PR Employee Spotlight - Christie

Today we are spotlighting =PR= employee Christie! You can find her working with runners through her coaching business, out on the trails training for her next ultra race, working at =PR= Springfield, or hanging out with her husband and two young kids! Would you believe that Christie actually used to hate running? Read on to learn more about her story.

1. How did you get into running? Tell us about your running journey! 
I actually HATED running for the longest time. It was really hard for me. I felt bad at it and I was far from a natural. But I liked being outside so after college while I was living in San Diego I kept trying to push myself to run. I eventually could make it 3 miles consistently, and eventually even started enjoying it! Then I moved to Sacramento and discovered trail running along the trails of the Western States 100 and a whole new world opened up! My husband was in law school and while he was studying to take the bar exam I had to stay out of his way so I would head out to the trails to run. A 5 miler would have me back home and bothering him too soon so I stayed out longer and longer. That's when I ran my very first (barely) ultra distance, something I never dreamed possible. Somewhere along the way I fell in love with running and the community that I have found through running clubs, races and different groups. That love has powered me along many many miles, including a 3 day stage race and recently completing my longest race: a 50 miler. 

2. You own your own coaching business, tell us about that! 
I became a coach because I realized how much I would have benefitted from having someone help me figure out why I was struggling at various phases of my running journey. It wasn't because I was bad at running, sometimes I just needed a snack, or a rest day! And I had no idea that a coach was an option for someone like me. I initially went to an Road Runners Club of America coach certification course to learn more for myself and eventually started my coaching business.  I love coaching others with 1:1 coaching and seeing the improvements that come as we work together. No two people are the same so each athlete I work with allows me to think about who they are and what they need to get to their goal. Sometimes it is working through their mid-run nutrition so they don't bonk at mile 18 in a marathon. Other times it is all about the workouts and paces to run. The biggest thing is that as their coach I get to create plans that are personal to each individual and adjust them as life and training collide and to navigate all the way to their goals. If you have ever seen me lose my voice cheering at a race then you know how much I LOVE getting a front row seat to these awesome runners becoming even greater!

3. How do you balance running, coaching, working, etc. with being a mom to 2 young kids?

It usually results in lack of sleep! But like most people that are interested enough to read this, my day is always improved with a run. To make that happen I have logged hundreds of stroller miles and really enjoy bringing my kids along with me. I often run my errands and combine chores with running like loading up the stroller with groceries on the tail end of a run or carrying a package to the post office during my warm up. It may sound crazy but otherwise I may have to choose between the errand and the run! But the biggest thing is that my family knows that running is really important to me and it takes the support of all of them to keep up with my training. My husband always has a delicious meal for me after long runs, him and the kids work around my training schedule, and they all enjoy movie days after long cold winter long runs with me. Training and long days out on trails really takes support from the entire family and without that I wouldn't be able to keep doing it.

4. What is your favorite racing or running memory?
Usually when I coach track sessions for my running club my kids stay home, but this summer there were a handful of days when schedules were extra crazy and both me and my husband had obligations so that couldn't happen. So I packed the kids up, brought popsicles and figured I could tell them to watch us run in circles from a bench. But instead of sitting and watching both of my kids were there to run. They did sprints and each ended up running more than 2 miles in laps around the track in the summer heat because they wanted to be a part of what I was doing. Even when they were hot and tired and I tried to tell them they could just sit and watch they would take a break and hop back in. Because my kids are only 3 feet tall they get dragged along on my runs in the stroller but seeing them insist on doing it together with me was so special. I don't think I had ever smiled so big during a track workout. 

5. What are your 2024 running resolutions or goals?

I am still not sure! I don't love resolutions because my goals and priorities can change as life changes and shifts during the year. I have a 50k on my calendar for spring that I would like to work on a big time improvement for. Other than that I am going to leave things open to decide. A half marathon PR? A 100k? There are so many exciting options!! 

6. Anything else you'd like us to know?
Keep in touch with me, I want to know what you are accomplishing in running too! Instagram:@Coach_CZ_Runs or