Recently I mentioned that I decided to train for a 70.3 triathlon this fall. I’m very excited about it for three reasons:
- I have an outlet that requires focus and determination and allows me to channel my pent up emotion and frustration into something positive;
- I get to do something out of the ordinary with girlfriends that I don’t get to see often; and
- After six months of rigorous training, I’ll be in the best physical shape of my life!!
Another thing that I mentioned about training for this race is that I was effectively doing it on my own. Ann (the doctor) has been running so long, she just “knows” what to do and is primarily figuring out what to do in the other areas as she goes along — with a little help from Shelly. Shelly (the hardcore triathlete) has a professional coach. I was a little jealous when she told me that, but there is no room in my budget for that sort of thing, so I bought a book and surfed the Internet to figure out how to prepare.
Two interesting things have happened since I posted that article. Well, I guess three interesting things happen if you count how shocked I was that my friends actually read my blog regularly! Anyway, the first thing was that I received a note from a former classmate asking if I wanted to run a half marathon with him and some other friends. It sounded great, but the race was exactly 40 days away. After thinking about it for about 40 seconds, I said “Sure!” Yes, I know it’s crazy to agree to run 13.1 miles in little more than one month’s time when my longest training run has only been three miles. However, if I don’t set a lofty goal, I won’t work hard enough to make the effort worthwhile.
The second thing that happened is that another friend sent me a note indicating that he is starting a personal coaching business and needed a ‘guinea pig’ to help him formalize his processes. For the most part, he has his ‘shtick’ down, because he has been coaching athletes informally for years now. However, when you want to start charging people for your services, it helps to know that you’ve worked out all of the little details. So, here’s where the bartering comes in. In exchange for coaching services to get me through my September race, I complete lots of paperwork and provide daily, detailed feedback as I work through the training regimen. I would say that it doesn’t get much better. I just *might* be able to be competitive now that I’ve got a coach to push me.
I was getting a little giddy at the notion that this time might really be different after all. Even my husband said that having a personal coach is probably the best way to ensure that I cross the finish line. I guess I need lots of pushing and prodding! While still on cloud nine fantasizing about the throngs of cheering fans chanting my name as I sail through the final stretch of my run, an email from my coach quickly burst my bubble. It was filled with lots of rules (like — you MUST stretch, you MUST report your results daily, you MUST wear your heart rate monitor, etc.). I can live with rules. Then came the general schedule: running four days per week, strength training two days per week, swimming one day per week, biking one day per week and one day off (until after the half marathon). OK. That’s doable and about what I expected. Of course, I’ll now have ‘hair issues’ that I was hoping to push off to the summer, but I’ll figure that out. Then there was this week’s schedule. This week (just the first week, mind you) I’m on tap to run 15 miles, bike 7 miles and swim for an hour or so. How does the saying go? “Be careful what you wish for“ I’m still doing my happy dance though. I’m getting personal attention (which I love) and I’m not breaking my budget.
I can’t help but wonder, what else can I barter? Is there anybody else out there that I can help in exchange for something else I need? Hmmmm . . . maybe there’s a shoe store in town that needs help with their finances. Now THAT is a barter I’ll take any day of the week!