I've been running on and off with Capital Area Runners for about the last 9 months. I'd never done any group training before I started running with this group, but I love it. Motivation, support, camaraderie, and no stressed-out hidden feelings of competition, which is excellent when you are generally the caboose of any given workout. You are where you are, and you work hard to try and get better, and that's that. And George, the coach, is fantastic. He's reasonable and conservative and understanding and supportive, and I've really enjoyed working with him. But as much as I'd like to train with CAR and coach the other two disciplines myself through an IM training cycle, it's just not the intelligent thing to do. I need to be working with someone who can balance all three disciplines in a way that keeps me healthy, especially cycling, where I tend to have only one gear: hammer hard. So over the past few weeks, I've started looking for an IM coach, because these things take time, and also because the race is actually not that far away.
I started with a recommendation from a friend of a friend. I also did quite a bit of searching through various forums (DC Tri, Slowtwitch, etc.). I decided it was important to have someone local. I decided I didn't care if it was a male or a female. I decided that it was essential to find someone who would be understanding and careful about my history of
I was very aware of the fact that he was probably going to completely set fire to my entire training life, and it was making me anxious but needed to be done. We had a long phone conversation on Sunday about the next two months, and the one thing I didn't think about was the fact that I am signed up for a bunch of events between now and Poconos. All of which he wants to take off my schedule, which honestly breaks my heart. After talking about it, he offered again to let me continue on with my own training and pick up with him in November, but he said that if I do all of these things which he is strongly discouraging me from doing, he doesn't want to coach me through them. Reston, the big one that I've been training for all summer, hurt the most. His logic - which is absolutely logical - is not that I shouldn't ride 100 miles ever, but that I can't afford to lose the training that would be lost by recovering from riding a tough and hilly 100 miles, and since I'm only training for a 70.3, there's no good reason to put my body through all of that. His reasoning is the same for the Philly Half, because it's only 2 weeks out from Poconos, although when I asked if I could still run it if I swore up and down to not race it but instead just do it as a training run, he said, "We'll see." But Reston hurts more. I've had a score to settle with that ride since the moment I got off my bike last summer. He might okay me still doing the metric, but that's not at all what I wanted. And I got off the phone and cried.
I know that he is right about all of this. His priority is to get me to the starting line of my A race as healthy and prepared as I can be, and beating up my body with unnecessary mileage is not the way to do that. My track record has certainly proven that training myself more often than not leads to injury. But it still hurts. However, I can't deny the logic of it, and logic is always the way to convince me to do anything. So I'll sulk for a while and stare bitterly at the 100-milers as they head out from the rest stop to their different-than-the-metric loop, and I'll be cranky and stabby all day (who wants to ride with me!?) and then I'll be over it. And when I cross the finish line at Poconos, and many months later at Coeur d'Alene, I'll know that I've done everything I can to have a great race. I think it'll be enough.