Hey there, hope everyone’s 2017 is off to a good start so far!
Let me warn you in advance – I have a feeling this post is a little bit rambling, but I’ve been wanting to write this for a while and at a certain point, I think you just have to hit publish. So bear with me on this, I promise I’ll get to the point. Eventually. 🙂
When I was little, I randomly decided I wanted to learn to play the violin. I don’t remember what precipitated this decision, but once it was made, there was no changing my mind. I was fortunate enough to have a family with the resources to make learning a new instrument a viable option, so a few weeks later, I had a child-sized rental violin and my own private teacher. It probably became apparent after the first 150 or so renditions of Hot Cross Buns that I was no musical prodigy, but my parents still encouraged me to practice and continue with the lessons.
And so I did for roughly 10 years, only stopping the private lessons when my schedule became overwhelmingly hectic with school, college hunting, athletics, and various other extracurriculars.
Now if my parents knew I wasn’t going to be a professional musician after all the Hot Cross Buns performances, I probably figured it out a few years later. But I still enjoyed learning each new skill and steadily improving as a violinist so I stuck with it.
Now this is a running blog, and not a music blog, so I swear there is a connection here (that I’m getting to) and not just taking you all on a leisurely stroll down memory lane. I did say this was going to be rambling, didn’t I? 😉
In 2008 (I think?), I signed up for track and field in high school. Of course, back then I thought 3 miles was a death march of a run and the 400 meters was my “long” event. 4 years ago, I ran my first half marathon and realized that I was actually physically capable of running double-digit mileage and so began my “distance running career”.
Like with the violin, it’s been pretty clear from the get-go that I will not be going to the Olympics for any form of running event, 100 meters up to marathon. But I enjoy races and running, so I have stuck with it anyway, steadily improving as I figured things out along the way.
A few months ago, I started hearing about coaching from several different resources (Runners World did a great podcast on the topic of coaches for the average runner and Bibrave also did a Twitter chat on the subject). I had never really considered coaching for myself before because I was new to the sport and able to steadily improve doing my own thing. But as my goals have gotten bigger, I’ve realized a little bit of guidance/support might not be a bad thing.
When I was 6, my parents didn’t set me down with a violin and a page of music and hope for the best – they got me a teacher because they had the resources to make that possible.
Now that I’m out of college and working, I have my own resources. And I’ve decided to put some of that towards a running coach. I love the sport and I don’t see myself deciding to quit anytime soon, so I feel like it’s a worthwhile investment. Training and reaching goals brings me a lot of happiness, and I know a coach will help me blow those goals out of the water.
After a lot of consideration, research, and cost comparison, I signed up to work with McKirdy Trained, a group of 11 coaches formed by head coach, James McKirdy. I had reached out to James with a few questions before I signed up and was very impressed with his honest and friendly approach. The very next day I signed up to work with the coach, Mary Johnson (who also has a fantastic blog – It’s A Marython).
I signed up in November and so far, I’m really enjoying the experience. I’ve done a lot of different workouts and run a lot of easy miles. I’ve been in the base-building phase for my March half, but things are certainly going to pick up in January and February. I’ll be running higher mileage than I ever have for a half marathon before and I know there are going to be some killer workouts, but instead of being afraid, I’m so excited.
So here’s to a new year filled with new running friends, fast races, and big PRs! 2017, I have a good feeling about you. 😉