Monday, April 28, 2014

RRCA Certified Coach hires a coach of her own?

Most of you probably remember that last August I got certified as an RRCA coach and loved every second of it.  I learned so much throughout that entire process and have been able to use that knowledge a lot in helping others reach their running goals.  You know what the biggest thing I learned that weekend was though? I wanted a coach of my own.  Someone who would offer an outsiders view and perspective to help coach me through my next full marathon.  Someone who would spend their time writing out a custom plan for me!   Someone who is far more experienced than me and willing to share that knowledge.  I just might be one of the most stubborn determined people I know, so I always thought it would be nice to have someone around to keep me in line.  Other than my husband, he does a great job of that, but I'd never in a million years let him coach me. (Love you honey, but one divorce was plenty for me. XOXO)

At first I thought the idea of it was crazy because after all, I had a fancy piece of paper that said I was a coach...but then I realized that 99% of my friends who are also certified coaches, have a coach of their own as well.  Ah, so we're all in the same stubborn boat?  Got it.  Ever since I started running I have coached myself, written my own training plans, done all my own research on both training and nutrition, and for the most part have been my own source of support.  It's a lot of work!  The thought of trusting everything I've ever done and turning it over to someone else is a bit terrifying, but the only time we can grow is when we finally let ourselves step outside of our comfort zone.  I'm not looking to break any world records but I am looking to grow and improve in all aspects of my running.  With the entire first part of 2014 being spent getting myself healthy and free of injury I knew I'd be starting over completely from scratch.  Finding a coach who would understand that and respect the base building phase was important to me, as I am not ready to dive into tempo runs and sprint work just yet.  I researched several options but ultimately I knew in some form or fashion I wanted to be involved with Hansons.  For the latter part of my San Fran training last year I followed the theory of cumulative fatigue that Hansons is founded on, and training your body for the second half of the race and absolutely loved it.  Apparently my body loved it too because it led to a 30+ min PR from my last full marathon.  If you're not familiar with the Hansons Method I HIGHLY recommend you pick up the book   The method they present and the research behind it will completely change how you view training.  Is it for everyone?  No.  But neither is the traditional 'you have to run a 20 miler in training or you'll fail at the marathon' approach.  The traditional approach was getting me to the finish line, but I felt like death afterwards.

The decision to hire a coach is something I've been stewing on since last August and after finding out I was in for the Chicago Marathon, I knew it was time to pull the trigger.  Early last week I signed up for personal coaching through one of the higher programs with Hansons Coaching and am so excited!  After a week of exchanging a lot of information, answering a ton of questions, and getting my coach all of the info he needed I was presented with my first few weeks of training.  I was thrilled and finally felt at ease when I was told that my first few weeks of training are just to run these assigned miles with no time expectations, pace, etc.   These miles were to start the base building phase and more importantly, just learning to love the run again.   I do believe I've found the right coach!

I log in to my online portal and voila, my workouts are entered for each day with any specific notes for those workouts.  Every evening prior I receive an email notification reminding me of what my workout is the next day....where have you been all my life?!  We can chat as often as I'd like to ask questions, possibly change up training, etc.   Form analysis, nutrition assessments, and lots other of fun stuff!  I'm not one to usually enjoy being told what to do, but I think I'm going to like this because I know I'm going to be challenged both physically and mentally with my workouts.  If I know I have to report back my efforts, I will be that much more motivated to push myself through it.  I'm hoping to take this opportunity to learn more about myself and running, but more importantly to get an insiders look at Hansons and the approach.  I love to learn (I think it's one of the keys to a fulfilled life) and am looking forward to working with someone who is incredibly talented and has far more experience than I do in both running and coaching.  The next few months are going to be one big adventure and I'm ready for it!         

Monday, April 21, 2014

Time to get serious. Yea I'm talking to you Chicago...

After the high of "Holy shnikes I got into the Chicago Marathon" wore off, I started to have the "Holy shnikes I got into the Chicago Marathon I need to start training and get my plan together" freak out.

In case you missed it ya know...
We are only 175 days out people!  That's just over 5 months which may seem like a long time, but not in marathon training terms...especially when you're starting over from scratch a little bit.  Training plans, to a hire a coach of my own decision, training nutrition game plans...oh my.  Since I'm still on the mend from my knee issue I know that I have a substantial base building phase ahead of me.  I plan to spend the next 6 weeks slowly (very slowly) building my base back up and incorporating consistent runs back into my routine. Strength training is still humming along twice a week, so I'm excited to get 3-4 weekly runs added back into the mix. So many people have said to me, "Oh that stinks you're going to have train through a Texas summer for Chicago."  Truth be told?  I love it.  It can be hot, humid, and just plain miserable but there is something extra gratifying about being completely drenched in sweat after a workout.  Fall PR's in Texas are built in the summer!  If you can tough it out through the most awful months of the year, you will be rewarded come fall racing season!  (Not to mention, if I have to layer or put on tights one more time I'm going to scream.)  The heat can get to you sometimes, but I get great joy out of the simplicity of my running wardrobe choices: shorty-shorts, sports bra, and the lightest mesh tank I can find.  That's layers upon layers, ear warmers, gloves, snot rags, ick.

The other piece to the training puzzle that is just as important as every single mile you log: nutrition.  When I ran San Francisco last year I made nutrition a main focus of mine and it paid off.  I felt better all around during training and on race day, well I PR'd by over 30 minutes.

Confession:  During this phase of injury rest and recovery I'm currently in, I've taken advantage and haven't exactly been the best with my nutrition.  I mean, my choices haven't been awful, but they definitely haven't been great....and I may have indulged in an extra margarita more than I normally would. Whoopsy.

Well, now that it's out there...before I can even get there I need to focus on shedding a bit of extra weight. Ideally I've got about 8-10lbs to drop and we all know how stubborn those last few are so I'll be going mainly on inches; but I know the scale has some room to budge.  To kick-start my efforts, clean out the pipes, get rid of all the toxins we hold onto and give my body a full re-boot, I'll be starting my Advocare Herbal Cleanse this Wednesday.  I do one every 90-100 days and it never ceases to amaze me just how much better and re-energized I feel afterwards.  Our bodies need maintenance too but the word "cleanse" can mean a lot of different things to different people.  To me, I will only use a "cleanse" that allows me to eat real food (the good stuff of course) because after all, running comes first and we must be fueled properly. The cleanse will jump-start me into the right direction and get my insides ready for training.  I haven't laid out my full nutrition plan because I still have some time for that but I do remember that when you need 2000-2200 calories per day during those last few weeks, it becomes difficult to get it all in.  I can't be the only one who gets downright tired of eating in general during training right?!

My heart is filled with so much excitement for this race, but my mind is racing with everything that needs to be done!  Which reminds me, I need new shoes.....    

Sunday, April 6, 2014

When you don't have anything nice to say....

Don't blog.   Following that rule pretty much sums up why I haven't blogged in quite some time.  I also had to follow the "admitting you have a problem is the first step" rule, so without further adieu....

Hi, my name is Lindsay and I'm injured.

The knee pain that has haunted me since January finally got upgraded from nagging pain to injury.  Over the last couple of months I cut my mileage in half, focused a ton on strength work, and while I did see improvements the second I started to up my mileage it came raging back.  While things were improving I started to plan out some races and was even going to pace a local half marathon and nothing pained me more than having to back out of all those plans.  The month of March I was pretty bummed and downright depressed over it all.  Taking it easy is not something I'm particularly good at and quite frankly I suck at it.  Running has always been my source of stress relief and allowed me to think clearly.  The good runs, you know the ones that feel effortless, always gave me an extra boost of confidence that I needed to tackle the non-running obstacles that life threw my way.  I haven't had one of those good runs in quite some time and taking away running all together has been really difficult.  When I first finally admitted that Spring racing was out, I was mad...I cried....I had full on meltdowns....I threw one big pity party for myself.  Then finally, I snapped out of it.  I finally took a step back and realized that this was my opportunity to actually stick to my word and focus on strength training and getting my body back to a state where it can run pain free.  There will be more races to run.  No race this Spring was worth doing permanent damage to myself over.

A break in running happened to come at one of the worst times as things in my personal and professional life became infinitely more stressful. How in the world does a normal person (who doesn't run) cope with stress?!  For me, I decided to focus all of that energy into house projects!   I must say that not having a long run on Saturday mornings eat up several hours leads to a lot of productivity during the day!  We completely re-did our bedroom, stained the patio, cleaned out closets and lots of other fun things in between.   I've started to embrace the free time even though I'd kill to go take a lap around White Rock right now.  I'm getting in some short easy runs here and there to really gauge where I'm at in the recovery process and things are looking good.

So, my hiatus from blogging was mainly because I didn't really have anything nice to say as I was going through the motions of dealing with this.  I'm excited at the thought of starting again from scratch and building that base mileage back up as we prepare for some Fall races.  I want running to be a lifetime sport for me, so this is a small sacrifice and just a bump in the road.