Testimonials and Snippits

“Star is an incredible coach! In less than 12 months she had my fiance go from never have run 4 miles to completing a full Marathon last week! Amazing and the same thing can be said for my own personal training goals. I had previously attempted to run the Chicago marathon but couldn’t make it all the way. This time was completely different! Star created a plan and we worked it! There was no doubt the results and that’s a direct reflection of Stars coaching abilities, strategies, and tenacity for ensuring that everyone stuck to the plan. Great coach and group! Thanks Star!” Chris W.

“It started in July 2009 with the “Couch to 4-Miler”.  Star Ritchey put together a training program for the CY 4-Miler.  The program brought many people together with different levels of training.  There were some who had never run, those who ran on occasion, and some that ran on a regular basis.  Star’s program was easy to follow and fun as it was a progression rather than just going out and ‘running’.  Also, running in a group is by far so much better than running alone.  Following a very successful run, several in the group decided that the St. Jude ½ marathon was the next event we would take on.  

I had run the St. Jude ½ in 2008 and trained by ‘running’ the distance.  This time around, I wanted to really train and work on beating my time.  Star put together an individualized program, planned all the training runs (routes included) and was there every step of the way!  Encouraging us when we no longer wanted to run, telling us we could do this and above all, kept it real!  I finished the St. Jude ½ and beat my 2008 time by 8 minutes!  

My running story continues and so does Star’s patience, persistence and training!  She led a group of us to the finish line at the Country Music Half Marathon this year.  But it does not end there; I am already registered to run the San Antonio Full Marathon this November and am signed up for the St. Jude ½…AGAIN!  Of course, Star will be there to train and run with me and anyone else who is up for the challenge. 

It all starts by putting one foot in front of the other!” : Julie P.

“As I huffed and puffed by way through the streets of Cooper Young before the crack of dawn in temperatures below freezing, I wondered “Who on earth is this person?”  I had had the same thought a few weeks earlier when I realized that I was making sure my running clothes and shoes were packed in my carry-on bag, rather than my checked luggage, as I headed out to vacation.  I planned to run – run – while on vacation, that ultimate period of lazy downtime.  Even my partner commented jokingly: “I don’t know you anymore!” when he saw my carry-on. 

It started in July with the “Couch to 4-Miler” and just ended with the St. Jude Half-Marathon.  With Star’s guidance and patience, I progressed from barely being able to run a block to running – albeit, slowly – 13.1 miles.  She pushed us but knew our limits. There was no cajoling or embarrassment; only encouragement and helpful direction.  I liked that she shared her experiences, admitted that she had bad runs from time to time and that it wasn’t always easy for her and griped with the rest of us.   She wasn’t some unrealistic, type A trainer with a whistle – she was human, like us (though, she did have a whistle for a short period of time but we didn’t mind so much since she used it sparingly).

As I continue my running in Star’s group, I continue to be pleased, and surprised, with the improvement in my ability and attitude.  Star is helping me improve my speed and stamina since I was not fully satisfied with my time in the St. Jude Half-Marathon.  We’ll see how this effort pays off in the Country Music Half Marathon.  Yes:  that is two half-marathons within six months!  Who on earth is this person?” : David B.

I have had real, measurable success with your program, Star. That’s a big deal to me because I’ve never stuck with any exercise program I’ve ever attempted. I have always gotten discouraged, given up and fallen back into bad habits. Also, you and Keith are real folks, not fitness elitists. You don’t scoff at anyone’s lack of knowledge, effort or attempt. That element has been key to my success. Thank you both.  Toby

I have tried running about 20 times in my life and never could I get past the 2 mile mark. I remember the first week when I could barely run two minutes on and two minutes off. Star’s program, along with her coaching and motivation, is unbelievable. If it weren’t for her and Keith I would not be running today. They have taught me so much. I never in a million years thought I would be running a half marathon. I remember the first weekend I ran 6 miles. My thought was, ok that was difficult but not impossible. Then came 7, 8, 10, 11.4 and now I will be running 13.1. She is always super supportive and doesn’t let you get yourself demotivated because you are always last or you are slow. As long as you are doing it she pushes you along. I will continue training on my own and hope to at least keep in touch with Star and her running groups. I think she should go national!! Oksana

Star, you are a great coach. I have enjoyed your approach to training, your constant contact and your down-to-earth attitude. You have made this a fun and enriching experience. Thank you! And thanks and mad props to Keith too.  Ansley

Huge thanks to Star and Keith for a WONDERFUL experience.  I was reflecting on our first run in June today (the downpour that turned us into wet puppies).  I remember showing up at Inbalance in the dark… it was like the first day of school when you don’t know anyone and you’ve got that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach.  I remember seeing a “13.1” sticker on someone’s car and thinking, “Dude, you are SO in over your head.  You thought this was for beginners and there are real runners here!”  I wanted to turn around and go home. Especially when the rain started! Ha!  I remember, when we were totally soaked, asking Erin if my hair looked ok, just to ease my own tension a bit.  This has truly been one of the best experiences of my life.  I’ve made great friends and found some inner strength I never knew I had.  Also some outer strength I guess, but that’s almost secondary.  It’s like one of star’s little motivational quotes about the hardest muscle to exercise is the mental one that you work out trying to just get up and do it.  I’m gonna go get my OWN 13.1 sticker today (now that I can walk without looking like an 87 year old man who lost his walker)!  I’m so proud of myself and everyone else who finished the race!  Truly a life chaning experience.  And it’s true… I AM tougher than I thought I was!  Thanks Star and Keith!  Love you guys and hope to see you soon!  Trey

I really like how you and ketih trained with us and had your own struggles on the way. You were a great cheerleader and really believed in us. Katie 

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