“I have had an unbelievable coaching experience with Trails & Tarmac. Back in 2016, I finished yet another marathon, using a training schedule I pulled from a website. It was the 4th time I had attempted a Boston qualifying time, and the 4th time that I came within 3 minutes of that goal (twice I qualified, but not by enough to make it to the big race). Discouraged and frustrated, a friend of mine suggested I talk to Trails & Tarmac, a local coaching company. I sent out an e-mail and heard back from Ryan right away – met with him a few days later, after he researched my race times and previous training. He had lots of immediate feedback; small and thoughtful tweaks to what I had been doing.
I jumped into coaching and pretty much haven’t looked back. I registered for the Rogue Marathon (9/16), with the goal of qualifying for Boston, running Boston, and then switching over to trail running (I live in the mountains and truly find my happiness there). Ryan structured my workouts with plenty of relaxed runs, plus always some speed work and workouts specific to whatever course I was about to race. In training for the Rogue Marathon, I tossed in Siskiyou Outback 50K (6/16, my first true Ultra). I had a wonderful Ultra experience, then ran the Rogue Marathon and qualified for Boston by 4:31 minutes. I continued with Trails & Tarmac to run Boston, then run my first 50-miler (7/17 SOB), followed by a 100k (5/18 Miwok) and a 100 miler (11/18 Rio del Lago). In all, I have run 10 Ultras plus 3 marathons since 2016, all while being coached by T&T. I have also completed PRs in the 5k, 10k and 1 mile distance.
Coaching is not cheap. My family has teased me for paying for “praise”, but truthfully, the past 3 years have changed my running experience and given me a tremendous amount of joy. I love the accountability, the focused runs, the thoughtful feedback, the challenge to push myself on tough workouts, the texts and e-mails responding to my pre-race jitters and post-race blues. I love having someone on my “team”, someone who knows my strengths and weaknesses, who researches course profiles and has expert knowledge on hydration, crew tips, injury prevention, nutrition, and the mental roller coaster of racing.
I am not an elite athlete, but the past 3 years have pushed me to compete against myself and despite aging, my times keep improving! Winning my age group is winning the race. Having a coach has also helped me to focus on training blocks, adding “breaks” from training to recover and maintain a life balance. Having a coach has kept me from overtraining. I have not been injured (knock on wood!) seriously since I have been coached. My coach seems to know exactly what I must do to be successful without burning out or getting injured. This is truly an art.
2019 is a big year. I dropped my name into Lake Sonoma 50m, Leadville 100m, and the NY Marathon lotteries. Luck was with me and I got into all of them (adding to several other local ultras I’d already registered for….). Just finished a solid training block for Lake Sonoma and had a terrific (and challenging) race. I’ve had enough of a break that I am psyched to get back into training. Leadville is a different beast and knowing that I have help in figuring it out gives me the confidence I need to move forward with minimal stress or self-doubt. My coach says I can do this, of course I can!!”
-Becky Grebosky of Ashland Oregon