We’re one month away from the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon which takes place in my part of the state! I hope you’ll join me and my friends for an incredibly scenic race followed by more wine tasting than you can handle. My personal goal this year is to run the 2 Person Relay with my friend Alisha, which promises to be a really unique and fun experience.
Why a 2 Person Relay?
Why not run the half marathon? Why split it up and do a 2 person relay? There are a lot of good reasons and I’m glad the Oregon Wine Country Half Marathon has this option. It is a great way to share a fabulous race experience with a friend. If you’re not ready to tackle a half marathon, you can still participate with 10k level training.
And that’s exactly where I’m at. Due to all of my recent life changes, I’m running less than ever. In fact, at this point I’m considering the 6.1 I plan on doing to be a pretty lofty goal. Plus, I have a friend who is coming down with running fever and I think this is a good way to get her hooked.
Coaching A Friend
This is a refreshing experience. My friend, Alisha, has joyously joined in on this idea of the 2 personal half marathon relay. She’s athletic but only recently started running consistently and…get this; she wants to start doing some races!
Be still my running heart!
I’ve given her a basic training plan with long runs progressing up to 6 miles and weekly speed workouts for variety and an opportunity to focus on form. On the day of the race she’ll be running 7 miles and it will be the farthest she’s ever run. What a delicious treat for the finish line!
“I hate you!”
I haven’t had the pleasure of doing any in-person coaching this year. I was pretty psyched to meet up with Alisha and talk running basics. She had mentioned that she’s never pushed herself to see how fast or far she can run and that she’s curious. Dangerous confessions around me. So I decided to have her run some repeats around the park. One loop is almost 400 meters.
I lead her through a simple warm up with some feet drills and strides. I think everyone loves running strides the for the very first time. If you’ve never pushed yourself to run really, really fast, it’s an absolute blast.
Then we started in on the repeats around the park. I told her she’d run around the park loop four times, taking a rest in between each lap. I explained to her what would happen before it happened. That she’d run the first one way too fast. That the third one would probably be her slowest. That the final lap she’d run a bit faster because she’d be eager to get it over with.
Then she went out and pretty much did exactly that. I can’t remember if it was starting the second or third lap that she yelled back at me, “I hate you! [big smile] No, I love you!”, which, I explained to her after she finished, is music to a coach’s ears.
So, mission accomplished. Alisha learned a little bit about pushing herself to “that point”; you know, the one where you start planning your exit because you don’t think you can run any more. And yet she was able to keep going and that’s all a runner really ever wants to be able to do – keep going.