Limits, Grit, and Admitting Defeat

Oof, I need more weekends in my life. When is spring break? Three more weeks away? Not that I’m counting or anything.

My week was not good on the training front.

Monday I grabbed Husband’s 310XT and headed out for a run. With no capabilities to track my indoor running with this watch I opted to take advantage of the not negative temperatures and run outside.

Oh my gosh. Terrible. Absolutely terrible. My calves seized up half a mile in. My form fell apart and by the time I hit the one mile mark I was hobbling, limping, dragging myself. Something, I don’t know. I gave up and walked the half a block home and called it. One and done.

Tuesday night I went to spinning. I went to the late class and it was with an instructor I had never taken a class with before. It was pretty good, granted I didn’t work very hard.

I’ve been in a fog all week. On a personal aside I’ve been pretty mentally out of it. Just with everything, not even just training. And on the training front, I realized how reliant I am on my data when it comes to training. I just had no idea what to do with myself sans Garmin. How could I work out if it doesn’t record, if I have nothing to look at afterwards?

So at the eleventh hour I have made a gut decision.


I hired a coach. 

I am a coach. I had a few people ask me why I wasn’t self coaching this year. And the answer is pretty straight forward. I know my limits. I know myself and what kind of athlete I am. I am too competitive, too self driven, too hard on myself sometimes. With my athletes I tend to be a bit more empathetic and understanding when it comes to limitations, but when I see those limits in myself, I have no empathy. Limits are walls I put in my own way and with enough push back I always think I can break through. Except if I don’t I tend to get agitated and let myself fall apart. When I’m in good shape and healthy, this works okay for me. But right now I’m out of shape and still fighting against my calf injury. If I am unable to allow myself to understand and work through my limitation appropriately then I will crash and burn and ruin my leg. And I know myself, I won’t take my time. I will push and push and push and end up worse off than I am now. And I don’t want that.

I spent a lot of time talking to coaches Thursday night. I must have spoken with like eight or nine people. I was contacted by even more. I reached out in a tri group and received a lot of feedback. I was able to pretty quickly narrow my search down to two coaches and spent more time than I probably should have hemming and hawing over which coach fit my needs.

I did make a decision though and I think I made a good one. Shiny New Coach Richard has a background in personal training and is a long time endurance athlete with a slew of impressive certifications and lots of experience. I trust that he will get me through a successful 70.3, possibly more than one this year, without reinjuring myself.

So that’s where I’m at right now. I’ve got a new coach, a new motivation, new workouts, my new Garmin showed up, and I am ready to roll finally.

If you’re a coached athlete, what made you bite the bullet and what did you look for in a coach?

What was your best and worst workout this week?

16 Replies to “Limits, Grit, and Admitting Defeat”

  1. If I didn’t have such a close group of other runners who I run with, I would have a coach too. For now, we all push each other enough, keep each other on track and work together that I feel okay. You made the right call! Good luck! 🙂
    Melanie recently posted…Weekly RundownMy Profile

    1. It’s awesome to have a close group! Last year I trained so much with my tri club a coach felt unnecessary. But this year my ability to workout with them is more limited and I’m rolling with a lingering injury. It was time.

  2. I got in over 8 hrs. of training this week on top of a horrendous work week filled with meetings and testing kids…my best workout was a 3 hrs. hellacious hilly mountain bike ride yesterday and a 6 mile run in the desert the day before.
    I have hired two coaches just because I though it would make a difference in my IM and 70.,3 times…they didn’t. So I don’t anymore. (Hire coaches that is!)

    1. Great workouts! sorry your coaches didn’t get you where you wanted to be. Sounds like you have an awesome handle on your own training though.

  3. Good call Courtney! I’m sorry I couldn’t take you on, I would have loved to, but, I know my limits and they are feeling pretty stretched these days, ha ha. I miss having a coach, trying to figure out my own workouts makes my brain hurt and I usually end up doing to same things week after week, which isn’t terribly helpful. My favourite workout this week was probably my bike workout yesterday. almost 90 minutes with race pace work and threshold work. Serious jello legs by the end.
    Phaedra @ Blisters and Black Toenails recently posted…Mind=Blown: The Frosty 5kmMy Profile

    1. Nah, don’t worry about it! Yes, brain hurt, that’s how I felt last year. I’m pretty pumped to put zero thought into my own training plan this season!

  4. I’m way off on my running game (the cold weather has zapped all desire to run out of me but it’s warming up now) but worst workout was my swim on Monday. Hadn’t swam in about 10 days due to sickness and just couldn’t breathe. Called it a day after 15 minutes. Swam again on Thursday and redeemed myself though.

    1. That first time back in the pool after a break always feels so good. Glad you’re feeling better and had a good swim =)

  5. I’m sorry you had a tough week but it sounds like you were able to clearly see what you needed to do to get back on track and I am glad you got yourself and coach that you think is a great fit for you. I wish you a VERY successful relationship! I look forward to seeing all that you are able to accomplish with a coach!!
    Sara @ lifebetweenthemiles recently posted…Weekly Wrap UpMy Profile

    1. Thanks! I’m hoping a coach will really help me with my injuries and have a successful season, so here’s to hoping!

  6. I use to be coached, but I decided to take a year off and self coach (since I am a coach) to save money and see how healthy I can stay. The coach I had in the past pushed me…HARD…and my body was often injured because I wouldn’t listen to it and instead listened to the coach. We’ll see how this year goes before deciding what to do in the future. I have my sites on another coach, but really want to get through this year on my own to see if I can self motivate and reach goals on my own before I bite the bullet 😉
    Kecia recently posted…21 Weeks ’til Ironman BoulderMy Profile

    1. I’m sorry you had a bad experience with your previous coach. That really sucks. I hope you’re able to have a super successful season doing all your own leg work. I really liked self coaching through my first few seasons. It made those finish lines so much more rewarding knowing just how hard I had to make everything work and come together by myself. Good luck!

    1. My Coach is a running gait analysis specialist and RRCA certified if you need to help.Although you do some rock star level running yourself!

  7. Coaches are invaluable. Even coaches need to be coached, because like you said, you know yourself but may not be able to challenge/push yourself like a coach would. Plus, we are biased about our abilities and limits. One of my favorite things about having a coach is the sense of structure and fact that I don’t have to put any thought into my training schedule. It saves a lot of mental energy. Plus, I like the feedback and knowledge that is gained from someone who knows more than I do.
    Kristen @ Glitter and Dust recently posted…Baby on Board: Running and Training in the First TrimesterMy Profile

    1. Oh definitely! Nail on the head right here. I can’t wait to start putting in some hard work and getting some real feedback. I could us a little eye opening.

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