I have had quite a week of back and forths on the email front with Coach Doug this week. I have gone from having all the answers to having, well none, to finally, FINALLY starting to 'get it'. It all started with me thinking the 6:30-6:40 pace for my threshold runs was too slow. I based this on the fact that I can run them faster and it's therefore obvious that I ought to, right? Wrong.
I wasn't questioning Coach Doug's expertise, I have 100% trust and faith that this guys knows his stuff. I just had to clarify why I was running the paces he has set. I have always thought that the harder you work the faster you will get but I have had this philosophy turned on it's head this week and it's a little bit scary.
The upshot is, if I am going to commit to Coach Doug's training schedule (which I am) then I have to be 100%, completely and utterly on board with all aspects of it. I can see that it's not fair for me to say yes to 100 miles but then ignore the recovery paces, long run paces, threshold paces etc etc that have been set. I now understand that these paces are of equal importance as the miles, intervals, hills etc that I will run.
I feel like I have taken a HUGE step this week in getting myself closer to my dream of a sub 3 hour marathon and ultimately a 2:4?.....2:3? PR (dream big or go home).
This is going to take discipline but the type of discipline I have never had to exercise before. I will no longer allow myself to run my long runs as hard as I or whoever I'm running with feels like on any given Saturday. I will stick to the paces I have been given, like glue. So I have had to go dig my garmin out of the bin, dust if off and charge it up. This is new territory for me, being dictated to by a pace during every single run I will for the next 6 months to Houston and beyond.
I don't feel like I need the watch to judge the pace I'm running, I'm a pretty good judge of pace but I know myself well enough to know that if I leave it behind like normal then I will be tempted to push on with any of my group who are having a good one! So I need to learn how to set the upper and lower pace alerts (you can do that right?) and eat my words.
I do not HATE the Garmin. There I did it!
It is about to become an invaluable tool that will help me get to where I want to be. I also know I am going to have to get good at saying 'no' and ignoring the inevitable peer pressure my running friends throw my way. They are not used to having me hang back in long runs and it's bound to raise eyebrows but maybe come January they'll all be taking their long runs a little bit easier ;)
All of this means that I am also taking all my running hopes and dreams and placing them completely 100% in Coach Doug's hands. Even typing that makes my anxiety level rise a little, I admit it, but I think that I must have done something right in a past life because sheer luck has brought me a coach who I believe can get me that Olympic qualifying time I so crave.
This has probably been my biggest week ever in regards to my understanding of running and training. I feel like a big penny has dropped. I also feel like I still have so much more running in me and I think I've found the guy that can drag it out. I'm so excited to see where this ride takes me :)