Here I am, sitting comfortably in the middle of winter and so far the weather in Wisconsin has been….
Nope, I’m not going to finish that sentence. I don’t want to jinx it. I see what’s happening in Boston and I know what I’ve lived through (and run through) the past few years and I don’t want to push my luck by saying anything out loud. And just to be safe, I’m going to knock on wood and throw some salt over my shoulder too!
I’ve finished my first month of training and just have 9 more to go. Woo Hoo! Actually I am still pretty excited about everything and am pumped to keep going. My Coach is a pretty black and white, no-nonsense guy and that suits me perfectly. I don’t need cheerleading or bullshit, I just need the plan and I need to be held accountable for executing the plan, which he does. Actually, I hold myself accountable, so that part is easy. I meet with my Coach every other Monday and at that time he has me do a few new exercises/stretches that he then incorporates into my long-term plan. He checks in on how everything is going and he listens to my concerns and most importantly he answers my questions. Often I don’t even need to ask a question because he will tell me something to do and will promptly follow it up with, “and here’s why that’s important”. Good lord, those words are music to my ears. I am a perpetual toddler when it comes to asking questions… “why, why, why”. And it really irritates my husband. He hates my constant barrage of questions. I’m guessing if my husband had one thing he could change about me, it would be my need to ask questions. But it’s how I learn. I have the personality tests to prove that I need to know the “why”. And my Coach tells me the why. I love it. Seriously, he’s worth every penny just for the fact that he explains himself even before I ask.
And while he explains himself, that’s not to say that I still don’t have questions. Some I ask him and some I keep to myself and then ask my husband. My husband thinks I’m “questioning” my Coach’s ability and his plan. I say it’s not so much “questioning” as it is “inquiring about his methods”! And because I constantly think things through and completely over analyze EVERYTHING, I don’t realize I need further explanation until after I am no longer with my Coach. It usually comes days later when I’m executing part of the plan.
My Coach checks in with me on our ‘off-weeks’ too It’s pretty surreal actually to have someone check in. And it’s not like when a friend checks in to see how things are going… it’s much more “real”. He wants to know all the stuff I thought was too inconsequential to mention to anyone. He wants to know how the runs are going, how the exercises are going, how my knees are, how my hips are, if I have any questions, what other workouts I am doing, what traveling or commitments may be coming up that he needs to work around, when I change the schedule or plan and again… he wants to know if I have any questions. Weird! But good!
And while I LOVE having someone walk me through this crazy journey I’m on to complete the Fall 50, it’s weird giving someone else that much control. And we all knew that would be one of my biggest problems. And I don’t mind giving up control and letting someone else put the plan together for me, but it’s hard for me to give up control of my personal schedule and being able to rearrange the plan. For instance, because of Brian’s schedule and the weather/snow forecasts for this week, I rearranged when I did my easy, hill and tempo runs. And technically I’m not supposed to do that. So that’s really difficult for me. I don’t want to have to check in with my Coach and have him waste his time changing the plan because I don’t want to do a tempo run when the roads are icy or when Brian has an after-work Board meeting. I know I’m going to struggle with this a lot over the rest of my training. I’ll just have to find a happy medium between being able to “slightly” rearrange my plan while not having to bore my Coach with every personal conflict I have. — And just for the record, I did fess up this morning and admit that I rearranged my runs this week. I’ll see if I get my hand slapped again!
Also, did you happen to catch that I’m now doing tempo runs? Wow, that was interesting. A tempo run is when you change-up the tempo/pace of your running during the duration of your run. I “loosely” did tempo runs on my own in the past but they were never structured. They usually consisted of me running and then deciding to “run as fast as I can” until I get to that next driveway or mailbox. I would usually “sprint” for a 50 yards or so and then go back to my normal pace. On Monday, I did my first “official” tempo run for the Fall 50. I had to do a one mile warm up, then run 2 minutes at “an uncomfortable” pace, then walk for one minute, then two minutes at “an uncomfortable” pace and repeat two more times before I finished with a one mile cool down. Brian ran with me and was in charge of the stop watch and timing my 2 minutes and 1 minute intervals. And thank god Brian was with me because I would not have been able to man a stop watch as I was running at an “uncomfortable” pace because I was too damn busy trying not to collapse. I swear two minutes never felt so long. I was dying! And I was flying… if I do say so myself. And technically I am the only one saying it because when I mentioned to Brian that I thought I was running too fast because my pace was not only uncomfortable but was an all out sprint… he said, “you can run faster”. To which I replied by pushing him out into traffic. Okay, okay, I didn’t really push him into oncoming traffic. But I did think about it!
So, I guess when I meet with my Coach again I need to get clarification on what an “uncomfortable” pace is because I have MANY uncomfortable paces. Hell, my normal pace is often uncomfortable.
So, while my Coach clarifies a lot of things for me, I guess I can still find a way to come up with new questions. I guess that’s just the way I am!!
Until next time,