Friday, July 31, 2009

Coach Salty

Of course I have about a minute for this post, so excuse me if it is incoherent!

This week I am coaching at a high school cross country camp. I am loving it! I love the kids, I love the running and I can't wait to bring peanut to see the camp races tomorrow! Woohoo!

I think the cross country community likes me too. The director of the camp tipped me off about a possible head coaching job at a school about 25 miles from my house. Apparently, this school's coach just up and left with no warning leaving the kids high and dry. The team is very small--a Div III school and a relatively new program to boot. Then to top things off a kid from the team who is attending the camp begged me to call the AD about the job to see if I could become his coach! This kid is dedicated, hard-working and a total leader. I love this kid. I want to help him!!!

But then I called. UGH. There is only one girl on the team so far and about 5 boys total. Ok. Not great, but I can live with that. I'd need to get a couple of quick certifications. Ok. I can do that. Oh by the way, it might only pay $1300 for the entire 3+ month season. It should pay $3500 but the faculty and staff are in contract negotiations so there is no guarantee of what the pay will be. Best case is $3500 and worst is $1300. Even if it was guaranteed $3500 I am not sure I could justify the time away from peanut, gas and child care expenses for less than $1200 a month. To do the job right would take a lot of my time. I couldn't take it and just show up for 90 minutes of whatever practice and half ass it. These kids deserve someone dedicated and who cares. Without enough pay and the logistical issues I think I could not give them what they deserve and even though my half-assing might be better than the loser they had before or god-forbid if some other loser takes the job, I cannot be the one to disappoint them. I cannot take on the responsibility and then give them nothing but my best. These days I have to think of what's best for peanut first and unfortunately, as hard as it is to do I think I have to turn this great opportunity down. If it was closer and guaranteed the $3500 or so I could make it work. But the 40 minute drive to and from and the $.50/hour pay is just not something I can swing with peanut. And selfishly, I would prefer to coach girls. So my ideal coaching job would guarantee at least $1200/month, be close to home and have a solid group of girls to work with.

So, I think I have to say no. And all I can picture is telling that poor dedicated kid that he still has no coach. It's killing me!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Choices

I just got back from an easy 4 miler this morning. I was pushing peanut through the park in my not-enough-coffee-yet haze and I started to think about my race this weekend. I started feeling nervous and under-prepared and worried that I'd stink it up. But then we ran over a bump and it knocked the sense back into me. I can be afraid to commit to going for a good race and hem and haw and set myself up not to be disappointed if it doesn't go well or I can own it. Why is it so hard to say, I am going to show up to the race and go after it and run my best race? So here goes: I am going to run hard and chase down a big fat pr! Woo!

I have overcome much bigger obstacles. For instance, peanut is out of our bed! Woohoo! And he's doing really well with the transition. He wakes up 2-3 times at night for a feeding, but he almost always eats and goes right back to sleep. Of course, some nights are worse than others but for the most part the transition from co-sleeping to solo-sleeping has been much easier than mrp and I feared. So, yeah for that!

Anyway, I've been terrible about reporting my training. Here's the last two weeks:

6/29 - 7/5

M 8 easy no watch by myself from home to the park

T 8.5 easy with peanut and Evie on the towpath!

W am 9.5 miles including 4 miles tempo (6:37. 6:36, 6:32, 6:23) + 4 x :45 hard strides; pm 4 easy with peanut.

R 8 no watch with peanut

F 6 easy with E

Sa 7.5 including 5k at 18:49

Su 16.5 Ran mostly on trails but mixed in roads and a paved path. Pushed the last couple of miles home.

Total: 68

7/6-7/12

M 8 very easy with peanut. Ran first half with my cousin who's training for her first marathon.

T am 4 easy; pm 11 including 6 x 1000 (3:53, 3:53, 3:53, 3:52, 3:52, 3:49) + 6 x 100 (all 18)

W very very very slow 4 on trails with peanut. Did a little experiment running with the BOB on trails. Kind of fun, but not something I will do regularly.

R 8 with Evie and peanut

F am 9 including 4 mile tempo (6:34, 6:37, 6:34, 6:30) + 4 x :45 hard; pm 4 easy with peanut

Sa 8 easy

Su 18 around 8:00 pace. Ran from home to the park and around the trails. Discovered a 5 mile race was about to start in the park so ran around and then jumped in around the 1.5 mile point of the race and my 12 mile point. Ran with the racers for a while to get a good "marathon paced" push in: 6:57, 6:52, 6:46.

Total: 70.3!

Monday, July 06, 2009

One Big Biff

I'm eating lunch. A very nutritious pb&j wrap and a diet root beer. The lunch of champions here, people! At least the pb is organic, which kind of makes it healthy!

In honor of our nation's birth I, like seemingly 99% of Americans, ran a small community 5k. I have actually never done that before. I am behind the curve, I guess. Anyway, it was a small race with very little fan-fare surrounding it and my buddy E was running it so it sounded like a fun low-key opportunity for a fitness check and a good workout. Plus, mrp's sister literally lives around the corner from the start so I thought she and my niece and nephew might like to come check it out. Unfortunately, they were out of town. Mrp and peanut came down to cheer me on and then we went out to breakfast with my in-laws instead. So, I still got a fun family outing out of the deal.

So you don't care about the peripherals, you just want me to get straight to race reporting don't you?!

Um. Way too much jelly. Noted for next time.

Anyway, yeah, so I'd give myself a B on this race. I ran 18:49 and that is in fact my 5k pr, but I looked up the results from the race where I set it back in 2007 and there I ran an 18:49.2 and on Saturday I ran an 18:49.4. Saturday was only chip-timed at the finish and there are rumors the 2007 race course was short so I feel good that Saturday's race was probably the fastest I have ever run a 5k. Why then only a B? Because I biffed it. I had to run a 5:53 last mile to make it to 18:49 which is 6:04 pace. I set myself up for mediocrity*.

Last time I ran a 5k race with E, we finished within 2 seconds of each other. I edged her out but she led me through 2.5 miles. So, I expected us to be close this time too. Everything indicated as such. We towed the line, the gun went off and I just felt myself shoot off the starting line! But then I started thinking. Where's E? I better not burn out going out too fast, so I slowed down and got behind her. Sure, I was still running hard and fast, but not hard and fast enough. I was thinking, micromanaging my pace, and running someone else's race dammit. That is suicide in a 5k! A good 5k is balls to the wall from start to finish! (*Snicker* I am 12.) Your balls to your wall, too, not someone else's. E was having a bad day and I got caught up in it. I love her a ton, but I should have not worried about her until AFTER the race.

Once I heard the dude calling out the mile splits I knew I was a moron. 6:10. UGH. That's like a 19:10 or so 5k. Not what I was shooting for here. I picked it up, but it was windy, tons of turns and slightly uphill so I only managed to hit a 6:09 for mile two. Not looking good. Plus I was in 4th place! I got mad. I decided I was going to go for the sub 19. I didn't care if I died. I was going to try. So I pushed. And I pushed. I caught number 3 girl on a hill but then she passed me off the hill and then I did the same thing again. I was giving it everything I had down the final stretch as we battled but she pulled ahead with about 200 to go. Mrp yelled at me. I was pissed at myself. I probably couldn't have caught her at that point, but it was because I put myself in a position to have to work so hard over the entire last 1.1 that by the time I needed to kick, I was pooped. I flew into the chute and would have thrown-up if there was anything in my stomach. I ran an 18:49 and came in 4th! Some low-key event!

I am mad though because 1 and 2 both ran 18:30. I can do that. I know I can! But I didn't! UGH. Next race, dammit. Next one. I'm going for it!
*Relative. Believe me, I am super stoked to have run my second 5k in less than a month under 19, but it really was a mediocre race performance even if not a mediocre (for me) time.


Thursday, July 02, 2009

WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

I am a bad bad blogger. I was working so hard to avoid this, but here we are and it's been two weeks since my last post. It's definitely not because I have nothing to say. In fact, I'd love to write on and on about the lovely new stage peanut is in. It's great. I set him down and he says, "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Sometimes I merely divert my gaze from his eyes to something else and he graces me with a similar, "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Great! I even dared to leave to race a couple of Saturday nights ago. You know what peanut did to mrp? He slapped the bottle away. That's right--he slapped it right out of his hand and went on a hunger strike until I returned. Nice. Of course, I'm flattered that he likes me THAT much (or my boobs. Who am I kidding?) But seriously, it gets old and I have lately found myself just so excited for bedtime and a couple hours of much needed PEACE. Yes, this is why I haven't been blogging, or doing much of anything other than entertaining peanut these days.

Thank god the kid likes the baby jogger. He takes a cat nap, plays with his monkey or talks to the trees we pass on the park trail. Well, usually. Tuesday, for the first time ever, he pitched a fit on a run. Of course it was an 8 miler and of course I was running with a good friend and of course he started at the 4 mile mark on an out-and-back course. I tried to pick him up and my friend and I tried to make him laugh and forget his troubles. When I was holding him he giggled and was smiley mcsmilerstein. But then I put him back down in the BOB and he wasn't having it. We had some success breathlessly singing "Old MacDonald" as we ran but that too wore itself out and we just sucked it up and decided to ignore him. We only had 1.5 miles to go and he wasn't in pain or distress or anything. We got lost in conversation again, thank goodness so it wasn't too bad, but not so much that we didn't notice that peanut suddenly relaxed when we only had a 1/2 mile to go. Sigh. He truly was fine and was all smiles in the parking lot. I swear he just decides he is going to bug unless he can rest in my arms and gaze upon me continuously for some set amount of time. I love him. I really really do, but damn is this stage annoying!

Contrast Tuesday's 8 miler to today's: peanut hit the stroller and conked and woke up at 7.75 miles and chattered away for the last couple of minutes. Maybe it was because we ran at the park with the swings. He knows he better behave then so I don't whisk him off before he gets to play on the swings like a big boy! Ok. He is so so so so cute and adorable even when he's driving me bat-sh*t crazy. I'm working to strengthen his sense of security so hopefully this stage won't last too long. In the meantime, I probably won't get to blog much, though! Wish me luck!