Defining Yourself

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

By: Jaci Schoen, Charm City Run Timonium 5K Training Coach

 As humans, we change our definition of ourselves all the time.  7 years ago, I defined myself as a wife, mother, and school librarian.  If someone asked me about running, I would state with an emphatic tone, “HELL NO!  I am not or will ever be a runner.”

But life has a way of turning on a dime.  For me, 2 crises precipitated my foray into this world.  My first crisis came simple enough.  I was working in a 2-story building.  One day, I found myself out of breath climbing those stairs.  I thought to myself, I am too young to be this way.  I don’t want to be one of those people who let life happen to them. That in 10 years, I will be sitting on a coach, unable to move. 

It was January, time for a New Year’s resolution.  I joined a gym.  And I learned something valuable.  It was boring (sorry to all the gym rats) and I found myself wanting more.  Having had a husband who has run for almost 30 years, he said, “You know, there is a running store called Charm City Run.  And they have training groups.”  I had tried another store but felt intimidated.  I knew I was not fast enough. I felt as if they expected me to fail.   Richard, however, loved CCR.  So off I go, joining the Shamrock 5K group with Michelle in 2018.

Boy, I was slow.  But I had support and encouragement.  I finally got it.  And won’t you know, along comes Crisis 2.  I have my annual mammogram and was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  After a good cry, I read on all the ways to get through treatment…and the number one suggestion is to keep active.  Woo Hoo, I already doing that. 

After my surgery, I honestly drove my doctor crazy.  I think he got tired of hearing me ask, “When can I run again”.  So in the summer, I joined my second group with Jessi for the Run to Remember.  Because of CCR, I was able to complete the race even undergoing radiation. 

So now it brings me to the present.  I have now run 5Ks, 10Ks, Trails, Half Marathons and even more, with the best coaches (Dawn, that means you!)  I have the best set of friends (Thanks Riff Raff) that I have run and traveled with.  I am healthier, happier and feel as if I have accomplished some amazing things. 

And 2 years ago, I got to spread my love for running to groups of runners as the 5K coach at Charm City Run Timonium.  I love watching others grow in their running journey as I did all those years ago.

Now I define myself as wife, mother, school librarian, RUNNER and COACH!!! And I would not change a thing.

So, join me to train for this year’s Shamrock 5K.  You will have a blast!



Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Live.Give.Run. Blog

We hope that you find this blog to be a source of training tips, inspiration and community. Our goal is to create a place online for every runner to find the motivation they need to hit the pavement. If you’d like to be a guest contributor, please email us at

Recent Posts

  • Michael Runs Baltimore

    I am the person who has been running every street, EVERY street, in Baltimore city and I have been doing so for 5-8 miles a day, since July 6. I took it on as a personal challenge and it has been an amazing experience.

  • There’s a Place for You at the Starting Line

    By: Anne Joos, Charm City Run Racing Team Member A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (1994 in Abilene, TX to be…

  • Finding Peace on the Trails

    By: Charm City Run Training Coach Erica Stein The whistle of the wind rustling through the trees. The resounding crunch of the leaves below…

Running with Diabetes Restoring Life After Death: The Power of the Run