The art of dealing with distractions

I recently changed jobs and among the biggest benefits was an opportunity to ease back into the volunteer sector. At my previous post, while the hours were reasonably regular, there were enough irregularities that you could not firmly commit to something like coaching. Many a night last summer, we arrived at the soccer field with just enough time for a goodbye wave before the girls quickly sprinted to meet Coach A or Coach B.

So this summer, I have, thanks to better timing, opted to coach Avery’s under 7 girls soccer team. When I was younger, I coached a decent amount but since the move to New Brunswick a way back when, my soccer involvement has essentially been limited to several seasons in a Sunday night league in Fredericton (A masters loop that was quite enjoyable) and one interesting summer on a B-Division squad named the Grim Reapers. Grim was our record but the team featured a bunch of interesting people I really enjoyed competing with against, often times, superior opposition.

So what does this have to do with the P.E.I. Marathon?

Last week, plenty.

As part of the preparation requirements, each coach at the U7 level was encouraged last week to take a 7-hour community coaches clinic – 3.5 hours on Tuesday and 3.5 hours on Wednesday. Because of the timing, I stayed in the city after work and headed over to the sparkling UNBSJ turf soccer field for two worthwhile nights of learning, drills and a bit of peer teaching.  Energetically, and somewhat optimistically (foolishly?), I ran after work Tuesday for 7k through the hills of the city prior to the clinic. I skipped the run Wednesday but thought the clinic hit a number of good notes that night, preparing all for the rush of U7 activity on the pitch, beginning June 4. The only problem, from the running point of view,  was the carryover effect, which ate into one of my long runs on Thursday because I was pretty tired – sapped actually – and I was asleep early.

On Friday, by the time I was ready to run, it was 9:30 p.m., so I rescheduled things and opted for a 10 k run Saturday and the 14-k long run Sunday, on plenty of rest. It worked out well. I felt content with both those runs. Overall, there should not be many evening-clogging events all summer – or at least in huge midweek blocks – as soccer night is about 1.5 hours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

However, the soccer-running combo last week provided a good lesson in discipline and time management. One thing about this training is the focus requirement; the need to hit the mini goals along the way and plan accordingly to meet them. It is early, but I’ll need to improve in dealing with potential curve balls that could and will impact or hamper the running schedule.

That said, I hit 41 k for Week 2 of the 4-week base-level training plan and put together a decent 14k run Sunday at 6:31 for the first 7k and 5:56 for the second 7k. Just two weeks away from the first true stage of the Pfitz 18/55 Marathon plan, I am confident I can hit comfortably meet the early weekly demands. The first week calls for 53k overall, ending with 19k run – the shortest long-run of the 18-week training period.

Last week – 41k, long run 14k.

This week – 50 k, long run 16k.

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