Last June, just as marathon training was starting to kick in, I decided to get a coach. I had been thinking about it for a while, but then the opportunity presented itself and I couldn’t resist.
Meet Erin. She lives in Wyoming. She’s a marathoner and a mom…OF 12 KIDS. No, that’s not a typo. Twelve. In the past three years, she’s gone from being 75 lbs. overweight to running a 3:17:00 marathon. She’s…say it with me now…a badass!
I happened upon her blog about a year ago when I was researching running shoes. She’s a Brooks-sponsored runner, and when I googled “Brooks shoe reviews” her blog came up. I was immediately intrigued…how does she train with 12 kids? I’ll leave it to her blog to answer that question, but I loved reading about her training. I’m a total gadget geek – as my running BF Mary could tell you (Holla Mary!) I’ll be the one say things like, Wait! That split was too fast, we should pull back, or Hey! We had a 1000 foot elevation change! Or If we get started at 4:15 and run a 10:00 pace we should be able to pick up Jen at mile 2.5 at approximately 4:50…you get the idea. Well, I get sucked into Erin’s posts because she writes about her splits and her training details and such. She’s total numbers nerd and I say that with undying love and admiration.
So one day, she writes a post about now being USATF certified coach, and that she’s taking new clients. Now I’m not a spontaneous person, but that very second I wrote her back, we worked out the details, and here I am…53 days away from the marathon and my training is going very well. Truthfully, probably better than I could manage on my own. I know I could “do a plan”, but I wouldn’t be as fast, focused, or as happy as I am now, I’d bet ya.
The “virtual” aspect of this was perfect. I didn’t necessarily need a coach that would meet me at the track 2x per week, or consult with me just once and be done. I needed someone who could come up with a marathon training plan based on my goals (finish uninjured and smiling) and hold me accountable throughout the plan. We’ve had a few phone check-ins, but mostly we communicate via email and through a Google Docs spreadsheet that she created for me. The plan is on the spreadsheet, then I record what I did and how I felt each run. I’m running 4x per week, and cross-training on the other days when I can. It’s turned into a really wonderful diary of my training – something that I can look back on and see how far I’ve come when I’m feeling unworthy. She coaches me through my “maintenance” injuries – tight hamstrings, plantar fasciitis, hatline acne (JK on the hatline acne, but seriously. Hatline acne sucks.) and is giving me advice as I seek out my perfect running shoe. And because she’s a mom, she totally gets that sometimes, the plan has to change due to kid/family stuff. Awesome!
One of the bonus parts is that she’s running the NY marathon also – which means that we will get to meet in person! I’m so excited – other than the marathon itself it will be a highlight of the weekend.
I know that by the time November 4th rolls around, I’ll be well prepared. She helped me strike the right balance in training between over-training and under-training, finding that “sweet spot”, that so far, has worked well and is going get me across the finished line. BOOM!
Check out Erin at www.seemomrunfar.blogspot.com. Run on, friends!