My coach recently competed at the Hy-Vee Worlds in the age cat championships.
It’s still very much an unrealised dream of mine to compete at a “Worlds” anything, and given my age ( 40-45 cat), its not going to be easy. I accept that challenge and I also believe that it will happen because I believe I am capable. Cocky? No..not really, I just choose to believe as opposed to accept defeat. (cue – My Body by Young the Giant)
So back to my coach…by email today, he was talking about how much fun he had. I need to quote him
“…We had lots of fun ! Laurie went hard and came third. I went strong , but really just enjoyed it as much as you can at 95% instead of 100%, and was smiling and chatting up fans and spectators all the way. Felt no pain,( except the last 300m uphill at the finish line), and smiled the whole way. Very nice way to end the season.
Try it in Muskoka. Very fun, no pressure….”
Richard is an amazing guy, and when he says he had fun, he means it. I can very clearly see him chatting it up with people as he says he did. From a personality perspective, he is a lost mold and you cannot help but like him. But it’s his last words that strike me…
We train hard together, and he loves to see me go at it. I in turn, do my part and give him everything I have. Technically right now, we are off duty, so we could just simply pass emails back and forth to stay in touch. But Richard enjoys his duty as a coach as much as I enjoy being coached by him.
Having worked three seasons together, he has a pretty good handle on who I am, and what I am like. I in turn, know when I need to hide a “rogue” workout which would cause him to silently blow a gasket. It’s give and take, and it works.
But his words are speaking volumes, and could possibly be some of the most important coaching advice he has given me and I hear what he is saying to me.
You see, my one fault, is that I struggle with letting myself come down and I never want to stop. If I race, I race for purpose and it sometimes gets me in trouble.
I know what you are thinking
…“But you said you had fun at Ironman, and it was a blast, and that you achieved what you wanted…”
I know…exactly. You’ll notice that I also clearly stated my time expectation and came in well under it. I also picked apart my run….
Last year after Timberman, where I achieved a 5 hr 20 minute race in my first 70.3, I followed up with an Ultramarathon in Haliburton 4 weeks later, and then provided an encore marathon less then 2 weeks later in Picton,Ontario. The results at Picton were okay, I landed a 3 hr 32 minute but I was very upset about not hitting my previous PB 3 hr 21 minute.
I know, I know..some of you may be reading this and saying “ Shut the F%&K up dude, you landed a 3:30”. My apologies, the point was not to tell you this but to show you how silly I can be.
So what does the above tell you? I take it serious? Maybe. I am an idiot? Probably. I expect too much from myself? Yes. I am also missing a key functional part in all this racing and training.
What is it? That it has to be about more then competing sometimes.
And I know that….and so does my coach. And he knows me, and knows when I need a reminder. So, off duty or not, training/race plans come in many forms. This one probably has as much for me to learn (and practice) as the last 9 months of plans he gave me.
I’m still very much a beginner, and my physical levels are still changing. But so too are my mental skills that will make me a stronger competitor. This time, I need to focus more on the latter then worrying about where I end my day.
Any bets? I’ll try…just like every other time.
Over and out