Ross is one of the two coaches for my masters program. Most of the other swimmers had gone, so he and I started talking as I finished my workout. (I did 2400 total.) We talked about my goals. He immediately recognized my goal distance as ironman distance and was quick to say that he could adjust my workouts to help get me there. That was very cool of him. Even assuming that I find another training group I like for biking and/or running, I would want to continue to swim with my current program because I’ve seen what Ross can do for me technically. When I swam at the Courtyard, he helped me get from regular 1:50 100s to 1:30 100s. I even did 1:17 during a relay at a meet in Dallas. I know that improvement had a lot to do with being in the water 4 days a week, but it also had much to do with his input on my stroke. He’s an excellent coach. He and Laura (the other coach) both are.
It was strange, though, to talk to anyone outside my circle of friends about my plan to do an Ironman. It felt like a confession – one that could have sent him into a fit of laughter, but he didn’t laugh. Instead, he said, “Congratulations in advance,” as though just the effort, or perhaps the goal, warranted praise. I need to remind myself of his response anytime I begin to doubt what I’m doing.