And while this time around, things are a little different, I've still spent 20 minutes drafting an email to Coach with 9 bullet points about what I need/want/expect with this training cycle.
Possible Coach reaction.
I am nothing if not self-obsessed.
Emphasis on the Long Run: 90% of the time, I get the long run done. 99.99% of the time, I just lollygag my way through it. I don't practice focusing on a pace, or picking it up (even though a lot of times, I'm instructed to by Coach). This is CRUCIAL. I have really been shortchanging myself with my training, by not giving the long run the respect it deserves. It's time to buck up and start doing it right. I want to get in the habit of the long runs being about more than just distance. I think if I can nail that, if I can do my long runs honestly, my racing potential will skyrocket.
Life Happens, Get Over It: I am no longer the 25 year old with tons of free time, no work stress, or responsibilities. I don't have a 8-5 desk job anymore. I have to work late, work from home, send emails on days off, meet clients early, go to after work hour board meetings and deal with a lot of stress. I also have a dog. There are going to be days that I just either can't get a run in or just don't have the energy to do it. THAT'S OKAY. Instead of letting that just add more stress to my life... I need to just move on and hope for a better work-life balance the next day.
I'm not expecting a PR: I am not delusional. This training cycle is actually more about the training than it is about the race. I want to get into a good rhythm of training again and I want to work on my training weaknesses. I want to show up on race day, in good shape, and run a good race for my fitness level at the time. I want to use this training cycle and race as a springboard for a fall goal race attempt.
I know the first month (at least) is going to SUCK: It's going to hurt. I'm going to be disappointed by my paces. But, I have to keep reminding myself, there's only one way to go... UP. If I put in the time and effort, it will get better. 98% of the time, running sucks. The other 2% makes the other 98% worth it.
Now, with all those disclaimers out of the way... let's do this!