On Being Coached: Week 1 (Where I Remember How to Train)
A couple of weeks ago, I asked the internet, “Anyone know a good Xterra coach?” I asked because last year’s best laid plans to get better at Xterra were, at best, scattered. I have a hard time making a training plan and sticking to it, especially when work seems overwhelming, which it often does. But when there’s someone that I need to hold myself accountable to and explain missed workouts, it’s a lot harder for me to rationalize taking a third rest day. That, and I want to be a badass Xterra racer. So I was stoked when Heath Dotson stepped up to the plate as my new coach.
I’m not the easiest person to coach. For one thing, my schedule is ridiculous with travel. And since I don’t work a 9-5, some days might be 18 hour workdays while others are 2 hours–it just depends what needs to be done. But I promised myself–and him–that I was willing to put in the hours, the dedication, and was willing to make it work.
Week One is in the books. And holy crap, I forgot what training like a real triathlete was like! For one thing, swimming is involved. And since I hadn’t been hitting the pool regularly for … oh, three years or so … remembering how to do real swim workouts has been interesting. And surprisingly fun!
We’ve had some crappy weather here in NJ, unfortunately, which has put me on the trainer for all of my rides this week. That said, I don’t mind overly much, since it’s given me a chance to really focus on my cadence and get a better sense of where my heart rate is at when I’m pedaling.
The running has been outside. And… chilly. And my ankles are definitely wondering what the hell I’m doing, running every day for the first time in I don’t know how long. But I love it.
The other night, I went out for a dusk run in the snow. I was heading down the road for the last bit when a policeman in an SUV drove past… and rolled his window down, gave me a thumbs up and yelled, “Awesome.” It was an oddly warm and fuzzy feeling. After that, I stopped for coffee down the block and walking back home on the snow-covered road, it was so deserted and quiet, and I just felt so damn happy that I didn’t know what to do with myself. That’s why I do this: for those moments.