Well, I never thought I would coach a track team. Never in a thousand years. Yet, here I am, up super late trying to put together a workout schedule for the month of April, trying to order spikes and singlets, and thinking what in the world am I doing?!
Every year, Schlumberger competes against the top oil companies in Houston in a throw-down style track meet in early June. Success in this local meet can mean advancing to regionals and even nationals in the corporate track circuit. Unfortunately, the Schlumberger running list serve hasn’t been too organized in the past. And we have some serious competition. Think Edina in Mighty Ducks, or the rich boys in The Karate Kid. Instead we’re talking about the Exxon Mobil Tigers with matching uniforms and having won the past gazillion local meets, they are the enemy.
And that is where I come in.
It started with a Schlumberger friend who had seen me run. This friend told another Schlumberger friend who decided I would be the coach. Sure. Why not. I have experience running track. I have raced and trained for almost every length of race out there. I think I’m a pretty good leader and I can yell. So I have two months to form a team, create a team bond, establish relay lines and train a group of 30 to 40 runners of all ages.
The corporate track event line up is much different than any other track competition. It is almost entirely relays, and most of those relays have both gender and age requirements. There are three individual events: the Men’s and Women’s 3000m, the Men’s 1600m, and the Women’s 800m. There is a jump relay including the long jump and high jump, and a throwing relay including discus, shot put, and the javelin (who throws javelin?!).
I am trying to complete 3 main goals:
- To form a versatile, strong, competitive, and fast team
- To create team unity, support, and a sense of community
- To have fun
Via word of mouth and various emails, I believe I, with help from many others, have formed a team of people who may not be super athletes, but after years of disappointing turn-outs and losses, are ready to race and work hard to win. Recruitment is continuing and we will never turn away a runner, no matter how close to the meet we get.
There has never been any strong sense of team in this event for Schlumberger. I am designing my practices to require teammates to rely on each other to finish a sprint set, or accomplish a goal. Secondly, I want us to have uniforms. Just a simple Schlumberger logo singlet and perhaps matching track spikes. I want us to feel like a team.
And of course, my main goal is to have fun. Yeah, I know that after the 15th sprint repeat, no one would be too happy, but I am hoping that the reward will be worth it. I also want to vary my practices a lot to alleviate boredom and make every practice something new and challenging.
I’ve attached the workout schedule for the month of April (SLB Runners April). Follow along with us and join us in our journey for gold! I will be chronicling the ups and downs of our team.
I will be running too. Right alongside everyone else.
Ashley is a geologist at Schlumberger, specializing in geologic modeling software. She completed her Masters degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is an avid runner, cyclist, and rock climber. She will pretty much race anything and everything. You can find her hanging out on White Oak in Houston, TX or climbing and running in Austin.