Yesterday: Miami. Today: Asheville. It sounds like I’m quite the traveler, doesn’t it? I’m a lucky, lucky girl.

But my story starts a little before Asheville.

We were scheduled to leave on Friday morning. I’m cooking dinner on Wednesday evening and I get a little text from my little E: “How long are you in Asheville?”

And the next thing I know, she’s bought plane tickets to land in Lexington in less than 24 hours. So I got a surprise run in with this girl:

The senior portraits we took are hilarious. She makes me smile so big that my face hurts.

We left Erin snoozing in our guest room Friday morning and headed to Asheville. We were going to meet Ashley and Dustin there.

I’ve been internet buddies with Ashley forever, but we’d never met. And I knew absolutely nothing about that adorable husband of hers. That just seems ridiculous to me now. Just ridiculous.

From the moment we exchanged hellos at the picnic tables at the White Duck Taco Stand, I knew they are our kind of people. Fun people. Nerdy people. Laughing people. Foodie people.

Shanghai Shrimp tacos and Duck tacos.

From there, we headed to the expo to pick up our packets. I think I squealed “HOW FUN ARE THEY?!?” to Nathan about a million times as we led the 2-car caravan. The expo was just big enough to be fun. The shirts were awesome. Our numbers worked. All was well.

We drove up to the bed and breakfast to check in. Yes, all four of us. Not only was I going to be running with Ashley, she was going to be sleeping right downstairs. It was like a slumber party! Nathan and I have stayed at the Crooked Oak Mountain Inn at least once a year for the last 8 years, so the innkeepers are like another set of parents for us. I missed Patti (she is in Italy), but that just means we have to go back soon.

We headed back downtown for the first trip to Malaprop’s (and the coffee shop) and to shop around a little. We ended up at Asheville Pizza and Brewery for dinner. Runners gotta carb-load, right? (And almonds on a veggie pizza? BRILLIANT.)

I don’t know what time we made it to bed. We spent a long time in the lounge at the B&B talking about ghosts and who knows what else. It was a great time.

Saturday morning started out pretty uneventful. We made it downtown in great time. Parking was easy. It was great. But the race? Whoa. (You can read my recap here.) Just let me tell you that it was really really hard and I think Ashley summoned the great Miranda as she approached the finish line with both middle fingers flying and “I hate you both for making me do this!” It was a great time.

And then Dustin bought us all coffee and pastries at Malaprop’s and life was good again.

After showers and naps all around, we headed downtown for dinner. (PSA: Don’t plan on wearing heels the evening of a half-marathon.) Curate was just absolutely amazing. This a second visit for the Bentleys. It won’t be our last. The food was just crazy amazing. Tapas just come out as they are ready. And we ate lots and lots. Everyone off everyone’s plates. And from everyone’s glasses.

Crazy good gin and tonic

chorizo and potato chips

my favorite dish anywhere: watermelon and tomato salad (with melted cheese on the bottom)

The boys supported us tipsy girls down to the French Broad Chocolate Lounge where Nate and I shared this crazy Chocolate Stout Cake. It is the stuff that dreams are made of.

Sunday, I found myself in a beautifully lit room.

And breakfast was craaaazy good.

more shopping (and my third salted caramel latte in three days). I bought some artwork for my cubicle (that will eventually be moved into my home office). Ashley got surprised by some jewelry. It was a great morning.

And then lunch started with Moonshine.

As always, Salsa’s was amazing. There are no words for this sweet potato concoction smothered with mole sauce. Just no words.

The sad thing about lunch? Nathan and I had to head home right after. Saying goodbye to Ashley and Dustin kinda stunk. But I know it is only a matter of time before we meet up in Asheville again. And just a matter of time until we are neighbors down in the River Arts District.

Ahhh, Asheville.

RRCA in Miami!

I wasn’t even going to write about Miami since it happened so long ago, but since someone asked in the comments the other day…I loved my little whirlwind trip to Miami. As a refresher, I was truly supposed to be there. The stars aligned just perfectly to make it happen. I was meant to be there. That’s all there is to it.

First, I was so excited to spend the weekend with my best girl, E. She totally took care of me. She was my chauffer, my chef, my bed and breakfast. I just loved seeing her. She’s my girl.

I wasn’t sure what to expect for the RRCA training. I was excited, but I had read reviews of previous training sessions. I just didn’t know how it would go. I went in with a list of things I wanted to make sure I had answers to when I left. I wanted to make sure that

I got what I needed out of the training.

I wasn’t disappointed. (By the training, anyway. The food was very disappointing. High school cafeteria food. Lots of white. Not a lot of veggies. Lots of sugar. Just disappointing. Especially since it was a training for running coaches.)

The course did an amazing job covering the basics. We talked a lot about the different needs of different types of runners. We talked about training individuals and groups. C25Kers and competitive racers. I learned basics about nutrition, sports injuries, and running form. We talked a lot about sports psychology too – helping injured and discouraged runners. There were great conversations about where running fits into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for different runners. I just loved it.

I feel confident that with practice I’ll be able to develop strong training plans and lead runners in speed work. I loved learning about different types of workouts and how to schedule them within a training program. I know how to create a plan based on different effort levels for different days of the week. I know when and why to tell myself it is okay to push or that I need to back off.

All of this was great. But I must admit that I was most pleasantly surprised that we discussed the business of coaching. We talked some about setting up a business, how to find clients, and a lot about liability. I came out of that part of the session feeling both terrified and knowing how to protect myself.

Mostly, though, I learned how much I don’t know. I feel like it was my intro to theories class from counseling. I learned just enough about lots of different things to know where I want to focus. I got a feeling about what running gurus I want to really learn from. I’ve bought several books already. I’m ready to learn. This training was my springboard. But I’m just now starting to be able to dive in.

The test totally stressed me out. Totally. I could tell that some of the questions were trying to confuse me, so that made me suspect of the questions that I thought were obvious. I went through the 100-question exam 4 different times before Nathan finally made me push “submit” on the darn thing.

And I passed!

After that, I completed my CPR/First Aid on a very rainy Saturday back here in Lexington. My dummy, Sharon, was old and creaky. I didn’t like her. She crackled when I breathed in and wheezed when she breathed out. Reminded me too much of Zombies, RUN! And I was sorta unnerved. But I accomplished what I needed.

I emailed my CPR cards to the certification guy. And I got this in the mail earlier this week.

I’m bonafide, my friends.

I’m spending lots of time on my coaching website (I’m hoping to unveil by next weekend). I’m ordering business cards tonight. I’m hoping to be able to purchase liability insurance within the next week. I’m really close to being able to officially open my doors, even though I’ve been unofficially opened to a few that have sought me out for a few weeks now. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how I want to structure the additional services I’ll offer, but that’s something that I can work out on a case-by-case basis and nail it down as I go along.

I am doing this, friends.

It is exciting and scary. But I’m doing this.


So right now - when this publishes - I'll be sitting in training. I'll be learning how to be a running coach. But right now - when I'm writing this to procrastinate packing - I'm nervous and antsy and questioning myself. I mean, really. I'm a 6+ hour marathoner. I'm a therapist, not a scientist. There is so much I don't know.

Then I remind myself that I am going to a training to learn. If they expected me to know this already, they'd just give me the test instead of renting a space to teach me and feed me. I'm going to learn.

The only thing I can bring to the table is what I already am.

That's what I have to remember. And know that when I return home from Miami, I'll be able to do more.

I'll be a coach.

figuring it out

"I'll figure it out" is the mantra of choice.

~Danielle LaPorte

I still don't know what my career will look like in a year, maybe even six months.

But I'll figure it out.

I don't know what my next step is after I go to the running coach training this weekend.

But I'll figure it out.

What I do know? This weekend was amazing. This weekend was full of excitement, passion, and joy.

This weekend was full of friends pushing themselves. Friends making new friends.

I will figure out a way to make this my career. I will figure out a way to make a living from my passion. I may not know exactly where I'm going, but I know that it is making more of this.

Saturday, I helped organize a satellite run for Sarah Hart.

And I was lucky enough to travel 2 hours to complete the race in her hometown. I ran for her. It is amazing what can happen when a group of runners stand up for one of our own.

Saturday night, we ran my favorite Lexington race. I love a Midsummer Night's Run. I was able to see ladies that trained through our group's 5K training program complete their first 5K. I also saw several previous "graduates" continue their running experience. I ran the race with a lot of friends. Seasoned runners. Beginning runners. All over the spectrum. These ladies are my friends. (In addition to the several that didn't make it to the picture.)

Sunday morning, we got up when the alarm went off at 4:45. I ran 15 hilly miles. I ran with friends continuing to run through pregnancy. Friends who just committed to training for her first marathon. And three of these lovelies ran farther than they had ever ran before in the hours after this picture was taken. I was around for not only running achievements, but also to see new friendships blossom.

These ladies are my tribe. They are my people. They are my passion. And I'm chasing it. I don't know where it will take me, but it will take me somewhere. Somewhere huge. Somewhere wonderful.

I'm figuring it out.



The closer I get to my RRCA training (I'll be on a plane this time next week!), the more nervous I get. The more I worry that I won't fit in. The more I think that maybe this is all some wild dream that I'll snap out of and come to my senses. When I started to feel overwhelmed today, I took the time to write down what my fears were. What Fear was telling me.

That's all crap. Bull. Lies. All of it.

I'm not listening to any of that anymore.

Don't let me.