Tomorrow instead of running with my Fleet Feet training group in the evening, I’m heading out in the morning. Early. Early even for me.
Why? (And this makes me happy to no end) I’m running with Thing 1.
Thing 1 is a junior in high school. He’s almost 17. He took up running about 8 months ago, but didn’t run in the summer. Too hot, he said. (and it was). But school started, and he laced back up, hitting the road a few times each week.
Tonight I suggested we run a new 5k that’s being organized by my running club on October 7. Without even blinking, he said, “sure.” Which pleased me to no end, but then he said, “I’m not sure I’m running that far right now.” We mapped it out on my Daily Mile account, and yep, he’s a tad short. So I suggested that he run with me tomorrow morning. I’m on the docket for 6, which for me is my slightly more than 3 mile North End loop plus my 3 mile South End loop. So I suggested we head out together at 5:30am. and that I’d drop him home after the 3 miles. 5:30 seemed to be the deal breaker, so then I suggested that I pick him up at home at 6:10, as I swing by home after the North End 4. “That sounds good,” he said.
I’m just beaming now.
Why am I doing 6 miles though?
Well, I think I mentioned that I hired a coach earlier this month. Of course at that point my goal was the Philly half (mid-term) with the Reach the Beach (close term) and Surf City (long term).
I read about the coach through Salty Running, and contacted him (named Greg). We had a few back-and-forth emails, and he allayed my hesitations about actually “hiring” a coach as I am such an amateur.
The thing is, and I think Greg picked up on this, I am a goal-oriented person, and I also think that my past performances are not indicative of my potential. Not that I’m unhappy with my past times. It’s just with each half that I finish, I know in my head and heart that I could race better, smarter, and ultimately faster.
I know I will not ever win a race, but I want to do this to the best of my ability. And I respond well to coaching. So Greg sent me a comprehensive questionnaire, and then put together a comprehensive strengthening and training plan for me to get me to the Philly half.
And then I pulled my icky hip muscle. And every day, I look at the training log of what is SHOULD be doing, and instead I’m doing squats and lunges, and clams and leg lifts, and MRYTLE (rhymes with hip girdle) exercises. And I missed my chance to sign up for Philly.
But now I’m feeling pretty good. I can feel the different in my hip strength, so tomorrow I’m going to jump back in to where I left off, but knowing that if the hip gets wonky, I can shorten my mileage.
And I’m not terribly disappointed about Philly. Yeah, it would have been nice, but my real “must run” race this fall is honestly RTB. There are a few other halfs I could squeeze in, if I’m so inclined, but right now, I’m feeling good about running with Thing 1, RTB and the Surf City Half in Cali that I’ve registered for.
Here’s the thing: I LOVE my plan. It’s totally do-able, but also a challenge. I know that if I’m able to follow it, I’ll be a much better runner. And I’m so excited for tomorrow. six miles. and three of those with Thing 1.