Community, Training, and Boston Qualifying Tips from Coach Sara Manderscheid

Community, Training, and Boston Qualifying Tips from Coach Sara Manderscheid


Sara Manderscheid is a beacon of the running community.

She has a bright, cheerful and warm personality that attracts runners from all around into her running groups. She has the coaching intellect from a decade of reading, training and networking with the top minds in our business, and she has that competitive edge that you know, is needed to hit PR times and inspire others to greatness.

Crazy enough, she decided to turn her hobby into a business at the beginning of the pandemic. So, how does she attract clients? What has she learned and what is she training for today? Well, you're just going to have to listen to find out.

All of the links can be found online at https://RaceMob.com/podcast, including information on Sara's upcoming runners retreat in Boulder, Colorado this July.


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.

Guest Quote

Sara Manderscheid: [00:00:00]

I hired a run coach and that was a really smart decision on my end. I had a very, very busy schedule during the months of training. And if I didn't have her, it wouldn't have happened.
I just know wouldn't have, there's just not enough time in the day to structure my own training plan and then actually execute on it.    And I wanted to make her proud. I just knew I had a level of accountability with her, right?. So what I'll say is that for anyone, you know, looking to run any sort of race or.
Have a running lifestyle. Teamwork makes the dream work like having the people in your life that will support you and love you and lift you high is absolutely needed. ### Episode Intro

Kevin Chang: [00:00:46]

Hello and welcome to the RaceMob podcast.
This is episode number 44.
I'm Kevin entrepreneur technology and fitness nerd, and I'm joined by the head coach of RaceMob and master motivator, the incomparable Bertrand Newson.
Sarah is a beacon of the running community. She has a bright, cheerful and warm personality that attracts runners from all around into her running groups. She has the coaching intellect from a decade of reading, training and networking with the top minds in our business. And she has that competitive edge that you know, is needed to hit PR times and inspire others to greatness.
Crazy enough. She decided to turn her hobby into a business at the beginning of the pandemic. So, how does she attract clients? What has she learned and what is she training for today? Well, you're just going to have to listen to find out. All of the links can be found online at RaceMob dot com slash podcast,    including information on Sarah's upcoming runners retreat in Boulder, Colorado this July.
Links to our running group. If you're in the Denver Metro area and info on how you can hire Sarah as your personal coach and without further ado, here's our conversation.     

Start of the Interview [00:01:55]

All right. We are so happy to welcome to the RaceMob podcast Sara Manderscheid, a run Coach from Colorado, the founder of elevate your running. We just wanted to welcome you to the podcast. Hear your story, and get any helpful tips that we can, from you for our audience today. So welcome to the podcast today, Sara.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:02:16]

Uh, thank you, Kevin. Thank you, Coach. Be I'm so excited to be here.

Sara's Origin Story

Kevin Chang: [00:02:22]

Yeah, absolutely. So Sara, walk us through kind of your origin story. How did you get into running?

Sara Manderscheid: [00:02:28]

Yeah, that's a great question. So, I have been a runner for about 15 years . And I worked in corporate America for about , 12 of those years, and really loved running outside of work, really loved connecting with the running community.
And then I went to a run camp in North Carolina a few years ago, Zap Run Camp, if you're familiar with the zap organization. And it just changed my entire thought process on running and the community that's around running and the camp was just so much fun and it brought joy to so many people. The campers are still connected today. I still talk to them. We see each other on social media where each other's biggest cheerleaders.
And it was just a really fun four days of just all things running with really great people. And after I went to that camp, I thought I want to create something like that. So I initially started a camp in Boulder, Colorado, a run camp in Boulder, Colorado, and then the pandemic kit.
So I transitioned over to getting certified in run coaching and creating run groups in the Denver and Boulder areas. For those people that are looking for that connection during the pandemic that don't have those resources, because a lot of the run groups were canceled last year, right? Anything that involved other people was canceled.
So I offered that to anyone that was interested in it. Um, knowing that we would still be social distancing, we'd still have our masks on, but it was just a good way to connect with other runners and it felt really good. And it was also something I needed to do. So in the process of. All of that came Elevate Your Running, and I'm just really excited to see what can happen in 2021.

Joining a Run Camp

Kevin Chang: [00:04:17]

So incredible. How did you find out about this run camp in North Carolina? What made you want to sign up for it? Tell us a little bit about this.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:04:25]

So I was following a blogger for many, many, many years.    Her name is Terry Adams and she, her handle's a foodie stays fit and she's a big runner. She was a dog mom at the time. She also worked in financial services marketing. So we lived a very similar life.
So I connected with her on Instagram. She was going to the camp and I decided to go as well. And that's how I found out about it. And it was.    Such a great time. So the camp was four days, three nights. We had daily runs. We got to work with run coaches on our run form.
We got to do extra activities in like the Boone Blowing Rock area of North Carolina. We got to run through the mountains and the trees there, which is a little different from Colorado, still very, very pretty. And it was just a really great experience.

Becoming a Certified Coach

Kevin Chang: [00:05:17]

Talk to us a little bit about getting certified to become a run coach. What was that process like?   

Sara Manderscheid: [00:05:23]

So I have read so many books and magazines, like runner's world articles. I've always gravitated towards a lot of educational materials around Renee. So at the start of the pandemic last year, I decided to get officially certified.
So I went through Roadrunners of America to get certified. And that was a really great process. Everything was online and it was full days of training. We got to take an assessment test at the end to share that we, you know, are able to Coach.
And then I've been following a lot of run coaches online. I have run Coach that I've worked with    for about a year now, and I'm also using him and leveraging him and all the things that he knows to create a better experience for my runners and to just learn from him.
And I think that's such a huge part of life.    if we can all just take and learn and grow from the people surrounding us, we're all better humans because of that.

Bertrand Newson: [00:06:27]

Yeah, that's great. In a small world. Um, you know, we've worked with RRCA. Um, we actually had the president and executive director as well, podcast guests in the past as well.
I was certified through that organization in 2018. Was Randy your online instructor? Yes.
And we're laughing because he gets your attention. It is a, you know, definitely engaging in spirited and funny and colorful and welcome to the fraternity, you know, recognizing that you're following your passion and running and paying it forward to other people who are passionate about just moving forward.
So, congratulations.

Running with a Run Coach

Kevin Chang: [00:07:09]

Thank you. I mean, you mentioned that you've been working with the run coach for a little while. , I think this is Tucker, right? That you're working with tiger. Gross. Yeah. . Talk to us a little bit about what you've learned from having a run Coach, the benefits of having a run coach and, and why you're now paying it forward

Sara Manderscheid: [00:07:25] .

I love working with a run coach because I get the opportunity to try new workouts that I wouldn't normally try. I think as humans, most of us like to stay in our safe zone. So if I'm writing my own    plans, I'm going to probably write the plans that I want to run. And maybe not the runs that I should be running, right? So, you know, those mile repeats probably would never make a, an appearance on my schedule,

Kevin Chang: [00:07:55] Coach B's nodding right now.
Sara Manderscheid: [00:08:01]

I think it's really great to work with someone else at the end of the day. I'm also still an athlete. I love to race. I love to compete. I love to push my boundaries. And it's really nice to have someone to talk to about my own concerns and things that I'm feeling and wondering, and those pre-race jitters that we all get.
And just having someone there to ground    me, calm me down.    reassure me that, you know, I've put the hard work into training and everything will, everything will work out the way it's supposed    to on race day. That's why I love working with a run coach. And I think if the people listening either haven't worked with coaches before, or thinking about working with coaches, there really are so many benefits.
They are first and foremost, your biggest cheerleader, or at least that's the approach I take. I want my clients to feel like I have their back and I got them and I will meet them where they're at and then lift them high. And. , help them reach their potential, the potential that they might not even see, but that I see.
So it's really great    to be able to do that for them. I think it's also beneficial when you get into marathon training as a runner, if you haven't been through that experience before, it's very time consuming and to not have to think about what you're running for six days out of the week, or thinking about the extra workouts that you have or what kind of workouts you have is just one nice way to take something off your plate.
As a runner, you don't have to think about it. You can just wake up, look at your app. I use the final surge app as does my coach, and you can just see your daily runs, what you have on the schedule, get it done, save it to your garment, the garment uploads to final surge. And you have a great conversation with your coach about it, on how you felt    and all the things that worked and didn't work.
So I love a Coach for that reason as well. It just    simplifies things and yeah, it's just nice to have a cheerleader, someone that is going to lift you high and also push you to your potential.

Bertrand Newson: [00:10:05]

Great question. And thank you for that answer, Sara.

Running a Coach Business during a Pandemic [00:10:07]

So running Coach, following a passion in the midst of a pandemic, how do you get a coaching business started for the people business running business, community business in the middle of a freaking pandemic.
How do we go about that? Because as much as we have athletes as part of our community, we also have coaches that are, you know, members of the RaceMob community as well. So this is a great opportunity for us to kind of share best practices, which I think is wonderful from coach to coach.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:10:33] .

Yeah, it's definitely not easy.
I'll say I was certified right at the beginning of the pandemic and. I really took some time to figure out how I could approach my run camps or run retreats. And I really wanted to get something off the ground in August of 2020. And unfortunately, that just didn't happen given the circumstances of everything.
But around July of last year is when I decided to start the red groups and these run groups are free run groups. And I thought, well, there really aren't any races.    On the calendar at all, people still    should run. People, need community and connection. So even though this isn't necessarily a way to make a living, it is certainly a way that I can give back.
And I'm also a firm believer that if you do the right thing and that you're a good person, that things will come back to you. , when it's your time. So I started the run group in July of last year, and I had two people on the first day, two people. And last week    it's grown to, I think I had 16 people , which was really nice to see, because this is very grassroots    and it just feels good that people are spreading the word and wanting to come back over and over again.
So I think first just giving back in a time when there isn't a whole lot to do, , I think is a really helpful thing. And there's still people out there too, when there aren't races on the calendar that still need and want to Coach. And I was one of them.
I took time off from using a run coach for several months. And what I found during the pandemic was that I wasn't getting out to run. And I was getting really frustrated when I did go out to run. And I felt like my purpose for running no longer existed. I didn't know what I was running for because I didn't have a race on the calendar.
Which is really strange because I never would have thought that I was that type of runner until there are no longer races on the calendar. And then you do get to reevaluate what type of partner you are.
So I hired a run coach and I think there are still people that need it in a pandemic without races. There's definitely races starting to present them, right? We've seen a lot of marathons starting to pop up the fall. There's quite a few actually, and that feels really good, but I would say, you know, best practices, Coach to Coach is just find those people who    truly, truly love running, want to improve running.
It's a great time, time to help athletes work on their aerobic fitness and get the foundational work built. So when it is time to    go into marathon trail, meaning that athletes are actually stronger for . The last year that we had, they're going to go into training, feeling stronger, healthier, and way more motivated than they were a year ago.

Bertrand Newson: [00:13:34]

Yeah, well said, especially when something is taken away from you. I mean, people had mean going into 2020. There were so many races that, um, either, you know, pushed dates went virtual staggered towards the fall or winter of 2020, and ultimately, uh, didn't present themselves. So there's this pent-up level of people wanting to get out and experience live events.
And we've been fortunate to experience a live event towards the end of February. I was in Atlanta and had a chance to see a live event go off, which was wonderful.

How to Get in Touch with Runners and Potential Clients [00:14:03]

But going back to a running coach and cultivating a business, how are you connecting with potential clients?    what vehicles are utilizing social media and establishing those run clubs and building a sense of community and connecting with individuals?

Sara Manderscheid: [00:14:20]

Yeah, that's a great question. I am definitely meeting a lot of great people through my run groups in Denver.    that is a great way to meet new runners. Strava has been a really fun way to connect with runners as well. Finding runners in the area that I host my run groups, connecting with them, helping them sharing tips.
I am one of those coaches who does like to just give away information, good or bad, but I do at the end of the day, just love helping people. So, you know, sharing tips on their Strava, giving them the kudos, giving them all the love. Also Instagram has been a big way to make connections with other runners.
A lot of people on there have a lot of just profiles designed around running, right? So it's an easy way to be able to connect with other runners and for them to see what I'm all about. And for me to see what they're all about. And then another way has been,    through Facebook groups. There's a lot of,    trail running and just running groups through Facebook in the Denver Boulder area and connecting with them.
And those groups are really great because usually the runners will jump on there and just ask a simple question. Like Denver got to fetus, no on Sunday, we're still navigating through it. Know we've had a few sunny days, which is great, but two feet of snow is a lot of snow to melt. So a lot of runners are asking like, Hey, where's their pasture run.
And for me, just being able to answer that question. And just leave it at that feels so good. So I can help someone get their run in that day or try and organize group runs. I have a lot of people on those group pages that will ask about, Hey, I'm looking for someone to run with on Saturday or Sunday. Do you know of any other things going on in the other group, friends or other people that need or want to run.
And it's a great way to just give some value, add and say, Hey, I actually know of a few group friends that are just started up or Hey, why don't you join me? I'm going out for, you know, a 10 mile run. If that's what you're kind of looking for, let's meet up and connect and, and maybe make a friend out of it.
So definitely run groups and social media.

Bertrand Newson: [00:16:27]

Yeah. Great, great.

Kevin Chang: [00:16:29]

And I guess, I mean, there's so many coaches that would just be happy, like finding a couple of,    athletes to coach and whatnot, but you really take the initiative. I mean, you've already built a website, you have a blog and not only are you doing coaching, but you had a summit recently where you invited a lot of people to a virtual or online summit, you're still working on your camps and other things.

Other Activities and Events

So talk to us about the other things that you're also doing. And we want to hear the stories behind all of that.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:16:57]

Yeah. I put on a run summit, an online run summit last Saturday, and it was just the best day. So listeners might be thinking, what is an online run summit? What does that exactly mean? So we met over zoom over the course of about six hours.
And I brought in about seven different speakers and I was also a speaker to talk about all things running. So I spoke about running fundamentals and just some basic things that I think even experienced runners should hear again, because I think so often we just lace up our shoes and head out the door and there's so many other things that we should be doing, but we don't.
So just kind of going through some of those things I brought in Dr. Justin Ross, he is a clinical psychologist in Denver, and we talked about the mental strength and the mental importance of training right now in a pandemic. And what people can do to push through that and how they can practice it daily on Renee, on every run.
Because when it comes down to race day, if you're not mentally sharp and prepared to push through either the pain that you're not expecting to feel, or if something's on the core, start to go awry and. Things are just looking different than what you anticipated, like what you can do to kind of push through that and still run a successful race.
So that was really fun. I also brought in, uh, Jason Fitzgerald from the strength running podcast. I know Kevin, he was recently on as well. And Jason and I have been just in conversation over the last year through the pandemic. So it was just really great to have him come on and talk about all things, strength, training, and why runners need to do strength training and what that looks like.
It doesn't mean that you need to work out three times a week, an hour and a half in the gym. You know, you're throwing tires, you're S you're slotting, you know, some heavy weight, whatever that is. It's a subjective to everyone. You don't have to do that. It can be simple. It can be 10 minutes after your run and it could be squats, lunges, clamshells. It could just be simple as that just to work and strengthen your quads, your glutes, your hips, all the important pieces to a runner.
So he was really, really awesome. I brought in a coach from Boulder to talk through running form and what that looks like. And that was, I think, one of the highlights of the session, because everyone had a question about running form and what does this look like versus what it should look like?
And it was just a really, really fun experience to go through that,    and find out that most people need tweaks to their running form. And I only know one person who has perfect running for, and that is my own red coat training with Tucker.
Um, I'm always jealous when he seems ready. so we can all have something to work for, um, work towards. For that, but I also brought in a nutritionist to talk through what it means to fuel as a runner, especially when you get into marathon training. I know the first marathon I ran, I didn't anticipate how hungry I was going to be when you're running 60, 70 weeks.
It was definitely a change in eating patterns and eating styles and how much I was eating. But then also like the dietician, Kelsey Beckman. She has a company called meteor nutrition and she's awesome. We talked about what it means to fuel those runs. Rerun poster on how important it is to fuel around your runs versus going out for a long, let's say 16 mile run, and then not refilling until later in the day.
I know sometimes after a long run runners don't have the appetite to eat, but it is still very important to at least get something into your body, to refuel and recover faster for your next run. So I brought her in and we also had Tucker gross, came in and talked about, how to run faster and tips to Boston qualify.
And then we ended the session with a yoga restorative class and that was led by Dr. Laura Johnson from Boulder. And it was just a really great way to wind down the day. So it was a really, really fun day.
My registrant's and the people that attended throughout the day one, they attended throughout the day, which was just really special all on its own because it was about a six hour day and they all asked really engaging questions.
And that just felt really good. I think not only for myself, for the speakers, for everyone else in attendance, everyone was engaged and excited to be there. so that felt really good. And. It was a really great day.

Highlights from the Run Summit

Bertrand Newson: [00:21:50]

And we really appreciate you recapping that for us. Can we go back to some of those speakers and the topics and share some of the takeaways, um, maybe starting with, um, the mental approach to running some of the key takeaways that you were able to share with us?

Sara Manderscheid: [00:22:03]

Absolutely. Yeah. So, um, most people struggle with the mental strength during racing, right? It's when you go into a race and things, aren't working out, how do you push through that? Do most people just sort of, you know, maybe throw the towel in and say, I'm not going to push harder. This isn't working probably.
So we need to change that, right? So Dr. Justin Ross talked about practicing it on every single run and it only needs to be about five minutes. But just doing something to engage your mind on, if something were to go wrong during the run, how you would react, or I think sometimes too in training runs, there's plenty of times where things aren't working out and like how you handle that.
And another component to that is positive self-talk. So if something is happening that you're not expecting as a runner or things, aren't going your way to give yourself the positive self-talk that you've put the training in. "You're a strong runner, you got this", all the motivating words and repeating them over and over is probably the biggest takeaway.
I know for the longest time I had that attitude when I was racing of "you're so strong, Sara, you got this, you know, it's maybe 20 minutes til the end of the race". Like "just push, push, push, and you've got this", but there's definitely been times over the last year where I haven't had that. So I think it's also good to note that.
If someone's listening and they think, well, I'm pretty good with mental strength and mental toughness, like, I don't need that, but I say is, if you don't practice it, you're probably gonna lose it. So continue to practice it. Continue to talk positively about yourself, about your running, about your strength and how strong you are as a runner.
And then also using that within your runs throughout each training ground. So that's probably the biggest takeaway from him.

Kevin Chang: [00:24:00]

Thank you. That's super interesting. Because as you mentioned before,    if you don't have a structured training plan or    a Coach, then maybe you're not going to schedule in those workouts that really will push you mentally.
So having some of that and then actually practicing, needing the mental toughness, those mile repeats occasionally during runs or those things that you don't really like to do, but pushing yourself and pushing your body to get past that as really one of the only ways that you're going to be able to get PRs at those distances that you want them . So I love that conversation.

Performance Tips [00:24:30]

One of the things that our RaceMob community has asked us repeatedly about is performance. So I am really curious about, , Tucker Gross's conversation about getting peak performance,    Boston qualifying. I know that you're a Boston qualifier as well, , we'd love to get some takeaways from that conversation .

Sara Manderscheid: [00:24:47]

Yeah. So I think the first tip or the first thing to note is that if any runner out there decides that they want to run a marathon in three months and maybe they haven't run a marathon before most times qualifying for Boston within three months is out of range, right?
It does take years and years of building the foundational work and laying that groundwork to be able to qualify. I ran about 12 years of running 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathon, and then I decided to run a marathon and I actually did Boston qualify within my first marathon, but I feel like. Because of a few things.
One is that I was a long time runner at that point. And I had built up my running endurance and I got really, really great at running half marathons. So I nailed the half marathon and I thought, gosh, if I can run this, like, you know, just double my time, I can qualify for Boston. So that's kind of, one of the biggest tips is just knowing that it does take a lot of time, even for the people who say, "Oh, I qualified in one or two races".
They've probably have been long-time runners. That's number one. And number two, you need to be willing to put in the work. It does take a lot of time. It takes a lot of training, the volume, the training volumes, pretty high having the dedication to do the workouts and to be committed and to have that consistency, which is my biggest, I would say number one, golden rule when I work with any athlete is to just be consistent.
And, and that will definitely definitely help. And then I also think running with other runners    who are definitely faster than you helps too. It helps. You as a runner, push yourself and just get stronger because of that.

Sara's First Marathon Experience [00:26:38]

Kevin Chang: [00:26:38]

I'd love to dive into your first marathon. We usually ask people about their    first marathon experience .    I mean,    qualifying for Boston your first time. A rare story that's for sure.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:26:49]

Yeah, it is. Yeah. Like I just said, I definitely nailed the half marathon, um, before I jumped into it. Um, sometimes I like to have everything. I just feel really good.
So I knew going into it I'd have a pretty good shot, but I also hired a run coach for that race as well. I ran the California international marathon in 2019.

Bertrand Newson: [00:27:10]


Sara Manderscheid: [00:27:11]

And it's a great, great course.
So it's funny. I knew it was a fast course, and that was one of the reasons why I signed up for it because I knew going into marathon training that if I was going to put the time in and I was running the marathon, I wanted to qualify for Boston.
So I set myself up where I knew my half marathon time was a really good half marathon time. And then I hired a run coach.    I hired Nell Rojas at the time she lives in Boulder and she's a pretty strong runner. I'm an elite runner. She's great. And hired her to help coach me with the training.
And then I chose the marathon. So I chose one of the fastest courses in America, but what I didn't realize is that it's not down hill, it's a net down hill.

Kevin Chang: [00:28:08]

Up and down and up and down. Huh?

Bertrand Newson: [00:28:09]

Rollers definitely, definitely some rollers.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:28:13]


Kevin Chang: [00:28:14]

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 dot com and sign up today.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:28:24]

So the one thing I didn't do was look at the course elevation until about four days before the race. And then it was actually my coach that talked to me about it and she's like, Oh no, there are definitely, that's fine. You know, you've been training on Hills.
So it was really fun. I flew out to Sacramento a few days before and just super excited to be there. Super excited that after putting in the hard work for three months, that, , this unique opportunity was in front of me and actually a few friends from the run camp that I went to in North Carolina were there running too.
So it was really fun to be able to see them. And it was just a really great experience. We got everything during that race.    It was humid. It was cloudy. It was sunny. It was pouring rain at mile 20.

Bertrand Newson: [00:29:18]

I was there. I was, I was there behind you was behind you, part of the, part of the trailer course monitor, picking up the yeah. So

Sara Manderscheid: [00:29:28]

Oh my goodness, morning! It was a really great. I woke up around 3:00 AM that morning, just, you know, ready to go. And it was just really great, really great experience and very, very excited to run Boston for the first time.
And that's really just been a bucket list item for me since I started running right after college. And I started running five Ks and I thought, gosh, it'd be really cool to run Boston someday, but I don't know. Well, I mean, that kind of seems like that's for really fast runners and that's not really me.
But what I'll tell everyone listening is that if you've ever thought that, that with hard work practice and time, you can definitely get there. And I call it    eight minutes under the qualifying time for women. And I'm excited to see if I get to run in October.

Bertrand Newson: [00:30:20]

Yep. Lots of recent announcements.

Running Strategy

Kevin Chang: [00:30:22]

How was your strategy going into it and did it pay off,    did you end up hitting any walls or did you successfully prep yourself enough to push past those types of barriers?

Sara Manderscheid: [00:30:33]

that's a great question. I did have a strategy. So I hired a run coach and we talked through strategy the week before.
And the strategy was to... well, to qualify for Boston for my age group was a 3:33 time, which came down to a 8:09 pace.    And. training in Colorado and then running at sea level, I thought, I think I got that, but, um, what I didn't factor in was the humidity and how humid it was. It's not humid in Colorado. So when I do run in humid conditions, that it's difficult for me for whatever reason.
So,    getting back to the strategy we went in starting out at a 7:45 pace and then inching down to a 7:30 pace. I was in shape to run a 3:18, race. So that was the goal. And I did a mile and a half warm up before the race.
And I knew, I don't know, a few guys have felt this before, but when you're warming up, you either know if it's going to be a good race or not. And I thought, gosh, my legs just don't feel as fresh as I want them to feel. So I started out running, I want to say about an 8:10 pace, 8:05. And then I started inching down to 7:45, hit a few seven thirties.
And with it being my first marathon and having the pressure I put on myself to qualify for Boston, I thought, well, seven 45 feels really good and it still puts me in the Boston window and I'm still going to be able to qualify and a pretty good gap of time. So I'm just going to hang out here. So I hung out at the 7:45 Mark until about mile 20 and I saw my boyfriend at the time and it just gave me, you know, when you see like your family or your loved ones, it just gives you that boost of energy.
So then I hit it hard for about a mile and then pulled it back. And I had, um, I want to say miles 21, 22, 23 were pretty hard. I was running about eight thirties and then grabbed an orange off of one of the fueling tables. And then I cruised the rest of the way. And my last mile was my fastest mile, which was pretty incredible. And I never hit the wall, but I did play it pretty conservative.
And you know, now with the pandemic and a smaller pool size in Boston and all those things, you know, I definitely wish I'd pushed a little bit harder, but I'm also just really grateful to be in the position that I meant to have qualified.
And if it's supposed to happen, it will. And one thing to note is that you guys are going to think I'm a klutz because of what I told you before we got on. Um, but I actually ran into a Turkey trot 10 days before CIM and Denver again, had a big snow storm that week and the race route was not plowed, and it's an annual tradition that I run with my dog.
And so I'm pretty stubborn. I like to do what I want to do. So I went out and ran that race and guess what? I ran my right foot over a ball of like, it looked like a snowball, but it was really a ball of ice. And I irritated all the tendons in my right foot. And I ended up taking quite a bit of time off in my taper and.
It's still hurt the day before the race, but it didn't hurt the day of the race. So that was also kind of in the back of my mind.

Bertrand Newson: [00:34:01]

Sara, how was that feeling when you cross the finish line? Your very first marathon? I mean, you know, we know the start, um, and navigating the rolling Hills and dealing with the weather temperature changes, but you know, at, you didn't hit the wall in mile 20. Your fastest mile was mile 26, but what was that feeling like?

Crossing the Finish Line [00:34:16]

Take us there as you cross that finish line, knowing that you had be queued and all the hard work that led up to that.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:34:23]

Yeah, I was definitely feeling all the feels. I know the last few miles of the race to be just. Totally transparent. I told myself over and over and over again, you never have to run again if you don't want to
And I'm a run coach!
No, I don't know, I was definitely feeling it right? And I definitely wanted to finish, but it felt incredible. It felt surreal that I did it. It felt amazing that I was able to finish. I didn't stop. Once I went through every water station and picked up a cup of water, uh, refueled didn't stop at all. And. It just felt really, really, really good.
Like all the hard work that I put in the sacrifices that I needed to make during training to make my training rents happen. And there were quite a few sacrifices, felt good. It felt justified. It felt really good. It felt really good. And then as soon as I crossed the finish line, after that feeling of accomplishment, I knew I was going to get it.
I would say maybe around mile 23, once I started to get that pickup again, I knew I was going to do it. And I knew I was going to cruise through just that feeling of accomplishment felt really, really good. And as soon as I crossed the finish line, the pain that radiated through my body was unreal. And I didn't know, that was a thing because during my training, I ran three 20 mile runs.
One of them was easy. The other two had workout components to them. And I thought I got this, I'm in good shape. I couldn't walk down the stairs for five days. That was pretty bad in the best way possible. So, yeah. Great, great, great experience.

Bertrand Newson: [00:36:23]

Congratulations. As, as Kevin referenced, you know, being able to run your first marathon and to BQ, that is just that it does not happen.
So it's a Testament to your work ethic, to your drive, to your tenacity, to know on your body. Knowing to retain a running coach for a high level of accountability, and to help put that roadmap in front of you, where if you do the work, which we know you have to put in the work, but also as much putting the work, you have to be able to listen to your body and to rest as well as run coaches.
I find, I find myself giving advice to athletes in the importance of, you know, taking those rest days and letting the body heal so you can come back for the next workout, even stronger. So, but again, congratulations and best of luck, hopefully. And,    we'll be, you know, keeping our ears to the ground for you and October, 2021.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:37:13]

Thank you. I'm so excited. I can't wait. I think, um, Actually I know registrations April it's money, so I'll be, and I just want to add one more thing, Coach "B" you had a great point. Like, yes, I hired a run coach and that was a really smart decision on my end. I had a very, very busy schedule during the months of training.
And if I didn't have her, it wouldn't have happened. I just know wouldn't have, there's just not enough time in the day to structure my own training plan and then actually execute on it. , and I wanted to make her proud. I just knew I had a level of accountability with her, right?. So what I'll say is that for anyone, you know, looking to run any sort of race or.
Have a running lifestyle. Teamwork makes the dream work like having the people in your life that will support you and love you and lift you high is absolutely needed. So that's a run coach. I had an amazing chiropractor sports doctor that helped me, especially through the foot injury. Those last 10 days, I saw him three times.
He was amazing. Just the soft tissue, massages, family, friends, significant others, whatever that looks like. It definitely definitely helps. And it can make or break it really. If you have of someone in your life that is not supportive of you and your dreams. It makes it very difficult to, to continue pushing on and making it happen while having those people in your life.

Bertrand Newson: [00:38:44]

Well said. And when you're talking about Boston, literally every second counts, we know people that have qualified and we're, I know someone who was, um, within 30 seconds and just missed the cutoff, ask themselves that question, you know, did I leave time out there? You know, did I, did I cruise through one or two aid stations?
Could I train a little harder? Could I've really gotten that fartlek workout that I took off or the intervals or the temple runs? Or maybe I pushed a little bit hard during training and I got a repetitive injury and I lost some training time. Um, so that's, again, some of the benefits of having a running coach, um, because life is still happening for all of us.
We are still working full time. You know, we still have all those other responsibilities. So if you have an advocate there that is looking out for your best interest, that can make the best use of your training time, optimize it and put you in the best position to succeed on race day. You go into that as you towed the line in December of 2019 with a level of confidence, you've done the work.
And now it's time just to enjoy the journey and get to that finish line with some strategy.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:39:50]

Absolutely. I a hundred percent agree. You said that beautifully. Um, just having the confidence of knowing that someone had your back throughout training, and like you said, Coach be like using the training time that you have to the best of your ability.
You really can't go back and second guess anything at that point because you've done everything that you could do. You have someone on your side, that's writing the best plan for you at the time. Um, so whatever happens happens, and you know, to those people who may be miss it by 30 seconds, I would say, don't look and try and pinpoint what could have been different because you're going to drive yourself crazy with that. What you can do is use it to fuel it for the next one and just crush that next race.

Bertrand Newson: [00:40:32]

That's great advice, Sara.

Kevin Chang: [00:40:33]

Fantastic advice. Yeah. Talk to us a little bit about what training looks like now in the pandemic for you. We know that you had races on the calendar. Some of them got canceled. I think you're trying to train for something here in the fall.

Training During the Pandemic [00:40:47]

I think you've put time trials on your calendars as well.    . I love to know about what training looks like now and let our audience listen in on, on some funny stories and stuff that have happened during the pandemic for you as well.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:40:58]

Oh yeah. So many things have happened. Um, so, um, I hired a Tucker who was a friend of mine, uh, to coach me, uh, last summer.
And it was really in this very positive can do attitude of, you know, what Boston's happening in April of 2021. So I want to start working with a run coach and just get in the best shape of my life to just crush this crazy hard route race route.
So I started working with Tucker and then quickly after we started working together, um, an opportunity presented itself to race in Mesa, Arizona in February, and I was going to run the half marathon there, it was February 13th. And then around, I would say maybe about eight weeks or so before the race, they canceled the race. COVID

Bertrand Newson: [00:41:50]

I had an athlete that was supposed to run that as well, Nicole.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:41:52]

Oh, what a bummer, right?    Such a beautiful course, fast course. And. In February and Arizona, like, please, I will go anytime.
So I was kind of disappointed on a few different ones. Um, the race was canceled Tucker and I decided that I wanted to still trade we'd still train, uh, for the same half marathon, but just run a time trial in Denver on that day. And for me, that was good enough. I just wanted to continue running, continue training.
, my official training cycle, I would say started in October. And went through, you know, the first week in February before I started to taper. So it was a pretty long cycle for a half marathon, I think for CIM, I only officially trained two and a half months, so pretty long for a half marathon cycle, but I was also running about 60 mile weeks in the peak of it, so it was a pretty deliberate training block.
And I was also having the best training of my life. I had great running weather in Denver. We had a very unseasonably warm winter, so I was able to run and really nice conditions, which I think just helps overall. So it was really just exciting to get out there and run every day and have those tempo workouts that I love.
I really, um, so I was excited, excited to get those in, um, a few times a week and. So cut to the week before the time trial, like I said, Denver was having this unseasonably warm winter. I was running, wearing shorts most of the time when I was running and mother nature decided to give us a big dose of reality and a major, major cold front hit the week of the 13th.
So,    I think this ties, this definitely ties back to what Dr. Justin rust talked about, um, on mental strength, because by Monday of that week, I was already in my head about the weather. So the weather went from 50 degrees and sunny,    I could run in shorts and t-shirt comfortably, to the weather being in the teens, single digits, snow and wind huge transition within a few days. So by Monday, I'm    already texting my coach, like "what am I gonna do?"
Because the race is on Saturday, like this doesn't seem like fun. So we moved the time trial to Thursday, the 11th, and that gave us an opportunity to just run it a few days earlier. It was still going to be cold, but we felt like we dodged the snow and we'd give it our best shot.
And we both had flexibility with our work schedule to make it happen on a Thursday morning to which we were both so, so grateful for, so that's just something to note. Um, but I went out for my stakeout run on Tuesday and again, in my head, I had my buff over my face. And have you guys worn the buffer when you take it down for just a minute and then throw it back up? It's like frozen.

Kevin Chang: [00:44:55]

We don't have that problem now here in California.

Bertrand Newson: [00:45:00]

It's all bunched up into your covering your... frozen. Not in California.
Level of toughness right here.

Kevin Chang: [00:45:14]

That's right. Yeah, a whole nother level.

Bertrand Newson: [00:45:17]

Cryotherapy though. Cryotherapy.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:45:21]

That is too funny. Oh my gosh. Okay. So you don't know what I'm talking about for maybe the listeners will, well, my buff was like frozen and it was just so, so, so cold. I think I was writing in single digits and at least for me, my body just doesn't perform in that weather.
it's hard to get my legs to turn over quickly. Um, and I was targeting a sub 90 half marathon, so that was this roughly 6:52 pace and wow. You know, it's just fast and it's hard, you know, to get your legs, to move that quickly when it's that cool.
So cut to race morning. It's Thursday morning and we were doing a point to point race and we were starting in Littleton, Colorado running along the South Platte river trail up to downtown Denver by the REI flagship REI store in Denver.
And. it was just a point to point course, and we had a car drop. We drove down to Littleton. Tucker's doing all the right things. He's talking through my fears. He's hyping me up. We're listening to the music. I want to listen to it in the car, all these great things the sun was out. So that felt really good, but it was still about 18 degrees.
And we get down to Littleton and they're still in Littleton, like, well, okay. Okay. So we start the run and I would say within the first three miles, I knew it was going to be a very, very tough run. I, we went in with a race strategy of hitting a seven minute mile and then just gradually inching towards the six 52. And then, you know, if I can get past that and I feel good, just like, let it go.
And within the first three miles, I was running slower and slower and    it was really frustrating. So I stopped looking at my garnment watch, which is something I have never done in my life ever. So if any of my friends are listening to this, they're going to be shocked, but no, I didn't look at my garnment.
And I think that's important too, of like, just knowing if it's not going well early is it's. Okay. And just maybe listening to your body is like the race that you need to have for that day. Part of the reason that things weren't working out in my favor, well, one, I was just off my body was off. It just, wasn't going to have a fast day.
And secondly, it had snowed. I'm wearing the Nike alpha fly racing flats, which are beautiful, fast running flats,    in, you know, dry road conditions. But with snow, a light dusting of snow with ice over patches of the trial and the bridges that we were crossing. I had to slow down quite a bit because as we've talked about in this podcast, as well as before the podcast, like I am pretty klutzy, so slow down.
And then, lo and behold, on this trail, there's construction on the trail. So this was news to us and we thought, okay, so we jumped up on the road and for locals listening, we were running on Santa Fe drive, which is a pretty major road. And we did have to cross the street, and luckily we had the walk sign and we just, you know, cruised right through that.
And we're running on the road and cars were being really gracious of moving over for us, you know, at this point adrenaline's running and I know the clock is ticking and I'm really just not thinking clearly. So we're running on the side of the road and we decide to jump down back on the trail because we felt like we got past the construction.
So we jumped down this embankment. Six seven feet a drop. So we did that and then continued running and then maybe a half mile down the trail, we see this underpass and we also see a fence that is blocking the trail, which is the other side of the construction, right. To prohibit people from coming in to the construction as we were, you know, trying to leave.
So we stopped and I turned to Tucker, and what do we do is what I, you know, came out of my mouth. Like I'm not even looking at a solution. I'm just turning to him asking you have the help. So we actually found a hole in the fence that we were able to climb through. So we climbed into this whole saving grace to continue on.
This was probably around mile eight. I want to say we had five miles left in the ride. And you know, the other thought very, very briefly was to turn around and I just didn't want to turn around. I didn't want to give up because to me that felt like it'd be giving up. So we were able to find a solution and finished strong in Denver at half marathon pace.
And it was difficult. It's definitely hard to be in what I'd like to call the pain cave for 90 minutes. And for anyone wandering, I did not hit a sub 90 half marathon. I was about a minute. I was exactly one minute off from hitting my half marathon PR that I ran at C-level at the Houston half marathon in 2020, which was my last in-person race.
So I feel really good about my training, even though on that specific training day, it wasn't a good day, but I think it was a really good learning experience knowing that you can put the training in and you can have an, a training cycle, but some days just aren't going to be good days and you have to be okay with that.
And also knowing that there's other things that are factors into your race, right? For me, it was. The weather was huge. And then the construction was also another pretty big component to it. I'd like to call it my adventure run because I'm like, I will probably never run, you know, on the side of a road with cars right next to me, jumping down in bank mens, climbing through fences, you know, in any other like mainstream half marathon. So it was pretty fun and we had a good laugh about it.
And then of course, You know, in true running form that night I jumped online and I thought I'm going to find an in-person race started, um, so I signed up for the Southern Utah half marathon in, in St. George Utah, it's April 17th. And so it's coming up and we felt like that was also a good time between the time trial and I'll still get in.
I took a few weeks off to like rest, not off. I definitely was just not following a structured training plan and probably ran a little too much, but it was a lot of fun. And I got to run with friends and then I'm hitting about a three or four week trading block before I taper again, and then run in St. George, which is that slightly lower elevation. It looks over Zion national park and. I'm excited. Yeah.

Kevin Chang: [00:52:00]

Yeah. If there's ever a reason to bring races back it's so that we don't have to crawl through construction zones.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:52:05]

So the takeaway from that is if anyone's planning a virtual race or a time trial, definitely take the time to double check that your route is not under construction because neither Tucker, nor I did that, we just assumed it would be fine. And it definitely made for a fun morning, but we probably would have chose a different route if we knew

Bertrand Newson: [00:52:32]

Taking notes, Coach.

Sara's Upcoming Run Camp

Kevin Chang: [00:52:37]

Well, we definitely want to get to get to, I think you have another run camp coming up at some time this year. So talk to our audience about the run camp. When is it what's planned for it? Yeah. I'm sure our listeners would love to know about it.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:52:49]

Yes! I am so excited about these run retreats. I'm calling it now.
Um, I, it feels like it's my baby, because I had this dream for so long and I'm just really excited. So simple there, Colorado. It's July 8th, ninth, 10th, and 11th. So it's four days, three nights. We are staying together as a group, but everyone does have individual rooms and bathrooms, which I think will be huge.
And that's a little bit different than what I originally envisioned. I wanted everyone to stay in a big house together, but, you know, with COVID and stuff, needed to pivot on that. So everyone has individual rooms and bathrooms and we're going on daily runs. And I'm bringing in expert speakers to talk about all things running.
So similar to the summit that I hosted, last weekend, but different in a way of where it dives in deeper into all specifics, and it's a little bit more advanced than what the summit held. So that's going to be really fun.
I'm bringing in a massage therapist and another running form coach to come in and film us for our running form. And then talk to us one-on-one on that running form and different things that we can do, whether that's just slight tweaks or maybe there's a bigger issue of like, wow, your hips are really off, so let's try these exercises and see, you know, maybe what your run form looks like in three months after doing this.
So that's going to be really fun and we're going to have some yoga classes. Some other activities include stepping on Boulder reservoir and E biking around Boulder. The ability to go on a second run during the day, if people want to do that.
So the agenda for camp or for the retreat is full, but at the same time and letting people like do whatever they want to do. So there's going to be plenty of things for people to do, but if you want to come and like go on the morning, run and then drink coffee and lay on a hammock and read a book until dinner, like you do you, I love that. And you know, you'll still get a great experience, whether you participate in everything or just want to participate in a few things and then do your own thing.
So it's really exciting. I've had a really good response to it. I think it's because it's like the year of experiences, right? Like we kind of see the light at the end of the tunnel now. And people are really hungry to do things and have meet experiences and be around other people. So I've had really good response.
I'm hoping it'll be full here soon and it's just going to be a great time. I'm excited for it.

Bertrand Newson: [00:55:25]

Great. What's the maximum participant count?

Sara Manderscheid: [00:55:29]

Yeah, that is a great question. So I'm targeting 18 people.    I feel like that would be a good number and. It just gives people the opportunity to meet a lot of other runners and learn from them as well.
And, um, the people who are signed up are, primarily marathoners, but also half marathoners. And the retreat is going to have something from new beginner runner to, you know, a very experienced marathoner. So it's gonna be exciting.

Bertrand Newson: [00:55:57]

Wonderful, very excited for you. How can we can help in getting those 18 slots filled up.
We're happy to do so your success is our success. And again, wonderful way to, as a running coach to offer that level of personalized experience. And I come from a hospitality background, that's something that Kevin I've talked about is doing something similar. So we're going to be living vicariously through you, Sara.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:56:21]

I love it. Well, you guys are more than welcome to join.

Kevin Chang: [00:56:32]

All right. . So other than Utah, are there any other races? I know Boston here in the fall. Are there any other races on your calendar ?

Sara Manderscheid: [00:56:40]

I definitely have an itch to run a marathon before Boston just to get another one under my belt, so to speak. So I have like the experience going in to the Boston race, with having two marathons. So I'm looking at a few this summer, but nothing's concrete yet.    so if my run coach is listening to this surprise.
Yeah. Um, but I'm in pretty good shape to do it. So I don't think he'll, he'll be too worried about that, but, you know, Minnesota is a great place to run. Um, so I'm looking at Minnesota, possibly Grandma's Marathon if it's not sold out yet. So that's on my mind and a race that I really loved was the Houston half marathon that I ran in 2020. It's where my half marathon PRs.
I would love to go back there in 2022 and run the marathon. It's a beautifully designed course. The staff is amazing. It's a big race and it's a fast course as well, but they just seem to do it right. And I'd love to support them and maybe run the marathon. And that's in January. So January of 2022.   

Kevin Chang: [00:57:49]

Yeah. And I know a lot of our podcast guests, that's one of their goal races or goal races usually for the year. So I know Mike , he usually runs that. We just had, Gerald who lives in Houston, so that's definitely one of his school races.
So yeah. I mean,    we're happy to connect you with other people if you're interested in meeting up on the starting line.

Well, I know that we, connected online through Instagram, so tell our audience where they can find you . I know you have an Instagram handle. , you also have a website, so let our audience know where they can find you.

Sara Manderscheid: [00:58:18]

Absolutely. If you want to see all things personal in my life in terms of, you know, my awesome, cute , black lab, dog, uh, Kinsey, all my running, my run groups and things that I do personally, it's a pretty fun site.
Um, my handle is SAYRAH. So S A Y R A H runs happy. And then my actual coaching Instagram handle is elevate your running and that's on Instagram as well. And then my website is elevate your running.com. So the goal in 2021 is to help as many people elevate their running and hit their goals.

Episode Conclusion [00:58:54]

Kevin Chang: [00:58:54]

Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for joining us on the podcast, Sara, this has been just such a tremendous conversation. I know our audience is going to love every second of it, so thank you again for being on with us.

Bertrand Newson: [00:59:05]

Thank you so much. Absolutely.

Episode Outro

###### Kevin Chang: [00:59:08]
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 podcasts and leave us a review until next time. Keep on moving.

End of the Episode