First and foremost, I am the mother of 3 amazing children – Patrick, Lily, and Paige. They are my greatest accomplishment! They love running with mom. And I love that I am a healthy and an active example for them.
They are my heart, but running is my passion.
I would’ve never thought that life would take me down this path. As a nerd and band geek in school, athletics were the furthest thing from my mind. I used running as a way to shake off the freshman weight gain in college, and continued it sporadically through the years. I did some 5Ks and 10Ks in the late 90s… the last race I remember was the 5-person White Rock Marathon Relay in December of 1999 with some work friends. But by time I gave birth to my first child in 2002, I had stopped exercising completely. By child three in 2008, I had gained some serious mommy weight. It was time to get back at it!
While I was running again to get healthy, I still didn’t have racing on my radar… until I was challenged to run a half marathon with a friend in 2009 – 10 years after my last race at the exact same race I last ran. What made the decision easy? The beneficiary of the White Rock Marathon (now the Dallas Marathon) was Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. My youngest child, Paige, was born with a severe club foot and wouldn’t be able to run with me today if it weren’t for Texas Scottish Rite Hospital. (Read Paige’s full story HERE.) That pushed me over the edge.
The half marathon was an amazing experience for me. I realized that though I had dabbled in running for fitness, I had the drive and determination to do way more than I ever imagined I could. Finishing felt like such an accomplishment. And I was in love with the whole race experience. I raced a lot more that next year, and then came back to the same race again for my first marathon in 2010. Sometime in 2011, I was introduced to trails, and my world expanded even more. By February of 2012, I ran my first ultramarathon (50 mile Rocky Raccoon).
In January of 2011, I took the RRCA Distance Coaching certification course. I was so passionate about running that I was talking about it non-stop, and I found that friends and family would ask me various questions. I honestly went into the course thinking I would just expand my knowledge… but I left the course changed. I spent the 4 hour drive home from the course location thinking that I think I just found what I was meant to do. I’ve been coaching ever since.
I’ve raced road and trail. I’ve raced every distance from 5K to 100 miles. I've cheered, volunteered, crewed, and paced countless other races. I’ve seen amazing places and made fantastic friends. I couldn’t imagine my life being any different. And while my personal journey tends to focus on trails and ultras at this point, I thoroughly enjoy the wide variety in my coaching clients. I love that I get to celebrate a first 5K, as well as a first ultra. I enjoy the differences in training for someone trying to set a PR (personal record) versus someone trying to finish a new distance or learn the nuances of a different terrain.
If you have questions, I’d love to talk to you. Drop me a line.
~ Coach Lesley