Thursday, November 3, 2011

Coaches bring order out of chaos

Today I met with Coach Jim to review the marathon plan and to do some preliminary planning for 2012. He had told me after my last triathlon to put it all aside until after the marathon but it's like when someone says not to think about elephants and you immediately think of an elephant. It didn't help when I'd listen to triathlon podcasts on long runs (here we go with podcasts again).

I like plans. I had no plan. Then the Virginia Triathlon Series race calendar popped up. Now I felt behind! In November!

So I put my thoughts to paper (Word file actually) and filled two whole pages (no surprise there) that I emailed to Coach to ponder. That helped to empty out my head until we could meet today. I had sections for the 2011 recap of positives and negatives, 2012 goals, potential races, and random thoughts. Ideas were scattered and unclear. After some discussion and analysis of bar graphs and line graphs (best way to communicate with an engineer) we honed in on a plan for 2012 including a race calendar and training goals. I am filled with focus and purpose and rarin' to go!! Seriously. Excited.

The 2012 race calendar is now on the blog sidebar. The foci are: Boston, Age Group Nationals, and Worlds. As much as I'd like to get redemption at the half-iron distance this season, jumping around distances is not ideal so I'll stick to sprints and Olympics and do mostly VTS races for my third season.

My job is to (1) stay healthy and on two feet and (2) continue to bring my best effort to workouts and races. I really want to see what I can do.

Anyhow, I just wanted to sing the praises of my coach, and all great coaches, who bring order out of our chaos. After over 2-1/2 years with Coach Jim, he knows me very well, and in some ways perhaps better than I know myself.

Coaches direct our efforts, hold us accountable, offer encouragement, reassure, and provide perspective. They raise the bar and challenge us but are there to remind us things don't always go according to plan. Coaches listen and can read between the lines to know what we need before we sometimes know.

Anyone who thinks coaches simply "tell you what to do" has never had a great coach.

To my coach (coaches, really since this goes for Kurt too), and coaches everywhere, THANKS!!!

Coach Jim teaching a winter seminar
Part of team One-on-One last May