Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Happy 5th Coach-iversary Coach Jim!

This June 22 will mark five wonderful years of training under Coach Jim of One on One Endurance. That's five years of learning, of discovery, of adventures, and of change.

I first met Coach Jim at a music shop where my youngest was taking piano lessons and his son was taking guitar lessons. They were little kids then, not so anymore!

I was coming off my first broken fibula, hobbling around, and knew when I was back to two legs I wanted to give triathlon a try. I asked Coach Jim for help to learn to swim and then it quickly expanded into "will you please help me do a sprint triathlon in nine weeks?"

At that point, I'd been running for just a year, and had little swim and practically no bike experience. With his help, I did my first sprint tri in August of 2009.

Lake Norman Novice Sprint Triathlon - the newbie in pink top (R)

And here we are five years later. In that time, I've logged the following in Training Peaks:

Bike 11,662 miles
Run 3,906 miles
Swim 376 hours (For the first few years I recorded time, not yardage...not sure why)
Total number of swim/bike/run workouts:  ~2400
Total number of swim/bike/run hours: 1750 hours

Compared to many, those hours and miles may be a very modest tally for five years, but it's what we have learned that my family/work schedule, life balance, and body can manage. I think it's a testament to what smart, focused, consistent training under a knowledgeable and experienced coach can produce.

During those five years, I've raced in 34 total triathlons, three USAT National Championships, two ITU Age Group World Championships, and ran the Boston Marathon. Each year since 2010 I earned USAT All American honors and year-end podium spots for the Virginia Triathlon Series, including a master's win in 2011 and 2nd and 3rd overall female for 2012 and 2013.  (see Race Results) All of this was a team effort, and I never forget that!

It's not all been smooth sailing of course. There have been injuries, tears shed, frustrations expressed, and fears faced. I'm sure I have exasperated him with some of my dumb choices (18 miles run on a track with a bum hip would be one example that comes to mind) and times that I have deviated greatly from a plan simply because of lack of discipline and self control (but it was FUN! I would say).

Through it all I've never wanted to quit (though pre-surgery I really thought my running days could be over) or been bored or not looked forward to nearly all of my training.

The accomplishments and level of enjoyment of the last five years would not have been possible without Coach Jim. He knows when to push me, when (and how) to hold me back (mostly), when to counsel, when to encourage, when to tweak the training, and when to tell me to suck it up. The whole process is so much more fun when you have someone else vested in it. Through the ups and downs, lefts and rights, it's all shared.

What would the last five years look like had I not had the good fortune to fall in with my coach? It makes me think of this saying, that I love:

...and I am sure glad I started with Coach Jim five years ago. I look forward to many more years to come!! So Happy Coach-iversary Coach Jim, and thank you for all you have done for me as an athlete and a person.

If you'd like to learn more about Coach Jim, read my interview with him from March of 2013!

(And a year from now...what will YOU wish you had started? How about you start that TODAY then?)