Road Running in the Future

I went to a new workout group today.

My friends Kelley and Lindsey, with whom I am doing the Nike Women’s Marathon in October, have trained with Gilbert Tuhabonye for some time, and I went today to check out his group. I think I need some serious guidance and help with my hamstring recovery, especially since I want to reclaim some speed. And, honestly, I’d like to have a decent marathon for a change.

NYC in ’08 was going to be my big come-back road marathon; I trained with Meredith Terranova, who I liked very much as a coach, but I didn’t feel I bonded with the group — I was the only one training for my marathon and was often doing my own long run. I wound up sick on race day, racking up another personal worst on the road…and knocking myself flat on the ass for several months afterwards with some major health stuff to sort through over the next year. It wasn’t pretty, and I haven’t done a true road marathon since then.

Over the years, many of my friends have trained with Gilbert. To be honest, I was turned off at first with the clique-y nature of the group when it first came into being; they were supposed to be the “fast” people and they wore very identifiable shirts to races. It seemed (to me) a bit like a snobby club.

So I resisted. I trained with some other folks instead. Over the years, ALL of the Austin road running groups have turned into little fiefdoms and I’ve been turned off, especially the last two years or so when any Kool-Aid I’d previously drunk got washed out of my system for good.

Why Work with a Running Coach?

I’ve been an independent for some time, training myself and dropping in where I fit for what I was doing short term. But the truth of the matter is I need regular running partners if I’m ever going to get back where I was…and I need a coach. Someone who, as Jen has been doing, can save me from myself, my tendency to overdo, and provide encouragement and support and another viewpoint when I need it.

I think Gilbert will do a good job. I talked to him today about my hamstring. He pulled me aside a couple of times to work directly with me, and as we were leaving, he pointed at me and said, “We need to talk more.” The people were nice, and it will be wonderful to have two girlfriends to do those long runs on the road. And I like the structure of two dedicated quality workouts a week plus my long run. I’ve had success with that kind of program in the past, and I’m hopeful I’ll see results tempered with caution regarding reinjuring my hamstring.

A Place For Tri Training

I’m still going to keep up with the Tri Zones workouts. The triathlon stuff is going to be a nice balance for the dedicated road work. According to the therapist, road running is easier on my hamstring than trail. I’m going to back off the trail now that Pocatello is behind me, focus on the road through the marathon in October, and then embrace the trail again to get ready for my winter goals — stronger and faster and leaner, I hope, than I am now.

Another Ironman is out. I have no business adding that to the plate, when what I really want to work on is my first 50-miler and all the necessary events leading up to that 100-miler for the big 5-0 birthday. I can see myself training for a half IM in the summer of 2011 as a break before really hitting the mileage for Rocky Raccoon 100 in February of 2012. I talked to Jen about it and she agreed.

Giving Back Through Race Volunteering

Speaking of triathlon, I was a Swim Angel at Danskin on Sunday. That was a lot of fun. I worked with two women the whole way and had a bevvy of followers, those people who don’t really want help but want to stay with you just in case they do, who stuck with me like glue. It’s nice to know you helped make someone’s event a reality and, for me, it’s every bit as much fun as actually doing the thing.

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Published by Leah Nyfeler

I'm a writer, editor, runner, and adventurer who is always looking for the next new story, exciting adventure, and good meal/book/movie. My focus is on helping people find their best, healthiest self through sharing what I know and how I've come to learn it. In addition to my blog "Enjoying the Journey: Observations on the Fit Life" at, my articles have appeared in a variety of print and online magazines. You can hear me as part of the 2015 Austin cast of Listen To Your Mother.

0 thoughts on “Road Running in the Future

  1. I can\’t believe I haven\’t been on here in so long….I miss this place and you! I\’m so excited for your marathon in SF and it sounds exciting to start a new training group:-). If I could do Nike every year then I would….hands down my favorite.

    Can\’t wait to back track and read more entries…..gosh, I love taper from Ironman:-)!

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