Hello, runners, far and wide. No matter where you are, crossing the threshold into spring is a magical moment! I dare say that runners are even more giddy about it than most; especially if they have endured workouts in brutally cold and icy conditions like what we experienced in Michigan this winter. Spring is also Boston Marathon time and this year I’ll be participating for the first time. I still can’t believe it!
For someone who feels more comfortable running long miles in the woods versus speed workouts around a track, training for marathons has been a temperamental beast. However, Boston has been my carrot since I started running eight years ago but I wasn’t sure it would ever be a reality. One of the things that makes Boston so prestigious is it’s tough as hell to get in! Registrants need to run a qualifying marathon under a set time based on age in order to gain entry. I was not blessed with inherent speed and my one miserable season of high school track ended early with a bad case of shin splints. My sheer joy at this premature halt to my season shows how much I hated it.
As I embarked on running again many many years later I tried to train on my own. I read all the books and studied training plans. Unfortunately, I was plagued with injuries and my first two marathons ended in disappointment. Last year, I decided I needed to do something different and hired a coach, Bruce Seguin. He is well known around southeast Michigan and coaches athletes internationally as well. Not only is he an amazing runner himself but he has a real knack for progressing runners safely without injury. My first marathon under his guidance I got that BQ!!!
It took having a coach to realize I knew very little about the science of running and how to improve. It finally made sense why I was always injured or in a pre- or post-injury state. During my first test run with Bruce he told me I just need to hand my legs over to him and I gladly obliged. I get tailored workouts each week and we email nearly every day. It is a stretch in my budget but I haven’t had to pay for MRIs or PT and have reached the goals I wanted, so well worth the cost in my book. I tried following a cookie- cutter plan in the past but juggling a lot of variables like family and crazy production seasons for work requires a flexible plan that can ease up and push the pedal at different times. I’m sure many here can relate to those struggles and maybe you too have wondered if a more personal plan to take into account sick days, kid’s concerts, and long hours to meet deadlines would help advance your running. I highly recommend it!
I’m not sure why but I also had this misconception that I was not fast and talented enough to have a coach and was really nervous when I first reached out to Bruce. I was impressed to find out that he coaches all different levels of runners and I’d guess that the majority of coaches do the same. Don’t sell yourself short! He has gotten me through some very tough winter runs and mentally picked me up after my struggles with speed work. I’m pretty amazed at the progress I’ve seen during this last year and have been well prepared for each race that I’ve done since. If you are interested in seeing what a coach can do for you I’d ask around locally but also don’t discount a coach that may be a long distance away.
Last year Desiree Linden made history by being the first American woman to win Boston in 33 years! It was also a year with some of the most brutal race conditions in its history, with torrential rain, 30 degree temps, and a wicked 25mph headwind. Desi has been training in Michigan for many years and now lives in Northern Michigan. I’m sure all those tough winter runs gave her that edge and confidence to best a very talented field. I’m hoping that the weather conditions will be much better this year (it can’t happen twice, right?) but no matter what mother nature decides to throw at us I think with the help of my coach and training through the worst weather months I’ll be all right.
Wish me luck. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Happy Spring . . . Happy Running!