Melissa Lewis

Coach for the following running groups: Running 365 – 10K to 13.1 M Prep, Running 365 – 26.2 Prep; Running Start, SWEThogs

Why I enjoy coaching: My own coaches have made such an impact on me and my running. As a teacher, it was natural for me to want to do the same – and pay it forward, so to speak. I never thought of myself as a runner and joined a training class so I could keep up with my friends. Every coach along the way made me feel more confident and showed me I was ready for the next step. I’ve had so many wonderful experiences and made some great friendships because of running and my coaches’ support – I love being able to be that person for other runners!

My favorite coaching moment: It came after some runners in our 5K class had their first race – with a huge hill! I had been drilling them on hills prior to the race and they came back and told me they could hear my voice in their heads as they ran it, urging them through and reminding them what to do. They were so proud of themselves (and rightly so); it was great knowing I could be there for them even when I wasn’t present.

What motivates me to run: I run for my health and for the outlet. I love the running community – people are amazingly supportive and friendly, but there’s something about putting on your shoes and heading out your front door that lets the rest of the world just fall away. I come back from a run rested emotionally, and feeling strong and calm.

My proudest personal achievement: I am not the fastest runner, but I’m improving, slowly and steadily. I’m proud of my PR’s, not because their records but because they show my progress. But, like running, it’s a work in progress!