Tuesday, April 13, 2010

USAT Level One Coaching Clinic

This past weekend I was fortunate to be able to attend the USA Triathlon Level One Coaching Clinic in Baltimore, Maryland. After I got signed up I realized that my friend Doug Welling had signed up as well. I was pretty pumped because we were able to split the cost of the room and I had somebody to travel with. We arrived at the hotel on Thursday afternoon, dropped our stuff in the room and went for a run. We got to check out the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore and enjoyed a "brisk" run along the shorefront. We had travelled down early to take advantage of the continuing education credits that were being offered. We also stayed an additional three hours on Sunday to do the same. SO, we were in for a long weekend but I couldn't have been more stoked to be in that element. I have been looking forward to this clinic for a long time. The best part was that I was hanging out with Doug. He's been coaching for the better part of ten years and I was pretty excited to pick his brain on all things triathlon. I was fortunate to even be able to go to this considering that when I signed up I was not working full time and driving fifty minutes to work each way. Things changed quickly for me in the last couple of months but I'm glad I stuck with this USAT thing and got it done.
The presentations were everything I had hoped they would be. We had some great speakers - experts in the field and I was a sponge. There were 80 people there, two rooms of 40 and Doug and I ended up in separate rooms. It worked out well as we were able to compare notes at the end of the day. Friday morning we went for another run but Saturday we decided to run the stairs at the hotel. It was 37 floors and we did it three times, each time faster. Doug smoked me on the last two. That was good for me. Needed that. Some guy from the class jumped in with us for the second trip and he didn't want any more after that....said we were nuts.
I did a pretty good job keeping my composure during the class even though we had a couple of people that thought it was their own private seminar. One lady asked 35 questions on Friday. I was seething mad, but what can you do? Nothing. I mean, really, I paid a ton of money to be there to hear experts speak, not to listen to people relay their own personal experiences....my God! Other than that it was a tremendous weekend. Now I have to complete the test (I'm almost done with it) and submit it so that I can be and "official" USAT Level One Coach. In earning this certification I am trying to get off on the right foot so that I am giving good information to people that I will be coaching. So far so good. I LOVE this stuff and I wish I had figured that out sooner in my life!
Training is going well, peeling off the winter chub and getting fired up to race. I have begun to settle in to my new job (which I also love) and get back to a routine - one that hope includes more time to keep my blog updated :).
I want to send a big sigh of relief to my good friend Josh Freeman and his family. Josh's Dad, Rocky, went into Cardiac Arrest during a bike race over the weekend. It looks like he's going to be fine. He is recovering. I realized something though when I heard the news. I have become pretty close to all my "tri" friends. I had seen Rocky down at OA a couple of weeks back and I took the time to say hello and ask him about his upcoming race season. I liked this guy from the moment I met him at the Time Trials last year. He is a fierce competitor, something I am sure he leaned on over the past couple of days. I have only been around him a few times but there is just something about him that I liked when I met him. Maybe it's because most guys his age are sitting around talking about when they "used to" do this and "used to" do that. Rocky isn't doing that, he's out kicking ass and taking names and I'm some thankful he'll be able to continue. I can only hope I'm half as tough as he is when I'm that age.
My next blog will likely be about the Midcoast Tri Club group ride we have planned for Sunday at 8am on the Raymond Hill Loop. All levels of riders welcome. Should make for a few interesting stories!
Boston Marathon is Monday. I need to put that thing on my "bucket list". ouch