Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Fools who engage in coaching with Bert

Hey Internet, it's me! With Elon Musk taking over Twitter, I felt it was time to reassert my dominance over your newsfeed before the trolls start paying a monthly fee to bump me down further than you're willing to scroll.

The first fool

Sometime prior to the last post I made (December 2019), Natalie Anstey, nee Yip, asked me if I'd be willing to give her a training plan for the 2020 Shamrock Half Marathon. She knew that we'd be having twins shortly before that, and offered to compensate me with diapers and hand-me-downs. I happily agreed and embarked in my first non-KC experience of formally telling someone what to do for running. She was pretty green, and I was pretty conservative. I drew from my own history in half-marathon buildups, some training plans I saved out of Runner's World (circa May - July, 2004), and a lot of input from her about her limitations. She was incredulous about some of the things that I asked her to do, and her runner friends in Davidson told her that I was crazy. Training was going pretty well until a few weeks before the race when there was a global pandemic and the race was cancelled.

For a while after that, she kept running. She did weird running group things and revisited my workouts, running races in Savannah (faster than my brother) and Brooklyn. Sometimes she would text me and ask "what should I do tomorrow at the track?" and I would just make up something at random to see if I could break her. But she was hooked on my wackadoo training. Partially because her husband paid an undisclosed amount of money to someone on Instagram to coach him and then got ghosted for the last few weeks before his race, and I've never managed to ghost someone for more than a day. I love the attention too much!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, Natalie ended up signing up for the cheat code known as the California International Marathon (CIM for short) in Sacramento. The race was held on December 4, 2022, and I was her coach. I made a spreadsheet that we shared and threw workouts into it, and we also used the Garmin Clipboard app so that I could program workouts for her (which I sometimes did) and she could upload them for me to view all the data easily (which she always did). This app was better than looking at her runs through Strava, and I didn't have to scroll around to find it. I got a notification every time she uploaded a run.

Right before the race, I told her that she needed to do a guest blog post, which she has, and I am going to share here (in another post, of course. Gotta get those clicks!) It's a little shorter than some of my posts, but like I said, she's pretty green. We still haven't even actually talked on the phone much about the race after-the-fact (we're more text-based coaching), so I'm looking forward to reading this myself to find out what happened! That's not me throwing shade-- we're both busy. Her race was on Sam's birthday, so I was pretty busy, and then she had a nice leisure trip in California visiting friends.

Another fool

Not to be forgotten in this introductory post, a few weeks after Natalie started her training cycle, my brother-in-law, Chip, reached out to ask if I could coach him to run the Houston Marathon! I agreed, thinking I could give them similar training, albeit six weeks later. Then he changed his mind and said he was going to do the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon a week after CIM, so I had to get my butt in gear for both of them. Coaching the two of them was different. Chip has run a few marathons before, but largely was not new to running. He caught the bug sometime in college when KC and I were dating, after an admittedly non-serious attempt at track in high school. He successfully coaches a high school team in Mississippi, so he has a lot more experience coaching than I do. Both Natalie and Chip have limitations to the time that they can commit to running. Natalie does a lot of cross training on her Pelotons (I feel like that term is synonymous with the bike-- what do you say for a treadmill?) and really tried to do exactly what I told her, while Chip probably took more liberties in making discretionary changes. It's important for both of them to be able to do that, because I really only told them the workouts and long runs... they filled in the blanks between to set their own mileage and recovery. And they both did a great job in their buildups. It was exciting to watch them do the work, run their long runs, race along the way, and I thought that they were both going to crush their respective races.

Check back in a little bit after I wiggle around with the formatting on Natalie's post. Chip's race report is TBD. He says he only does guest podcasts, and I'm yet to break into that medium successfully.

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