MarathonMaiden's Blog

June 15, 2010

Oh Hey There Coach

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 12:08

I’m glad that many of you feel the same way about yoga as I do. Aka hate it.  Not to bash yoga, like I said yesterday, I really WANT to like it.  But for the past 5 years I just leave so agitated that I’ve stopped going.  I figured 5 years was enough to let my body adjust right? hahaha

I also love how you guys have told me to embrace the new normal. So that’s what I’m going to try to do.  I do have the mental roadblock of…well what happens if the old normal comes back? But I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Anyway, on my run…Saturday? Sunday? Yesterday? (My days are so mixed up!) a woman called out to me “Do you run for your school?”.  To which I turned around and was running backward (I hate to stop running mid-run!) “No but I’ve run marathons for myself”.  I thought that would be the end of it but NO she wanted to chat. Grrrrrrr.

Well it wasn’t sooooo bad.  Apparently her daughter runs XC for one of the private schools in town and just finished up her freshman year and wants to get better.  The mother sees me out running EVERYWHERE (well duh when you’re running doubles…) and wanted to know if I’d be interested in giving her daughter tips and whatnot and possibly running with her.

Well I’m not 100% thrilled with the idea for multiple reasons.

First, I hate running with others.  Yes I know I just wrote about my buddy run and how I enjoyed it but running with a 15 year old is a totally different thing.  Obviously there’s the whole “she’s 15 thing” but to be honest I hate changing my routine for people.  Especially when it’s regarding something I hold as me time.

Second, I am way to hard and demanding to be a coach or anything similar to that (I throw around the word coach but it’s not really what I’m doing.  I’d just be giving little pointers not like designing some big training scheme or anything).  I’m way to hard on myself (as I’m sure you’ve noticed) and I get easily frustrated when people don’t live up to my expectations.

So why did I say yes? Call me crazy but I like mentoring people.  I’ve actually based a lot of my high school and college extracurriculars on mentoring others.  And that’s what I consider this to be.  I’m obviously not getting paid or devising a way to make her the best runner on her team.  I guess what I’m really doing is trying to *inspire* her.

I don’t really consider myself “motivational” or “inspirational” (and no I’m not fishing for compliments here although if you’re so inclined…. 😛 ) but I have had people tell me that they love to see me running and that it makes them want to lace up their shoes and get out there.  I don’t know if I’ve actually gotten anyone to do it but planting the seed is the first step right?

It’s always awkward, though, when people say things like that because I have the gut reaction to deny it and play my attributes down as many people do (which is why this stupid medical school personal statement isn’t coming along as easily as I’d like).  And I’ll never forget the time I was at the gym doing quarter mile repeats and I had an older gentleman come up to me and tell me that I was the reason he kept working out longer.  Awwww. I then told him that he’s an inspiration to me because I want to be really active when I’m older too, which deflected the praise a bit.  Oops.

Bobbi had a good post on Monday about inspiration and how it’s an amazing feeling to know you have an impact on other people’s lives.  I know that there are so many people in the world, both who I know, “know” and don’t know, who inspire me and I guess I want to be able to give back to the running community because that’s one area of service I have yet to tap into. And if I can get this girl to be MORE into running (because, let’s face it, she must already like it if she’s on an XC team) then I’ll be happy.

Soooooooooo I want to hear from YOU: have you ever been told you’re an inspiration? Have you ever told someone that they are an inspiration to you? It’s funny how we’re often unaware that the things we do in everyday life are noticed by others and remembered.

AND: any tips for me so I don’t turn into a dictator? I just have such high expectations for everything that I can be a bit….well I don’t want to say mean but that’s probably how it comes out sometimes.  I just get so invested in something that I lose my objectivity.

And holy self-serving post Batman! Hopefully you guys don’t think of me as stuck up and high-and-mighty after reading this but it’s been something I’ve been thinking about lately after that woman stopped me.

Now time for clothes! Hahaha.  I think it was on Sunday a woman my mom works with decided that she didn’t want half her wardrobe or something so she sent home 2 bags of clothes that I got to go through.  Some workout stuff, some more “professional” looking.  Most of it still had the tags on?! Lots of the stuff didn’t fit but I have some nice (and apparently NEW) clothes.  Not like I really need more. Well the professional stuff yes. But everything else?*Inserteyerollhere*

And another frivolous thing: I bit my tongue yesterday eating lunch so hard that I was literally gushing blood! OMG it hurt so bad and now I have an open wound in my mouth.  Lovely.  That still hurts! Guess I’m going to have to break the salt addiction soon right Amy? Gahh I’m such a salt-a-holic (I put it on EVERYTHING. For realz).

Of course my running: it’s been going.  I’ve had this crazy notion of doing 20 miles.  Not in one fell swoop of course but 3 X ~7ish wouldn’t be so bad right? Just an idea at this point but you know me when I get an idea….like: it’s going to happen, the question just becomes when. Hahah.

Alright I need to go review some more before my class tonight (and since the CELTICS are at LA tonight therefore having a 2100 tip off,  I’ll be able to watch some of the game afterward) but I’m hoping everyone is having a great Tuesday 🙂


  1. Ha ha… yeah you better cut back on that salt intake! Otherwise the phrase “pouring salt in an open wound” will become a serious reality for you! :p

    And that’s cool about being something like a mentor (I bet that’s a resume builder if anything…). And I like your approach- not coaching so much, just giving tips and maybe answering questions.

    Comment by Amy @ Second City Randomness — June 15, 2010 @ 12:20

  2. haha you crack me up. I’m like you, once I get an idea in my head, it just has to happen really. I also am Addicted to salt! Goldfish? YUM!
    Also – “but to be honest I hate changing my routine for people.” – I’m glad I’m not alone here. I always hate that I feel that way but I’m such a routine person and hate change.
    The mentoring thing sounds good, tell us how it goes! Good luck!

    Comment by BostonRunner — June 15, 2010 @ 12:57

  3. drives me crazy when people stop me while running! I love your response about running for what it does for you. I think living life is an inspiration and we can gain encouragement through anyone. Good thought/reminder! Live life so that each moment you’re a positive influence and inspiration to others

    Comment by Katherine: What About Summer? — June 15, 2010 @ 13:07

  4. Have you talked to the girl yet? I hope she’s into it and it’s not a helicopter parent situation (though that might be my SAT tutoring days talking)! Well, I’m always impressed by your focus and what your body is capable of, but yeah, this is a tough thing. When I was in high school, we ran 25-35 miles a week, the top guys did 45-50. Probably on the low side even for HS nowadays, but there wasn’t internet message boards and all that so much as now, so we really didn’t know any better. Heck, even if I visit home now, at 26 years old, my parents freak out if I don’t take days off from running. (I’m not kidding. If I tried to do doubles or triples and they knew about it there is a good chance I would be encouraged to go to therapy for compulsive exercise.) All of which is a long preface to saying that I’m not sure how at that insecure age I would have handled training advice from the frame of reference of someone that ran 90 miles a week, whether it would be motivating or would make me feel not good enough, just being so far out of the realm of what I had experienced. BUT I would have loved having an older, kick-butt runner gal cheering me on and asking how my training was going.

    Unfortunately we don’t get to choose who we’re an inspiration or mentor to, if anyone. Whether somebody needs tough love or pure kindness or structure or freedom or just respect, it beats me.

    So, it sounds like you’re on your way to the same conclusion, but I think the best thing you can do, if she’s into it, is just to take an interest in her and how she does. The HS XC coach, if they’re any good, probably has an idea of what they’d like a motivated kid to do over the summer, but I know Brad Hudson’s book has a chapter on summer training for high schoolers with freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior plans too.

    Comment by kristinschleicher — June 15, 2010 @ 13:52

    • I’m actually supposed to call the girl later this week (I saw the mom again and she said her daughter was pumped to meet me. Yay). Thanks for the advice too. I think that the gist is that it would be cool to run 3ish miles once or twice a week and more of the second scenario you described “an older, kick-butt runner gal cheering me on and asking how my training was going” <– that's exactly what I want to be!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — June 15, 2010 @ 14:19

  5. Make sure you find out what kind of mileage she’s been doing. If her freshman program was anything like mine, she probably doesn’t do more than 6 miles very often. Have fun!

    Comment by Jess — June 15, 2010 @ 13:55

    • That’s definitely something I’m going to ask her when I talk to her. Her mom said that she’s worked up to 5 miles a couple times a week so I was thinking of doing some 3s with her, depending on her comfort level.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — June 15, 2010 @ 14:20

  6. Sounds interesting. I’m sure if it doesn’t work out you can go your own ways. Who knows, though? You might have fun.

    Comment by Chelsea — June 15, 2010 @ 14:29

  7. A few summers ago I worked with a girl on basketball, She was going into 8th grade and her dad just wanted us to work on shooting and stuff like that. I think she really enjoyed it because there was low pressure and I wasn’t her parents telling her what to do. just be patient and enjoy the time out running – I think if she sees you enjoying it she will enjoy it too. Plus I always was motivated to be like the older girls i saw at my soccer or basketball camps and i wanted to be like them!

    Comment by J — June 15, 2010 @ 14:54

  8. It’s annoying that the mother put you in that awkward position. My natural inclination would have been to say no. I’m not a coach and don’t want to be responsible for someone’s performance. Happy to give general advice, but never running together. You said it, “me time”!

    Comment by A Marathoner — June 15, 2010 @ 16:47

  9. You shouldn’t worry about not liking yoga, if it’s not for you it’s not for you! I get so mad when people get in the way of me running or training, I got stopped for directions once grrrr it’s kind of wierd that she stopped you though, you’d think she’d know runners wouldn’t like to be stop if her daughter runs!

    Comment by Laura — June 15, 2010 @ 17:28

  10. In terms of whether you’ll be an appropriate mentor for her, bahhhh, don’t worry about it. You didn’t blast out of the womb at 100 miles a week — you were a beginner once too, the way she (comparatively) is! You have a unique perspective on the factors that shaped you to be the runner you are today, and you’ll still keep learning more. When it comes to running, you’ve accumulated your own collection of preferences, experiences, habits, expectations, mantras, and techniques and all you really need to do is share pieces of that with her. She’ll accumulate a “collection” of her own, and you will have influenced it to some degree.

    Another thing to consider is that she probably trains for the 5K, while you’re all about the longer hauls. Very different events, physiologically and mentally! For me in high school, 45 miles per week was my absolute max. In season, we were around 30-40. My longest long run was 9 or 10 miles in the summer — and I was the exception, few others did that much. Now I look back on that and wonder how the hell I could stand doing such relatively wimpy mileage, but as a high schooler, and for the distances we raced, it was appropriate.

    Hope you have fun with this, it sounds kinda neat!

    Comment by Cat — June 15, 2010 @ 20:07

    • Very good advice and words: I love it. Spot on with what I’m feeling: share pieces of my running life with her

      Comment by marathonmaiden — June 16, 2010 @ 23:11

  11. My warning signals went up when you started describing that mom – anyone who, you know, does something like that strikes me as a little bizarro. But it might not be fair to judge the kid by her mom. Maybe the girl needs new friends, or something, and talking to a cool runner lady like yourself would be nice. My advice? Make the first date noncommittal, explain how busy you are so she won’t immediately expect a second session, and get a feel for her. At the very least, as you inferred, you might make a neat female role model for the girl. Just talk about girl stuff.

    Comment by sarah — June 16, 2010 @ 08:41

    • Good idea making the first time noncommittal. I mean, I am really busy and everything. I definitely don’t want either of us to feel pressured to meet and then make the running not fun.

      Comment by marathonmaiden — June 16, 2010 @ 23:12

  12. I hope you can have a great impact on this girl! Who knows? Maybe it’ll turn into something GREAT for both of you.
    ❤ jess

    Comment by Jess — June 16, 2010 @ 11:07

  13. I don’t like yoga either, I find it soooo annoyingly slow.
    I personally just started my blog to get other runners inspired or motivated. To let them know that I have periods of downs in all my training and that it’s just part of the process so they don’t get discouraged. I hope the 15-year old sees that in you!
    I am considering cutting my long runs down to two shorter runs/day because my heel isn’t very happy doing one super long run. I thought of you when I came up with this idea :).

    Comment by Jill — June 16, 2010 @ 18:18

    • Aww you are too kind to think of me 🙂 Hopefully switching to 2 runs rather than 1 long will help your heel!

      Comment by marathonmaiden — June 16, 2010 @ 23:13

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