Sunday, January 30, 2011

Coach or No Coach?

No coach.  I did not take the class yesterday.  I walked into the room filled with wiry, serious, thin distance runners and spoke with the course director, Janet.  As soon as I introduced myself, she asked me "What happened yesterday?"  I said "Well, I flew in and spent the day hanging out with my sister and her kids because my course was Saturday and Sunday.  Or so I thought until I was browsing on the sight to see the course overview last night."  Poor Janet.  She said "Oh NO!  You are kidding?"  I said "What do I do?"
Janet explained I could not get certified.  After reading this on-line, I kind of figured.  I had definitely prepared myself for that.  She explained how the material they had gone over yesterday was very detailed and even if she gave me the materials, I would be missing so much.  Friday's lectures were mostly science based... lots on nutrition and how it affects the metabolic system with running distance.  It covered sports pychology (that is one area I was interested for my own self), the muscles, cardio-respiratory, ect.. Very in-depth in regard to just running.  Saturday's lectures would be on the priciples of training and applying many of the things they'd learned on Friday and injury (another area I want to explore).  They all were wearing running shoes so I figured they were going to do some active learning with drills.  She did tell me I would be welcome to stay for the day just to participate, but warned that I may feel lost due to the many references they would make to the previous day.

In a split second, I had three options:  stay for the class, stand there and cry or quickly move on to plan "B".
"What would it take to get a course in Cincinnati?"  The words were out of my mouth practically before Janet finished talking.  All the classes currently scheduled for 2011 are full except for the Las Vegas one in March.  That sounds mucho tempting, but is completely impractical for me.  Another weekend away from a family with mulitple activies, the expense... it just wouldn't work.  Janet actually smiled and said "Not much really.  Here is what we need... a large room such as a community center to hold 30 people (check).  Close access to an airport (check).  Hotels in which participants could stay" (check).  Harrison meets all three requirements.  I asked her if a running club had to be part of the RRCA to host a certification course and she said "absolutely not!"  We'd bring in food and snacks for the two days (which we'd be reimbursed for), provide a projector and that's it.  Seems too easy.  She gave me the name of the person in charge to contact, which I did as soon as I got back to Maggie's.... and yes, I got lost on the way back too (oh, didn't I mention I got lost on the way there?).  I requested a mid-June weekend in Cincinnati (Harrison).

Yesterday I recieved a response from Patti Finke, the person in charge of coordinating the classes.  She told me that she is currently working with a host for Flying Pig weekend and that she will know for sure next week and get back to me.  With the race on Sunday, I imagaine the class would be FRIDAY and Saturday.  This was awesome news.  She also offered me a 100.00 discount on a future class, which was quite generous considering the mistake was mine and the course is a financially self-serving course.  If the Flying Pig weekend does not pan out, I will host and take the course in June in Harrison (of course, if they say they'll come.. which I think they will... at least they seemed like they would).

So yesterday I spent the day with Maggie and gang.  I napped for nearly 3 hours (a result of zero sleep the night before), went to Gracie's birthday party, which was planned for a month after her birthday due to all their crazy Christmas illness and had a very kick ass dinner prepared for me by my sister.  Today is a nice long run (well, long for me right now... no not the Houston Marathon like I've been accused of faking my injury, training secretly and planning a BQ on this flat course without anyone tracking me) mass and shopping.  Yes, I think I will buy some new boots (consolation prize)  After all, it's Texas!

The bigger picture (I'm always looking now during times of extreme disappointment, but there always is one)...  This is a course that not only those wanting to coach distance runners take, but also those looking to improve their own running by really learning the in-depth science of the sport.  The fact that I will most likely be taking this course right before, or at, the start of Chicago training is not to be overlooked.  The knowledge will be fresh and I will be excited to execute some newly learned training principles.  So yeah, there is my perspective on this fiasco.  No, I'm not always positive (in case this attitude is annoying to glass half empty folks).  As a matter of fact, often times I feel my glass is downright empty.  But what choice do I have but to stay focused on my goals and continue to plow ahead?  It's clear to see that if I didn't look at the bright side, I'd be hanging up my shoes by now and quite likely, not be running at all anymore. There has been a lot of EXTREME disappointment in my Boston quest.. but I'll continue.  Because I want it.  Plain and simple.

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