Okay, so he’s not really.
But after 3200 meters (!) in the pool this morning, I am questioning his motives. I emailed him, “I’m now 1000% sure you are trying to drown me.” To which he responds, “You are on to me.”
So fine, I’m not the easiest athlete to coach. Oh! I forgot to mention, I had a three mile run and drills before that swim too. Attempted murder, I say. I won’t tell you what time I had to wake up to finish those shenanigans.
But, I also understand that I’m now looking at a Race Countdown Clock of 58 days. Time to freak out or work my butt off. I choose both, I guess.
Some of you have asked about coaches. Yes, they can be pricey (some of them more so than others). But at a bare minimum, I would suggest a super training plan written by a coach who you respect or trust. The good thing about a coach, and the reason Coach Monster won’t write a book containing basic, block training plans, is the fact that a coach can listen to you (even if not all the time) and adapt your training accordingly. For me, the hand-holding is important.
For instance, I’ve been dealing with a tad of a bum knee. I have the Publix Half Marathon on the race calendar for March 18. However, this is not an easy course. It’s hilly and crowded and crazy. Coach M sends me an email: “Do you still want to do the Half?”
“I’m not sure. I’m thinking that I should do 13.1 that day, but maybe on my terms, under my conditions, like on a flat trail,” I write.
He writes back, “Yep, bingo.”
So something as simple as a race day call. Yes, I could do the 13.1, but it’s probably not the smartest move with the knee situation. Having the reinforcement from a coach saying that I’m not as stupid as originally thought is always a plus.
Not to mention that I would never in a hundred billion years have the courage and balls to do a 3 mile run folllowed by a 3200m swim without someone “making” me. I need the push. I need the push that Coach M brings, and in the way he does it. I would never believe in myself like he does (or at least how he writes it).
The best thing about Coach Monster is that he will put something ridiculous on the training schedule, something that makes my eyes pop out of my head. And somehow, I will do it. For instance, in the build up to Miami, the farthest I had run was 6.2 miles. I looked at my training schedule after St. Anthony’s and it went something like this:
Saturday: 8 mile run
Next Saturday: 9 mile run
Next Saturday: 10 mile run
Following Saturday: 11 mile run
So I sent him email. “Uh, this schedule is insane. In-sane.”
“What?” he wrote.
“Eleven miles! In just four weeks!!” I screamed via my computer.
“Can you run 7 miles?” he wrote.
“Yes, I think so. I have run 6.2. So yes, I think I can.”
“I’m pretty sure next week says ‘Run 7 miles.'” At this point, he picked up the phone and called me.
“Yes, but the week after that—-” I immediately protested when I answered the phone.
“Can you run ONE mile?” he asked.
“What? Yes, I just said I could run seven —” I sputtered.
“Then Saturday, run seven miles. The next week, run seven again. And then run one more mile,” he said.
I sighed. I was getting nowhere.
But in all reality, I was getting everywhere. Coach M had the perfect response for me, in this instance, and it wasn’t “suck it up and do it.” That’s never his response. More like, you’ve done X, now do X+Y. For some reason, that clicks with me. Now, I try not to focus on the X+Y+Z+A+B+C+D+E required to make it to my next race… only focus on the short equations to make it through the next workout.
The one step forward, the one more mile. Mainly this works…because I’ve never been any good at math…
(And… May the odds be ever in your favor.)
Don’t be a Party Pooper. Come Play.