Is this a GoodBye Post?

Saying goodbye to triathlon coach

This was a post that is months overdue (in my defense, I haven’t blogged much since the race). 

In spite of the warm glow of post-race Augusta, I can no longer deny it. Since the end of the #LongRoadToAugusta, I’ve been on a break with my coach and I’m starting to wonder if this is the end of the road for us … And whether it is now or later, saying goodbye to your coach is never easy.

saying goodbye to your coach

Mike was my first real coach, overloading my training peaks and bringing focus and consistency to my training. When I met him, I was drifting between wanting to continue crossfit but frustrated because I wasn’t able to run as much with XFit and wanting to pursue a dream of doing Augusta 70.3. Mike made me focus on one goal at a time, first for Dopey and then for Augusta. 

saying goodbye to your coach
Giving an extra 5% and turning the boxes green for coach.

He pulled me out of the run/walk into straight out running. He made me believe in myself and broke down my self doubts.

saying goodbye to your coach

He made me train by heart rate in lower zones but pushed me when everyone raised eyebrows but that made me discover how tough I was.

saying goodbye to your coach
Hot and miserable training day in Augusta and he pushed me to finish when everyone encouraged me to cut the ride short.

Even though I only talked with him maybe 4-5 times in the past 15 months, I texted him most of the days, probably more than I texted any of my other friends.

saying goodbye to your coach
I didn’t text Tad. He just happened to be there in the photo 😉

Even though he didn’t ride with me or watch me swim or run, he still turned up for this crazy ride on my birthday in what must’ve been a sufferfest of slow pace for him. 

saying goodbye to your coach

I PRed every race but one that I ran this year – 2 10K PRs, 1 half-marathon PR, first Olympic distance triathlon and of course, the big one, Ironman 70.3 Augusta. And a successful Dopey Challenge.

saying goodbye to your coach

Our perspectives and personalities differed – he raced to win, I raced to celebrate. Yet, we had settled into a nice working relationship that I will admit that I have been missing terribly. 

saying goodbye to your coach

He may have be quirky in not calling/texting/emailing the days leading up to a race, but I was prepared to race and had grown independently enough to handle it on my own. 

Most of the days I adored him. Sometimes I tolerated him, and occasionally I wanted to stab him with a fork. 

 (I have to confess, I’m bawling as I’m typing this. And this is exactly why I had not written this post earlier.)

What’s Next for Me?

I don’t know honestly. 

As sad as I am to not receive that email at 12:01am everyday, I’m enjoying some breathing space without the pressure to make green boxes in training peaks. I’m putting in extra workouts and missing workouts without a trace of guilt (well,.. not too much of a guilt anyway). 

I’ve been focusing more on my fundraiser than the actual training part for the London Marathon. Until I reach my huge goal of atleast $5000, I am unable to think about going back to coaching with Mike (or anyone else). 

But whatever it is that I will do – I’m not worrying about it. Whatever happens will be for the best. Perhaps I should make a decision now with my head, with pros and cons. But that’s not me when it comes to relationships. In spite of all my lists and pros and cons, I go with my heart and gut and that decision happens in a moment when it happens. 

saying goodbye to your coachUntil then … I’ll miss the days like when Coach chased me around with a stick threatening to beat me up if I walked the hills at Blalock Lakes. I didn’t.  

Why am I writing this if I’m “on a break”? Because as time goes by, the break seems more like a real break. Because there are some things you let go. Because sometimes things and priorities change that you can’t quite pinpoint. Because real life happens and you have to face up to the facts. Because perhaps, change is inevitable, in one way or the other. 


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