Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Intervals with Adam

An irregular series of posts that focus on whatever is rolling around in my head – usually a bunch of bullets on what is or is not making me ‘regular’
Normally, I don’t think much while I am running. I kind of like it that way. A few hours a day to space off and think about. . . .boobs nothing. Today however, during my 15 mile run, I thought about a lot of things. For some reason though, I kept thinking about The Rock and Roll Savannah marathon and the Boston marathon. I have lots of naked pictures “can I qualify?” questions rolling around in my head. Believe me, if there is one thing to get you running faster, it is to think about how you have to run 26 miles at a 7:04 pace. My normal 8:00 miles became 7:00 miles before I could say ‘Bean Town’.

This past weekend I went on a hot air balloon ride – the present from my wife for turning 30. To answer the questions that I know you have in your head: Yes I spit off of the side, no I did not get naked, yes the balloon driver said people have gotten naked before, no I still am not convinced on whether to call him a “driver” or a “pilot”, and yes I did use it as an excuse to drink mimosas before 9am. More pictures to come shortly!

Having a child is terrifying. My son is attempting to stand up / walk but often times forgets that he really doesn’t know how. All day long he’ll prop himself up on things, let go, and come crashing down to the ground. Fortunately, he’s finally learned that falling backwards on his butt is much better than forwards on his face. The only issue is that I still don’t quite trust him so I am always within 4 feet of him at all times. Little guy has me wrapped around his finger already.

Finally, do you want to know the best part about running 15 miles on a Tuesday? Telling people that you ran 15 miles on a Tuesday. I think my neighbor about shat himself.  Let's be honest, that's the real reason I'm a runner.

Monday, August 29, 2011

CPR Certified!

As the last step in my RRCA run coach certification was to burn a pair of running shoes as a sacrifice to the late Steve Prefontaine become CPR and First Aid certified. I assume that this is in case I see anyone who looks like this:

If you have no eyes and have a wide opened mouth, I now know to lock lips and get to second base. Or something like that.

The day actually started at 3:30am. I had 20 miles on the schedule and because of other commitments (hot air balloon ride on Sunday) I had to get them all in before the class at 8. Which, of course, meant that after accounting for time to stagger around in an oxygen deprived state, stretch, drink some recovery stuffs, shower, etc, I’d have to be done with running by 7am. Ouch.

So, with matted hair, sleep still in my eyes, and a brain that was still 75% still asleep I started running at 4:30am. The run itself went well. I was surprised at the number of people who were out and about at 4:30, but more importantly I found that the temperatures had not 100% cooled off by that time! In Arizona, because of the low humidity, the air temperature cools off rather rapidly, but the cement keeps radiating heat well throughout the night. That meant that at 4:00am it was still 90 degrees and by dawn it had fallen to a balmy 87 (according to the news). Lovely. Because I must move like a turtle trying to get out the door that early, I was only able to get in 18 miles and then I had to be done to get to the class.

The CPR and FirstAid class itself went really well. As much as I talk about it being all suck-face and boob grabbing (which it was) it was a very valuable class. There are a lot of myths and misconceptions that are out there right now that certainly cleared my head:

  • It is all about boob grabbing now, no face-sucking required (that is WRONG – breaths are still an important part)
  • You should tourniquet any bleeding (That is also wrong, mostly because 90% of the time people don’t do them correctly)
  • Knives are required (for some reason this display case was in the training room)

At the end of the day, I’m glad I took the course. This way if I’m ever at a race and I see someone drop dead, I’ll at least have some frame of reference as to what to do. If it is a girl, I’ll suck face and boob grab until the real professionals get there. And, if it is a guy? That dude better hope that some other CPR certified coach comes running up – FAST.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Extinct Foods

Horrible inventions get created all the time by major corporations.  I assume that there is focus grouping involved.  Lots of average people sitting around munching down on bacon flavored fruit snacks saying "yeah, I'd totally buy these!!"  Everything sounds good when you're not actually paying money for them.  However, throw on some slippers and head to the grocery store for toothpaste and Bud Light and something called French Toast crunch doesn't taste as good as it sounds.

I recently stumbled across an article from the website Buzzfeed.  They collected 25 Foods You’ll Never Be Able To Eat Again because they have been discontinued (at least in the United States).  Take a look at the website - well worth the read.  I remember most of them.......probably because I eat more junk food than a high schooler during an Xbox tournament. Happy Friday!

Really SpongeBob?  Balls?  And that look on your face isn't creepy at ALL

As if Pepsi (or any pop) wasn't unnatural enough, they had to make this little ditty BRIGHT blue.
Honestly though? It tasted amazing

I think Saturday Night Live parodied this one the best with Crystal Clear Gravy

Eco Cooler.  It is like licking a ghost.  Or at least the stuff that comes off of his backside.
Ok, these things were just good.  BRING THEM BACK!

Call me crazy, but I'm not sure that quenching your thirst without actually drinking anything would be a good idea.....

Finally, the BEST for last.  Is it ketchup?  Is it playdoh?  Nope, it is Heintz purple ketchup.
Oh, this was real - my grandma used to buy it.  Gross.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I’m officially “That” guy

There was a time when I was not so obsessed with running, sweating, and eating that I could hide it relatively easily from coworkers. That time, much like the souls of the participants of the reality show Bachelor Pad, has long since gone. Now I’m “THAT” guy. I’m “crazy runner Adam” or “that running obsessed guy” or most often “that super handsome quick witted guy who I want to talk to but I’m too nervous so I stare from afar and wonder how far he ran today or how he eats so much food”. (I might have made that last one up.) I’m the token office runner and there is no hiding it.

When I first started to run, I was able to do it in relative anonymity. I was traveling, so I could hide out in a smelly damp hotel fitness room and knock out a 30 minute run with little notice. People would ask “what did you do last night?” and I could easily respond hotel room pay per view – Debbie did an entirely NEW city! that I had watched the History channel. That was that and we’d proceed to talk about sports or weather or whatever normal work people talk about (golf? Stocks? I have no clue). I’m not a boastful person, so I would mostly keep my running under wraps.

This was actually one of the "gyms" I worked out in

But soon 3 mile runs turned into 10 and I started traveling around the country to run various marathons. (See also the yellow United States map in the right sidebar.) Someone would ask “Any plans this weekend, Adam?” and when I responded that I was going to Chicago the answer of “why?” would inevitably follow. The marathon. My secret was out – and it spread like the herps at Woodstock. Freebird indeed.

I’m the office runner guy! I have more running shoes than almost the entire team combined, I watch strange channels on TV that broadcast track meets that essentially look like very slow NASCAR, and I am always the one to go to for miles to KM conversions. Most of my conversations revolve around running or eating or my son (because that is all that I have time for).

So, what am I to do? I think I’m going to study up on politics and Karma Sutra. Those are always good topics to talk about at work. Other than that, I’m going to continue running and not try to hide the fact that I’m up hours before most and burn more calories in a day than most people I know.

Anyone else been stereotyped as the crazy runner person at work or with friends?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Mix’ins

When I was growing up, whenever mom was too busy/tired/frustrated to make a new meal, we’d eat the leftovers from the few seemingly weeks days prior. Mix’ins! Over the past few weeks I’ve collected a bunch of little tidbits that I haven’t been able to find a home for. So today on my blog, there are mix’ins.


First, an update on my running. While I consider myself a pretty experienced runner by this point, yesterday I did something that I’m not sure that I’ve ever done before. I finally broke down and bought a nut cup I ran twice in one day, and then again the next morning!! It was TOUGH. My schedule had it planned out mostly as a tool to fully recover from the last week’s miles but I think it mostly served to test my gag reflex which hadn’t been tested since college!. The run yesterday morning went fine, but the run last night was brutal. First, it was 100 degrees. While dark. I had ate a salad 2 hours before but that still didn’t stop my dinner from trying to make an appearance all over the front of my shirt.

Phoenix, 9:03pm.  100 degrees.  F-you summer.

Yep, no sun. 100 degrees. Super. (that is a streetlight)

The run this morning however was just as bad. I felt DEAD – and in fact bonked at mile 7, the half way point. There was walking, a little splashing of water, and maybe even a bit of self deprecating “get your ass in gear” involved. Eventually something kicked in (probably my salad from the night before) and I was able to finish the last 3 miles at marathon pace. I had my wife snap the picture below. I was sweaty, exhausted, pasty, and oddly shaped.

Phoenix, 5:05am.  F-you summer.

Which super hero was it that ran around in a towel, took unflattering pictures, and solved crimes?
All of them?  That is what I thought.


The deliciously fit cute new mom Kara Goucher has a stress fracture.  She said that she was in PR form after having a baby but started to have hip pain that progressively got worse to the point that she couldn’t massage it away (how do you get THAT job?). The moral of the story per Kara is always wear booty shorts wherever you go to not ignore soreness that doesn’t go away after a few days! It will catch up with you, probably when you are least ready for it. And most importantly—time with loved ones can heal all things, even a broken heart (or a broken hip).

I recently read that Kara as well as Paula Radcliffe (the current women’s marathon world record holder) both have been using the Alter G treadmill as part of their normal training and rehabilitation. The very same treadmill that I was able to try out a few weeks back! Here I am, getting ready to be strapped in:

I have to assume that this means that since I ran 2 miles on the treadmill, I should be knocking out world record times any day now. Right?


Finally, I’ve almost entirely abandoned Google+, but I was on there a while back and someone had shared the following Nike video. If you have the time, give it a watch. For all of the child labor and questionable athlete endorsements, their advertising is spot on.

Of course, Jamoosh commented that, based on my definition, some of the people might be **gasp** jogging! Indeed they are, I just hope that they aren’t running two-a-days. I hear those make you barf salad.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Mileage PR!

I don’t talk a lot about the facts and figures of my race training on my blog. I like to tell people that the running focus of my blog is only a vehicle for my poop humor, innuendo, and pictures of my son. Who, by the way, is doing this now. Scary times in the ‘Boring household….

Never the less, there are times when the stars align, the heavens part, Kim Kardashian puts pants on that aren’t 3 sizes too small, and I actually have a post that is almost entirely running focused. The Boring Runner, talking about running! What a concept. (The Boring Runner also thinks it is strange to write about himself in the third person on his own blog. He thinks it seems egotistical.)

Last week I had my highest mileage week in my life. 66 miles. I think my previous peak was around 60 or 61. I ran 6 days last week which essentially means that I have to use pictures above to remember what my son looks like spent, on average, just over 1 hour 20 minutes running each and every day. (and had to eat around 3000 calories each day - hooray!)

Getting to 60+ miles per week is a lot like getting to 10 miles a week, 30 miles a week and so on. It takes time, a little bit of listening to your body mine keeps screaming “I’m an amusement park! Play with me!” , and a lot of dedication. That and, much like a weight loss journey or a run across the US, it all begins with a single step.  Day by day, you'll get there.

Oh right, facts and figures. . . . This past week I capped my week off with a 21 mile long run that was a thing of beauty. Overall pace was 8:03, but it felt like I was floating. It was one of those runs that I actually felt myself getting faster as the time went on. The only snag was around hydration. Because the weather has been so hot in Phoenix, I’ve had to drink a LOT of water. I’ll go through about 10oz per 3-4 miles which means that for a 21 mile run, I have to carry a LOT of water. My water belt thing only carries 40 oz, so around mile 18, I had to circle back by the house and refill. Since I normally always run out and back so I can’t bail short on runs, knowing that I still had 20 more minutes of running left as I approached my house was demoralizing! But, I staggered around, grabbed my prefilled waterbottles and pounded out the last 3 miles.

As well as the run went, when I finished, I still felt like I ran 21 miles. I created a homemade recovery drink that consisted of a scoop of protein powder, water, chocolate syrup, salt, and coffee – because I read somewhere a while ago that caffeine helps to aid in muscle absorption. Once I drank that, I took a 25 minute shower (and my wife says my showers take forever) and tried my best not to be completely useless for the rest of the day. I’d like to think that I was rather successful – but that would probably be a lie. I was in bed by 9:00pm on the dot.

What tricks to you pull on yourself to not let you quit on a run? Anyone else run completely out and back routes?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Calorie Burn

I'm currently training for the Rock and Roll Savannah marathon on the first weekend of November.  Not only am I training, but I'm training HARD.  2 months back, I decided that I was going to make the commitment to put in the time to reach what I feel is my potential.  That is, a marathon somewhere near 3:05 or 3:10.

While listening to the Marathon Talk podcast, I heard a quote that almost exactly sums up my current training plan:  If you do what you've always done, then you'll get what you've always got.

While I've had great luck and ran faster than I ever have thought I could with my previous training plans (sub 19 5k, sub 40 10k, sub 1:30 half), I knew that I had to kick it up to the next level for the Savannah training cycle.  For me, that means running 70 miles a week with two days of speedwork per week for a solid two months before my marathon.  That is NOT the right approach for everyone.  In fact, it is probably not the right approach for many.  I don't subscribe to the gillions of miles approach.  I've never done that before.  EVER.  With a demanding job and an infant at home, it is a commitment for sure.

There is no history of anything, until it happens.

But, I'm often reminded of my other favorite quote above.  What was once an inactive volcano is Mt St Hellens.  What was once an unconquerable 4:00 min mile barrier is broken.  Simply put, I'm not going to run a fast marathon. . . . .until I do.  Until that time, I'm going to run my guts out.

What are you doing to create history?  Are you doing what you've always done?


My funny foto Friday this week isn't so much funny as it is very interesting.  I loves me some graphs, and this one just goes to show that running is pretty much the best thing ever.  I'm pretty sure that running cures just about everything.  At least, I sure hope so. If this rash gets any worse I'm really going to have to do something.  Happy Friday!

Alright.  FINE.  I'll give you what you came for.  Kim at Life in the Twin lane just ran a sub 2 half marathon - a pr by over 5 minutes!!  While at the Rock and Roll Chicago half expo, she was minding her own business when - BAM - she nearly was poked in the eye.  Now, I'm not saying that mannequins have to be 100% life like representations of reality, but I think this one take it to **ahem** an new "level".  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Jogging Follow Up Post

My Jogging vs Running post was more popular than the band KISS at an Mary Kay party!!!  I think that I really struck a chord with all of the runners who do not like to be called joggers.  That, and I think that we are all trying to get away from the 80s.  The thought of someone "jogging" in sweats brings up images of leg warmers, Susan Summers' crotch in a thigh-master, and that little half rat, half horse "Alf" trying to eat kittens.

I had over 230 people respond to my poll and the overwhelming 3 to 1 response was that the term "jogging" doesn't touch their tongue any more than frozen flag poles do.  The poll really spoke volumes. What did I learn? 40+ people want to go to the middle school dance with me!!! There is a Caribbean theme, I’m getting my hair in dreds. People are very passionate about their passion. What I took away from everyone’s feedback (thank you!!) is that some people (nearly 3/4 of the respondents) do not like the term jogging – mostly because it reminds them of Barbie on the treadmill. I totally get that.

I think we all have little sayings or phrases that we all use that bother one person for one reason or another.  I'm absolutely no different.  In fact, I was talking with a friend / person I coach about how I hate the term "take a GU".  I don't "take" a GU anywhere.  I take a dump, I take out the trash, but I EAT a GU.  (Other great examples are masseuse, stewardess, and midget.)

Courtesy of 51 Feet Under (Also, seen on Steve In a Speedo)

As I was reading through the comments, one thing that really struck me was how many people associated "jogging" with a pace or an effort level.

A friend IronChad mentioned about how this might actually be Garmin's fault. Damn corporations.  Is there anything that can't screw up?? They actually have pace zones identified in their software that list out what is running vs jogging.  (They are HORRIBLY skewed and quite frankly, flat out insulting.).   I don't know anyone who can "fast walk" a 13 minute mile, do you???

So, going forward I’m going to really work to take the term “jogging” out of my vocabulary. I’ll take a page from Laura and Lisa and start to call it “run easy”. It still has the same intent of a run that doesn't have a goal necessarily without being unwittingly condescending or demeaning.  The world will be a better place, congratulatory nods and high fives will rain down from the heavens, and I won't unwittingly piss off any runners that I might be chatting with.

Today?  5 miles easy run.  No pace goal, but it was a solid run non-the-less.

Does anyone else have any other terms that they can't stand that are used pretty frequently by non-runners or by people in general?  Or, are you just a GU taking happy go lucky person that doesn't have any annoyances?  Feel free to let loose, I've tagged this post with Pet Peeve!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Hell Hath No Fury

I’m a very lucky man. I have a good job, good enough health, and a family that tolerates my obsession passion of running. But, that isn’t to say that I don’t try to help with their tolerance. Just like that lady on the cable TV show who eats the stuffing out of couch cushions, I normally try to keep my running under the radar. I’ll get up at an ungodly hour and try to be done with most runs before 8am or so (that way I don’t scare the neighbors with my bare chest and my face doesn’t melt off with the Arizona heat). But, this weekend was different.

This weekend, my wife had a bootcamp class that she had to leave for at 6:45am. As in, THE MORNING. Running afterwards wasn’t an option as by the time she got back it would be above 100F. So, what did I do? I got up at 4am, and logged 15 miles (For my buddy QUAD) before 6:30am. They were GLORIOUS. I’m not sure if it was the threat of receiving the wrath of my wife if I didn’t finish, but I had one of my best runs in a LONG time. Things were clicking, I didn’t feel tired and I even felt my pace creeping faster and faster as I was getting closer to home. (15 miles at 7:57 pace, 3 min negative split) My takeaway? For my next marathon, I need to have my wife set up an important appointment 3 hours and 10 minutes after the start. Hell Hath No Fury. . . . . .


School is starting back up in Phoenix and when I run long, I often have to run through clouds of Axe body spray and Teen Spirit deodorant as kids are waiting for the bus. I mean seriously, was I the smelly kid at school? Do kids now feel the need to hose down with smelly stuff to the point that it keeps the bugs off? I know it had to be bad because I often lose my sense of smell when I am running hard and almost have had to hold my breath to get through the stench. I am pretty sure that these are the people who grow up to run on the treadmill at the gym in full makeup / cologne.


My sunglasses broke over the weekend. Being the complete tight ass resourceful lazy and practical person I am, I just kept wearing them. I’m fully convinced that I would have been the nerd in the 50s with the tape on the bridge of my nose.

I figure if high school girls can make kissy faces in every single picture, why can’t I? I’d better stock up on Teen Spirit deodorant.


Finally, as good as my run was on Saturday, today’s run was a sufferfest. I had 10 miles with 5 at 6:45 (tempo) pace on the schedule. I am not sure what it was, but I felt tired and flat. I warmed up a mile and was planning on running the 5 tempo miles. I ran the first one at 6:50 at what seemed like an all out sprint and knew that it was going to be tough. I then resided to some sort of 1 mile hard 1 mile easy that completely defeated the purpose of the tempo run in the first place.

I’m not sure if it is all of the longer miles, but I’m definitely feeling a bit of spring in my step leaving. I mean, I knew that I’d lose a bit of my top end speed, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow. Fortunately, I’m back up to 2 speed days a week so I’ll rebuild that speed soon enough and will be back to fighting form. Until then, I’m hoping that my wife will schedule a bunch more bootcamp classes. I need some fast run motivation somehow!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Funny Foto Friday: Who I run for

I’ll bet you thought that I forgot about Funny Foto Friday!! I might forget my kid’s birthday, my wife’s anniversary, but I would never forget to post a funny foto Friday.

 I’ve been a bit (read: ass over teakettle, eyeballs deep) busy, but I have a follow up post on my “Do you jog?” post. There were a TON of great comments and an overwhelming majority to kick me in the junk whenever I use the term “jog”. Stay tuned for that.  The post, not the junk kicking - I hope.

Now that I am working in town, I spend a solid 60 to 90 minutes a day with my ass in the car totally kidding, I usually car dance  listening to a combination of NPR, sports talk radio, and the local hip-hop music station (100% the truth). That said, while on the road I see a lot of interesting things. Of course, there is the occasional car accident, but there are also much more interesting things . . . . There was the random complete living room set in the center lane, some chick on the back of a motorcycle with her entire ass hanging out, and more custom license plates than I can name (recently? “8BIT ME”. Nerdy? Yes. Hilarious? Indeed!)

The other day, I saw something that not only got me laughing, but got me thinking. I was driving along, bumping and grinding to the latest Ke$ha song, I saw not only a personalized license plate but also a window sticker that made me do a double take. Here it is:

Of course, this picture taken while I was in park, not moving. . . . . 

Zooming in a little more, you can see (sort of) that the window sticker says “Once you go gimp, you know you’re a pimp” and the handicap license plate says QUAD.

Politically correct? Noooooooo. NOT AT ALL. But, still enough to make me laugh on a long drive to work.  As I continued to drive, I got to thinking about when I run I often times think of running for those who can’t.  Sometimes I'll think of someone who has cancer and is too weak to walk down the hall, let alone run. Or, I'll think about running for the para/quadriplegics who through one circumstance or another have lost the ability.

That day on the road, I decided if I am running for anyone – it is for that dude. Because he is comfortable enough in his own skin to make fun of something that others cannot. So, my 15 miler tomorrow will be for the handicapped guy with a sense of humor on the morning commute. Get your pimp on, man. Happy Friday!

Bonus!  I've had this song in my head for the last.....3 weeks.  There are some swears, but for some reason it makes me laugh all day long. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Do you Jog?

Even babies put their foot in their mouth
The other day, I was chatting with a good runner friend of mine and I asked (paraphrasing): “How far did you jog?”   Well, one thing led to another and I was back peddling faster than Michael Phelps in a pool trying to get away from the DEA.  It isn’t often that I stick my foot in my mouth, but it has been known to happen.  The thing that I stumbled over?  I always forget that some people have a VERY negative connotation with the term jogging.

As I continued to backstroke, I explained that I don’t really think of jogging in a negative way.  I call any casual running that I do jogging and oftentimes use the terms interchangeably.  My friend explained that she did have a negative view of the term because she perceived jogging to mean either slower running or something that people who are not serious about the sport do (think meat heads or Barbie types in full make up running 1 mile on the treadmill at the gym).  Point taken, lesson learned, shoe leather tastes like steak.

For me, the term “jogging” has nothing to do with speed, pace or ability.  Much like yuppies say about owning a Mercedes Benz: It is all a state of mind.
  • Jogging: Any run that has no pace goal.  For example: “Run 400M at 5:45 pace, jog 200M recovery”
  • Running: Any run that has a time/pace goal. For example: “I’m going to go out for a 4 mile run at 12:00/pace”
  • Racing: Running during a sanctioned event with the goal of obtaining your best time for that day: “Yeah, I sprained my crotch but I’m still going to race the 5K tomorrow.  I won’t get a PR, but I’m still going to hit it hard – just like I did my crotch”
Actually, new rule: If you are wearing a button down shirt while doing it, you're JOGGING

But, even though I don’t have strong feelings, I understand that others do.  Being my own devil’s advocate, one might say “Sure jackass, you don’t care about the term jogging because you ARE fast”.  While that might be true, I’d like to think it is because of my happy-go-lucky outlook on life.  That said, I'm going to try to stop using the term "Jog" in my normal vocabulary.  I really think I'm in the minority.

So, do you use the term jogging?  Give a vote below, I’m very interested.  Furthermore, I’m curious if people get pissed at other runners or friends and family calling running, jogging.  Some people have made entire (hilarious) podcasts out of it.

  • Yes.
  • No.
  • Yes, I will go to the dance with you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

RRCA Training Class Weekend

Like I mentioned on Friday, this past weekend, I flew to the wonderfully cool Minneapolis to become a Certified Running coach.  This was actually the first time I had traveled alone since the birth of my son a full 8 months ago.  (Cheesy dad moment – here is his 8 month picture.  I think my 361 month picture is still being developed – should have shot it via Polaroid)

For those of you new to my blog, for the last 7 years or so I used to travel full time Monday through Thursday.  It was different, but my wife and I both made it work for us.  After work, I read blogs and watched The History channel in the hotel and my wife watched Bachelor related shows and shows about housewives in various metro areas to her heart’s content.  There were downsides (no close friendships in the town I lived in, away from my wife) but there were advantages too (lots of frequent flier points, no pants whenever I wasn’t at work, “reunions” with my wife were great).

So, as I found myself in a hotel by myself again for the first time in a long time, I found that I quickly fell into my old habits.  I caught up on blogs / twitter and had a little wine:

Who am I kidding?  I mostly did this:

And I reaccustomed myself to passing out sleeping on a king sized bed by myself:

But, I soon realized that I didn’t travel half way across the country to pass out after drinking too much screw-top wine – I could do that at home! I needed to learn about coaching.

The class itself was split up into two full distinctly different days.  Day 1 was all about the bio mechanics, nutrition, coaching styles, and even a bit of psychology of helping people realize their potential.  It was all very interesting information – but it was all very theoretical in the sense that there was no pace talk, mileage talk, or even a hint of speedwork.  Almost like knowing how you brew beer.  Sure, really good info to know that it doesn’t come from the beer fairy, but doesn’t make it taste any better.

Day 2 was where all the action was. It was the shirts optional day! There we learned about creating training plans for different goals, proper training paces, and how to apply the fundamentals to various situations.  I was particularly interested to find out which “training philosophy” RRCA uses.  HIGH MILES.  Their underlying goal is to run lots of long miles in a base build period – peaking at 75 miles for advanced marathoners with no stepback weeks and only then layering on speedwork.  This is opposed to some of the other training philosophies such as Hal Hidgon’s 2 week build, 1 week stepback or Jack Daniels / Pete Pfitzinger’s “phased” approach.  Wow, running coach jargon FOR THE WIN!  Jeeze, feel free to ignore that last paragraph as uber technical mumbo jumbo.  Let it suffice to say that I had fun and learned a lot of great information that will supplement what I already knew.

Of course, Murphy’s Law says that you can’t get 30 runners together with at least a few of them knowing each other. Rebecca @ Thru Thin and Thick followed Lesley whom I coach, Matt @ SISU Runner somehow found me, and Ann from Sporty Girl Jewelry was there as well!  Unfortunately, we only all put this together the last day.

Overall the coaching certification course was a great experience and I would do it again.  It was great to see all of the various backgrounds of people: from fairly novice runners looking to make a career change, more experienced runners looking to gain an edge, and people looking to start children’s groups or even help coach high school track.  But, while we were all there for as many different reasons as there are to run in the first place, the drive was essentially the same: We all wanted to help others put one foot in front of the other.