So two and half years ago, I met with Coach Tony.
told me that I could learn to run and that I might actually enjoy it.
Every time Coach Tony told me I could run further than I had before, I seriously questioned his sanity.
That's when my husband suggested that I go see Tony
At my initial meeting with Tony
the first question he
asked me is "What do you want to achieve?
Number one: keep me from injuring myself.
Number two: help me get to my first 5k and finish it "respectably for my age".
Running with Tony
was a challenge at first because I was now running outside and running hills with more and more frequency.
I would complain about each and every hill he
placed in my route.
I knew something had dramatically changed when on a 3 mile run I lost my balance and as I was falling my first thought was to protect my Garmin watch.
My first race was on Mother's Day and I was ready because of training with Tony
Since starting regular private lesson with Tony
, this has been transformed.
Knowing my running wishes and challenges, Tony
formulates weekly workout calendars that have been instrumental in enhancing my joy of running.
The private workouts have been particularly pivotal in helping me "turn around" my running skills and attitudes.
The individual coaching Tony
provides has made me a much "smarter" and skilled runner.
If I have an appointment, I'll show up, and that's exactly the structure Coach Tony Williams provides.
Here I feel if I skipped without a good reason that I would get a ton of crap from Tony
, especially since he
plans my workouts around my schedule.
In fact, one time I was running late from work and someone was waiting there to help me get started on my workout.
called me on my cell to see if I was still coming that evening… what gym does that?
I remember my first group run was in February, and Tony
had me walk 2 miles, run a mile and walk the next two.
1. New Experiences - Every week Tony
crew lay out a new course for the Saturday group run, somewhere throughout King County.
Whether it's running through Pike Place Market, across I-90, or from peak-to-peak on Tiger Mountain, all I have to do is sit back and take in the scenery while I run.
2. Smart Workouts - Tony
personally prepares my running schedule for me.
builds in the right amount of challenge balanced with the right amount of rest in order to maximize my progress and minimize injury.
considers my family, work, and travel schedules to give me a plan I can accomplish.
3. Constant Motivation - I'm a very self-motivated person, but just knowing Tony
and AR are there makes me push myself a little bit harder.
It makes me get up on those mornings when I'd really rather sleep in and it makes me step up in the last stages of a race or tough workout.
4. Knowledgeable Advice - Whether I need a great stretch for my Piriformis muscle or just need to know what to do about the blisters I got from those #$@%* new shoes the day before my marathon, Tony
and the AR crew come through.
5. Friendship - Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Tony
AR staffers, and the entire AR clientele are just plain fun to hang out with.
They are friendly, funny, supportive, and they care about my personal goals and progress.
The AR team after 24 hours of Ragnar
Coach Tony and Always Running prepared me for my first marathon (Vancouver, BC, 2000), and have coached me through nine more since then.
They helped me qualify for Boston, and made sure I ran it without blowing up from over-excitement . They got me through a brutally hot half-ironman triathlon in Eastern Washington, including preparing me for the 1.2 mile open water swim.
I was part of the AR team that took first place for our age group in the 187 mile, 24 hour, Ragnar NW Passage Relay race from Blaine to Langley in 2008 (OK, my one and only podium finish, but only because we had a couple ringers on the team).
And most recently, Tony
prepared me to successfully finish the 2009 Goofy's Challenge at Disneyworld, a half-marathon on Saturday followed by a full marathon on Sunday.
I don't know what my next event will be.
I hate not having something to look forward to, so Tony
and I are plotting.
That's when I met Tony Williams
at Always Running
I have to admit that at first I wasn't all that impressed with the small boutique studio gym located on Green Lake in Seattle, after spending years belonging to mega-gyms.
But I knew from the first moment I sat down with Coach Tony that this was what I was looking for.
We had an in-depth discussion of what goals I had for myself (stuff I wasn't even sure of when I walked in the door) and how he
could help me attain them.
let me know right from the start that if I was going to change my life (yes, my LIFE) that it had to start with me.
It was at my first Wednesday Night Group Run that I saw what a great rapport all of the clients have with each other.
There is a great network of support amongst the staff and the clientele of Always Running
Everyone there made me feel very comfortable from the get-go.
For my first "run" Tony
paired me up with someone that was compatible with my level of running and we hit it off.
As the months have gone by I've seen more and more the level of personal service that is available, from doctor referrals to yoga classes to nutrition and massage therapists and I've had nothing but a positive, supportive experience at Always Running
The old me
I have now been working with Tony Williams and Always Running for 9 months and I've lost 60 lbs and gained a huge amount of self-esteem.
I've also enjoyed making some new supportive, like-minded friends that have become a part of my new life of fitness.
What surprises me most after all these months of working with Coach Tony and Always Running is that I've become a runner.
I got here not only because of my hard work but because of the training I received from Coach Tony and Always Running.
I have to admit that I was a little intimidated at first when Tony
asked, "What are you training for?
No. A Marathon?
No. A ½ Marathon?
It took me a year and a half to get to this stage, some will power and a lot of help from Tony
You would think that running is easy and natural but there are lots of tricks.
My private sessions with Tony
have been extremely useful.
I have learned how to run up hill or down hill, how to pace myself, how to think about running.
Challenging running is a constant interplay of mental limits and physical limits.
There are moments when physically I can push myself but I have a deluge of negative thoughts telling me to quit, this is impossible etc.
made me aware of this process and now I know how to deal with it.
In June 2007 I just dropped by the Always Running office and had the first meeting with Tony
asked me what I want to achieve.
I wanted to be able to run again.
I felt I needed adult supervision for doing that in a safe way.
And I craved the energy that running used to give me.
The only way to describe it is "walking on springs".
I wanted to walk on springs again.
took me to a podiatrist and we figured out the old Achilles problem and they both said that it could be managed with care.
taught how to take care of my feet after runs, how to massage them, how to stretch, etc.
corrected some mistakes in my very first evaluation - I even ran my first mile without stopping during this session.
Boost your running I.Q. with tips from Coach Tony and the AR staff.
Coach Tony Williams selected by Runner's World Magazine to coach weight loss challenge.
Coach Tony featured in Fitness Friendly Northwest article.
Coach Tony Williams featured in Pacific Northwest Magazine on establishing a running program.
Coach Tony Williams featured in Seattle Times on aging well.
Tony Pictured with Jersey
"You are the only one who can get you where you want to be. I can guide your steps, but I can't do the work for you." - Tony Williams Founder of Always Running