Well folks, it looks like I've got an exciting and fulfilling year of coaching ahead of me. I'm thinking I should dub 2011 as The Year of Couch To Ironman... as it appears I will be guiding 4 first time Ironman athletes into the world of long distance training and racing. Not that they are all just now getting off the couch, but one of 'em kind of is...
Nalani and Andrew and Matt and I are all going to Couer d' Alene, and just today my newbie athlete Scott got off the couch and sent me this picture via text.
Watch out for Nalani... though CdA will be her Ironman Debut, she's got several seasons under her belt and a great half ironman this past year at Honu... she's going to out together a super solid Ironman. Just you watch.
Andrew is going to be a blast to coach. Our joke is that he's only 25 so he doesn't need recovery like the rest of us old folks... Lol. Just you wait, Andrew. Next May you're going to be begging for recovery days and weeks. ;) My job with Andrew is really to harness to his energy and excitement and steer him in the right direction at the right time.
Matt is on the other end of the spectrum... at 50+ years old, he's going to need a good bit more recovery than Andrew will... And possibly a little more prodding to get out the door. My job with Matt will be to get him to the start line injury free and in shape to finish strong with a smile and his hands in the air.
And then there's Scott... Scott is my newbie triathlete who I think I told you about previously. He was a close friend of mine in high school (we were on the same swim team) and thanks to Facebook we've been back in touch. Scott and his wife just completed their first sprint triathlon a few weeks ago... They have jumped right in and embraced the triathlon lifestyle and Scott fully admits that he is HOOKED. He'd been hinting about wanting to do an Ironman... Since he lives in Louisville I told him to go watch the race on Sunday so he would understand a bit better what Ironman is all about. He watched some people complete it successfully while others were pulled from the course. He sent me text messages and pictures all day and said he'd been tearing up just watching those athletes and has never been so inspired. He ran with several of them for a few miles here and there encouraging them to keep going...
I told Scott to hold off on signing up until we talked... I just wanted to hear it in his voice and also, of course, wanted to make sure he understood the level of commitment and training that this next year would require. (Of course, the first person I spoke with was his wife and I got her blessing!) We talked for an hour yesterday afternoon and I did not sugar coat the process... or the expectations on race day... but Scott was unwavering and now he's signed up for Louisville 2011!
So this morning I spent my entire run thinking about these athletes and how I want to train them and how their plans will differ based upon their backgrounds and lives and all... I have to say, I am completely obsessed with helping these athletes achieve their dreams. And the best part? Getting a text from Scott that said, "You have helped change the course of my life; I hope you know that." That felt almost as good as watching Moana poop in the toilet.