Pamela is a hard working mother of two young boys who has an infectious, energetic personality. She is brave and adventurous and one of Coach Sonja’s favorite clients to work with! Pamela also competes as a Triathlete so Coach Sonja merges her running workouts with her swimming and biking. The primary focus is on improving her running stride efficiency to help her develop more speed with less effort over time. Pamela began working with Coach Sonja in August of 2018. In just two short months they have accomplished quite a bit together including a shiny new 5k PR!
“Hi Sonja! I want to share my happiness with you! After many, many months of running 5ks in 26-27:00, today I finally run under 26:00! I was pleasantly surprised because my last mile was not my slowest as it usually is. My heart rate was still high but I wanted that PR and was able to push through! I am so happy! Thank you again for your help and training plan. You are the best!”
“Sonja…. I am so excited!! I ran another PR today!!!! Never thought I could run sub 8:00/Mile pace in a race, but I did it today!!!! My official time was 24:19 for 5K. I’m so thankful for your advice and amazing training program!”
Fran started working with Coach Sonja in May of 2018. Amidst frequent summer travel, a slight tendon issue and a VERY full schedule as a community charity leader, RN, Triathlete, and devoted wife and mother, Fran reached her goal on 9/9/18 of reaching a BQ at the Erie Marathon in 3:57. She bettered that time a month later at the Chicago Marathon running a 3:51:55. Coach Sonja will have her ready for a 3:45 or better in Boston 2019!
“Huge thanks to my amazing coach Sonja Friend-Uhl, who believed in me even when I was letting doubt creep in…”
Since starting with Coach Sonja in 2016, Jennie has ran her first Marathon (and two more since!) and set personal bests at distances from 5k to the Marathon. Here are a couple of quotes from Jennie regarding her Confidence in Coach Sonja’s training and philosophy:
Boston Marathon, 2018. Jennie amazingly set a PR on a day when many elites dropped out due to horrendous weather conditions. She ran 3:06 and placed top 10 in her 40-45 year female age group.
“Coach Sonja thank you so much! It was your training plans (for running and strength) that got me to the start line for Boston healthy, fit, and strong. Thank you for your guidance and support right up to race day. I carried your words with me during the race.”
New Haven Labor Day 5k, 2018 Jennie ran a new 5k PR of nearly 20 seconds in 18:19 and was the 2nd Female Overall and 1st Master Female!
“Coach Sonja Friend-Uhl, this race is absolutely dedicated to YOU. I can’t thank you enough for your wisdom and guidance and the magic you work in my training cycles. You are a coaching genius and just a heck of a great woman, athlete, mother and human being. Thank you. It’s a pleasure and a joy to work with you.”
Sara Medrano- Marathoner: “Sonja! Had an incredible race today (Chicago Marathon)!! I was aiming to do an 8:30 pace. I did exactly that. I felt strong the entire way. Never slowed down!! Best race I’ve had in a long time!! 🙂
Gabriela is a member of The RW Need for Speed training group. She is a beginner and extremely hard worker!! She ran over a 6 minute personal best (that’s 51 seconds per mile better than her last race!) in the recent Gumbo Limbo 10k as compared to her previous 10k on the same course in December! Her response: “Thanks so much for helping me improve Coach Sonja!”
Marc Surgent is a middle school cross country and track athlete who has been working with Coach Sonja since November of 2016. He competes in everything from the long jump to the 200, 800 and Mile but his favorite events so far are the Mile and the 800m. Coach Sonja’s work with Marc has focused on pacing and adding more stamina to his training. It has paid off! Marc had his first meet of the season on 4/19. He ran a 45 second personal best in the Mile!! His time was 5:31. He also ran a personal best in the 200m by 2 seconds in a time of 27.22. Goes to show you how much you can accomplish when you combine hard work and desire with the right training program!
Todd Clements came to Sonja hoping to improve on his 5k time and learn more about running training in general. By the end of his coaching program he decided he wanted to race a half marathon as well. He ran two and hit a personal best in the second! Here are Todd’s thoughts on Sonja’s Coaching:
“What I learned from you in such a short amount of time is truly priceless. I feel very confident and stronger both emotionally and physically not just in my running but my everyday life! It’s like night in day. I have not felt the way I fell about running in such a long time. It is an amazing feeling!!! You got me thinking about other race distances as well. I basically only ran in the 5K’s which I will continue to do to get my time to sub 18. You also gave me the confidence in my training and running that I have signed up for a couple of 10K’s and half’s. I kept a trading log and going to follow on what you had me doing. I could not be more pleased and happier with what what I accomplished this season and I owe it all to you!
You are an amazing person and coach!!!!
I feel so privileged and lucky to have you for those 3 months!!! It has been the best 3 months of my running life. Again thank you for everything!!
Jennifer Sober is a Masters runner and mom of 4! She has been training with Coach Sonja using the Premier Private Coaching Plan since the Fall of 2016. So far Jennie has ran 5k, 10k, and Half Marathon personal bests in 2017 which is just amazing!
Her response to her stellar Half Marathon performance:
“COACH!!!!! I ran a 1:24:55! It was the race of a lifetime. I felt strong and fast and light and confident. It was one of the greatest moments of my life. Thank you so much for the training that got me here! I am overjoyed!”
“PR in my 5k today!!! 18:45! First female and 2nd overall. It was a lot of work out there…I felt like I was just barely holding on. But I did it! Thank you for all you are doing for me!” -Jennie
“Sonja, I did my 10k today and got 1st Overall Female and a new PR of 38:47! That’s over a minute faster than last year’s PR of 39:56. I didn’t know I could do it but all those training miles at 6:20 just kicked in. It was incredibly windy, too. Thank you so much for your guidance and support.”
Update: She completed her FIRST full marathon today on 4/30/17 in a stellar time of 3:10 at the New Jersey Marathon! So proud of her!
Traci Schwartz Kozak is a member of The Running Warrior’s “Need for Speed” training group that meets on Tuesday mornings. On April 1st, Traci ran over a 2:00 personal best in the 5k. Her response: “I still remember being ok with (just) finishing and being last. You’ve helped me more than words can say! Thank you for believing in me Coach Sonja!”
I met Sonja in 2012, I think? I hired her to coach me for an upcoming marathon. I was running the San Diego for the 3rd time, and my goal was 4:15. My previous marathons were, 4:45 and 4:40.
I remember not having a clue about the caliber of athlete she was. She was so kind, humble and conscientious. She listened and suggested two track workouts for me to add to my marathon schedule. Then, I googled her name and was a bit in awe. I think that I reminded her how talented she was (HA!).
I did not hit my goal of 4:15, but I hit my goal of 4:20 and I would never be the same. Gosh, I remember that Sonja really, really believed in me. . . ME. This had a huge impact on my lagging self esteem. The next thing that I remember she suggested was Magical Running by Bobby McGee. To date, this was one of the best books that I have read about running and positive affirmations. This greatly helped my running and this greatly helped my self esteem.
Sonja became my track coach. She opened the world of track running to me – Because of her example, I coach a group of runners at the track. Sonja helped me hit a 50 mile PR, December 2015. I PR’d by 1 hour and 20 minutes! Sonja designed a core workout that changed my trail running. I have never worked this hard on my core.
Currently, I am working under Sonja’s direction for a 100 mile race I have coming up in September. I consult with Sonja for my gym and core work. I cannot wait to hit the starting line and see what I can do.