I have a new coach. I met him courtesy of a fellow runner I ran with at the Run for Peace 10k in Berkeley months ago (which really wasn't a 10k, if you recall.) Ethan turned out to be a sports marketer, and following my 2:47 performance, put me in touch with a coach in the bay who thinks I have the talent to be a force in the sport of long distance running. He sent me references (written by a 3000 meter steeplechaser from Kenya) and set up meetings to discuss training regimens with me. He looked over my logs. My medical history. Carl, in other words, really wants to coach me. I've never had a coach look at me in such detail before. I have to admit: I'm excited.
I will join his group which includes two other female runners hoping to make the 2012 Trials. One is a 17-minute 5k runner. The other has a fast half marathon time. Though our strengths are varied, we will push each other toward this goal. I haven't trained with anyone ever, so I have to admit, I'm excited about this aspect of it, too.
The only thing I'm not excited about is this weather. The storm has descended, dumped and made room for another bout of snow up here in the Sierra. I had hoped to visit my family, but I simply can't drive in this muck. I ran 11 miles yesterday on the treadmill; and I guess I'll do something similar today. I admire those of you who can run on the treadmill with ease. I can't ever seem to fall into a rhythm on them. I wonder if this is because I lack a rich inner life. (That sentence just made me laugh. I recall the first time I was rejected by MFA programs in creative writing, I told myself it was because I lacked a "rich inner life." Well, it seems even after five years and 2 MAs and enrollment in an MFA, I still lack a "rich inner life." In fact, I'd argue I have less of one than I did before. I mean, this is what I think about: Running. Writing. The cats. A lovely iron teapot I can't stop thinking about. And then it's back to running again.)
But maybe a "rich inner life" is just that: thinking about the things which drive you. Thinking about training has had nothing but a positive effect on my life. So, rich or no, I'll keep thinking about it and I'll keep treadmill training while the snow falls and falls. Besides, such training guarantees that, even without a rich inner life, I will have a strong inner strength, which is perhaps more important in this life which gives (a coach and training partners) and takes (covering trails and sidewalks in snow.)
I could not have been given a better holiday present: a coach named Carl. Thank you, Universe.
And now, the miles.