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May 25, 2024

Runcoach Success Story: Brianna Okonek

Written by Cally Macumber
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Breaking Barriers: 17-Minute PR at Big Sur Marathon

Major milestone:

17 minute PR at Big Sur Marathon

What is the secret to your success?

Running two workouts a week helped me get faster and more comfortable with being slightly uncomfortable.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? 

I have a psycho neurological disorder that is as yet undiagnosed. Under stress, I get episodes. Running long distances brings them on but I love to run long distances. It is an art I’m learning to time preventative medication taking while I run. This marathon I was able to stave off episodes until mile 25 when I ducked into a portapotty for 9 minutes to compose myself and wait for the medicine to kick in. My training was enough to have set a 26 minute PR but until I get a diagnosis I also have episodes to contend with when running distance.

What is the most rewarding part of training? 

The mile time trial was rewarding for me. I ran faster than I knew I could. Hitting paces during speed interval, tempo, and threshold runs easily as the training progressed showed me my progress as at first I could not hit the paces prescribed. Long runs always made me feel proud of myself.

What advice would you give to other members of the Runcoach community?

Runcoach is an excellent program. Having a coach is very helpful. As things come up and you need to adapt the plan, your coach can do that. The unconditional positivity Cally shined on me throughout training really boosted my spirits and confidence. Follow your plan as best as you can but know you don’t have to be perfect. Other aspects of life demand our time and I couldn’t accomplish all my runs. The program still worked to get me to the finish much faster than before.

Anything else you would like to share?

Cally is kind, knowledgeable, encouraging, and a runner I look up to. She’s a wonderful coach. She took the time to adapt my plan many times.

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

It’s a great program with great coaches. I would use it again to reach a PR.

Last modified on May 27, 2024
Cally  Macumber

Cally Macumber

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