a reason and some things are meant to be. This seemed like one massive neon sign that said “Shelby, the universe is sorry that your race got cancelled but you were meant to do this instead—-hope you understand and no hard feelings for the curve ball----Love, Life” some may say this is cheesy but I say it’s serendipitous. I don’t know when or if I would have taken the leap to actually consider myself as a running coach but if I had been in the throws of training I don’t think it would have been even remotely on my radar since I would have been hyper focused on the goal of 26.2.

I still have a bit to wait and a few other things to figure out before I can officially coach but I’m excited to see where this new chapter takes me and am excited to share it with you all! I may not be an elite athlete and be able to run as fast as Shalane Flanagan, Aliphine Tuliamuk, or Desi Linden but I want to help others love the run as much as I do---What better way than to coach people and build them up?

Running coach Shelby Schmidt has a nice ring to it. Don’t you think? 😎

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