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I got my BFW (Best Friend at Work), Oscar back on the trails today and it felt good!  Really surprised and happy that he was willing to get up at 6 in the morning to be on the trail at 7.  The deal was I had to get him home by 8:30 am so he would time to get ready for work and I did.  I’m a good coach.

Got my  coffee at Starbucks, cos its the only option before 7 am and mildly disappointed with it, but I know what I’m getting from there and picked up Oscar just after 7:30.  We talked about our quarterly evaluations, his went well as did mine, but I was told I had an attitude, which honestly I can’t dispute and which I defended because what I was thrown under the bus for by my colleagues, or at least the instances sited where me not sugar coating it when people borrowed my tools without asking, or have borrowed them so much they felt that they owned them.  I have a pretty direct and proffessional approach which can hurt peoples feelings, but it was the way I was trained and if I were to candy coat a direct statement, it would sound even bitchier, coming from me.  At least it cleared the air.  At least I now know people talk shit.  So I have to be aware of boundaries, realize that there is some competition, and edit before I speak, and keep the best punchlines to myself.  Whatever.

Oscar doesn’t have a problem with me and appreciates my directness, or attitude, which is why he is my BFW.  I’m taking him through my original training program that I started this spring which is 4 trails, 4 times each with an incremental gain of 10% distance each new trail.  After showing Oscar the cool way to tie his shoes so they don’t come unlaced on the trail we did the Presidio Golf Course and Club to Immigration Point like we did before.  Coaching Oscar, I notice I’m developing a technique which I’ll call “Chase and Pace.”  What I do is fall behind my subject and let them establish the pace and push them when I feel like they have more to give and allow them to slow when they gave it.  Its difficult to describe how awesome I feel about my sport when I saw Oscar enjoying the trails.  I could tell he felt comfortable because his pace was really good at about 10.5 minute splits.  Seeing he had warmed up, I pushed him to accelerate on the slight downhill grade behind Amatury Loop.  He ran real strong up hill on the back trail behind Washington and let him know he could walk it out as we approached Compton.  I explained to him one of the misconceptions about running and that is that one need to run continuously the whole time.  Not the truth.  Its about the distance and however long it takes to get there is secondary.  Point to point, just finishing is killing it.

Coming around to Washington after passing the Wine Bunker I pointed out to Oscar the prominence of Lands End and explained that after we ran this one trail twice more, we’d continue on over there for a plus 3 mile out and back.  Coming to Immigration Point I pointed out the Marin Headlands across the strait and explained how I run to the summit over there.  Its crazy, now when I see mountains and ridges I’m amazed I’m scaling them and running them.  From one ridge I see another miles away and can see the miles of trail I ran on top.  Hard to imagine a better place to be a trail runner than in the Bay Area.  There are just so many options and so much preserved open space.  I love it.

Past the picnic table and up the short flight of stairs, let Oscar know that there is a gnarly set of stairs on the Lands End Trail before remembering that, oops, there is another one in Sutro Heights Park.  Told Oscar to stay off the road and stick to the trail as much as possible because road running and trail running are two different sports.  Down hill again on trail behind Washington showed Oscar how to Glide and Fly down hill focusing on getting air in the stride.  Was pleased with how these new Saucony Pro Grid Trail performed, but like the boy with good smelling hair at Fleet Feet told me, yes my right arch is a little flatter and I could feel it rubbing on the insole.  Coming out of that, only a mile to go to the Contour and was smooth.  Oscar had to rest it out a bit, but then sprinted to the dumpster and he did really well.

Got him dropped off at 8:31.  A good coach keeps his athletes on schedule.

As far as me, I feel  really great about coaching because I learn more about my sport and technique by demonstrating.  Its a proven pedagogic fact that we learn more by teaching and I could see that manifesting.  The slower pace and the shorter distance allows me to not only refine my technique but also take care of my overuse injuries from running crazy mileage without control.  At the end of the run, we were sweating, had a good workout and could feel the pump.

  • 2.65 miles
  • 28:10
  • 10:37 avg. pace
  • 286 feet climbed
  • 348 calories burned
  • 154.6 lbs.

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