Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Getting Coached

As I figure out what it is that I want to get out of the year in terms of my running, it has become that I think I possess super-human powers.  Unfortunately, that is not the case - I am human.  And as much as the "no goal for this race" approach is working for me, I do have goals, which are all a bit ambitious.

I've greatly enjoyed my winter/spring training session for Boston, especially since I am not racing Boston.  As I have said before, all of the hard work was done last year in order to qualify for the race.  The race itself will be the ultimate celebration.  I'll be running it with my running BFF/training partner for the past 15 or so months.  And I can't wait.  I feel no pressure, expect the pressure to have fun and enjoy every single moment of the expo, race and weekend.

I have a few things that I'd like to do after the Boston Marathon this spring, but have not yet signed up for any because I don't know how my body will respond to the marathon.  I anticipate that I'll be fine since I'm not going all out and trying to PR, but you just never know.

The summer and fall tell a much different story for me, though.  Back in December, I signed up for the Fox Valley Half Marathon as my goal race for the fall.  My goal is to run a sub-1:30 at this race.  I feel that it is doable, and have gotten the same response from my track coach.

Then I decided I wanted to run the Chicago Marathon again....but really run it.  Race it.  PR it.  Spring through the streets of Chicago with a smile on my face and enjoy every step.  All this after theoretically PRing the half 3 weeks prior to it.  Smart?  Doesn't appear to be.

To add another twist to the story, I'll be in Texas for 8 days in July this summer, learning how to be an astronaut (more or less).  I'm not sure the quantity of training I'll be able to do while there because of the heat, and the demands of the program that I am doing.  I know we are in class/sessions from 8 until 5 or 6.  But, I get to fly in an aircraft at zero gravity at the end of the week which will be completely and totally awesome.

Therefore, I've been thinking about how I want to handle the fall.  Another running coach in my running club suggested that I sign up for a November or December half and PR the hell out of that race.  But, that would require traveling, and I don't do that well.

My running BFF/training partner has a running coach that she has been working with the past 5 years.  I do a lot of her workouts with her because we run together 3 times a week.  And although he does not technically coach me, in a round-about way he does.  He's our cheerleader, supporter, challenger and commander all wrapped up in one.

Last week I was telling my running bestie about my predicament.  I've thought about getting a running coach before, but decided to forego it because I thought I could come up with a decent enough training schedule on my own (which I did).  But I've never attempted anything like the fall I'm going to have.  I think I need a coach to help me achieve my goals, tell me what to run and how fast, and keep me injury-free.

Deciding I need a coach isn't the hard part, it is deciding who I want as my coach.  There are a few options:

  • My bestie's coach.  He already knows me, has seen me run, knows how I like to approach long runs, and is experienced.  I'm sure he would come to Fox Valley and help pace me if need be.  
  • My track coach.  Also an experience runner (he was actually on Team USA last year for the duathlon), he knows his stuff.  However, he likes long runs to be faster than I like to run them at. Given the fact that I'll be marathon training, this might be a problem.  But he is a phenomenal track coach and could help me PR the half I'm sure, and the 5k, which is also on my bucket-list for this year.  Another plus is that he already knows me as a runner.

Then there are some coaches that I only know via the internet.  One guy is an endocrinologist in addition to being a runner, which could be beneficial as far as training is concerned.  I also know Missy Foy, a diabetic runner, is a running coach that other diabetics have used and had success with her.  I haven't looked too much into her - to see if she is even taking on new athletes or is willing to work with me.  


1.  Did you/do you have a running coach?  How did you pick them?

2.  Thoughts on who I should pick?  Or, is there someone else I should consider?  

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