Saturday, December 11, 2010

Packing my coach for vacation

This week's column:

ow do you make sure you keep training even when you’re on vacation? Take your coach with you.

This week Team Russell (me, 18-month-old Quin, my husband Jon and coach Bob Sevene) went to Kauai for a vacation. It was our first official vacation since before the Beijing Olympics and, believe me, the Olympics didn’t feel like a vacation.

Getting motivated to run has never been a big issue for me. When you’re an elite runner you have to be internally motivated. But there are times I’m more excited about running than others.

There are just days when you feel like running forever.

I had one of those in Hawaii this week. I had started out on a bike trail, but then cut down a narrow trail and found a long dirt road, the perfect surface that doesn’t overly tax my joints.

What a great discovery. I was enjoying myself so much, I extended my run. The only reason I turned back was because Jon and Quin were waiting for me. They were frolicking in the pool while I ran.

That’s something I enjoy about runs: they can be about exploring new trails, seeing new things (like the adventure I talked about in last week’s column where I slipped out of our training center in China). I don’t like to do the same thing every day. I love being out in nature, exploring.

That’s what makes training on a treadmill so tough. It’s almost like time is going backward. It takes forever.

You have to fight with yourself not to keep looking at your watch.

The better I feel the more I want to run. It’s more fun when you get in better shape.

Runs seem to fly by.

Sometimes the toughest part is just getting started, just getting out the door. But I remember that I almost never finish a run feeling worse than when I started.

Running intervals at the track? Now, that can be daunting. I tell myself I’ve done this before and I can do it again. Once you get started the adrenaline kicks in. I get competitive with myself, trying to bring my times down. That’s also when it’s good to have a training partner and a coach there. It makes it easier to know it’s not just you out there suffering.

That’s one thing about Coach Sev, I think he errs on the side of caution. He knows if I’m feeling good I’ll push the workouts. He knows I’m giving it my best effort. It’s pretty rare when I’ve said I’m done and just leave the workout.

This past week in Hawaii, Coach Sev joined me on some of my runs or was waiting for me when I got back. Now that was good motivation.

1 comment:

  1. Blake,
    I am one of Elizabeth's friends in Charlotte. Recently, I took up training for a 1/2 marathon and finished my first one on saturday. She shared your blog with me, and it is inspiring! You have a lot to juggle as a runner, mother, and wife. Many great wishes to you for future success!