Michelle Kurnik - McKirdy Trained
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Michelle Kurnik

I came to running later in life. It wasn’t until senior year of college that I tied on a pair of seen-better-days running shoes and decided to give it a try. Motivated at first by the challenge of the activity (paired with a smidge of sheer stubbornness), it wasn’t long before I fell in love with the run.

From that first slap of foot to pavement and continuing for the next 12 years, I was happy to get in whatever miles I could whenever I could. Indeed, running has been an undercurrent of the entirety of my adult life. Something about the repetitive motion, the sound of my breath, the specificity of the action that precludes me from doing anything else in that moment – running is my meditation, it is my therapy, it is my life.

It wasn’t until two years ago that I decided to focus more on performance. As much as I love the run, I wanted to see what exactly I was capable of. Training for my first ultra-marathon, I didn’t just want to survive the distance but to do as well as I could. Not knowing how to go about this on my own, I decided I needed a running coach. Enter Coach James.

With only 3 months to train, I crossed the finish line of that first 50 miler. I was solidly in the middle of the pack and I had a new goal: to run the same race again but this time to give myself enough time to really prepare. Sights were set on the next year’s race and Coach James and I got to work.

Fast forward to one year later. Hundreds and thousands of hours and miles, quality coaching, focus, determination, passion, and – yes – a touch of stubbornness led me to a 1 hour and 11 second PR. I walked away from the 2015 USATF 50 Mile Road Championships as 2nd Place Overall Female.

Witnessing the effect a focused plan and attentive coach had on my own running performance, I was enlivened to bring the same to my comrades in running shoes. Over the past two years I have seen my athletes achieve goals and accomplish feats they never imagined they were capable of. Whether that is finishing a first Half Marathon or shaving over 2 minutes off of a 5k personal best (in one month’s time!), it is incredibly inspiring and something I am extremely grateful for. I am honored to be coaching under McKirdy Trained and look forward to helping you realize your dreams.

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