Sunday, September 1, 2013
Friday Night Lights and Saturday Morning Sunrises
Honestly, I don't have a straight answer for that question, except that it feels good to give back to the community that has given so much to me through the language I share with so many of those I work with: running. I was able to watch both athletes I've hopefully helped along (even in a small way) on their journey compete, reconnect with people I haven't seen in a while, and form new connections; like the near-famous and more awesome Amy Pitzel. As I approached her, I didn't know if I wanted to awkwardly introduce myself or ask for her autograph! LOL. Coach Pitzel is both a fellow Brooks ID member and is a previous recipient of the Brooks Inspiring Coach Award.
Besides the human part of the sport, there is a beauty and simplicity that makes the sport so appealing to me. The irony is that in high school, I avoided the sport like the plague, although I likely would have been successful due to a near-debilitating case of performance anxiety. Watching the runners line up at the wide starting line, I couldn't help but feel a touch of pre-race nerves myself-but what once was seen as a threat is now seen as a unique aspect of racing. Thank goodness I figured that out!
I guess things work out as they should, however, as I find that I enjoy working with XC athletes even more than I probably would have liked racing it. And even more ironic, is that I work with handling pre-race nerves day-in-day out as a staple of my practice! Just watching these young ladies and guys giving it everything they have with such enthusiasm is inspiring. As a culture, regardless of if the school is large or small, high or low-budget, XC athletes appear to be some of the most driven, polite, and eager-to-improve individuals out there.
Even though I was out considerably past my "bedtime" for my Saturday morning run, this time I didn't mind. Off the record, one of my favorite quotes of the night was after the girl's Varsity race-when I told one of my athletes that I was getting up and running in the morning, she responded with "shouldn't you be resting?" Seriously, what other group of high school kids says that?!
My run yesterday morning was one of my longest yet, and I took to the trails of the very course the meet was at for just under an hour. I am really trying to watch when my recuperating leg tells me it's time to wrap it up for the day and that threshold seems to progressively get bigger as my aerobic capacity continues to return. Exciting stuff! I love this no-data, feel-good, no-rush approach. It's weekends like this that are nice reminders that running is so much more than it being all about me all the time.
Thanks goes out to the TWHS Lady Highlander Runners booster club and team for allowing me to be a small part of this season.Congrats on a meet well run and well-done!
Best to everyone who finished the race Friday and good luck to my athletes competing in Labor Day's events!
Stay the course.