Daniel Goetz is Littlewing's assistant coach and pacer extraordinaire! He has been working with (and entertaining) these ladies since January of 2015. Daniel was named "Dino" (dee-no) by Jude the Dude, and the nickname stuck. Dino is beloved for his even temperament, relaxed attitude, and Southern charm, which all hide a fierce love of running.
Why did you decide to move all the way across the country to work with Littlewing?
The first thing that struck me about the opportunity was the adventure of it all. I love traveling, running (obviously), seeing new cities, meeting crazy types of people. The plan was to spend the month of January training in Albuquerque then head to Bend. I googled Bend and liked what I saw. Look up pictures of Bend and you'll understand.
The other thing that gave me reason to move from Tennessee was the opportunity to coach again and work with highly motivated people. I had taken a year off coaching to check out other professional opportunities. During that time I realized that my true passion was to coach. I was slowly starting to form that idea and halfheartedly search for opportunities when Littlewing reached out to me. To say that I am fortunate would be a far understatement. I get to live in a beautiful town with trails for days and work with women who motivate me daily! Yeah, it was an easy decision.
How would you describe your job to a lay-person?
The conversation that leads up to this point is usually pretty entertaining. Little bits of confused looks and further interrogation typically leads to, "So, you just run with women for a living?" At this point I'll probably give a more direct answer like: Workouts are hard enough to do without having to think of pacing and putting in the effort to hit those paces. I (hopefully) make it a little easier by hitting certain times. All the women have to do is follow me and they know they'll be on, which is harder than they make it look.
I also manage most of the weight room/strength we do. That can look like doing traditional gym sessions, working on coordination and balance, doing hurdle mobility and other mobility work, and practice running over hurdles.
What is the most memorable pacing workout or race you've ever done?
I try not to get too amped up about any single workout. I'm always trying to look at how a workout fits in with training as a whole and the progress we've made over a few weeks or months. There have definitely been some workouts where I've said "Whoa!" to myself after we get done. But the most memorable workout was the very first workout I did with the team. It was nothing special. We did it a set of mile repeats--6 of them to be exact--with short rest. The pace was what the women would later on hit tempo's in. We did this workout at Bullhead Park right by the Albuquerque airport. What sticks out about the workout is the crazy amount of wind that was crushing us that day. I'm talking like torrential, tie-yourself-down type of wind. I felt like I was leaning over at a 45 degree angle when I was running into the wind. The conditions, magnified by it being my first workout with the team, just sticks out in my mind.
What is your least favorite part of your job?
I'm not gonna lie, there's not much I don't like about my job. Bend is a hidden gem of a training spot. The women work hard and are a blast to be around. But there was one thing that popped in my mind when I read this question: HAIR! I live with a couple of women on the team and I am constantly finding hair everywhere! It just clings to all my clothes. I can't get away from it. I actually kind of enjoy giving the women a hard time about it. But if hair is the one bad thing about my job, I think I've got it pretty good.
Name one thing about each of the ladies you work with that you think most of us don't know? (But don't get them mad at you!)
I think most people who know Christine know how good of a baker she is. At any time during the week, you can walk in to her house and smell some delicious treat in the oven. What she does best in my humble opinion is her gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Let me be clear, I'm very much PRO-gluten. I used to work in a bakery. I love gluten in all its forms. There is something about these cookies that will make you want to eat a whole plate of them. You'll be very fortunate (and subsequently addicted) if you ever get to try some.
Collier has this habit that when she hiccups, she lets out a high pitched 'Welp!' that can most accurately be likened to a laughing hyena. It comes at totally random times and with differing levels of intensities. But whenever I hear that distinct sound, I know Collier is around.
Lauren loves food! Especially cheese and pastries. You should see the way she devours an Ocean Roll or almond croissant from Sparrow Bakery here in Bend. I don't feel bad about sharing this because I'm on a similar level. My dad's a cook and I grew up trying everything twice! Whenever we travel we make it a point to see each city through our stomachs and seek out amazing restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, ice cream, etc.
Mel is uber-competitive when it comes to games. We like to play a lot games, especially one in particular: Dutch Blitz. If you've never heard of it, do yourself a favor and buy it. You'll thank me later. I'm really competitive and the one person on the team who rivals that is Mel. It gets so intense when we play that we have a rule that whatever is said during a game is not to be taken personally. Some of the things she's said may make your mother blush.
What are you most looking forward to in the next training cycle?
After the team takes a short break at the end of the summer, we'll start our base work for next year's season. This is not as glamorous as traveling to cool locations to run fast in big meets, but a lot of what we do this Fall will set us up for a strong 2016. Collier refers to this as hiding out in the "training cave." A lot of the training will be going back to the fundamentals: lots of miles, longer workouts, a little speed here and there. I love this part of training because it I get to see how devoted the team is to achieving their goals. No one else is really paying attention during this time. As winter approaches there will be colder mornings, making it not as easy to get out the door. Races seem so far away. What I look forward to is the way each athlete approaches this part of training. If each athlete can not only get the training done, but do it with an intentional, process-oriented mindset, they'll be ready to go come track season when the weather's a little nicer and their goals are a little closer.