Happy Runner: Didier P

My Story

I ran a couple of half-marathons when I was much younger, the last one about 10 years ago. I crossed the finish line with a time over 2:20:00. When I turned 45, I decided I wanted to do a full marathon although I hadn’t run in years. Since that decision I have completed the Paris and New York marathons, both in 2013. They were hard. Unbelievably hard. I became injured in the weeks leading up to each race, yet somehow managed to push through and cross that finish line each time, running 5:35:00 in Paris and 5:14:09 in New York. I cried after both races - finishing yielded so many emotions.

When I decided to tackle the Berlin Marathon in 2015 I undertook another personal challenge. This time I wanted to train without injury and to finish the race in under 4 hours, 30 minutes. I moved from Istanbul to New York in January 2015 and started trying to get back into shape. I started small, simply changing some unhealthy food habits, and then took my first class at MHRC with Founder & President Debora Warner in February. I LOVED IT! Having had such a powerful experience I asked Debora about finding a coach to work with. She recommended MHRC Coach Luke Lombardo, saying she thought we’d be a good fit.

I lost 25 pounds between January and March and significantly improved my running skills. On June 5th I officially began my 16-week program, averaging about 4 runs per week. I followed the plan blindly and found that trusting your coach is a fundamental part of running well and getting better.

Commitment, enthusiasm, dedication and effort paid off. I finished Berlin in 4:01:23, experiencing a rewarding 73- minute PR! THANKS LUKE AND MHRC. Without you, never could have done that. I also enjoyed the journey as much as the race, a true first for me.

A few questions from MHRC...

When did you first start attending MHRC classes?

  • I took my first class at MHRC on February 16th with Debora (Warner) and loved it! I got great feedback about the studio from a friend. I became addicted instantly!

How often do you participate in MHRC classes?

  • I try to come at least once a week when I’m not traveling, but will probably come more often now that winter is arriving and I can’t run outside!

Do you have a favorite instructor?

  • Luke is the greatest coach! He helped me cross the finish line at Berlin with not only a great PR, but also no injury! I love his Distance classes!

What do you like most about MHRC?

  • The atmosphere is wonderful - there is a genuine passion about running that is obvious. You feel welcomed by the front desk and the classes are awesome. It is impossible for you to not give your best and push yourself to the limit! There is a really great energy in the studio.

What keeps you coming back?

  • I guess all is consistently great at MHRC!

How have you changed since beginning to run with MHRC?

  • I am back in great physical shape, I workout more regularly and I love challenges even more.

Beyond a great workout, what do you get out of a MHRC class?

  • Friendship, strong encouragement and support.

What, if any, tools have you gleaned through participating in MHRC classes?

  • Trust your coach and he/she will trust you :-)

  • Alternating different workouts really helps you to improve

  • When your body thinks it is taking on too much, your brain can overpower this. Believe in yourself!