Meet Jerry S.

As part of the 3 months that I had to reflect on my injury, my training, and what I needed to change for the next time around. There’s a great guy at work that keeps up on my running that I’d talk to periodically throughout the injury. He had asked me before, but began to pester me during the injury.

“Have you thought about a coach?”

Why, yes… I have. I’ve loosely continued to work with Dale, my college coach. That’s gone well, but being that he’s the head XC and track coach at GAC now, he’s really swamped. I really needed a little more 1-1 time, but didn’t want to admit it. Plus, I felt like I wasn’t fast enough. I’m no where near Team MN, so why would anyone want to work with me? Guess I didn’t want to take up someone’s time if I wasn’t going to be really, really fast.

I told my husband and he replied, “Chrissy and Derek L – what do they make their living from?” Coaching, I reply. “And how many really, really fast people do you think they coach?” Point being, there are a lot of people out there that work with and hire coaches, and they’re not all record breaking, Olympic Team runners.

I guess I hadn’t thought of it that way. So, I asked my coworker if he knew of anyone. He gave me two names: a runner from Red Wing that was 3 minutes shy of the trials about 10-15 years ago, and Jerry S, the old Red Wing high school track and XC coach (now retired).

The ex-runner couldn’t commit, although he really wanted to. Onto Jerry. We met last Thursday and talked for nearly 2 hours. He’s great! I’m really, really excited about working with him.

How to describe him? Pony tail, grey hair, tanned skin. He was a school teacher, and one of those rare types that didn’t sleep much during the school year because he’d be correcting tests, looking for trends in the errors to see if he wasn’t communicating well. Translate to a coaching plan: I think he’ll be the perfect person to pick through my old training (he has my entire history) with a very fine tooth comb. He’s already told me a few things about my last training cycle that I never would have found: the fact that every 3-4 weeks my training log said “unmotivated” or “sick”. He said he hasn’t nailed it down yet (was it a combination of workouts? Mileage?), but if anyone’s going to be able to, it’s him.

He retired from Red Wing in 2007 and now lives in the northern part of the metro area. Since he retired there have been a number of high schools and colleges that have asked him to come out of retirement, but he hasn’t been able to make the commitment. He got my call one afternoon (I wasn’t asking HIM to commit, rather just if he knew anyone that would have the time and be willing), and thought it was perfect — he’d been thinking about coaching at some level for a little while.

He’s not going to be the Dale-intense type of coach, but I don’t think I need that any more. I’m pretty internally motivated and competitive :). Plus, I know I can always call Dale for a good pick-me-up (or a “get your a$$ out there and run” pep-talk 🙂 if I needed.

So, we’re going week to week now, with the goal to have a training plan picked out sometime soon. This week we agreed on targeting 40 miles, with 150-180 minutes of cross training. SOOOO nice to have someone else telling you what to do!!!!! Now I can just concentrate on running/executing the plan… not worrying about whether I’m doing the right thing/should change the plan/etc.

YEAH!! Seriously, if this is the ONLY thing (which it definitely isn’t) that comes out of this injury, it was 100% worth it.


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One Comment

  1. Nichole, YAY! So happy that you have taken the jump in having a Coach. I coach a lot of runners that are all over the board on talent ranging from those that can run a 3:15 marathon to those that are shooting for 5:00 hours. And everyone just loves that there is a support system in having a coach & someone to bounce ideas/thoughts/concerns/questions off of. Best of luck to you my dear! – Chrissy

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