Well my off season has made a quick switch from off to on as January 1st marked the beginning of training for my ambitious and scary race schedule. This year I have strayed out of my comfort zone and signed up for two major races that require a large amount of travel. I committed to being as prepared as I could for Western States, so now the fun starts. It is actually mind blowing to think that I have started focused training for a race that will not happen for over 6.5 months, let me state the obvious by saying that is over a half of year away!
How will I prepare? The three men above are large components to getting me, strength and condition wise, from where I am to where I need to be. They will help me prepare and guide me, but I am a firm believer that ultimately everything is up to me. I always have a choice. I can choose whether or not I am going to run the prescribed daily dose, I can choose how hard I am going to push the last interval, I can choose if I am going to cry like a little girl when doing every exercise in the world that hurts, I can choose to sit on the couch and watch chick flicks...the bottom line is I choose.
Let me work from left to right. The first time I meet Travis a trainer at Synergy Fitness I refused to tell him my name because I instantly feared him. This tactic didn't stop Travis. He began calling me Nicki, and it was well over a month before he actually unearthed my real name. Travis does everything he can to push me and I am so stubborn that I have yet to fold and be defeated. He is an incredible trainer, motivator and entertainer (i.e. as I do burpees, lunge jumps, rows, squat jumps, push ups, abs etc without warning he can burst into dance while yelling "ALL DAY LONG") He himself is eager to get into ultrarunning so it is fun to pick each others brains about training.
Then moving to Matt who is also a trainer at the gym. Matt is extremely calm and can be soft spoken. I would go as far as to describe him as zen-like. He has made me do things I never thought possible. I am always in awe of his strength when he demonstrates exercises and admire his ability to keep things interesting. He never yells, but the look I get if I am slacking is enough to get me back into form.
Finally there is Mr. Bryon Powell of irunfar.com, who is my running coach. I meet Bryon years ago while doing the Finger Lakes 50 in NY. We ran together for a bit and I thought he looked familiar. We chatted for a while, parted ways, and then I smacked myself on the head as it dawned on me who I was in the presence of. I felt like an idiot because I was a huge fan of his website. Bryon is, and has been, a great coach for me. He is very knowledgeable of all aspects of running and is very patient with me and my self doubting/indecisive ways. The training regime I receive is based on what works best for me and not runners in general, which makes my training focused and easy to incorporate into my schedule.
These three men are key in guiding me along my journey. There are so many more people who will help me along the way; my husband, family, sponsors, nutritionist, training partners, physical therapists and perfect strangers. I am so grateful for everyone even though I may curse them inside my head while I am in the midst of pushing myself mentally, physically, socially and emotionally. Off we go.