January 9, 2016
On July 15, 2014, I was one of the lucky ones. I put in my registration for the Big Sur Marathon and I got in! Hurray! My alarm clock, my laptop, and Fate were all on my side. That evening as I ran with my running group, I began to feel that I needed more allies on my side. I was running hard and I was running long, but I found myself constantly tired. I felt heavy and bloated. Was it my thyroid or my iron levels? During intervals, I felt that I couldn’t get enough air. I knew something was out of whack and I hated the feeling of being stuck in my training. I had a coach to help with hill training. I now needed a different type of coach. A coach to help me work on my weight and nutrition. Sarah had come to our clinic for a presentation a couple of months earlier. She spoke to us of the importance of certain foods for runners, ones that will enhance our endurance and performance. Over the next few weeks, I talked to other runners in my clinic who had worked with Sarah and they were unanimous. “Talk with Sarah. It’s worth it!”
I decided I was worth it. I called her and she asked me to fill out a 3 day eating journal.
My breakthrough in running began with an injury and this journal.
In between talks with Sarah, I had injured my achilles tendon in the Surrey Half Marathon and for the first time ever, I limped off the course to a DNF. You can imagine how discouraging this can be. Would I be able to even get to the starting line of the Big Sur Marathon? It is known for being a breathtakingly beautiful and breathtakingly hilly course. I recorded my post race sorrowful eating in that 3 day journal. I was brutally honest. Sarah noticed that I ate really well during my workday as a school teacher, but that I dropped the ball after work, often resorting to fast food, salty snacks, and processed foods in the evening. When I told her about my injury, she immediately advised me of anti-inflammatory, healing foods that would help me to heal and recover. Her advice, encouragement, recipes, food plans, and her infectious, whole-hearted energy inspired me. OK, I’m in. I was going to give this food plan a try.
As I worked through the nutrition plan, I found myself looking for healthy recipes in books and on line. Sarah gave me the confidence to improvise if need be. One of my reasons to see Sarah was to lose weight. I found that I could eat lots and the weight was still coming off. Those sugar cravings after work were gone! I felt calmer and happier during the day. Those green smoothies became my new comfort food!
During the fall, I concentrated on pool running, swimming, walking, and eating well. Regular talks with Sarah renewed my motivation. I knew I had another ally on my side! I could feel myself getting leaner and stronger. In January, I began the Marathon Clinic at Peninsula Runners in White Rock. Nutrition and exercise worked together now. I could feel myself getting stronger and ready for the race.
When race day arrived, I felt confident that I had done everything possible to create success. With Sarah’s help, I was making a dream come true! The course is tough and challenging, but I was ready for it. With all marathons, there is an inevitable struggle near the end. At mile 25, I remember hearing someone say “We’re all running with pure heart now.” Something in me sparked and I began to run faster and faster, sprinting to the end and leaping joyfully across that Finish Line! Never before have I been able to work so hard during a marathon. This is a direct result of eating well and training smart.
Sarah, I want to thank you for giving me back my life! I feel decades younger. I feel I can conquer the world! Hmmmmm….where will my next marathon be?
-Marg Coe, Surrey BC (fall 2014/spring 2015)