- Believe in myself (still working on that!);
- Love each stride/hill/race;
- It’s all in the progress, not instant (very important and something I had a hard time understanding for YEARS!).
Coach or no coach?
I decided I would train for my first marathon by following a plan I found online. It had me running five days a week at varying distances. I followed the plan and I was ready, or at least I thought I was. I showed up on Jan. 29, 2017 to the Miami Marathon. I ran it in 5:30. But I felt terrible afterwards. I ended up tearing a tendon in my foot that resulted in it taking more than a year for me to get back to running regularly. In 2018, I had the pleasure of getting accepted into the Chicago Marathon and felt I had to take my training a little more seriously. I got a runner’s manual from Runners World and read it cover to cover trying to understand how I need to attack this training cycle. I did it, it hurt, there were awful days and some decent days. About a month and a half before Chicago, I was on Instagram scrolling through some of the amazing runners I follow. I started using Instagram to get inspired and see what other (much better) runners were doing in their training. I saw some of my favourite runners from around the globe, but one post in particular that caught my eye. One of the women I follow from California, Alys DiMercurio (insta:@run_rinse_repeat), had mentioned something about one of her running clients. I didn’t know she coached, I didn’t think people did that part time. I had been following her journey for more than year, loving her running story and understanding who she was as a person and what running meant to her. I realized I needed help to get myself to the finish line in Chicago, so I reached out to Alys about her coaching services. I had looked into having a running coach before, but I didn’t connect with them or they made me feel like I couldn’t get to where I wanted to be as a runner. After connecting with Alys, I decided to take the plunge and hire her to coach me for four months. I had a month until Chicago when I started my “real” training plan. I had been having nagging pains and was just nervous for what was to come. She calmed me down, helped me understand that I needed to just give it all I had no matter if I was hitting my time or not. I got a 21-minute personal best in Chicago! I came back to Toronto and ran three more races that October. I got a huge PB in Toronto, at the Scotiabank half marathon (this was a massive win for me). I had been feeling stale for so long, never feeling like I could get past my current times. Only recently have I felt I could improve my times and also get the support I needed to run and enjoy those distances I am aiming for. I am very independent and don’t usually take help from others, but for me to conquer what I want to do in my running life (and personal life), I feel I made the right decision to team up with a wonderful coach. Lessons I have learned from having a coach:
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