In honor of the RC’s win today as well as her 29th birthday last week, I decided to elaborate on the top 5 things (of many) that I have learned from the RC in the 2+ years I’ve had her as my RC.
[The RC has a real name…it is Stephanie Rothstein Bruce.]
1. Running for minutes vs miles.
The RC often writes to run for “xx – xx” minutes (there is usually a range). I like running for minutes — it takes the emphasis (at least in my brain) off mileage and pace. I focus on the effort, rather than making my Garmin say a certain number (not that I really ever wear my Garmin, it is collecting dust somewhere). I also appreciate being given a range — it allows me to tailor my day to how I’m feeling and has allowed me to see that running 8.00 miles has the same effect as 7.75 or 8.2. Exactness and precision of time or distance doesn’t always matter [at least at my level].
And, if you’re wondering how I add up mileage for the week, I’ll let you in on my system that I have created. I usually estimate everything as a 10 minute mile. If I ran 40 minutes, that’s 4 miles. If I felt a little faster, I’ll up my guesstimation to, say, a 9 minute mile and 45 min was 5 miles.
2. Don’t put any race on a pedestal.
Treat all races the same. Otherwise there is too much pressure on one day. There are a lot of variables in distance running. Putting all of your eggs in one basket is unhealthy.
3. Don’t put too much stock in any one long run or workout.
Similarly, there is no magic workout or number of miles runs. The key to improving is consistency. Consistency should be preserved at all costs, even if it means taking a few days off for a nagging IT band or something.
4. Keep up with treatment as needed. Develop a healthy attachment to your foam roller.
If you can financially and time-wise swing it, see some sort of doctor/therapist/chiropractor fairly regularly. Running is hard on your body, as my apparently very old feeling self can tell you. The more you stay on top of any ache or pain, the better.
In any case, invest in the Trigger Point foam roller. The RC once skyped with me while foam rolling. I, for one, have learned from the RC and developed a semi-pathologic dependency on being near a foam roller before or after a run. I’m not pain free all the time, but I’ve been able to keep on trucking along with training. And, I’m pretty sure its due to my foam roller (and chiropractor and acupuncturist).
5. Accept finite disappointment, but don’t lose infinite hope.
The above comes from a quote from MLK — “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” In the 2+ yrs that I’ve known Steph, I’ve seen the trials and tribulations of the pro runner life — breakthroughs (eg: a 2:29 marathon) and some pretty tough disappointments (eg: mysterious hip injury during the Olympic trials marathon last year). Steph always seems to bounce back within even more optimism than before and, at least from what I can tell from afar, has never lost sight of her vision for herself and her career. Steph is someone who could look at a delapidated building and think of what it could become rather than how much it is currently not.
So, when I feel like I want to cut my leg off because it hurts or frustrated because I think I’m plateauing, I think of Steph and how she doesn’t quit.
Speaking of said leg, everyone needs to try nerve flossing. It made my back/hip/leg feel much better today.
TELL ME: SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED FROM A FRIEND/MENTOR/COACH.
Until next time…
PS: Steph, if you ever read this, I though me getting a 6 pack like you was part of the deal, right? Oh wait, that requires no froyo? Darn.