Recent race results, part two: BergesenOctober 23, 2007
Why are these people smiling? Hint: the answer begins with a 2.
Our friend Sally Bergesen (at left) ran her first sub-3:00 marathon in Portland on October 7th. Her official gun time was 2:59:27.
One could say that Sally did this the smart way, running nearly even half-marathon splits of 1:28 and 1:31. One could also say that she did it the hard way, racing after two full days on her feet at the pre-marathon expo, where she was selling women’s running apparel.
I’m not sure how Sally weathered this extended “warmup” without exhausting herself. Regardless, I was impressed with her positive outlook prior to the race. “I still think I can break 3,” she told me. “All right…” I said, conveying something less than total confidence. “Just make sure you have a backup plan, OK?”
You see, that’s the sort of priceless wisdom she can count on from me, her unofficial, extremely part-time quasi-coach. What I do, basically, is make up workouts for her and Liz about once or twice a week. I don’t do an especially good job of this; I just try to give them some variety and get them to run fast without forcing them to work much harder than they want to.
I think of this as the “First, do no harm” approach. Avoid turning an enjoyable activity into a miserable one, and let the athletes’ own interests and motivation take them where they want to go.
I’ll take a bit of credit for not making Sally miserable. Beyond that, the credit should go to her and her trusty training partners.