My love affair with running fell into place after years of playing soccer. It became an easy mind and body refresher before long days of studying, working or being a wife and mother. Then came my love for racing. I embraced the race mornings of 5Ks, 10Ks, and even half marathon or two. Until one late winter morning, I decided I wanted to tackle my first marathon. At the age of 37 and a mother of two, I was nervous about the time commitment and the strain on my body that training would demand. If I was going to take on a marathon, I wanted guidance from the BEST. The best was Ron and The Mile to Marathon team.
When I sat down with Ron for the first time, I had a few goals in mind for my inaugural marathon: 1. Finish 2. Avoid injury 3. Qualify for Boston. Ron put together a unique training plan for me, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and gave me the confidence that I could achieve all of my goals and more. Not only that, but I had the most amazing teammates that inspired me week after week. What a summer!
*Marathon Goal Time- 3:40 **Actual Marathon Finish Time- a Boston Qualifying - 3:28:15
Thank you, Ron, and Thank you Team Mile to Marathon. I can’t wait for 2019!
I started running early in 2001 I had this motto that I would never quit running as long as I was never last in a race… I came close in 2002 when I did my first 15K where I was 2nd to last place finisher… And so that 2nd to last place finish began my quest to keep building running goals… I hooked up with runners and took a first time marathoners class… I did finish and decided I really could become good at this…Then I Met coach Ron!!!! and have successfully trained with him for years. His coaching has been the key to my success… He has taught me how to improve my mental performance, my gait, my speed, my endurance…. etc… He has brought me from a 4:20 marathon to successfully qualifying for the Boston Marathon in 2006 at the Fargo Marathon in 3:40:30…. After I ran Boston in 2007, I took a long break from running… almost 12 years to focus on a family… I gave up running all together… Once I realized that I needed running back in my life & how much I really missed it… I sought out Ron to get back in the game… I needed a team that would help me get speed, strength, endurance and fun back into my running game! I started training with MTM and was so please with the diverse pace groups and talent of the group members both on and off the roads! The best decision I made was coming back to Ron for help!!! It was very difficult running after nearly 12 yrs… It was slow and many times painful… but I have had encouragement and support throughout it all with coach and MTM!... I have gained speed and a desire to get back to Boston… I just ran my 2nd fastest marathon at TCM after a 12 yr break…. !!! Thanks to MTM and Coach Ron Byland for helping me push my limits!!! There is no stopping after I secure another BQ…He’s helping me build this race plan, a mindset, a methodical plan that I know I can achieve for myself… I know when I work a running plan with Ron, we will conquer my quest to be faster and stronger… and my wildest running dreams will come true…
I had hit a plateau with my marathons – 2:55, 2:56, and 2:57 plus I had dealt with injuries that had sidelined me for the past 2 years. I wanted to find a coach to help me breakthrough that plateau and keep me healthy. My college teammate recommended Ron as a coach to help me. I was immediately at ease with him because of his passion for the sport. He listened to my lofty goals, past struggles, and current fitness to craft me my own unique training plan. As I progressed he would change/modify the workouts as needed and was there to offer support and encouragement. I liked his coaching philosophy and structure of weekly workouts – it was something I had never done before. I found myself gaining the confidence to run my marathon goal pace and his total belief in my abilities made it easier to believe in myself as well. At each group workout he would explain a different aspect of running or offer races tips. I loved being able to run with a group again – meet new friends and help each other to achieve our own goals too. Before my marathon we met to discuss strategy and go over any last-minute planning. After this meeting I was geared and ready to go! On race day I stood at the starting line filled with confidence that my training brought me, I felt strong the entire time even during miles 20-26! I took 5 minutes off of my PR (now a 2:50:22) and burst through that plateau that I had struggled with. I was so ecstatic with this and I know 100% that I wouldn’t have been able to achieve this without Ron’s help! I would recommend Ron for anybody that runs – you need a coach to be there to tell you that you did a good job and to also keep you honest.
Coach Ron, I hope you were able to catch an early flight, and if not, that you enjoyed some wine and reflection on all of our accomplishments this weekend. 4 PRs, 3 BQs, 6 successful races, and one heck of a fun weekend with a fun and inspirational team!
I have held the dream of a BQ for 10 years and always knew I could get it some way somehow. Truth be told, I did not believe it would happen this time. In many ways, this mindset was self-protectionist; I needed to prepare myself for all possible outcomes.
This weekend exceeded the dreams I have worked for, but would not let myself have. The chemistry of the team is so powerful and is the basis of many more dreams come true.
When I saw you at 20 miles, it was like an angel patiently waiting to help me rise to my potential. I knew it was going to be painful and your coaching pulled me through. You had all the right words and tactics. Seeing Erin in the last couple of miles was a beautiful distraction as the pain intensified. This was the closest I have come to passing out at the finish, but I wanted to wake up with no regrets.
A goal is a very personal thing, and yet it is about community. This is what I think you understand and want your athletes to experience. In the last 10k, I wanted that BQ more for you than I did for me. I wanted it for the team, because I wanted everyone back in Minneapolis to feel inspired and to work hard.
I fully expected to burst into tears at the finish line, but in my deepest exhaustion, there was only breath. Erin cried for me. I could hear Mac yelling for me. And you charged the fence to make sure I was ok. That's a Team.
I am still on the plane, but will walk into my house tonight, put down my bags and cry tears of joy for all that Team MTM accomplished in Phoenix. I look forward to downloading 'select' stories with my kids so they can access inspiration from our race somewhere in their life.
I know this is the essence of why you do what you do. Every now and then we get to live these moments. They come along infrequently so we will fully marinate in the magic. I could not have scripted this any better and I know you appreciate this because your genuine happiness for our success was amazing.
Cheers to our success. It takes a Team, and a Great Coach.
Thank you for all you do.
Coach Ron is our Yoda. His Jedi mind tricks stick with you throughout your training and races. He has little tips and tricks that stick in your mind and you remember them at the best times. (Usually at the end or middle of race and you are looking for inspiration)
He uses his expertise and experience to tailor the workouts for individuals and pace groups based on their training needs for that year. Within my first year of training with Ron he helped me achieve what I thought was an impossible goal; I qualified for the Boston Marathon. Now I’ve gotten even faster year after year.
Not every runner is the same or can endure the same training; Ron does a great job making sure each runner has the resources and training needed to succeed and reach your goals. All you need to bring to the table is yourself! Yoda takes care of the rest. - Nycole