18 April 2013

good will hunting or the dread pirate roberts?

first off, i was at the airport yesterday picking up my daughter who arrived home after a couple of months in france.  as we stood at the arrivals deck, i watched several people clear customs wearing their 2013 Boston Marathon jackets.  recognizing that it may well have taken them a few days just to be able to secure their exit from the city, i quietly held my hand over my heart as they walked past on the ramp.  

boston is in our hearts.

* * *

and now - just as of late i've entered into conversation with several individuals about entering into a coaching relationship with them (me as the one being coached).  as you might know, i started into this whole running thing in 2009 on my own, spurred on my a pair of leather pants that i needed to wear as an elvis impersonator in a local theatre production called "discovering elvis".

thanks to little more than a treadmill and some youtube videos (for motivation and timing), i managed to begin to work myself into some kind of running shape.

now, with eyes fixed on that elusive BQ (boston qualifying) goal, i'm entertaining the possibility of enlisting the help of a coach.  i've reached out to two potential candidates, and been approached by one other.  to this point, i've had limited dialogue with sage canaday (former member of the hansons-brooks distance project, two time US olympic marathon trials qualifier and 2012 USA mountain running champion), caleb masland (2:34 marathoner, team coach of the Hall Steps Foundation and founder of Team Wicked Bonkproof), as well as one other person whose privacy i choose to help preserve at this point, as this individual is just considering entering the coaching arena - but suffice to say that this inspired and inspirational runner is a multiple world record holder.

there's (a big) part of me that would just feel incredibly honoured to even have a smidge of attention from any of these athletes.  i mean, to benefit from that person's wisdom, experience, knowledge and encouragement would undoubtedly help take my game to the next level.

the lesser, renegade part of me thinks that i can keep getting better on my own - set my own targets - push harder, run smarter and race faster based on information that i can glean at my own convenience and discretion thanks to this tool called the internet.  plus given the tightness of finances, this would be the more economical way to go hands down.

it's less than three weeks until my next BQ attempt in mississauga, so i'm sure that that will provide me with plenty of ammo to evaluate next steps, be it a great day or a not-so-great one.

but i'd love to find out from anyone out there who might read this - what's been your experience of working with a coach?  does it come recommended for recreational competitive types?  how would you detail out the pros and cons?

your feedback is hugely appreciated!


  1. Hi Patrick, I coached Senoir Women's Hockey in the 1980s and when I taught computer programming in the 1990s, both jobs were coaching really not only fundamental skills at hockey or progarmming, but attitudes for success in life, whether spiritual or work ethic. It would seem that you have full cups of both anyway my friend.
    As you wish Wesley

    1. thanks for reading glenn! and great response. :) i appreciate your encouragement - and no option is incontheivable!

  2. wow patrick, I love the idea of getting some coaching help. we can always use another person's help and perspective, especially if they come with credentials as the ones you're talking to right now.

    this really shows your desire, motivation, and openness to learn and improve; a quality that all successful people possess regardless of what they choose to do in life.

    1. thanks stan! honestly, i consider the fact that i can tap into your experience, and that of others like pete from runblogger and thomas from believe in the run all sources of great coaching already! having someone specifically focused on me and making me a better runner would be definitely new.

      it's great to be sharing this journey with you, my bff (boston finisher friend)!