The Good, The Bad & the Ugly

20140203-142609.jpgYesterday I had my group long run. I missed the previous two due to travel and weather. We ran 11 miles together. After, I went to the Y to do an additional 6 miles at a slightly faster pace. It was a good workout; I struggled with staying awake during the Super Bowl.

I enjoyed myself fairly well — many of the other runners are nice people. The range of abilities is really large. One guy is so much faster than the rest of us, I’ll call him Mr Speedy. I’m probably the fastest of the women, and maybe somewhere around the 4th or 5th fastest in the group. I’m not really keeping score, but more trying to figure out who is best for me to try to pace with any given group run. The range in our speeds is normal in any group. It makes it tricky for the coaches to check on everyone, especially during the long runs.

I ran for awhile with the other woman running the full marathon, but she dropped back. Then I ran with a guy running the half and the head coach for awhile. We attacked a 200+ foot, 1 mile climb. I worked on keeping short, fast strides to protect my hammy.

Then the half marathoner split off early (they did fewer miles) and it was just me and me head coach for around 3 miles. It was fine, actually, but more on him later. Coach and I tackled a couple more hills, all less severe than the first big one. I felt solid on these. I asked the coach a lot of questions, which made things less awkward than they might’ve been.

Two of the three full marathon guys who had been trying to keep up with Mr Speedy looped back around and caught up with me and the coach, so he sent me off with them while he went back to get the other marathoner woman.

One of these two men is someone I kind of know and was the one who told me about this training group. The other guy is totally inspirational. Two years ago he weighed over 300 lbs and had diabetes. Last year he weighed in the upper 200s. Now he’s about 180 and reversed his diabetes! He’s really grateful to running for the changes he was able to make in his health.

The three of us ran back toward the start, and we kicked up our speed the last couple miles to try to catch some runners who were ahead of us. We did, and it was a nice confidence builder.

Afterwards, I planned to do additional miles. The slush was turning to ice, so I didn’t want to run in the increasingly slippery conditions. I headed to the Y, which was completely packed. I changed out of my winter running clothes and soaked sneakers and socks, then ran my remaining distance on the treadmill. Yay final season of Breaking Bad.

Total run: 17 miles at a 9:15 average pace.

Back to the head coach. I’m not sure I want to rag on him too much because I sort of feel bad for him. One comment my husband made was that it seems like instead of the coach having to deal with disparate athletes under his tutelage, we’re having to deal with his idiosyncrasies. (Totally paraphrased my husband. I’ve never heard him use the words disparate, tutelage or idiosyncrasy in normal conversation.)

20140203-142628.jpgBut here are a sampling of things I heard yesterday:

  • from the assistant coach: the head coach seriously overtrained last year and wrecked his marathon time. He didn’t know when to lay off.
    • from the head coach: “I don’t think the group is ready for this distance yet, but the weather is so nice, so oh well…”

      And perhaps the most egregious…

      • overheard from the head coach: he claimed he ran a race on Saturday in “oh, 28 or something” when I had seen on the official results page that his time was over 31 minutes.

For some reason, these things made me feel less bothered about group training, perhaps partly because he also didn’t yell a bunch at the long run session. It helps me know that I am not crazy thinking he might not be the best person to listen to, which is not to say he has nothing of value to offer the group. It makes me feel less bad about laying off on the speed days when I think it’s bad for my body. My McMillan running coach has given me awesome workouts, so I know I’m not being lazy and sabotaging my training.

I’m not sure why he felt the need to fib about his race time, but I think it’s kind of sad. I know I get my seconds mixed up when remembering my race times, but not usually by a whole ton, more like 10 seconds in either for or against my favor. But I never misremember in a different minute, never mind three of them.

My hamstring feels fine today, and my calves are slightly tight. Both of which are pretty darn good for running the most miles I ever have in one day. I have today off, which was nice to sleep in and let recovery do its job.

I’m still adjusting my attitude about the group and still haven’t quite decided if it’s a good fit. My thinking is that I can use it however I think best for me. I’m just not yet sure what that will be.

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6 thoughts on “The Good, The Bad & the Ugly

  1. How sad that the head coach is so insecure he has to lie about his time. Good for you taking control, listening to yourself and others and working through what’s best for you. Go you!

  2. I get so bothered by the lying! Usually, they are completely pointless!! Anyway, besides the coaches, I think you have a pretty good line up to pick you a running buddy or to. They probably won’t be near as entertaining as me, but its a start.;)

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