Coaches of Color Initiative Recipient and Trail Running Badass - Jessica Schnier

Coaches of Color Initiative Recipient and Trail Running Badass - Jessica Schnier


Jessica Schneier is a hardworking and passionate trail enthusiast who recently started her own coaching business, Smiles and Miles.

Jessica is also the inaugural grantee of the Coaches of Color Initiative, which we'll learn more about in this episode.

We have had the good fortune of working with Jessica over the last several months, and you are in for a treat.

And if you're looking to level up your hiking, elevation gain training, and all things outdoor fitness, Jessica is the coach for you.



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Podcast Transcription

The following transcript is provided for your convenience. It was created through a program, and may not be entirely accurate to our conversation.

[00:00:00] Jessica: For me as a coach to also have that conversation with my athletes of like our goals. Aren't just times it's not just a number. So that's a conversation that I have with them a lot, but also something that I think about alive. Like, it's not just a number, all these things, your results your success.

[00:00:19] Bertrand: Hello. And welcome to the race mob podcast. This is episode number 91.

I'm Bertrand, head coach of RaceMob, and founder of two legit fitness. I'm joined by my great friend, Kevin Chang, entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd, and founder of RaceMob.

We're joined today. By Jessica Schneier.

She's a hardworking and passionate trail enthusiast who recently started her own coaching business, Smiles and Miles.

Jessica is also the inaugural grantee of the Coaches of Color Initiative, which we'll learn more about in this episode.

Kevin and I have had the good fortune of working with Jessica over the last several months. And I can tell you, you are in for a treat.

And if you're looking to level up your hiking, elevation gain training, all things outdoor fitness, Jessica as the coach for you.

And without further ado we hope you enjoy this episode as much as we did.

Start of the Interview

[00:01:13] Bertrand: Welcome RaceMob family!

We're very excited to have Jessica, our 2022 Coaches of Color initial apprentice, Jessica hails from the great state of Iowa and now lives in San Diego. She's an accomplished runner emphasis on trail running. Recently run a 50k earlier in the year and completed her first 50 miler.

And we are looking forward to hearing what she has in store for the balance of the year, and also talking all things, running, all things trail running, welcome, jessica.

[00:01:47] Jessica: Hi Coach B and Kevin. Thanks so much for having me on.

[00:01:49] Kevin: All right. Ah, thank you so much for joining us. And welcome to the podcast.

[00:01:55] Jessica: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah. Super excited to be here. I've been looking forward to this for quite a while.

Becoming a Coach and Applying for the Grant

[00:01:59] Kevin: Fantastic. Well, as coach alluded to you are the initial uh, recipient of the coaches of color initiative grant.

Talk to us a little bit about how you became aware of the program, how you applied for it and, and why, why do you wanna get into coaching?

[00:02:13] Jessica: Yeah. Yep. That's a great question. Honestly it was really timely for me because I was kind of coming off of the transition from, working in my college lab. Um, I used to work in a research lab at Iowa state university.

And it was kind of coming off of that. It was like the pandemic, so I was kind of going through some career changes to and at that point had really kind of dived in just into training theory, coaching, all of those sorts of exciting things.

Just a lot of things that piqued my interest. Um, And had been coaching a few friends just for fun, for free, just to kind of see if I even liked it. If I enjoyed coaching at all, and I loved it.

The free coaching that I did was kind of like the highlight of my days. So I think what happened is I was reading a trail runner magazine, which happened to have an article about the Coaches of Color Initiative on their page at one point, and I had read it and like kind of pulled it up and was really interested.

honestly, like didn't even think about applying for the first, week or so after I read it. But it came up on my feet again, and I started to think about it more. And I started to think about how the timeline would've worked well for me, if that would've, come to fruition and sent in an application kind of not thinking that anything would come of it.

But obviously it was very, very lucky and super excited to have been selected. And it's been pretty life changing for. Pretty awesome experience.

I think the best part has been being able to meet all of the awesome people through Coach of Color Initiative, particularly the advisory board. So it's been a really, really awesome experience.

[00:03:36] Kevin: Just behind the scenes a little bit, both coach and I, you are on the advisory board. Obviously coach is, is much more involved and, and very well involved with whole initiative from the ground up and the inception of it.

And, your application when it came through, obviously we just saw so much potential. So much enthusiasm, so much energy coming from you.

Obviously there were a lot of really well deserving applicants and hopefully many of them, we will welcome throughout the next couple of years. And we encourage all of them to, to reapply because there were just so many deserving candidates.

And so, really, really excited that you took us up on the initiative on the challenge that you accepted the fellowship.

Jessica's Background

[00:04:17] Kevin: Talk to our audience a little bit about your background.

[00:04:19] Jessica: Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah. So I am originally from Iowa. Um, My mom is from South Korea. She came over to the United States way before I was born. She met my dad when he was stationed in the army in South Korea and they fell in love, the whole love story. And she came back to the United States.

My dad's side of the family is Hispanic. So I am quite a bowl of stew, I guess of different ethnicities. But I've always been really thankful of, I guess my cultures growing up because, growing up and visiting different families, visiting different parts of the world really like helped open my eyes to, just diverse people diverse cultures um, a lot of different ways of thinking. and I think that that really helped shape me into who I am today. So very thankful for that and my family all of that.

So yeah. Grew up in Iowa. Went to school at Iowa state university and I studied actually biology and environmental science. And my background is research in entomology, which is the study of insects and animal behavior.

So super different than what I'm doing now. But super passionate about the area. And I think kind of thinking back to why I study that and like why I was so interested because I am a very passionate person about things that I'm interested in, running, being one of them.

So throughout all of that time when I was studying bugs I was also very interested in running. So I was also kind of going that path as well um, the same time.

Taking an Interest in Coaching

[00:05:34] Bertrand: In particular, Jessica, what has drawn you to coaching?

I mean, it's one thing as we all Kevin, myself, and you are all athletes love running, getting outdoors, Kevin running with his pup, you running with your pups. But in particular, what is it about coaching that spoke to you.

[00:05:51] Jessica: Yes, I think it's definitely, of course the people I think the people make the best part of running. And the running community is always what has kind of kept me. So I think, all the people that I've gotten to meet throughout my journey kind of credit them for where I am now.

But getting to just deal with so many people interact with so many people is like, what excites me the most about my athletes that I work with. I feel like the coolest people on the planet.

All of them just have really interesting life stories. Just are incredible people. So first off, like they are like, what keep me motivated, what keep me excited about coaching.

And then I think just my passion for running in general.

I've always been a very passionate runner and always really enjoyed running with people kind of talking about running, how can we train, more efficiently, just like keeping those conversations going being very open about my experience, asking other people about their experiences too.

I'm pretty much an open book when it comes to my life, but especially my running life. I think getting to hear other people's stories and like sharing stories with them has really kept me, kept me interested.

Getting into Running

[00:06:50] Kevin: Yeah. Have you always been a runner? When and when did you get into the sport of running?

[00:06:55] Jessica: Yeah. Yep. So I uh, started running, I would say in middle school. I think, I remember probably when I was even younger than that. Running like some local five Ks with my mom. She's a runner. She does it more for like the health aspect. She does it early, early in the morning, so I remember like waking up for school and she was just getting back for her run.

So it was kind of something that I knew that she did. I never really saw it happen too much. But then in middle school, sports teams start to form and I wasn't particularly good at anything that involved a ball. So track was kind of my, my area, I guess. Um, and all of my friends did track.

So that was really an easy transition for me. Just kind of do what all of your friends do. So I did that. I remember I really wanted to be a sprinter, but I was not a good sprinter. I have no fast switch muscles in my body. So I think my coaches and anybody on the team kind of.

Pushed me more towards distance running. Mostly because I, I wasn't a good sprinter, so they just put Jessica there instead. But really had grown to love just kind of the sport in general, but mostly just getting to hang out with my friends all day going to track meets all those things.

And then in high school ran track and then my senior year of high school, I joined cross country too.

And that was really kind of a big turning point for me. That's really when I started to learn to love distance running specifically. Cause I feel like before that I kind of just did it because I had to but cross countries where I really learned like my space in running and enjoyment and running and enjoy in running.

And I think that's really key kind of where I learned that you can really love the sport that you play and it can really enrich your life.

So there was that, and then beyond high school, I chose not to run in college. For a team. But joined a the club team at my school. So the Iowa state running club, and that was just such a blast.

Those people are truly awesome. and I just had so much fun on the team and that's kind of where I was introduced more to trail running and ultra running specifically. that's where I am today now.

In Hindsight

[00:08:54] Bertrand: Jessica, if we were to actually have your high school coach with this right now on this podcast, actually, we're gonna have him dial in, right?

No, just joking.

But if we're to, to ask him tell us about Jessica, the athlete from your competitiveness things, your work ethic what would he say? He or she, yeah, that's,

[00:09:10] Jessica: Yes, he, he was also my college physics teacher. So I think he got an interesting dynamic of me.

Both as Jessica, the school nerd and Jessica, the runner. I think he would say, definitely I think my work ethic showed really really well through the cross country team. I was always willing to show up every day, showed up to every summer. Honestly, I can say it wasn't necessarily the running that kept me with it though.

It was my friends on the team. So but I do remember him telling me once at the very end of our like, school cross country banquet at the end of the year. And he said to me, Jessica, I think you're just gonna keep getting better as the distances get longer.

I always joke that I don't think he had ultra marathons in mind when he had witness said that, but I think that's really stuck with me.

I think it just goes to show. Coaches don't even realize the, the things that they're saying and how they affect their athletes. But I still think about that to this day. And I'm 25 now. And I still think about something that he said to me when I was a senior in high school. And I think about that in races, as I, as I tackle a new distance I always think about that, what, what he said to me.

So I think it's, it's just really important to know as coaches that like the little things that you say to your athletes really make big differences.

The Coaching Business

[00:10:15] Kevin: talk to us a little bit about your coaching business. Obviously you've basically started it this year. Mm-hmm and as, as we talked kind of before this podcast, it's grown quite well so talk to us about kind of the start, how you're doing today. What were some of the like initial hurdles or things that you had to learn or things that maybe you were confused about before, starting the, the business

[00:10:35] Jessica: Yeah, yeah, definitely. So yeah, I started my official coaching business. At the beginning of this year, I think end of February early March was kind of when I officially like had a real LLC and everything.

And it's grown fast. It's been really awesome. Um, Have had a lot of really amazing athletes join the team, which has been incredible. yeah, I think kind of going into it, there's just a lot of just confusion about like, how do I do all these things? How do I get athletes? How do. File for an LLC, like, the more nitty gritty stuff, but even like the bigger things of like, what's my coaching philosophy.

But what's been really great is thanks to the Coaches of color initiative. I've had to had the opportunity to see a lot of different coaches and see how they do things and ask them the silly questions of like, how do I do taxes and all these crazy things. So that's been really, really incredible.

And really helpful for sure. And that's, I don't think I'd be where I am without all the help of everyone else.

So yeah, so my business is called Smiles and Miles coaching. And the goal of that is really helping runners in finding the joy in the process and using running as a way to supplement their life.

So by that, I mean, using training and approaching in a way where it's really exciting and it enriches your life. it's not all consuming. We are runners, but we're humans first. So I think we have to really take a holistic approach to training and be because of that, like, no athlete's training should look the same because everyone's lives are different.

So that's really like a key point for me is like, I want your training to suit your life. First, so my goal is to provide support and enthusiasm for my athletes through all the highs and lows of life, and then find a way for. To be exciting and exist within all of that too.

Finding the Right Clients

[00:12:14] Kevin: That's incredible.

I think when somebody's thinking about starting a coaching business or, or going into it, there's almost two aspects of it that are, are really challenging or really difficult.

One creating the plans themselves or, or the training themselves and, and that, that you have enough experience to be able to build those plans, right? And then also attracting runners and getting them, you know Finding the right finding runners that are, are suited for you and your business and, and where they, where they're hanging out.

So I guess I'm curious, how did you go about both of those sides of your business?

[00:12:43] Jessica: Yeah, definitely. I think when it comes to finding runners that, kind of suit my, my area, I guess my area of expertise is word of mouth has been very helpful and I've had a lot of really I'm just very grateful for all the people that I've helped me kind of get where I am.

I have a running coach as well. David Roach coaches me he's a pretty well known trail running coach, probably one of the, I would consider him one of the best trail running coaches in the world. But through him he's really helped me out a lot. Just like referring athletes to me that he thinks like, Hey, I think you'd fit really well with Jessica.

And then connecting them with me, sometimes it works out. Sometimes it doesn't sometimes I refer them out to if, if I don't feel, if it's a good. So that's been really helpful first off is just like having people who are willing to kind of share my name out. And then also on top of that has just been through my athletes sharing their stories, talking to other people.

I'd say a good majority of my athletes also come from just from other athlete referrals, which has been really awesome that like, to know that like, supporting my athletes well enough that they feel like they want other people to like have my support too. So that's been really, really awesome from that aspect.

Advice to New Coaches

[00:13:50] Bertrand: And Jessica, since coaching is Kevin referenced you this being year, one, year one for you, what advice would you give somebody who's just getting into, or thinking about it like the two or three biggest learning lessons that you wish you knew before you officially started up.

[00:14:05] Jessica: Yeah, definitely.

I think number one is find a network connect with other people who our coaches to chat with just kind of learn their stories. It's also really nice just to have people there that, you you can ask questions to when you come to a hurdle because it's going to happen. You're. Yeah. Have an athlete, ask you a question that you're not gonna know the answer to, or, anything that could come up.

It's just really awesome to have a network of people for stuff that you can refer to ask questions, refer other athletes to so that's really key. And then I think two is just, for me, it's been like reading a lot of books and listening to a lot of podcasts. I try to read a lot of books from just well known coaches.

Well known running books that has really, really helped me, I think kind of get a broad scope of many, many different coaches because everyone coaches differently, everyone has different training styles, different running beliefs, and just kind of getting as broad of a scope as you can on all the training theories out there.

And then. Dialing in your own training ideas from that. So your training style probably is never gonna look like any other coaches, but you can still pick and choose from other coaches and kind of see what works for you. And most importantly, what works for your athletes.

Common Questions from Beginner Athletes

[00:15:17] Kevin: What would you say is something you see commonly between your athletes, questions that they may have or what's kind of, some of the things that you try to assess or figure out in your early discussions with athletes.

[00:15:28] Jessica: Yeah, definitely. I think first off is kind of asking them, what's your life like right now? And trying to like, get on good terms with them like that they feel comfortable with you confiding in whatever it might be.

And I always tell my athletes right away from the bat, like, I want you to feel comfortable telling me things because life is gonna life and there's gonna be a point where like, training's gonna have to be. Something's gonna have to happen and that's okay. Like, that's a good thing, that we're changing or training to see your life, but I want you to feel comfortable with me just, and it doesn't even have to be specific.

Like you can just say, like, work's been really stressful or something like that. And even that alone, like that can do wonders for your training plan. So I think first off, like kinda keeping like a really open, communication between athletes is really key for. . And then there's always like the common things especially in ultra running of like dialing in your nutrition while you eat, like while you're running.

And I think that's really important and that's a conversation that I have a lot with athletes. What is easy pace, all of those kind of broader topics and running. But once I establish that first, like open and honest conversation with athletes, we can have all the nitty gritty detail topics of running to on top of that.

[00:16:42] Kevin: Oftentimes life happens, right. Things change. Right. And having somebody to. To chat with talk to support, you help keep you motivated and accountable. Those are all the things that you get from a running coach that you just don't often get from, a training plan that gets downloaded.

So I love that you have those conversations and, you help runners, you figure out yeah. These things can be malleable. They can be changed, you life does happen.

So that's great having that conversation early.

If you like our podcast and sign up for our newsletter, where we give you weekly tips on how to run your best race and have fun in the process, just go to RaceMob.com and sign up today.

How the Apprenticeship is Going So Far

[00:17:18] Bertrand: Jessica, we are going into the six month of your apprenticeship. And inevitably we're gonna have some potential individuals, that are being considered for the next round of apprenticeship. If you wanted to give the audience, maybe just a little recap, a summary of how the first five and a half months have gone so far, five, six months.

[00:17:39] Jessica: I think these first couple months have been absolutely awesome. First off, just to kind of put that out there you know, I've gotten to shadow different coaches and different people on the advisory board every month. So I basically shadow someone new every month of the year.

and it's been really, really awesome because through that, I get to see so many different coaching styles. I think it's really important to note that like everyone coaches very differently and it's all right, like everyone does it like perfectly well. But what's really neat is they all have their own.

Their own ways of doing things, their own ways of giving out training plans, talking to their athletes, all those things. and they're all incredible coaches. So like through that, I can learn, what's my style, how am I gonna interact with my athletes just through watching them. And then on top of that, like you can get all my questions answered kind of learn through them, talk about training, all of these fun things to so it's just really nice to have people to bounce ideas off of Tackle like hard questions when it comes to coaching.

Cuz they inevitably come up when it comes to just your athlete's lives. how do we support them all the way to like their mental skills? All of those things. So there's a lot of hard-hitting topics that are just like really important conversations to have. So that through coach of color initiative, I've been able to have those conversations.

And I think that's really key. And then on top of that too, I've gotten. Experience, my first running retreat through endeavor run got to go that to that in Austin, in February. And I have actually never been to a running retreat myself as a participant. So that was like a really awesome experience to get kind of see on the ground people coaching and real life and even engage with athletes as well and try my best to coach them as well.

So that's been a really, really awesome experience.

[00:19:19] Bertrand: Thank you for sharing your some of your, takeaways so far and, from my vantage point and being fortunate enough to spend like two months with you working together, it's been fantastic. Jessica joined for several coaching sessions has given some feedback to both Kevin and I participate in some of our RaceMob admin calls.

As we're looking to roll out some new initiatives in growing our RaceMob Community. And you bring ideas, you bring energy and enthusiasm and insight which we greatly appreciate that. I, we are sure that your athletes are realizing right now.

[00:19:54] Jessica: Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, enthusiasm is kind of my jam. That's kind of what I try to bring to every every meeting, every athlete interaction my athlete training logs.

I think like if you can approach any situation with enthusiasm, Granted that if it's I think that that's, kind of where I, I try to aim.

Challenges of the Coaching Business

[00:20:11] Kevin: What would you say has been the most challenging thing about starting a coaching business and also like what's been unexpected?

What, what do you think you didn't really think? You'd have to do when starting the business?

[00:20:21] Jessica: Yeah, I think most challenging thing would probably be just like imposter syndrome, just as a. kind of feeling like, am I equipped to, to do this? Like, am I even like a good coach? Is this training plan even good?

Like, am I athlete? Am I supporting my athletes? Well so I think that's something that, happens in any career. It's not just coaching. But when it comes to coaching, running results are pretty clear.

Like you either meet your goal or you don't, or you, reach a PR or you don't. But I think what's really important.

For me as a coach to also have that conversation with my athletes of like our goals. Aren't just times it's not just a number. So that's a conversation that I have with them a lot, but also something that I think about alive. Like, it's not just a number, all these things, your results your success.

Isn't going to be a number specifically. So I that's something that I think about a lot and try to have conversations with my athletes Um, When it comes to something expected, unexpected that I have come across, I think is honestly, this is total opposite of imposter syndrome, but also the, the confidence that I've been given from my athletes not only through just like, seeing them do their runs in like enjoy it, but also just like hearing their stories hearing their race recaps, just, having these conversations with them that like...

Really make me feel like, yes, things are going well. So I think that that's been pretty unexpected. It's just like feeling like confidence in myself, confidence in my own, running in my own life. Also through the avenue of coaching.

Athletes Highlights

[00:21:47] Kevin: That's incredible. And we haven't talked to your athletes yet, but I'm pretty sure they're doing an amazing job. So do you wanna highlight a couple of, of athletes and some of their accomplishments over the last couple of months?

[00:21:57] Jessica: Yeah. Yeah. I think honestly, it's just been so cool.

So my coaching is primarily done through daily communications, so we communicate in the training log and we kind of talk back and forth every day about running about all things. But I think just some really cool things to highlight are just seeing the athletes like kind of point out one of their weaknesses and really, really narrow down on it and like work on it hard.

So I have one athlete. She actually also lives in the bay area, but she has been really dialed in on her nutrition and she has taken her training log to a whole new level in such a good way of like adding in. So we talk about. But she's also added in a whole tab on her training log about nutrition.

So she puts in everything that she eats down to like the calories specifically. Yeah, it's been pretty awesome. She's training for a hundred mile race, so it's very necessary to look into these things and like, make sure you have your nutrition dialed, but it's been awesome to see her go from, well, I ran a hundred K and barely ate anything all the way to like keeping track.

Like how many sour patch kids she ate how many calories she ate per hour to what the dilution of her tailwind was like to all those things. So that's been such a success. I feel like, and her race isn't even until October, so I can just see like that projection of like how awesome she's already preparing herself so that she'll have an amazing race day.

And then, I think that's just like one of the key things that like, when we have these. Like I said before, like they don't have to be a number but we can have a goal of like, I want to be better with my nutrition and that's inevitably going to improve your race performance as well.

So it's been just really awesome to see little journeys like that. Along the way of, training for crazy races too. . .

[00:23:40] Kevin: Yeah, that's incredible. And no reason to have imposter syndrome, obviously, you know, endurance sports, you know, all of this, so, well, you and you have so many personal experiences. But yeah, just wanted to say, like, I think that every conversation that I've had with you, you are extremely bright. You know what you're talking about.

You've been there, you've done that before. And so it's really. See that your athletes are also having, a lot of success with you.

[00:24:05] Jessica: Thank you. Yeah. Thanks for that. I think, I, what's important is like to note that like every experience that you have, you know, yourself, or, with your athletes is like very, very meaningful.

And like you can learn from all of those. So like, I often think back to some of my worst races in my life and they've been like the best learning experiences for me. And I think that those terrible races have made me a better coach because I've used them to learn. They've been better learning experiences than the good races too.

So I think that that's, that's really key to make sure that, you take all those experiences and. Really narrow down on them and learn from them.

[00:24:38] Kevin: Yeah. Yeah. Hopefully, hopefully we're making some of the mistakes so that the others don't have to make those same mistakes. Yeah. and as I often talk to Coach B about, you know you're not just a running coach, oftentimes you're a life coach and you really are, helping people you know, you're giving them a plan.

You're giving them the training, but you're giving that support, the accountability, the other pieces. So it's, it's awesome to see that you have that open two way conversations with your athletes.

[00:25:05] Jessica: Yeah, think that, that part's so key is like the life aspect of things, because you we're not just runners for humans too.

And in our training logs, I notice, especially as I start to work with an athlete longer, their like life notes section gets, gets longer and longer and more elaborate, which is such a good thing. Like I love, seeing that. And it makes me feel like I'm doing something right. When, like they can talk more about like, what are some stresses or like good things going on in life.

And like, that it might affect training. It might not like you might just wanna include, something good that happened. And that's awesome. So that's what, makes me like kind of note, like, okay, we're on a good track with this athlete because they're talking about life too.

I think that's a really cool thing.

Supporting the Athletes

[00:25:42] Bertrand: Yeah, Jessica, let's go go back to some of your race experiences and the takeaways that contrast.

You wanna race this year, right? Yes. Not always nice to do congratulations again. And you don't want for your first 50 miler and what you learned in that experience. Wow.

For yourself as an athlete, how it benefits your athletes. And I think just those takeaways be valuable for our audience.

[00:26:07] Jessica: Yeah. So this year, my beginning of the year, I guess, a race was lake Sonoma, 50 miler. So I, that was in April, beginning of April. and I had kind of been gearing up for that for a really long time.

Felt very, very well prepared for that. And throughout that had been using some local training races a half marathon and a 50k um, to kind of gear my, my legs and my brain for the race. And through that, like my 50, was a pretty breakthrough race for me. I think I PRD by almost 40 minutes, it was like 37 minute PR or something like that.

Wow. It was awesome. It was such an incredible race. Had some really, really awesome competitors out there, which was so fun and it just like really makes your whole race experience to have a good competitors with you and gotta meet some really cool people.

So that was a really awesome race. And then next was lake Sonoma and I was super ready for that. Probably the fittest I've ever been in my whole life felt really good leading up into the race. Felt good on the start line felt good up until mile 25.

And then something just kind of happened. Something clicked after about halfway.

I just was feeling off I couldn't really pinpoint like where my body, like what wasn't feeling good, but I kind. Just, took it off as like, okay, it's 50 miles. Like you're not gonna feel right. But I couldn't really pinpoint, like, something just didn't feel right. And then things went down downhill pretty quickly.

got really sick was throwing up on the course. Yeah. Which normally is not like a total make or break for me. Because I have thrown up in races before and rallied and finished, so. Wow. But this one was like so different. I couldn't really pinpoint, like, what was. just kind of eventually was a little checked out of the race.

Again, still didn't really know what was wrong with me, cuz I didn't feel nutrition related. I ended up DNFing at mile 38 and that was my first DNF ever. I've never like quit anything in the middle of it, in life or in racing. So that was kind of, it was interesting because I thought I was gonna be more disappointed in myself than I.

But was not really too disappointed was still really happy with effort that I put out there had learned a lot of things. And then about two days after the race, I came down with the worst case of the flu that I had ever had so I kind of realized like, oh, maybe I was, the, my body was fighting off flu or whatever I had.

And that's why my race ended up the way that it was.

Regardless of whatever happened, maybe it was the flu. Maybe it wasn't. had really learned like, why do we race? And what do we hope to get from races? And, where does that like confidence in racing come from? And it was just a really interesting experience for me to like go through that DNF and never once feel disappointed in it.

So that was kind of something that I had toyed a lot with and like thought a lot about. and has no doubt made me a better coach because I had, an athlete who just recently ran a race and started to experiencing really bad nutrition problems, ended up DNFing as well. And we just like really, really connected on that avenue of like, what does this day enough really mean?

Like, are we total complete failures? Well, no, obviously not. But like what can we learn from it first off? And like, how does it tie our identity to racing? Being being a runner in general. So that was a, a big experience for me this year. I'm very thankful for that experience. It sounds silly to say like, I'm super glad that I DNF, but I am I think it was the race to do it at so thankful for that experience.

And I think it's made me just a better runner, better human and a better coach too.

[00:29:27] Bertrand: You did eventually tow the line again for a 50 miler. And how did that, uh, second attempt? Yes. Turn out for you?

[00:29:33] Jessica: Yes. So a few days after my DNF at like, or I guess it was probably a week after my DNF at like Sonoma, because I think I had been feeling a little better about not having the flu at this point.

So I saw that there was a race in mid-May on the PCT. So it's about 45 minutes away from my house here and there was a wait list and the wait list was really long. It was like 20 people long. So I just threw my name on the wait list. Not really thinking anything of it. Didn't think that I was gonna get in and found out like a week and a half before the race.

maybe two weeks before the race. something like that.

Something very soon that I got in and that I was like able to run in it. So I was like, okay, like, I guess we're doing this. um, Let's try again So obviously like fitness had kind of taken a little hit from not running, DNF thing, and then not running for a little bit kind of getting over the flu.

And then trying to dive right back into things. And yeah, I signed up for the P PCT 50 lined up on race day and it was a success I did finish. It was really, really hot. It was like 95 degrees out. So that was a whole experience to running first 50 mile race in the extreme. But it was awesome. It was like such an incredible day.

meet a lot of cool people too, which is always a plus. So that was, yeah, the success story, I guess, there.

[00:30:46] Bertrand: Great. And congratulations here.

Goals as a Coach

[00:30:48] Kevin: Awesome. And, and. Yeah, congrats. That's incredible. That's incredible. All right. Well, what's, what's next? What's next for coach Jessica, both from a running career and, and for coaching in your business, what are some of the things that you're trying to do for your coaching business as well?

[00:31:02] Jessica: Yeah, sure. So for running not officially signed up for anything yet, but the plan right now is to run mammoth trail Fest, 50 K at the end of September. That'll be a whole experience too, cuz it's at altitude and a lot of climbing. So it'll be fun coming from sea level to there. And then PA possibly California international marathon in December.

I like doing a road race, like once a year. I usually say is like my nice sprinkle road racing to keep it exciting. I think that'll be a good marathon to kind of get, get my feet in. Um, And then as for the goal is first off just to continue growing the athlete roster.

Feeling pretty, like really good about the amount of athletes I have right now. Feel good about being able to support everyone can grow it a little bit more. So I got some more space. So that's kind of key right now for also just growing my athletes as a community in general. So kind of giving them an avenue to connect with each other.

Talk to each other, talk, races, talk, all things running all things life. So providing them with some sort of avenue to do that is kind of on my radar here pretty soon. And then just supporting them more in general as a whole. So like starting, we don't have a newsletter yet, so I just kind of emailed them weekly.

But starting like an actual newsletter, a little bit more informative for them. Have a blog going on my, my website now, too, which only has two blog posts, cuz I just started it like two weeks ago. So really starting to like be more consistent with that, establish that more, but really all the things to support my athletes more.

Really my goals right now.

The Blog

[00:32:29] Bertrand: And jessica, you're also doing some work share with a local actually a, a well known race series their, virtual event, California coast, 500. I, why don't you share with your, your weekly blog and, and running tips is how that's coming along.

[00:32:44] Jessica: Yeah. Yep. So that's been a really awesome experience.

Been writing weekly. For the participants of the California coach 500, with run local. So basically I write then anything running related tips that go out in their weekly newsletter. And that's been really awesome. It's been really cool to think about like first off, what are some of the key things that like I missed when I started out running there's a lot out there.

So just some like key things that like conversations that I have very frequently with my athletes. What are some things that like, maybe are barriers to entering, running starting to become, a runner. really touching on a lot of those things. That's been really awesome. It's been nice because it's been making me actually sit down and write and think about like, what are some big topics in running that can help other athletes too.

So that's been really cool.


[00:33:30] Bertrand: And it's been a great way to showcase your coaching business to a wide audience. Both to people who are trail enthusiast and road enthusiasts, which you have interest in both.

[00:33:39] Jessica: Yes, definitely.

Social Media

[00:33:41] Kevin: Awesome. Awesome. Well, where can our audience find you?

Where are you online and, and where can they, where learn more about you and your coaching

[00:33:47] Jessica: business?

Yeah, my website is smilesandmilescoaching.com. Instagram is Jess_schnier. That's J E S S underscore S C H N I E R. That's kind of where my avenues are right now. Probably we'll start a coaching Instagram account pretty soon.

But yeah, those are pretty much

where you can find me right now.

[00:34:07] Kevin: Fantastic. Fantastic. And I know we've talked a little bit behind the scenes about getting you more involved with the RaceMob community. Yes. If we can. So, hopefully uh, there's gonna be a lot more that you guys are gonna hear from coach Jessica.

Again, just such a wonderful person, so knowledgeable uh, especially about, trail running long distance running, all of. Aspects as well as just such a fun person, so enthusiastic. And so we really hope that you guys follow her on Instagram, reach out to her on her website, if you're looking for coaching.

Just as, as she mentioned, she is taking a couple more athletes. So go ahead and reach out to her learn more about her and yeah, I mean, I think just such an awesome conversation um, and hopefully just the beginning of, of an awesome relationship. So. Fantastic.

Yeah. Thank you.

[00:34:51] Jessica: Thanks for having me on.

[00:34:52] Kevin: Well, I hope you enjoyed this episode of the RaceMob podcast. Check out all of the show notes or find a running buddy online at RaceMob dot com. Please subscribe to us on apple, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you listen to your podcast and leave us a review until next time. Keep on moving.