Saturday, January 5, 2013

Giving up control & resting

Some things I've been marinating on lately...

I haven't worked with a coach since college, which is longer ago than I care to admit.  But this fall after having a cup of coffee with MN RED coach, Ron Byland, coupled with the fact that I have decided to run the Boston Marathon in April (a pretty big deal for us mortal runners), I made the decision to join his club and follow his training plan.

I thought I was ready to have someone else worry about how many miles I was running, the intensity levels of my workouts, and some of the other miscellaneous stuff that goes with the territory of racing, but it hasn't been an easy transition.

Don't get me wrong; Ron is terrific, he knows his stuff, and he has built a running club with legit talent.  However, I feel a sense of ownership when it comes to my running.  And it's pretty clear if you know me:  running is my greatest passion.  Furthermore when it comes to racing, I know what kind of results my training yields; so there's a certain sense of confidence and trust in my training.  Lastly, and this will come as a shock, but I'm kind of a type-A personality (sarcasm is thick).  I like control.  I like my routine.  I like my treadmill.  I like deciding when, where, and how I run each and every single day.  
                                                                My Baby

But this is where things get tricky...

1)  "If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."  

Grammatically incorrect and I don't know who said it first, but an appropriate quote nonetheless.  There's a strong likelihood that I could keep training myself and make small gains; I've done this in the past.  But if I want to step up and start playing with the big girls, I probably need this transition to a new program.  It's just been so difficult to give up control and trust someone else.  I don't know what results this new training will yield and that freaks me out!

2)  My name is Kelly and I'm an addict.  My addiction is endorphins.
                                                         Feeling the endorphins!

There's a proven physiological phenomenon called the "runner's high."  I think this is common knowledge, but for anyone who doesn't know:  runner's high is a happy feeling that accompanies running based on the release of endorphins (good juice) into the bloodstream brought on by exercise.   So even though I love running, it goes deeper than that.  I'm an addict.  Running (and subsequent endorphin release) makes me feel good.  I look forward to my run each day, and I get crabby if I don't get a run in during the day.  It's totally crazy.  I know that.  But it is what it is.   With this new training program, I've been told that rest days are just as important as high-quality days.  Rest?!  Who rests?  Not this girl.  But I'm slowly and reluctantly trying to get it through my thick skull that to get the really high-quality workouts in, I have to be rested.  It seems so simple, and I'm not a total idiot; I get it, but saying and doing are two entirely different things. 


  1. working with a coach in 2011 and 2012 radically changed my training philosophy. i also learned a lot, and now feel more confident putting together my own "program". the best coaches are in business to go out of their athletes the tools they need to eventually take over their own training again. just be a sponge! :)

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