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The KRIS-mas Special!

FPP's Best Editor Ever heads to the

Happiest Marathon on Earth!

Subscribe to Running Life, the official podcast of The Fitness Protection Program on Apple Podcasts, Castbox, or your favorite podcast player and get more racing and training tips from the coaches!

Happy marathon dear Kris, happy marathon dear Kris!

Special thanks to Carrie Arick of Yaya Podcasting for lending us her editing skills this week so that we could keep this episode a surprise!

Coach Sarah:

This is the episode in which we give a big huge shoutout to Kris Zarnoch, our podcast editor and producer and my wing woman near and far. I have called Kris every time I am not sure what to do in a given situation, and even if she doesn’t know, either, she holds my hand and reminds me that I have everything I need. And she is right, because what I have is her. We are here today recording this because Kris is running her first marathon at Disney this weekend (surprise, Kris, the episode you thought was coming out today is coming out next week, so you can CHILL for the next ten days!).

Coach MK:

On May 9, 2019 1:01 PM Mountain Standard Time, my life would change forever. Maintain had just launched in its finalized state, Beta testing for ReBuild was underway; and the reality of Fitness Protection as a very real business was starting to hit me (which was good because Coach Sarah had already given her notice at Harvard). It was pretty clear that the next best step would be a long-form podcast, but it was also clear that the sort of podcast I had in mind would be time-consuming and incredibly expensive.

At 1pm I received this email from a former client:

I am so appreciative of everything you are doing for me and I want to offer to give something back to you. You know, earn my keep!

In all seriousness I am not sure if you need any help or what kind of help you can use, but I would like to offer my assistance. Like I stated before I am truly grateful and I believe in what you and Coach Sarah are doing for so many people.

I have experience with various marketing and office assistant tasks and projects. I can help with tasks including managing your email, social media, and websites. I have experience with media production and can help with the editing of podcast recordings. I am good at problem solving, so you could consider me your own Olivia Pope.

Again, this is an offer to help you and your team. I am not expecting anything in return, You have already given me so much and I would be extremely honored to give something back to you. I have attached my resume to give you a better idea of how I could assist you and your team.

Please let me know how I can help.

My reply was exactly this: “You can edit podcasts? TELL ME MOAR!”

One month later we launched this podcast. 5 months after that, I would realize how understated Kris’ original email actually was: she has degrees in media production and had managed a radio station for two years. She is now our current VP of Production responsible for all of Fitness Protection’s audio and visual materials.

As far as management styles go, I am, arguably, too hands-off. When I trust people, the work is good and my expectations are being met, “good job!” feels….kinda stupid. Pedantic. Terribly insufficient. So insufficient it can make the receiver of such feedback, nervous. Kris Zarnoch deserves better than that, so as she heads to the start line of her very first marathon, an entire podcast devoted to the importance of this podcast outlining its impact on our community as well as the viability of our business, still didn’t feel like enough but it’s better than a mug that says, “World’s Best Podcast Editor”.

Kris, you are a game-changer. If ever you doubt it, if ever you doubt yourself, if ever you question the value of your contribution, please come back to this podcast. You are EVERYTHING, and I really hope you have The Best Day Ever at the Happiest Place on Earth.

And on THAT note, Kris, here is what our community wants to say to you!


Good luck Kris! You’ve got this!


Thank you for everything that you do for us; we are all rooting for you. You got this. Have a great time out there. 


Kris - one of the best parts of 2019 for me was getting to meet and work with you. You are an absolute inspiration to me for so MANY reasons - your amazing podcast editing talent (which remains a complete mystery to me), your infectiously sunny disposition, and your unending kindness and patience. But this week you are blowing my mind because as I am trying to figure out how to lever myself off of the sofa, you are about to run a fucking marathon! My resolution in 2020 is to meet you in person, and to hopefully run a race with you! I hope you have a great time in Florida, and I know you will kick butt.


First, I have only listened to a few of the morning mantras. I LOVED Shady Bitch series. that was awesome! I shared that with a few friends as well. It was just the right thing at the right time. I just need to listen to more of them.

Second, The Fitness Protection podcasts are great. I have been more consistent in listening to those since I joined the group. I usually get to listen to one start to finish on a normal daily run so that's always great! Rolling around in one topic for an hour is a great way for me to learn more. One topic I'm looking forward to is training by power. What does it mean? What do the data points tell me? Why should I care? Etc.

I am a relative newbie to coached & loved and Fitness Protection podcasts...only tuned in within the last 3 months or so. I am hitting some of the backlog though (thanks to you guys referencing older podcasts). One idea for a blog or a podcast is a top 5 or 10 list of the blogs to remind folks that older content is still relevant and worth a listen in case they're new like me and/or missed it the first time around.


I'm trying to pick my favorite episode but I can't! It's a dead heat for the top 2 spots. I really love Amy T. and all she dishes out in such utter honesty and fabulousness that speaks to my soul. She is my kindred spirit.

1. Lighten Up! Thanksgiving

2. More than Bad Ass with Amy, Sept 27

3. Lighten Up! Christmas

The ladies that joined for the two Lighten Up! episodes were just so good. I had to take notes and jot down some of their words of wisdom. I backed the Christmas episode and relistened to one portion several times.


Thank you for all you do to make FP work!! I loooove these podcasts, and I understand through Coaches Sarah and MK that you’re the genius behind them- THANK YOU!!!

Wishing you the best at Disney next weekend! A good friend did the Dopey Challenge last year in her hand cycle - and reported it was the most amazing experience!

Enjoy!! And many thanks!


Hi Kris! Have the best time at your marathon. Thank you for all your work with Coach MK and Coach Sarah. I love listening to each and every one and I know it’s you that makes that experience more enjoyable for all of us. At your race, remember that we are all here behind you, rooting for you louder than anyone.


Go Kris Go! Cheering for you from Minnesota! Thank you for all you do behind the scenes at the FPP. Your hard work does not go unnoticed and I am so grateful for all the editing you do for the podcasts! Enjoy your day!


Kris, you are going to have an amazing time on your marathon!! I just have to thank you for making MY latest marathon amazing, because all my long runs during training were to the morning mantra and the FPP podcasts. I couldn't have gotten through without Coach MK and Coach Sarah, it was a lifeline made possible by YOU! thank you!!

I'm cheering for you, can't WAIT to hear all about it!

-Meg Duncan


I commute 45+ minutes each way to work, and it’s now some of my favorite time of the week. I listen to every Ask the coach and every Fitness Protection podcast, and usually on the day it comes out! Kris, you’re an artist- it feels like I’m listening in on the conversations so much that I talk back to MK and Sarah! I also loved hearing your voice on the podcast when you got to guest star! Thank you for all the amazing work you do behind the scenes to make it so accessible to everyone. Good luck on your first marathon, we can’t wait to hear all about it!


Podcasts are the media that fits best in my life. They work better for me than Facebook, Instagram, or any kind of live stream. Thanks for putting the amazingness that our coaches are into the spaces I need them most. For putting them in my ears on runs. For putting them in my car while I commute. For occasionally putting them into my headphones at work. I’m so grateful for the work you do for Fitness Protection.


I’ll be there on Sunday, running alongside a friend as she tackles her first marathon. I’ll be there on Sunday to finish my first Dopey Challenge. But before all of that, I’ll be there on Sunday, thinking of YOU while I’m zoning out to some of my favorite Morning Mantras on the early morning super tired bus ride to the start area.

Enjoy every minute of your run. Get lots of high fours. You’ve got this!


Kris - I am so thankful for what you do. Your ability to take Coach and Coach Sarah’s words and put them in an understandable form assists me on my running journey. I’ve consistently ran because of their wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration on the podcasts. Kris, you have a skill, a craft, an art that you willingly use and share with us. Thank you for your unselfish act. You have helped so many of us in ways you may never fully know.

As promised, Kris, here is your signature post-marathon cocktail, tailor-made for you by FPP's in-house mixologist, Mr. MK. Good luck, have an AMAZING time, and make sure Tipper has one of these mixed for you when you cross the finish line (and tell him to make sure you hydrate first).

We love you more than you can imagine.

MK Fleming is the founder of Fitness Protection, LLC and Sarah Axelrod leads Fitness Protection's #CoachedandLoved Community. Try our accessible, affordable monthly running plans at!

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