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In November of 2007, my second child was born.  I arrived at the hospital forty pounds overweight and knew that unless I delivered a forty pound baby, I needed to make a change.  As a mother of two young children, running seemed like a good way to reclaim the fitness.  It also seemed like a good way to develop a community of encouraging, inspirational friends.  I never ran track or cross country when I was younger, and I didn’t even know anyone who ran, but I didn’t let that deter me.   Before leaving the hospital I signed up for a half marathon… with hills… in June.  I know. Call me crazy but I needed something to get me started.

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I ran three days a week.  I put the baby in the stroller and I pushed her.  I wasn’t doing any speedwork or strength training, but I still managed to complete my first half marathon in 2:01.  It’s amazing how much easier it is to run WITHOUT pushing a stroller, though I was so sore that I couldn’t go up and down stairs for two weeks.  My “social” running continued for five years.  I was complacent in my training, and was happy to just “run” a race.  I raced all distances, but focused on at least two marathons per year.   I got my marathon time down to 3:52, but couldn’t seem to break past it.  Then things got worse.  A marathon that I hoped to finish in 3:45 took me over five hours!   My poor performance left me disenchanted with running altogether and I knew that I needed to make another change.

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That’s when I started Runner’s Strength Project with Mat.  I knew I needed to get stronger – much, much stronger if I was going to run faster.  And boy did it work!  Having just completed the New Jersey Marathon in 3:35, I can easily say that using the Runner’s Strength Project was the best decision I’ve ever made for my health and fitness.  Not only have I gotten faster, but my racing performance has improved, too.  I ran my marathon with a negative split and crossed the finish line feeling STRONG, FAST, and (most importantly) HAPPY!   2016 has been my most EPIC racing season to date – and it’s only May!  I have achieved PRs in every distance from 5k to marathon.

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Regular strength training using the Runner’s Strength Project has transformed my body – and in a short period of time. The picture above was taken during a 5k in August of 2014, just a few months before I started using the Runner’s Strength Project system by Coach Mat. At the time, I felt pretty good about my fitness level. As you can see from the picture below, I had tremendous untapped potential, which Mat helped me reveal through this strategic, structured strength training program. The challenge of kettlebells allows for consistent improvement, increased energy, and expeditious recovery.

I never imagined that at age 42 I would be in the best shape of my life! I feel excited and privileged to serve as a role model for my children. My daughter was recently admiring my muscles and exclaimed, “Mom, I don’t want you to be skinny – I want you to be STRONG!” And I am. Happy, healthy, strong!

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Now, I can’t guarantee that by using the Runner’s Strength Routine you’ll drop over 15 minutes from your marathon time but I can say that it’s helped me feel better about myself, my capabilities and about my potential as a runner (and just an overall healthy person) and I bet it’ll do the same for you.

Colleen

Check out the Runner’s Strength Project here:

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