Wednesday, 12 April 2017

A Familiar Face

Have you ever had one of those moments when someone asks you to do something and you wonder if they have lost their mind?

This happened to me a little over a month ago. I was at home, sitting by the fireplace, enjoying a relaxing evening, discussing something that I'm sure was earth shattering with Sugar when out of the blue I received a text from the PRC President.

"Wondering if you'd be interested in taking over the role of PRC's Training Coordinator." Or something to that effect.

I remember staring at my phone and thinking, "Did she send this to me by mistake? Maybe she mixed up my number with someone else who actually trains."

Maybe I should rewind to the end of January. At the beginning of the year, I was nominated for the role of training coordinator along with two other more deserving candidates. I had been on the executive a few years back and I did want to give it another go, but training coordinator? Seriously? Have you seen my training plans?

With a bit of encouragement from some of my fellow runners, I decided to accept the nomination. I didn't win, but apparently the race was quite close, with all three of us only a few votes apart. A month later, when the successful candidate had to step down, I was the next person in line.

I hesitated. Did I have what it would take to come up with training plans for our best runners? Me, who avoided hills, strides and tempo runs like they were the plague? Did they really want me to be the spokesperson for our Learn to Run program, teaching our newest runners exactly what I thought of running?

PRC has had some great training coordinators in the past. I knew I didn't have to reinvent the wheel when it came to program - all the training plans from the last few years were there for me to build on. Plus there are hundreds of training plans online. I'm sure I could tweak them with my own personal style.

I agreed to give it a shot and got straight to work. The USR is coming up soon so a half marathon program would be a great place to start.

I quickly discovered that training plans are boring. BORING. B-O-R-I-N-G. I flipped through the one running magazine I own for inspiration (Canadian Running, July & August 2014) and came across the article on PRC member Todd Ralph. I realized that seeing a familiar face would make me stop and see what was on the go. Maybe that was the key.

I tried to think of runners that most everyone would know, even those just starting out. It didn't take long to come up with three different plans: Just Running a Fewer (beginner), Run a Little Mo (intermediate) and Train Like Usain (advanced).

Each week, I've been posting a weekly training photo of these accomplished runners, along with a running schedule and a fun fact about their lives or running careers. I also post my own personal training program, called "I Just Want to Finish". Here is this weeks plan:

This last plan has been receiving quite a lot of praise.

So far things are going well with my new position. Our spring Learn to Run program is off to a great start and I managed to recruit lots of volunteers to help out (they were all voluntold). I've learned a lot about runners and running over the past few weeks. Seems this new job is teaching me much more than I anticipated. Maybe it will make me a better runner. Maybe it will encourage me to do the things most runners do when they train.

Or maybe I'll just sit here and eat a Big Mac.