Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Coaching the Girl

It's always been fun to try to "coach" the Girl. I remember the first time we ran an interval together; we were just friends back then. I met her running on a beautiful morning two years ago and we ran together for a while. Macho as I was (Note: I am still macho, but I used to be, too), I didn't want to break up my interval routine and told her I had two left. The Girl suggested that she run with me; to which I told her that I was the fastest man in town, and that she may not be able to keep up.

So we took off at a good clip. I looked over at the Girl and she was sprinting like she was chasing a soccer ball or running to save a baby from falling into a swimming pool. I ran on for a while, stopped and looked back. The Girl came jogging in, stating that she got bored with running so fast.

Time has passed and I have been able to make a few changes in her regimen. She does real long runs now, which is probably the most important change. We do a little speed work also, but nothing too consistent. On recovery days, I beg her to not run for more than an hour but that usually doesn't go over too well with her. It's two hours a day, or else.

The problem is that the Girl has gotten to a point where she wins or gets top 3 in most of her races off no structured training. I keep telling her that she could be hyper fast if she would start training for real. To no avail.

My best ally in this would be a local, fast woman about the same age as the Girl, who could beat her in a race. She would go nuts, I bet, and come crawling for advice. When I imagine this, the Girl is naked when she comes crawling, but figurative crawling would do, too.

She does get beaten in races, of course, but there is always a (admittedly, valid) excuse. The women who beat her in shorter races are all college runners and the people who beat her in ultras are all much, much older.

But I digress.

Turns out we are running the marathon on Sunday, anyway. That is, I will run the half marathon with the Lorax in the baby jogger. She will run the marathon. She will win it, almost certainly, but we don't agree on what time she should aim for. Her PRs are 5K 19:45, 10K 42min, Half 1:32, Marathon 3:43. I say, in a winter marathon, going for a 3:30 would be a reasonable goal. The Girl wants a 3:10! In the winter, in the cold. Without competition, on a hilly course, she expects to PR by a half hour.

I tell her to go through 10K in 50 mins and then reevaluate. She doesn't like it but we'll see how it goes.

The races are pretty non-competitive. Nevertheless, there are money prizes for the top 5 in each race. The winner in the half marathon last year ran in 1:17, which I don't think is possible with a baby jogger. But I do hope to get in the top 5.

1 comment:

Danni said...

That's funny that my PR is 5 minutes faster than hers. Which is only funny because she's so much faster than I am. I'm certain that she can run faster than 3:30. I have no idea whether 3:10 is too ambitious though. She seems to run about the speed of my friend who has a 3:15 or 3:20 PR (I forget which). She should go for it though. Why the heck not? I hope she does it!!! It might help to taper and stuff but since I know that's out of the question I won't mention it :p