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November 02, 2018

Runcoach Success Story: Uma

Written by Neely Gracey
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Uma is a story if inspiration. She shares the importance of consistency in training, and how following a training plan canScreen_Shot_2018-11-05_at_3.03.46_PM help everyone remain accountable in the pursuit of their goals. But most importantly, Uma shares the benefit of the coach-athlete relationship and we at Runcoach are grateful for all of the runners we get to support.

Major milestone:
Marine Corps Marathon 2018 - Ran it in 5:06, which is almost an hour faster than the last two times I ran the same race. 2016 - 6:01 and 2017 - 6:05

What is the secret to your success?
Following the schedule given to me by Runcoach, which consisted of speed work, cross training and yoga.

What is the biggest obstacle to reaching your goals and how do you get over it? Consistent training and training alone combined to form the biggest obstacle for me. I trained alone for the most part, and was lucky enough to run with my local running group for a few of the final long runs. I tried to get over it by committing to reporting my workouts to the coaches at Runcoach and uploading my workouts through the app.

What is the most rewarding part of training?
Self awareness - Realizing that I am stronger than I thought - physically and mentally.

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

Stick to the schedule that the Runcoach app gives you. Report back to the coaches via email. It creates a commitment. Don't skip out on speed work. It was very challenging for me, and I had no track nearby where I felt safe to train alone in the dark hours of the morning. I tried to get in as many speed workouts as I could and that helped a lot to improve my pace.

Anything else you would like to share?

I would like to say that the timely encouragement from Coach Cawood and Coach Hiruni went a very long way to help me PR my race. I felt like they were my personal coaches. During a difficult phase during the race, when I wanted to walk the bridge, I told myself that I would not let Coach Cawood and Coach Hiruni down, I would run that bridge. And I did it!

What feedback would you offer on the Runcoach experience?

The overall experience was very awesome. I will do it again. The app needs some upgrades. For tempo workouts, I reported warm up, cool down, drills+strides, speed run and cool down separately so coaches could see my pace, but the app did not total them correctly. So I had to delete all of that and enter one aggregate number which did not show the effort I put into the workout.


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Last modified on November 06, 2018
Neely Gracey

Neely Gracey

Neely was born into this sport, literally. Her dad (Steve Spence, 1992 Olympic marathoner and 1991 World Champs Bronze Medalist) was running the Boston Marathon on the day she was born. She grew up in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and in 8th grade set some big goals for herself.

While running for Shippensburg University, Neely broke Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) records, won 17 PSAC titles, and was named the conference athlete of the year for every season while at Shippensburg from 2008 to 2011. She is an eight-time NCAA DII Champion and still holds two NCAA records.

In 2016, Neely debuted at the Boston Marathon and was the first American finisher in 2:35. Later that year, she took it a step further with a 2:34 and 8th place finish at the NYC marathon. In 2017, Neely clocked victories at Rock ‘n Roll’s Arizona, New Orleans, and Chicago Half Marathons and was Runner-Up at the USA half marathon and 25k Championship races. She is excited for what the next year will bring as she pauses from her running career to start a family. She ultimately hopes to build towards the 2020 Olympic year.

Today, Neely lives in Boulder, CO with her husband Dillon and their Vizsla, Strider. They are happily entrenched in the running community. Between training, and competing, she enjoys coaching and helping other runners chase their goals!

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