SL: And as a coach you don’t want them to shut it down. I mean when somebody has their strength – and it is authentic and natural for them to always be ready to push it to the max, to use that strength that they have to the fullest – it’s not something that you want to say, “Hey, I want you to shut that down.” Because I feel like any time you ask someone to minimize their strength, that’s kind of dangerous. You always want to encourage the fire they have in that area.
MS: You want them to have that confidence.
SL: For Rinny, I’d much prefer her to get that ironman done early, whether it’s Arizona or any of those December races. For another athlete, I’d probably feel totally fine about them doing Coeur D’Alene or Lake Placid even or any race. It just depends on the athlete, really.
MS: For Julie and Crowie at first it was going to be St. George. And then we did a little more research on the course. We looked at St. George and thought: You can’t shut down that run course. It’s straight up and straight down and it’s going to beat you up regardless.
So obviously my two athletes don’t race against each other. I’m still out there on the course trying to support both of them, but you have two girls that are racing each other – you have Leanda and Rinny. How do you deal with that? Obviously they both want to beat each other, and you want them both to succeed. What’s that like for you?
SL: I keep it so separate. Even the lead up, the week gong into Kona, the things I’m doing with Leanda are totally different to the things I’m doing with Rinny. How I communicate with them is a lot different, because they’re such different people. Both amazing, wonderful people and athletes, but totally different. The important thing for me is being there 100% for both of them, in the ways they need me to be there. Making sure Leanda’s getting everything she needs, Rinny’s getting everything she needs and we’re doing everything exactly the way each of them needs to be doing things – which is very different. The day of the race though, that’s when it gets hard. Last year, I was trying to kind of be everywhere, leap frogging around to catch everyone. Leanda was having a really solid race and then had some intestinal issues in the last 10 miles. She’d be jumping into the bushes, and then catching back up to the people she was running with. So she was doing these amazing things. She ended up in 10th place, which was amazing considering what she was going through in those last 10 miles. But then here’s Rinny, winning. And thank god I was at the place where she passed Julie. That was awesome because they’re friends and that was incredible to see how they treated each other during that pass.