Tara and Zack

This is Tara and Zack. You know those people, the ones you meet and immediately you know their hearts are true and the roots they grow run deep? That is Tara and Zack. Not to mention they’re just fundamentally bad ass, humble, kind and all around amazing folks. I met these two shortly after moving to the valley and over the years we’ve run, and bbq’d, trained in my gym and grown a friendship. They asked for help with a training plan for a 50k, balancing life and a one year old.

From Tara and Zack ~

We signed up for the Rut 50k back in January, somewhat ignoring that summer is a really crazy busy work season for us, and that we’d have a 1 year old in the mix. We knew we needed a plan. Zack had never run a race of any distance, and I was determined to train smarter and feel better than I have in any races in the past. So naturally, we asked Carolyn to help us come up with a training plan to keep us focused, but to also be flexible with our life demands and individual goals. We actually surprised ourselves and managed to stick (mostly) to the weekly workouts – sometimes making family hikes with our daughter in the pack, chariot runs around the neighborhood, and weight workouts on the road, fit into the routine. Turns out 30/30’s hiking uphill with a kiddo on your back is great training! Carolyn’s plan kept us on track without feeling overwhelmed, and kept us training smarter and more focused than I ever have before. We stayed injury free and feeling great all the way until race day, and had a ton of fun getting out together for all of the long runs (an added bonus we relished as new-ish parents!)

Race day came, and in the handful of longer trail races I’ve done over the last 5 years, I have never had the experience of feeling great for an entire race. I kept waiting for the bonk or the dreaded mental game of pushing through the desire to just stop going and take a nap instead:) It was incredible. Granted I wasn’t winning any medals that day, I did finish over an hour faster than I expected and felt pretty darn good the whole time. Zack, having never run that far, and never competed in a race, had an equally successful day and we both finished injury free and really psyched about the day and the whole season leading up to it.

I was amazed at how much of a difference focused training made in my running. Carolyn’s methods took a much different approach than my typical ‘just go as hard as I can whenever I have time’. And surprise, surprise, it worked:) Thanks Carolyn for sharing your knowledge and motivation with us – looking forward to planning for the next goal!