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Little Miss Sprints A Lot

As a Girls on the Run coach, I help girls develop their confidence, strength, and skills. Among those skills is the ability to develop their pace and stamina for their Celebration 5k at the end of each season.

One of the girls on my team struggles quite a bit with pacing. She’s young still and so very easily drawn into the temptation to run all out until she can’t run anymore. And then she walks until she feels like she can run again. And again, she goes all out, sprinting until she’s exhausted. These little bursts of energy are short-lived, so she does a lot of walking during practice. We’ve been working with her, trying to help her develop the strength to reign her speed in until the end of her run.

It’s work in progress.

I mean, when you feel like you can go fast, you want to go fast. I get this. I’m always that runner that goes all out at the start of a race and then gradually slows down until the Finish Line is in sight. It’s very unimpressive. 

I’ve never successfully paced myself at the start of a run. Negative splits are a thing of mystery to me.

It occurs to me that I may not be the best choice to coach this girl in pacing.

Still, I understand where she is coming from. So maybe I can help her.

What’s really great about this process, though, is what I’ve gained from it. (Come on. You didn’t think I was doing this just to help make the world a better place, did you?)

This weekend I ran my fastest 5k to date. Like, all three of the miles. I ran sub-eight-minute miles for all three of the miles.

I don’t do that.

Let’s take a moment to revel in that for a moment. 

It was a fast course, yes. But I’ve run faster courses slower than that.

I truly believe that what got me through that course that fast was the training I’ve been doing with Little Miss Sprints A Lot. While I was trying to get her to go slower, she was getting me to go faster. And for longer periods of time. We are somehow starting to meet in the middle.

So, thank you to my Girls on the Run team for coaching me to be faster so I could earn this:
Photo Credit: Robert Copelan

You can sign up to be a Running Buddy at the upcoming Celebration 5k. Maybe one of our girls will help you run faster.

If you’re in Bedford or Lynchburg, go to Girls on the Run Central Virginia.

If you’re in Roanoke, go to Girls on the Run Roanoke Valley.


Just reading and writing and running and looking for my happy place.


  1. Great work Sunshine! I know you're making a difference. I heard you had some pretty awesome spectators out on the course cheering you on!!

  2. Paparazzi follows me everywhere. LOL
    Thanks for volunteering, Jeremy!

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