I have been away from the Runner of the Month, but we’re back in full swing!
Runner of the Month
This month, it was clear who I wanted to select as the Runner of the Month… Erin Donaghy! You may think I’ve already written about a Donaghy, and that’d be correct. I’m now working with both sisters as they reach their full potential as runners.
Erin has been running since 6th grade, both with her sister and family and on competitive teams. She was on a very successful high school team and then ran at Bucknell Univ. She’s since continued running and has picked up the longer race distances! This was Erin’s first half marathon (and actually her longest run of her life) so immediately, it became her PR. Yay for PR’s, right?!
Erin’s story is not typical… She’s had two hip surgeries, herniated and bulging disks in her back. Doctors have advised her not to run – and definitely, don’t run hills. In her “spare time” Erin also does field work in the Washington Cascade Mountains. Let me tell you right off the bat…it’s hilly. At the end of the day, the last thing she felt like doing was run. But run she did.
Erin’s time in the race is deceiving because part of the race is run at 2,200 feet of elevation. Regardless, she was 1st in her age group, 2nd woman overall, and 22nd finisher. Simply amazing! And, she was only a minute behind the Female race winner (who set the course record!)!
A Little About Erin the Person & the Runner
Ever since I fell in love with geology, I have always been on the move. I am constantly traveling all over the country to do research and participate on geology trips (hey, not complaining). I get to see some amazing places and often times I can be in some pretty remote places. This makes training extremely difficult for me, and also makes it nearly impossible to settle down in a single location and to have a coach in person. This way, I can continue my crazy travels and research all over Alaska and the Pacific NW, while enjoying field trips all over states out west, and never have to worry about being pinned in one city with a coach. Marc is an awesome coach and motivator – he understands these circumstances and creates flexible workouts and training weeks that integrate my fieldwork/research with my training.
When I was really stressed out this summer with my fieldwork (I was mentally/physically exhausted from hiking 7-8 miles in the heat every day/not sleeping well), I emailed Marc telling him that I wasn’t sure if I should run the Half marathon in 2 weeks. Because I was only running 3-4 miles four times a week with one long run on the weekend, I felt very out of shape. I had never run over 11 miles before in my life and felt like I wouldn’t have the endurance to complete the half marathon. I felt even more concerned when I found out that the race climbed about 2200 ft in the first 6 miles. Marc told me to relax and have confidence because I was in shape and I didn’t have to worry about it. He basically told me to stop stressing out over it, have fun, and to have confidence in myself because even though it wasn’t all running as training, I definitely put the work in this summer.
If you know someone who wants to get better at running, but is unsure of what to do, contact Marc. There’s nothing worse than seeing a runner not reach their full potential, right? Do the right thing.