The last few months have been an enriching experience which, upon reflection, was the point. After realizing that I had never run a full marathon, a friend and fellow trainer, said "oh, you'll do one one day so you will be able to share the experience with other runners that you coach." That was all it took. She was right. I needed that experience to grow as a running coach. I have not experienced a marathon yet, but I am learning for sure. Learning things like:
|I saw a similar sign in SA that made me chuckle.|
As I have shared before, I have been running in minimalist shoes for a while. Having a foot injury has changed my approach a little. Currently, I am running in a more traditional stability shoe and I plan to continue with this shoe as long as I struggle with plantar fasciitis. After that--hopefully soon--I will continue to run long with these shoes, but return to my minimalist shoes for shorter runs. I think my body just cannot handle running high mileage on hard surfaces with minimalist shoes. Consider that for what it is worth. Running shoes are as individual as the feet that fill them.
As a coach and trainer, this experience has forced me to be more thoughtful in my own training program design. I have to focus on quality first and design a comprehensive regimen to include appropriate running workouts, complementary cross training, and focused strength training. I ask questions like: where am I weak? Strong? What led to the injury? How do I manage it and continue to train? What are my goals? A particular race? Longevity? After I choose a race, what performance can I realistically expect? And, how will I get there? I have really had to think analytically which is only going to help me to improve as a coach. Before the injury, it was just do a little more of this, a little less of that, ignore the other thing. Now, I have had to start over. That was a significant blow coming off my fastest year ever, setting PRs in the 5k, 10k, and half marathon. Patience, patience...
...which leads me to my overall outlook. "Everything happens for a reason." "When one door closes, another opens." "Every dark cloud has a silver lining." Phrase it however you like. Whatever. The point is: adversity must be accepted, then overcome. Learn from the experience, but keep moving forward. Change plans. Modify goals. There will always be another race. It actually gets easier to qualify for Boston when you get older, right? Just do. Not. Quit.
One final thing I learned: the treadmill is even worse than water running. ;)