As of now, I have my first running coach. There is a site called I Run 4 that matches runners and others with coaches from around the world and they recently connected me with Lilyan. I am still trying to figure out exactly what her coaching style is but I’m pretty sure that she is going to be nothing like my old football coaches. There probably won’t be the pushing of the sled and running until you puke like Wolfe or the red faced yelling followed by patting you on the back of Williams. I think this new coach will lead more by inspiration.
Lilyan was born at 24 weeks and weighed only 1 pound 7 ounces. Her parents were told she had Spastic Cerebral Palsy and would never talk or feed herself or walk or do any of the other things that children do. She is now a beautiful girl that can do the things her parents were told she couldn’t. She is also my new coach.
The first time I ran since our pairing, I went out faster than I had since The Speedway in Lights 5k last year. Normally when I realize that I’m going to fast I immediately chastise myself with a “slow and steady” speech. Training for a half marathon is about longer and slower, not being a rabbit, even on short days. But as soon as I started to do that I thought of Lilyan. This little girl has proven that she does NOT have to sit still and let the world go by! What if her parents and her had not pushed themselves? How can I just go for a leisurely jog when I am running for HER and tell HER that I did my best? This was a 5 K run and I decided to run it like there was no tomorrow. In the end I ran my second best time for that distance ever, not something I expected to do but something my new coach deserves.
Today, I was tired. I ran hard yesterday and then had class and talked with a friend on the phone until after midnight. Even though it was warm and sunny I didn’t want to run, I wanted to be lazy and stay home. Then it struck me, yesterday I told Lilyan I would run farther for her today. Could I really tell her that I just didn’t feel like it? That I don’t want to prepare for our first race together when I will be running for her, with her name on my shirt?
No, this new coach is nothing like the others. I respected them; I tried my best for them. My new coach leads by example, she goes beyond what is expected of her and now it’s my turn.