Monday, October 24, 2011

Coaching Ourselves: getting organized

Life has been getting to me lately. When running is good, life seems to follow suit. I realize it's a bit unhealthy to define ourselves by our hobbies, but that's not what I'm getting at. What I'm trying to show myself(and since I insist on materializing every obsessive-compulsive thought I have on this blog, all 4 of my readers as well) that diligence, planning, passion, and tenacity can be metastatic- let them into one aspect of your life and they'll start to carry over. Like a disease, but, like, the opposite.

Since returning from Colorado, life has been a bit underwhelming. I expected post-college life to kind of fall into place. Job offers should have been pouring in, a cheap place to live should have presented itself, and my hobby as an ultrarunner should have exploded into a lucritive career full of trophies, cocaine, and only the highest class prostitutes, courtesy of whichever shoe company was vying for my input on shoes.

I realized that college is the ultimate sanctuary for those who like their paths laid out for them. Though I loved it, it's time to start making my own way. Just...umm...gotta figure out how to do that. Following my own aforementioned logical-ish, inappropriate cancer analogy, I'll start with a few changes and hope to catch a fire under my growing and sedentary ass.

I'm tired of sleeping until 11am every day(editorial confession: it's actually awesome, but unproductive). I have an exam to prepare for(Anybody going to want some online or in-person coaching in the future?), chores to do, and dreams to chase down. A little life restructuring is just what I need.
I've decided to objectively look at myself as the recreational athlete I am, and apply my knowledge to myself as a client. Here are my goals for the remainder of the week:

Client 0: Weekly plan
Rest and do chores: The last week of training was good to me, but the weekend consisted of a long run and a speedier effort back to back. A day off will help me start the week off fresh. ACSM books came in the mail, so I'll start studying and take a day off running. Raking leaves will provide a little core work and help me pull my weight around the house(yes, I live with my parents).
(editorial confession: I had the idea for this post while raking leaves. I planned on running today, but the lack of direction that inspired me to write this is to blame for not running. I feel it's for the best in the grand scheme).

Double runs
AM: 3 easy miles. Run in as little shoe as possible on an easy out and back from home. No regard to pace, just shake off the cobwebs from the previous day's laziness. Walk if knee pain appears.

PM: 7 miles. Dunes. 3 mile warmup, then 6-8 dune repeats at the State Park. 2 mile easy jog on  the beach to cool down.

Double easier runs
AM: 4 miles: Shakeout the previous day's workout.
PM: 8 miles: Start easy, build to a faster pace, cool down the last mile

AM: 2 miles easy. Run to the bridge and back
PM: 8 miles. Meet up with the Joggas and run the loop at the park. Push pace on uphills.

6 miles. Ease into it on the first two miles, then do fartlek for the next three. Cool down on last mile.

15 easy on the bike path. Run to the lighthouse. Enjoy it and don't feel the legs

7 on the trails. Just relax. It's sunday

And there we have it. My weekly prescription for myself. It looks different than my weekly log. Is that a good thing? It's not overly technical, but by design. I'm slowly trying to reintroduce more quality into my regimen, but baby steps are necessary.

Let's see how it goes. I'll have the actual log up at the end of the week for comparisson. It's all for the sake of experimentation and getting something going.

Just a few feet from a 16th place finish at the Pike's Peak Marathon. The good ole days.
I was in decent shape just a couple months ago.
I think the layoff was a blessing. I'm realigned and I feel like my priorities are back in order:
Work hard to get the most out of life.


  1. That's more like it! BTW, I just put myself on the injured reserve list, so it'll be interesting to see how my mood goes as my days-since-last-run grows.

  2. Hope your return goes well. Maybe one day we can get a legit workout group together.

    As far as my running goes, my chiro tells me to give it about 3 months to work on the scoliosis.....awesome. 2 miles per day is AWESOME.

  3. You make me laugh. I'm so sorry to hear your lucrative, ultra-pimp lifestyle hasn't panned out as you planned, man. Give life some time to work itself out. In the meantime, I like that you're setting up a plan. :-)

  4. You might aspire to have a dayjob like me, but I aspire to run as much (okay maybe not quite as much...but at least maybe as often) as you. Besides you're probably 3 seconds away from a life career in run coaching and/or professional product tester anyway.

  5. Hi my name is Eli (I'm forteen) and If you want to do a cheap trail 50k their is one down here in Iowa. for more info go to and then go to calender and then look for Wildcat 50k. The race is in eastern IA
    -hope to see you their

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  7. Congratulations on hitting the big time Jesse! Your blog has been deemed "spam worthy"!

  8. Thanks David! I feel so honored to have people peddle gimmicky ab machines on my comment section! I deleted it. They didn't even offer me free swag! The nerve of some folks!

    Eli- Sounds like a cool race. I'll be in AZ that weekend I'm afraid. Good luck!