Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Why I'm Glad I Hired a Coach

Two weeks ago, the part of my right hamstring just above the knee began to bug me. After a week, it had tightened a little more. For three nights in a row I iced it. This helped. But on Saturday night it was still bugging me.

Since I hired Darren as my coach last month, Sunday has continued to be my one day of scheduled rest each week. Usually, I take a walk and do my Pilates routine. I have the energy, and I feel better doing something small than I feel doing nothing. This past week, due to the hamstring thing, I did absolutely nothing on Sunday. And on Sunday, I mentioned the hamstring for the first time in the online running log I keep for Darren.

The next morning, which was yesterday, I was reminded of why I have a coach. Darren had sent me this week's workouts before I mentioned the hamstring, but after that mention I found a note from him saying he'd modified the run scheduled for today: no strides as had been the original plan, he said; instead, I should run easy. He also gave me the name and number of a chiropractor and ART specialist, in case the problem persists.

Can I just say....it was so nice to have that decision made so quickly and firmly on my behalf. In the past, with the various aches and pains I get that all runners get, I've been pretty bad about erring on the side of "doing the workout as written anyway" rather than being careful. Sure, for something really bad, I might consult my blog readers, or my husband. And if there were a race in the picture, I might even call my doctor. But mostly I just relied on my own judgment. Which is faulty, because my own judgment fears appearing to be wimping out.

I wish I'd mentioned the hamstring to Darren sooner. From now on, when I'm sure some pain is real pain (as opposed to ephemeral and more normal soreness), I'm going to say something to him as soon as I start wondering myself.

I'm also going to consult him when certain opportunities arise. Today I got an email from an acquaintance who has a friend running the Leadville Trail 100 next month. This friend needs a pacer for 8 miles or so. Pacing someone in this epic race is definitely something on my bucket list, and saying no to these kinds of adventures is hard for me. Last year, I jumped onto a Colorado Relay team as a sub--just three weeks before my goal race at the time, the Top of Utah Marathon.

Looking back on it, I don't think I damaged the race by doing the relay, and I certainly had fun and felt good about helping out a friend (I love relays). On the other hand, would getting normal sleep and doing the scheduled long run that weekend have been better for me than driving across Colorado, spending all night in a van, breaking the run into four parts and sleeping very little? Probably.

Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is my number one goal. Getting healthy for the California International Marathon in December is the next step I need to take toward that goal. I'm still not sure my back will be up for that kind of terrain next month. Therefore, I don't know that pacing someone at Leadville this year is the best idea.

I sent Darren a note to ask what he thinks. What do you think he'll say?

18 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you've found someone good to work with! It's crazy that you're working with the husband of a lady who I consider practically famous. :-) You're lucky to live in a running area where local coaches are a possibility. Hope the hamstring feels better soon. 

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  2. My knee jerk answer is he probably won't want you to do the pacing. Gosh I hope your hamstring is not an issue.

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  3. My guess is he'll say no. And this kind of thing is exactly why I can't set lofty goals for myself (well, this kind of thing AND my extreme laziness)...but my big goal is typically to be at a level of fitness where I can basically jump in and do what I want at the drop of a hat. Do, not excel. Type B goals work for me. :) And there'll be time for your bucket list after you mark off your BQ. :)

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  4. I'm glad that you are lovin' the coach! Sounds like the best way for you to get through this recovery phase. 

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  5. BostonboundbrunetteJuly 10, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    Having a coach sure has it's advantages.  I think your coach will say no to the pacer idea.  I think it's best not to commit to anything big right now until you are feeling 100%!  I know the feeling of wanting to take advantage of every opportunity.  I think it's part of being injured. The only real commitment that I have made is the Ragnar Relay since it is not until April, 2013.  I think it is smart to focus on CIM so that you have a better chance of meeting your goal of a BQ.  I know it's tough but it's the best decision.  Just my two cents :)

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  6. Good idea, Terzah. I hired a coach a few months back and have been running better than ever. I am happy that you are (finally) getting healthier.

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  7. I love my coach.  Ok today I hated him it was speed work day and I HATE to run fast!  I would jump on running Leadville BUT I train for trails NOT road so if I get injured doing something normal for then no big deal.  I would think he'd say its OK though :)  I agree coaches are the best although sometimes they tell us what we already know it just feels better to hear it from someone else!  Feel better injuries are no good so don't let it become one!

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  8. I am happy you have a good coach that you like...the hamstring situation is not good...I hope this is nothing serious..I think he will say no to pacing...too soon but you already know this...keep your eye on the goal...your goal

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  9. I'm glad you have a coach!  (And a little jealous).  I hope the hamstring feels better quickly.

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  10. I think his answer will be 'Hell-to-the NO' in a polite way... LOL

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  11. I didn't know you were doing CIM!  I'm not but I'm hoping to come cheer so maybe I can finally meet you then!

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  12. Isn't it nice to hear 'back off' from someone else? Coming from me, I always feel like a slacker, but it is really helpful to have someone knowledgeable on the outside for advice.  Curious to hear what he says- that really would be an awesome opportunity! Maybe you could do less than 8 miles?

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  13. so glad you are happy with your coach.   hope that hamstring starts behaving itself!!!

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  14. Dumb hamstring!  I hope it cooperates soon, you have some business to do and do soon!!

    I may be pacing/crewing for a friend doing Leadville!  Maybe I'll see you there!

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  15. Amanda@Runninghood.usJuly 12, 2012 at 11:14 PM

    If he is like my coach, I think he will say, don't do it.  Play it safe safe safe.  Eye on the prize.  I agree that having a coach is so nice.  I love my coach and he's the best thing that has ever happened to my running.  I'm glad you are happy.  Thinking of you and hoping that CIM is everything you want it to be ....that BQ!

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  16. i'm sure darren would say --> 
    Qualifying for the Boston Marathon is my number one goal. Getting healthy for the California International Marathon in December is the next step I need to take toward that goal.   :)  And I would have to agree with him!!!!

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  17. Pacing would be fun, but I'm guessing you'll pass on it this time since you need to heal for your #1 goal. Hope your hamstring heals quickly!

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  18. As you know, I have been contemplating getting a coach too (still haven't done it because of tri season) but this is an aspect of having a coach that I hadn't even considered. Thanks for sharing because this further solidifies that I think I would like to have someone coach me to a(hopefully) BQ in the future!!

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