Days later, I’m still riding the high from Sunday. Was it even real? Did it really happen? Sure, that blood blister you didn’t ask about on my right pinkie toe says yes, that was real, but even with over 40 races under my belt, this is the first time that I have ever walked away from a race and wanted to pinch myself. It’s Thursday now, and it’s still surreal as ever.
It has been a long time coming, but it started with some great coaching, some confidence boosting and my “party dress.”
There’s something to be said about having a uniform. A competitive soccer player growing up, uniforms were something special, something with a sense of pride and a sense of something bigger than oneself. Practice uniforms were only for practice. White uniforms were for home games. Wearing our colors were so we could represent on the road. As a member of the Oiselle Volée team, I see my singlets the same way: they are uniforms, and they only come out on game day.
After just three weeks of remote coaching, I can understand why folks swear by it. There’s something rather lovely about both the accountability factor and receiving a daily text reminder about what the training plan is for tomorrow.
After eeking out a surprise 10K personal best to cap off my highest mileage week in too long, I wasn’t sure how week 2 would go. However, my coach definitely seemed to have paid attention to what I had done during the base week and it felt like my workouts for the week had been dictated accordingly.
While I still in many ways find myself a relatively new runner, I do feel like I’m educated and established enough to understand what the goal of any given workout is, and how to be smart about both workouts and rest days. We shall see as time goes on, but I can already see how Ekiden’s coaching format can be very beneficial for runners like me. (If you missed it, you can read about my first week with Ekiden here.)
WEEK TWO: HOW’D IT GO?
Coach Jenny gave me my first workout that would test my half marathon goal pace. My current personal best is from 2014 – 2:07:04 – and I would love to see my next half marathon time start with a 1. This would mean that I would need to run at a 9:00 pace to hit a 1:58, so I was thinking that 8:30-9:00min/mi pace seemed an attainable goal.
In 2009, I ran my first race. In 2011, I finally declared myself a runner. Now, in 2016, I am now lacing up for the first time with guidance from a coach.
WHAT IS EKIDEN COACHING? Ekiden is a relatively new coaching company with a great concept: it allows runners of all levels to receive personalized coaching for as little as $49 per month. Runners can link their Strava accounts to Ekiden to ensure coaches are getting all the data they need to cater coaching accordingly.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
After filling out a thorough survey, they match you up with a coach based on your needs and wants, and provide workouts, coaching tips and check-ins accordingly. Their online model plus flexible pricing makes coaching very accessible to those who may not normally think it something they could attain.