On Sunday I was at a local triathlon with one of my local athletes... I wasn't racing (obviously, since there is #norunningallowed at the moment) but it was an annual all women's sprint distance race and they put out a call for volunteers and well, it made sense that I would go support the event even though I couldn't race. All I really did was direct them on the bike at a corner (right turn! right turn! right turn up ahead!) but I think it was helpful to many and it was good to be a part of the community at least a little bit.
Afterward I was having a conversation with the gal who I coach (She won! Overall! Boom!) and we were talking about the coach/athlete relationship. She and I haven't been working together all that long, but I feel like already we know each other pretty well, and we care about each other as people not just as athletes, and it's just an overall really good situation. She knows that I 100% have her best interests at heart, which makes it easy for her to trust me and communicate with me and once those things are in place, good things happen. I lamented to her that I wanted a coach to care about ME the way I care about her. See, I'd actually hired a guy to work with me... We were coming up on a month together and I just felt like he didn't really give a shit about me. It wasn't sitting well in my gut and it caused anxiety and well, I know it had only been one month and he is remote so we didn't really even know each other but still...
I wasn't really sure if I should give it more time or just cut it off before we were in too deep? But I'll give a little tip about coaching... If you email your coach and he doesn't respond for 3 days, he doesn't really want to coach you. That happened repeatedly, so it wasn't just one instance, and I was trying to figure out if that was something I could put up with or not? I think what it came down to is that I know how *I* am as a coach, and I can't imagine not checking my email. Hello. It is my JOB to check my email. I check it probably 10 times/day. And when an athlete sends me a question or a concern, I hit reply. And I answer. Partly because that is my JOB but also because I care about these athletes as people and I genuinely want to help.
Anyway, I had no intention of burning a bridge so the email I sent to him telling him that this relationship wasn't right for me was very respectful (I thought). <Crickets> from him confirmed for me that I made the right call (seriously, the guy can't reply and say something basic like, "I understand and I wish you the best going forward..."??) Damn, I feel like I just wasted (what was for me) not an insignificant amount of money... It was more than I'd ever paid a coach for a month before... So the lesson learned is that money will NOT automatically buy you attention from a coach. And I guess the other lesson is to listen to your gut. If you think your coach doesn't give a shit about you, you're probably right. It doesn't matter how smart they are or how much they know about physiology and training adaptation and response... If they don't care about you, you won't learn any of it. Move on and find one who does.
Don't worry! This story has a happy ending!
I contacted another coach who has been a twitter friend for a while. I've seen that over the years he has worked with masters females who have posted good results. I sensed that he was open and friendly with a good sense of humor but also kind of no bullshit, more is more, and you can't fake it kind of philosophy when it comes to training and racing. He had a real website with a contact form so I shot him a note and wouldn't you know it? He replied first thing the next morning, set up a phone call for that afternoon, told me he was flattered I contacted him and was very interested in working with me... A 90min phone call confirmed that yep we are on the same page and within 10min of hanging up the phone he'd emailed me his on boarding forms and just like that, I found myself in a coaching relationship with someone who cares! I feel good about this one! I think he's a lot like me, but he's not me, so he can be objective with me and call me on my bullshit which I will appreciate because I sense that he genuinely wants to be a part of me reaching my goals. THAT is how it should be. Like, a partnership.
We're not gong to officially start until I'm cleared to run which should be Nov 1 but we'll have to see how the healing of this hip continues to go. Its was feeling quite good and I have not been pushing it at all... The deep ache was going away little by little. Last night though I was sort of wrestling with Moana and I felt a sharp pain in my hip (GAH!) when I was in a weird position and now the deep ache is back. GAH! I can't imagine I did any serious damage just in that stupid simple movement but I'm back to being super careful with it because I really do want this thing to heal up 100%. I miss running.
In the meantime I've been swimming a bunch and riding some. Swam the last 4 days in a row and got in ~15k. Some of it easy, some of it moderate pacing, some of it strong. For those of you who come here looking for swim session ideas, there's what I've done the last 4 days:
Sunday ocean 4k continuous. Really relaxed/easy.
Monday main set: swim 20x100's off 1:35 held 1:28 for most all of those. Call that a threshold set for sure. I felt nauseous after ~12 but held pace anyway.
Tuesday pacing set, all with paddles. Started with a 2k straight, descend the 500's to mod/strong effort. 7:57, 7:54, 7:46, 7:37. 100 easy then 2x500's pads again trying to go faster than the last 500 of that 2k. Barely made it 7:36, 7:31. I was going to do 3-4 of those 500's but I was hungry and bored and felt like that work was solid so I called it enough.
Wednesday main set: swim 2 rounds 2x300's steady @4:55> 2x100's MAX @1:35> 4x50's @:55 hold pace from the 100's> 100 easy rest as needed before repeating round. Had training partners this morning which made this set a very strong one- held 1:20-1:22 for those 100's which is pretty fast for me in this pool, especially mid-set like that. Was pretty happy with the pace change there as I was holding ~1:31s on the 300's. So 10" drop in pace is HUGE for me. Finished today with 1000 steady pull 15:29. That was faster than it felt, which is always nice.