“You are breaking up with Drew?” Coreen asked.
“Ummm. We are just taking a break.” I answered.
I have reached the end of my season with Drew. And we agreed to breakup. (Actually I think by contract Drew and I technically ended at the end of August, but he kept giving me stuff to do. And I kept doing it, well mostly.)
When I started this year Drew and I talked about my goals and what I wanted to accomplish. Some of them were easy to identify. I wanted to shave 30 minutes off my time at the Willmington Whiteface qualifier. (Got over an hour faster. Check). I wanted to finish Leadville. When pressed my goal time was 10:20 (for no particular reason other than that is the average finish time at Leadville and I am OK with being average there). I call 10:30 good. I also made some noise about not wanting to finish Leadville in crisis mode, but on my own terms. Well, we know how that one went. But I take responsibility for that. (Yep we know where THAT finish came from. Shut up Yeti.) And it was memorable if nothing else. (I may need to go back someday to get a picture of me crossing the finish line with a smile…You know that’s silly Doug, WHEN you go back you know you are going to go harder. SHUT UP YETI!)
My other goal was to learn about training.
Drew has been a fantastic coach. He answered all of my why questions about what we were doing. It’s somewhat counter intuitive to have a 6 hour ride be the longest ride you do for a 10 hour race. He redirected my crazy ideas (like riding too hard right before Leadville) and in the end I was rested, strong and ready for that stupid crazy ride.
The original idea had been that I would learn training from Drew and then work at training myself next year. But you know what? It was fun to work with someone else. In a strange way you get just a little bit of motivation when training sucks. Even if Drew wasn’t watching everything I did, I had that picture in my mind. I didn’t want to put lame efforts into my record that he would see. So I went just a little bit harder.
The plan has been updated a little bit. I am going to work with Drew again next year. But first the breakup. I am on my own for the winter. Drew is busy in his off season growing oranges (sorry I cannot get oranges from you Drew, but I have family connections that I need to use to get oranges!) and prepping for his own next racing season. Sometime around March (when I can get back outside again, unless Santa brings me this that is.) we will get back together. Things will happen fast. I am tossing around the idea of a race in May (The Wildcat 100). Then quickly into Willmington where I have already declared that I will do the course ANOTHER 30 minutes faster. (That would put me in the top 25%.) Then ORAMM (Not sure on the goal there. Finishing w/out breaking me or the bike would be nice). And then I want to try to get some shorter races in later in the summer. XC racing was fun.
I would recommend that anyone who is interested in hiring a coach look at Drew. You have to find someone who works for you, but I definitely think Drew is someone you should consider. He knows his stuff. Drew’s website is here: http://www.coachdrewedsall.com/ (If you contact him tell him Doug sent you. Heck maybe if enough of you contact him I can get something for so many referrals. Something like a Kenda jersey 😀 )