Good day and welcome to the Life in the Fast Lane blog at www.runtallruneasy.com
I apologize as it has been an unusually long time since I have 'put pen to paper' in my blog but here we are today and I trust all is well with you in your corner of this beautiful globe...I am just coming out of my busiest time of the year as a coach so please forgive me ! I am honored in addition to coaching my worldwide Run Tall, Run Easy athletes but to also be the Head Coach for Team Boomer in NYC fighting Cystic Fibrosis 24/7/365 around the globe and I want to congratulate our Team Boomer runners, nearly 100 strong, including one amazing lady with Cystic Fibrosis who all completed the New York Marathon raising $300.000 in the process to fight this deadly genetic disease.
So..I have always felt it to be a great advantage to 'keep my hand in the game' as a runner, who, although no longer racing on a regular basis, still completes challenging training sessions with some of my younger and fast runners..of course this is good for me fitness wise, I cannot lie about this, so one might say from the athlete in me's perspective it is highly beneficial but I want to focus on the coach in me to help my athletes...
By this I mean that continuing to subject myself to tough workouts, be they road or track, I am kept in touch with adrenaline, nerves, anxiety, doubts and the essential constructive ways to overcome these basic human traits and frailties..Coaches who may have been great athletes, perhaps even former Olympians but who have not 'laced 'em up' for a hard session in 'eons' will have forgotten about the nuances and fragility of the emotions that go into rising up and ascending beastly training sessions..
It has been a while since I raced but I decided a couple of weeks ago that I would like to have the option of possibly racing the 2018 New York Marathon and as such I wanted/needed to meet the qualifying standard set by the NYRR Club. For my age of 54 this meant I would have to run a sub 1.32 half marathon before the end of 2018. I decided to race the Philadelphia Half Marathon. I am not certain I will feel the same desire to race the marathon come next summer when my entry would be due but I wanted to give myself the option. I met the standard with a 1.29.30 but that is not what I wanted to dwell on.
I had not raced a long distance race in four years and although I complete plenty of grind out ten mile type runs it is not the same as holding race pace under the pressure of race conditions..I was unsettled early...the first reason for this was lack of practice, the second reason was that four years ago and further back, my pace per mile kept me way too far ahead of the crowds...on Saturday at 7.00 minute pace through through the first two miles I was in the thick of the crowds and it unsettled me, it was claustrophobic for me, I was tripped from behind and jostled and I began to wonder if this was the best choice. Furthermore, thirteen days prior I was forced to walk three miles back to my hotel from Central Park after my right Soleus tightened up on a bread and butter ten miler that I ran before coaching at the NYM. However, I handled the situation really well. I stopped the run and walked, did not take any chances, then I took Monday and Tuesday off, ran 11 minutes Wednesday, 18 minutes Thursday, 24 minutes Friday, 30 minutes Saturday, 6 miles on Sunday and Monday, then a five mile run Tuesday with half marathon pace work in the middle three miles with new shoes, 8 miles easy on Wednesday, off Thursday and a pre race run on Friday...but with all that said, and even with new running shoes bought earlier in the week ,new work boots and therapy on my leg on Tuesday I had not run the hard ten miles I typically run weekly in a couple of weeks and this was on my mind early in the race and I found it hard to be settled...but in the end I mentally remained calm and focused and stayed on the bus and the early miles that seemed an unexpected high effort for the 7.00 minute pace yielded later became less effort at 6.45-6.30 type pace...My emotions evolved as my physical state evolved and vice versa..15k/10 mile/half marathon/marathon are long races and they require patience and calm thought as things change and often if we remain calm and as the distance remaining diminishes, we gain in confidence and of course we relax more...I guess the message from today's blog is 'do not panic' and let things unfold and evolve, remain patient, there is plenty of time ! I had handled the bump in the road thirteen days prior like a pro, like a good coach and it afforded the athlete in me the chance to succeed and 'El Dragon' let me pass...the leg was not an issue and as my pace quickened the crowds lessened and 'normal service was resumed' but at the very heart was calm breathing and a calm, focused mind...a winning formula..'let your emotions and your race evolve'
For more information on our coaching reach out to me or coach Caitlin and we will be happy to discuss your very important training and racing goals for 2018 and beyond ~