So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Help Wanted

Three weeks post-triathlon. I guess it's pretty much high time to get back on the training. The most difficult part has been justifying what to do. It's a lot like the same feeling (depression?) which marathoners suffer after an event. think about it. You train for, focus your attention on, and live for that one day of activity. In a few short hours (relatively speaking), it's finished. Then, outside of the finishers' medallion and a t-shirt, there's not much else left but finding an eloquent way to tell the tale to your friends, family and anyone else who might stand still long enough to listen.
That's the bad part. The good part is when you have company; at least one person who has gone through the same event with you. At least you can do the social thing. Nothing like getting up to run at 7:30 on a Sunday morning, when the temperatures are 75 and rising, especially when you know someone else is going to suffer out there with you.
Thanks, Ferris, for taking the time to run 8.5 miles with me. It would have been much uglier without your help.
This week, for me, officially begins what I consider a transition period between seasons. We don't have too many running races here (yes, there are some in June...and a Fourth of July race or two...and one in August...) that reach out and grab my attention; anyway, it's hard to race well when the temperature is 90-plus degrees. Oh, and let's not forget the 90-percent humidity, too.
Usually, this means writing workouts with a Plan B. Plan B for a workout shouldn't necessarily be confused with a bail-out option where you pull the ripcord, get back in the car, drive home and crack open a cold brew. Plan B decreases the effort level, or adjusts the location to one with some shade, or utilizes a (convenient) headwind. Planning for nasty conditions like high temperatures, high humidity, or thunderstorm activity almost has to be a given here.
Of course, you can't try to make up for lost workouts. A lost workout is a lost workout is a lost workout. Period. However, you can plan accordingly by setting up a longer base period, a longer build-up and a longer preparation period for racing. How much longer? Well, that's where the art of coaching comes in. There are some aspects where I can juggle numbers, multiply by pi times the radius squared, subdivide by the number of weeks in a month, et cetera, et cetera, and so forth...and still miss the mark; darn it, they were ready to race two weeks too soon!

It's the joy of analysis. You have as much data as you are going to get from a given set of sources during a given time frame. You look for the trends, the philosopher's stone which will turn base metal into gold, and let 'er fly. If you're fortunate everything falls into place and you look fairly smart. However, more often than not you are dealing with human beings. That means you might not receive all of the information you need; or they'll withhold that little sliver of stuff which would help you make the right decision...and then they ask, 'you didn't look at...?' Of course, I didn't look at that particular piece of information. But only because you didn't provide it to me until now.
There aren't many differences between my job as a coach and my job as a program analyst; except the fact right now I seek a job which will pay me after October 1st. In spite of 20 years of federal government experience as an analyst, an administrative person, a go-to guy, a jack-of-most-all trades, a teacher, a seeker of good stuff (research) and a writer, all of it and 85 cents will get me a cup of coffee at Denny's...if I can get the attention of a waitress.
Yes, quite frankly, I am shamelessly plugging for a job. I'll be glad to send my resume to any prospective employer. Just point them in my direction. In the meantime I'll be developing Plan B for my employment life.

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