Monday, July 31, 2006

Coach and Partner

How is it possible that I can get up one day for a quick half hour run and struggle through with my legs feeling like they've got concrete in them and I can only think about getting home, and then the next day get up feeling all achey from swimming at the beach and then go out and run 18 km feeling light as a feather and as if I do this every day? Huh? D. says I'm peaking at the right time (with the race less than two weeks away now). That's my coach. He's so supportive and positive when I struggle through those days of doubt, pain and early mornings. He encourages me when I have my best days (like today) when I feel I could run forever despite the humidity and heat alert in whoville. He called after I got home to check in and see how the run went. I was pretty certain that it would be far more difficult than it was. He's always there with "I told you you could do it" or "I never had any doubt that you could do it. The race will be easy." Swoon.

He really was a coach once. He coached football in France -- no, not soccer, but american style football in France. He coached in Canada as well (I think. Yes, he must have since that's how he got to coach in France). He did well. The team went to the championships. I met him for the first time just after he came back from France, after he decided to throw in the towel (so-to-speak) and walk away from coaching. It must have been a difficult decision for him, life changing in many ways. It was years after that that we became a couple and then eloped (sorry family)

When I started running I joked about him being my coach to get me through the tough days. I know he's my partner and would be supportive anyway, but he has coached me as well when I've asked him to, telling me to take a day off when I need to, motivating me to go for it, or helping me re-jig the running schedule when I'm working a lot. I can't imagine getting through my races without him. It's been a year now since I started racing. When I return to S.J. for the Marathon by the Sea it will be a year since I ran my first race and there I will be at the same course where it all began. It's an anniversary I suppose and he'll be there at the start and the finish encouraging me all the way.


Julia said...

What a nice post! It's great when sig-others do double duty! ;)

I'm do you handle smog days? Whenever I'm out biking I worry that I'm actually doing more harm to myself than good.

red jane said...

ok...jealous now. In a good way, really, but, well...swooooon. That's what the best partners and coaches do- lift you up when your felling down an d help you help yourslef by providing insight, encouragement and letting you see yourself in all your glory through their eyes. What a gift.

sp said...

julia: smog days are tough. I try to run early enough so that the air does seem a little easier. If there's been a series of bad air and heat days combined I'll go inside to the gym or try to postpone a run for a better time. I know what you mean by "more harm than good" however, I think I'm doing more good than harm so I tend to go for it. Part of my thinking is that we live in a big city and there's tons of traffic and so I'm running or biking in smoggy conditions at best. In other words it seems unavoidable sometimes. At least on your bike there's one less car on the road.