Posts Tagged With: coaching

A Weekend Full of Learnin’ Bout Stuff

I meant to post earlier this week, but I was without wireless for two whole days. GASP!!!!  So here I am, in a hotel room, blogging.

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m currently in Georgia, to take the Level I USATF Coaching Certification class. I got up this morning at 4:30, got all ready, decided last minute to take all my stuff on carry-on (Hello? Can you say easy?!), and got to the airport in plenty of time. Funny, I ended up seeing and talking to a few friends who were headed north for a weekend of fun. That’s never happened to me before, but it’s kind of cool to live in a place small enough where you actually know someone at the airport! I was playing Candy Crush and reading my Oprah magazine through the two smooth, short flights.  Another thing I may not have mentioned is that I’m really afraid to fly. I don’t know why, and I used to love to fly, so it’s annoying. Bigger planes are better for me, so thankfully, they were bigguns today!

I have to laugh at the “economy” rental car my husband booked for me. I would have chosen economy too, but when I saw this:


All this baby car wants for Christmas is to be a real car.

All this baby car wants for Christmas is to be a real car. Beep beep.

I let out a giggle. I’ve never driven a car so small. Whatever, because I wasn’t there to drive and if it saves money, I’m all for that. I do know that it gets REALLY good gas mileage and it does NOT like to go over 65ish mph. Kinda gets angry and “gerbils in a wheel” sound when you try that.

I got to Marietta early, so decided to see if my hotel had my room ready by chance, then go check out Life University, where the class is being held. Yeah! My room was ready, so I checked in, changed into my running clothes, and headed to go run. It wasn’t the best place to run at, but it was gorgeous, both scenery and weather.

A very short trail, but it was beautiful.

A very short trail, but it was beautiful.

Very cool.

Very cool.

I got in somewhere around 4.5 miles, including two laps on the Life University track. The run did not feel good, and of course, the pain is back. Some days are good, some are not, but I’m seeing a physical therapist to see if we can get to the bottom of this. I also know I will have two days off since class and travel will take up any time I may want to run this weekend, so that’s good. I’m going to have to make a decision this week about what I’m going to do about this marathon….. I was feeling cautiously optimistic the other day, and now, I’m just feeling defeated. So who knows what I’m going to have to do.

Here's one more.

Here’s one more.

When I was done running and stretching by my rental gerbil car, a lady drove by and asked if I was part of the USATF class and if there were good places to run. We chatted a few minutes, and I look forward to talking more to “Maria” tonight. Yeah, now I can say I know someone!

So why AM I taking this class? Well, there’s a need for coaches. Educated coaches. The county where my kids attend school does not have a middle school track program. They want one. They need one. They don’t have the facilities for an actual program, but we run around the outside of the football field. It works. I’ve learned a lot from coaching a group of 15 6th graders in Stride. I know that I don’t know that much! But I know they want the program to continue. I know I really like coaching. The obvious step for me was to get as much education as I can and go from there. You just never know where it may lead.

Oh, the lure of the track.

Oh, the lure of the track.


Categories: coaching, marathon, running, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Importance of a Coach

I had a really good 41st birthday.  Thanks for the comments on my “birthday blog”!! They are much appreciated!

I'm guessing the decorator was, um, happy?

I’m not sure whassup with the “Happy”, but we pronounced it as Daffy Duck would. Try it.

I was going to write about that and that I got back to RUNNING again after my two weeks down time from it, my 5k race (first time I’ve won $$MONEY$$) and crappy bike ride, but I decided to switch gears and talk about coaching.  My training is going well for the most part, and my race is less than three weeks away.

Yeah, that's me when I count the days until my big race. But I'm also excited.... to get to marathon training.

Yeah, that’s me when I count the days until my big race. But I’m also excited…. to get to marathon training.

I’ve coached two sessions of Stride and have learned a lot about 6th grade boys. The first day was “interesting” and I found that I needed to be more organized.  I need to keep them busy, too.  I was VERY thankful that I have the best assistants EVER. Really, I couldn’t do it without them. The second day was a lot of fun. We got rained on, one of the kids just walked away, and we got locked out of the school, but we figured it all out. I’m already getting attached to the boys and we have nine weeks to go. I think I like this coaching thing and am looking forward to what I can bring to each session.  I find myself thinking about it a lot. I think of things I can tell them, teach them, and encourage them about. I plan to teach them about pacing today since a prime example would be my 5k from Saturday – lesson being, DON’T START OUT TOO FAST!

I started taking the “Fundamentals of Coaching” class from USATF since I’m taking the “USATF Level I Coach Certification” class in November. It’s a good reminder on the influence one coach can have on a student.  I know coaches can be central to a student’s life and experience of a specific sport. I’m trying to be all that I know I should be, and it’s hard. Really hard. But I like it. I like the challenge, I like getting to know the kids, and I like teaching them. I like that two or three have asked if this program is available when they are in 7th grade. Too bad I have to say NO, but I’m working on that one.

My coach experiences are most memorable from junior high and early high school, when I LOVED to sprint. The 200 was my event, along with the 100 hurdles.  I remember begging him to let me run the 200 on my own so I could see what my time was. I remember being so utterly disappointed when I never could, as I was always in a relay. Funny that with all the other stuff I did in track those years, THAT is what I remember.  The disappointment. It seems simple to me, that he could put me in a 200, but he never did. It would’ve meant the world to me if he would have though. It sticks with me.

Then I think it was my freshman year when we had a coach who had no motivation to actually have us run. We would do a little here and a little there, but I clearly remember him being talked out of having us do our workouts in full. I was disappointed in that as well, because I was there to run and I knew I had to work to get faster so I could do well in the track meets. I remember being so disappointed again. I remember him letting some of my teammates talk down to him, and it made me respect him less. I didn’t trust him to lead us.

I remember my other high school track coach who was a runner herself. I trained so hard that year, and BAM, I ended up with terribly severe shin splints. They’re different from the ones I have now, but I remember rolling on the ground in pain after racing, crying because it felt like someone was tearing my muscle off my legs. She tried to help me, but at that point, there was nothing she could do but have me sit out at practice because the pain was too bad.

My husband played basketball all through high school. He was at every practice, did all the workouts, was a great student, and his coach didn’t play him. While we have our theories as to why, we know it had nothing to do with his ability.  I feel like my husband was robbed out of valuable experience because of the coach’s personal agenda, and it certainly shaped him and taught me of how important it is to put each student’s experience above my feelings about the student.

Fast forward to now, and my coaches are very different from the junior high and high school experiences, mostly because I’m on my own and it’s less of a “team performance” atmosphere, as expected. But Coach Kristen expects me to do my workouts. She listens to my feedback and puts in what she knows I can do to better myself to meet my goals. She answers my questions and lets me vent about my “legs feeling like ass” comments as I had only yesterday.  I have an accountability factor when I have a coach, which means a lot to me. I’m self-motivated, but it does make a difference when you have a running plan, especially on those mornings when I just want to sleep…  Coach Tom expects you to run to your potential. He’s yelled at me from across the track to motivate me to go faster, and I won’t forget the feeling I had from actually finishing my 6th or 7th 800 in 3:15, AFTER six days of hard, intense workouts. Many times, you rise to a coach’s expectations, and there’s no better feeling than doing something you never thought you could.

So with all that being said, do you hear the tiny violins playing over my coach experiences? No, really, what I’m looking for is YOUR experiences being coached or actually coaching others. I’m here to learn, and I’d love to hear other experiences. What did you like? What do you remember? What was good/bad/ugly?  I’d appreciate any comments!


Categories: beach 2 battleship triathlon, coaching, half iron distance, marathon, open water swimming, running, swimming, training for half iron distance, training for marathon, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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