Coach Jackie Howard
I have always enjoyed helping other people push themselves outside of their comfort zone, to grow and learn about themselves, and to reach just a little further than what they think is possible. We all are extraordinary people with unrealized potential, and I consider myself quite fortunate to have an opportunity to work with the Twenty-Six Two organization and its community.
When I was about 8 years old my dad began incorporating running into his lifestyle, encouraging me and my sister to join him for casual 5K and 10K races here in Austin. As he began running longer runs, I would run along just to keep him company. In adolescence and college I found myself more committed to team sports (soccer, basketball, & ultimate frisbee), which really helped me understand the value of helping and coaching each other to work as a team. I really enjoyed this environment and in college I was in the right place at the right time to co-found, captain, and coach the first women's ultimate frisbee team at Kalamazoo College.
After college, I moved back to Austin and continued my involvement with the ultimate frisbee community for several years. I help to organize and coach another ultimate Frisbee team, this time at my old high school. Things took a turn for me when I tore my MCL in an ultimate frisbee collision. During my slow recovery my activities were limited to running, biking, & swimming , to avoid lateral cutting and associated knee stresses. I took interest in triathlons and becoming a stronger runner. As the years progressed, my sisters, dad and husband all began training for the Austin marathon and in pure FOMO fashion, I joined them for their long runs to keep them company. They inspired me to sign up for my first half marathon - which quickly led to marathons and a trail 50K.
I worked hard with my running coaches at Rogue Running, paying close attention to the details laid out in the training plans, when to push myself, when to take it easy, how to listen to my body, and how to ride the emotional highs and lows of a training season. Running is complicated - mentally, physically, and emotionally - lots of moving parts! I like to step back, study the big picture, learn from personal experiences (either mine or from others) and then provide support in all of those areas to my friends and family with their training. Personally, I have worked hard for PRs and pushed myself to a BQ time of 3:34:07 and a 50K ultra.
My background in coaching is unconventional. It is influenced by my career choices as well as my hobbies. I was the director of sports and games at a summer camp for 7-14 year-olds in New Hampshire throughout college. Upon graduating, I became an elementary school teacher at a very high needs school. Teaching requires close observation, thorough planning, and inspiring children to set goals for themselves far beyond their schema to help them realize their potential. I naturally began informally leading and guiding many of the other teachers, leading me to become an Instructional Coach - mentoring and supporting, helping adults this time realize their potential as teachers. These principles apply to running, training, goal setting, and pushing our physical selves to perform what our mind does not always completely believe it is capable of doing. We will do this strategically, with patience and practice, tuning in and listening to our bodies to stay healthy and balanced.
I am thrilled to begin this opportunity with Twenty-Six Two, and am looking forward to meeting with you. Please don't hesitate to say hello, ask me anything, and reach out with your questions, personal stories and concerns. Running with intention allows us all to learn more about ourselves in the toughest of moments as well as when we feel light, strong and confident. Onward!