Saturday, December 4, 2010

I'm Such A Dedicated Coach

9:30PM last night I hear the familiar beep of my phone telling me I've got a text message. It's one of my local athletes, stressing out about what she should wear for the run/swim biathlon this morning. She didn't want to run in a bathing suit but she wasn't going to swim in running clothes. What to do? What to do?

This gal actually has a great sense of humor so we went back and forth for a while and came up with her ideal outfit for the race. Fluorescent tie-dye bathing suit with pink shorts... cap and goggles ON for the run. Perf.

Anyway, our 'conversation' (as always) was quite entertaining and Karen was nervous about racing again because she has not raced in a long time, and has been inconsistent with her training lately (to put it mildly). She is a fantastic athlete with so much talent and I have been encouraging her (sometimes with a hot poker stick) to get back in the game. The challenge is that since she hasn't been consistent with her training, well, her results are just not going to be where they could be. BUT, I knew that if she got out there and did it (a short fun race!) then her motivation would come rushing back. The 5K run/1K swim was perfect for this type of thing.

I started to kid her about me showing up this to give her a run for her money... I was NOT planning on doing this race... but as we continued our smack talk texting I began to see this as a fun opportunity to go play with Karen. Karen is a better natural athlete than I am, but I train harder, so that puts us on a similar playing field when it comes to races.

I was trying to get her pumped up to push hard out there this morning... Our conversation morphed into this:

Me: Now I'm pumped up to go race too! Honestly, that biathlon sounds a hell of a lot better than a marathon!

K: NO! U can't come! Cuz then I won't win. U losers STAY AWAY.

Me: Lol. You would still beat me, my dear. Though maybe I will stealth show up just to make you work.

K: Unfortunately if you show up I'll beat your ass. 

Me: Oh THAT may be just the ticket I need to show up tomorrow. What time does it start?

K: Midnight.

K: Midnight.

K: Midnight.

Me: I just sent a text to the race director asking for a free entry so I can kick your ass.

K: Oh really. I'll just go ahead and text a death threat. No big thing.

Me: If I have to show up to force you to gun it, well, I will. That shows my commitment to you as a coach.

It went on like that for quite some time. Good fun. I love bantering with that girl.

Short story goes like this. I got the entry into the race (gotta love it when the race director is another athlete you coach!!). I showed up this morning with an airpot full of coffee for the race staff and volunteers. Karen and I goaded each other on while warming up. The gun went off. I ran way too fast. I knew Karen was chasing me. I was thrilled my calf didn't even twinge. I started to die. I tried to put my swim cap on in the last tenth of a mile of a 5K (do you have any idea how hard this is???). I put my goggles on while still running toward the water. I was 20th OA (including men) into the water. I dove in and started to swim. Um, do you know how hard that is?? I'm sorry, but I was completely unprepared for the challenge of trying to swim when your HR is completely through the roof b/c you just raced a 5K. I felt like I was swimming so slowly (as fast as I could) but I still managed to pass 10 runners. Though somewhere along the line Karen passed me. I ran up the beach to see Karen standing there with a big fat grin on her face. Mission accomplished. She finished 3rd OA female. I was 4th. It was incredibly fun!


mmmonyka said...

Who knew that a job can be this much fun? :)

Teresa said...

Too funny. And you guys did awesome!!! Way to go coach!

Jennifer said...

awesome story, how fun!! Love those last-minute decisions... keeps life interesting.

Running and living said...

Love this story! Competitiveness and friendship rolled into one!

Alicia Parr said...

Swimming after running hard is so frigging difficult. I've done one of those formula 1 type mini sprints and I thought my arms were going to fall off.

Beth said...

Oh my - I would probably drown!! Great job!! Sounds way more fun that a marathon if you ask me! ;)

Aimee said...

That is so awesome! What a fun story and race! :)
Oh, and I think I probably would have drowned if I had to swim after running a 5k! Wow!

Big Daddy Diesel said...

That is freaking funny!!! Glad I live in Ohio, oh wait, you did an Ohio race this year, dang it

Regina said...

Awesome! short story after the long story ;)

seriously, what does one wear in race like that when you are 'endowed'? A bathing suit just doesn't have the proper support. Just curious.