Skip to main content

Long term athlete or flash in the pan?

Here's a shot from the lowest-effort 100 miler I ever ran. It's the Mohican 100 in 2003; I was coming off my PR of 24:32 in 2002, so this time around I kept it casual and brought it home in 25:32 (or something close to that).

What I can remember on that day was the frame of mind I held, how easily my body moved, and how relatively fresh I was at the finish.  Got done, went home, and mowed the lawn.

You're probably wondering where I'm going with this...and it's about coaches.  Please understand I'm not against coaching and in 2012 I'm designated as a "coach" supported runner on the Brooks team, based on my work with the Appalachian State University running club. But now that my disclaimer is in place, I have some points to make.

I listened to an Endurance Planet podcast a couple of weeks ago, where the host stated every workout must have goals and deliverables. Most runners pursue coaches to attain better results.  A coach will help you design a plan that is about faster, longer, better, smarter. That's great while the racing fire burns deep in your soul...but what happens when the years roll by and you're no longer the fast gal/guy off the start line?

I started endurance sport in 1983 and most all who competed when I commenced with racing are long gone.  Fact is, most people I raced with 10 years ago have moved on to other things.  Most hit their peak, win a few age group awards, and fade out for good.

There's a few of us hanging on, making the most of each season and savoring the sport.  It's not about results or having someone tell us what the next brick workout should be. Instead, we let our training weeks unfold as seems natural, following the ebb and tides of our lives.

Coaches can lend great advice and input, but in the end, make your own decisions. You'll be a flash in the pan if you let results rule your life.  Or, you can take the long view and keep on keeping on.  Your choice.


Popular posts from this blog

Scott Jurek ate vegan, won ultras...then got divorced

(Disclaimer:  I am a Brooks-supported athlete; as part of that relationship, I was provided a complimentary copy of "Eat & Run")

I was recently on a few flights making my way home to Wisconsin and en route was able to plow through Scott Jurek's new book "Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness."

It's a fast, enjoyable read. I've been around the ultra scene for a long time and have known some of the greats, i.e. ultra champ Eric Clifton. So it's always interesting to see how the world looks from another icon's point of view.

My thoughts in no particular order:

1) I've been vegetarian/borderline vegan for 12 years and have always been concerned with protein intake.  Jurek advocates for the protein he naturally induces through his plant-based diet.  Maybe that is enough. Maybe it's not necessary to bang down 100+ grams of protein supplement every day. Good info and good advice.

2) I'm buying on big time to Scot…

Nothing to see here, folks

It's been a long time since I've been active on my blog. To be honest, I got tired of putting in the work, creating content, with so little feedback or response. Time to divert to other things...such as my new fiction book, coming out soon. Part horror story, part steamy romance. You'll definitely want a copy.

There's another reason I haven't been posting. My endurance spirit is broken.

Some medical issues, some sadness is loss of speed. I don't have much range left in my pulse rate and I have put on a blob of weight.

I "ran" my 10 mile loop this 2:18. Is that ugly, or what? An overall fatigue follows the run. I remember a few years ago, I'd bang it out in straight 9's for a 1:30 - and at that time had a long section of medium effort trail included, too.

It's the new normal. It's age appropriate. I'll be 59 in two weeks. Let's get real.

Rode my mountain bike Sunday after church. Don't know what I hit but I went…


You have to look closely (click and enlarge photo if needed), but when you do, check out the 5th metacarpal (bone furthest from thumb).

The diagonal break is symbolic of what happens when your mountain bike handlebars snap around 360 degrees, and those bars catch your hand against the bike frame during the rotation.

Well there you have it. I got up after my ride over the bars and knew something was wrong, but didn't want to admit it. Rode about three miles back to the car, then went a week with some ice and heat. Thought it was good, until I smacked the same bone on the bars during a road ride the following weekend.

Time to stop the charades and get to urgent care.

For the past three weeks, I have been in a formed splint that kept the pinkie and ring fingers immobilized in a hooked formation. Don't want those tendons to move across the bone. As the doc stated, it's a "forgiving" break, but nonetheless you don't want to give the bone any excuse to shift; that…