As I take a look at my last blog post date, it has made me realize that
- I need to update my blog posts more regularly,
- I need to organize myself better so I actually write my blogs,
- setting time in my calendar does not work. Instead, I convince myself that I need to go for a run rather than completing a blog or social media post!
So it seems, 2019 is the year for me to get sorted!
I could have this "getting sorted" as one of my NY resolutions. But I really dislike resolutions. They are rarely kept after the first week, let alone for a year!
So instead, I am going to reflect. I am going to reflect on 2018 successes and learnings as a running and online training coach and from my own perspective. Then I am going to set myself a few goals and ambitions for 2019.
As a running and online training coach, the best thing is seeing and hearing about the successes from my athletes. These can be either from a training session or a race. Here are some of my favourite memories from 2018.
I trained two athletes who worked really hard and finished the Calgary 50k Marathon. Seeing them cross the finish line was awesome and the elation on their faces was brilliant! Another moment that made me smile, was when one of these athletes completed the Broken Goat and then declared she wanted to do the longer version because the race was not quite tough enough!
Tip: Running long is not just about the training, but also nutrition and mindset.
At Blackfoot Ultra, another athlete I coach, finished his first 50k and then in September he came 11th at Lost Souls 50k. He actually achieved second in age category at Lost Souls. Not bad for his first year running ultras.
Tip: Do not miss out on your long runs. Use these to help build your endurance, resilience, mental strength and determination.
Sinister 7 relay race challenged a couple of my athletes but they pulled through and completed two of the tougher legs in great times.
The Golden Ultra was a big challenge for a different athlete of mine. The first day went really well, and as we always suspected the second day was tough, but slightly more than imagined. However, with her grit, training, determination and stubbornness she completed the event in a great time.
Seeing the misery on an athlete's face as he pulled out of Lost Souls was disappointing, but a few weeks later, he then proceed to finish his first 100k at Iron Horse and it was awe-inspiring to watch his turn around.
The Grizzly Ultra proved demanding for another athlete. The volume of snow caused the course to be altered but with my athlete's never give up attitude, she finished in a very respectable time. Her feet however, were a little worse for wear!
Tip: Never miss a puddle or avoid water during training, particularly if you are running the Sinister 7. Get your feet used to being wet.
One athlete texted me during her Chicago Marathon. The frustration at her performance that day was very apparent. She had been sick just before the race and in an ideal world would not have completed the marathon, particularly as it was raining and cold. However, from this event she learned to take more care of herself, not put to much extra stress on her life and focus a little more on eating healthily and recovering during intense training periods.
Tip: Practice mental strength training by recognizing your negative thoughts, stepping aside and understand those thoughts. Change your mindset when you are feeling negative and then administer a change to move forward in your run.
Lost Souls stopped another athlete. This is a difficult race, particularly because of the heat and the tough climbs. She has unfinished business there and will be entering the race again this year.
My own 2018 Successes and Learnings.......
So I finished the Zane Grey 50 miler, the Calgary Marathon 50k, a couple of epic climbing ultra trail runs (including the Rockwall in one day) as well as several backcountry ski trips to the Bow Hut, Wheeler Hut and Skoki Lodge. Hiking in Assiniboine Provincial Park was amazing and it was fabulous to spend a few nights in that magical area. Also, I am doing more backcountry stuff so completing the AST1 course was a bit of a must!
I did learn that I need to take more care of "me" during my own training for ultra running. I have to focus on nutrition, mental strength and recovery to help my preparation for races and long ultra runs. This is something I definitely have neglected to do, as I thought I could "wing it" as it were, but this blase strategy has proved me wrong and this year I am not going to let that happen. again
Tip: Focus on being in the here and now. Think about power phrases to keep concentrating on goals.
I also want to deliver the best possible programs and advice to my athletes. I am constantly reading, researching and listening to podcasts to learn about mental strength training, nutrition, training methods etc. This is so I can enhance their training experience and their own knowledge. and therefore their performance.
So my Ambitions for 2019.....
Build on my running and online training coach knowledge by continuously learning and reviewing research so I can provide my athletes with the best possible programs and support to help deliver their goals.
Eat well, take care of myself and practice more mental strength training to help me in my day to day life, long runs and races,
Complete three races (Canyon Endurance Race 100k April, South Downs Way 100Miler June and Sinister 7 - there is unfinished business here and I can hear my family moan) to give me 15 points to enter the 2020 UTMB.
It's as simple as that......