Monday, November 23, 2015

Talking shop

Went to the North Carolina USATF Junior Olympic XC meet Sunday in Hagan Stone State Park, just south of Greensboro.

Several of the kids I coach on the Cape Fear Flyers Club ran well, and qualified for the national meet in New Mexico coming up on December 12th. We even had a state champion, Sarah Martin in the 9-10 girls 2K division. Second state champion that our club has produced this year.

Great experience again coaching and being a part of a coaching staff. Made some mistakes as well such as not having enough knowledge of the courses being raced before-hand and during the actual events. This led to me to yell to a young kid to kick real hard, since I thought the 2K finish line was in about 30-40 meters, when in actuality he had about another 150 meters to go. Worked out ok as he held his competitor off, and finished in second place.

We learn as we go. I wasn't the only one confused at times by the direction, finish lines of the multiple course being used.

Rode up and back with a fellow coach Jeff, who's son is a freshman XC  and track runner at Queen's College, and is off to a promising start already in his collegiate career. Jeff and I talked a lot especially on the ride home about all kinds of facets of training, and running histories in our own lives, as well as what his son had done during his high school years, and what he is doing now. It's always so great to talk in depth with others who are not only passionate about the sport, but have had a lot of wide ranging experiences and successes and of course failures as well.

Got into a conversation at one point about training for shorter races specifically the 5K. Jeff talked about at how age 52, he finds himself not wanting to grit through some of the pain associated with faster speed work needed to run at a high competitive level in the local racing scene. How his focus shifts to other types of running and work outs that will keep him in a great shape, specifically 20 minutes of core and strength work early each morning. And make no mistake, he is a very good runner who certainly has done his fair share of demanding, tough running.

Was interesting to hear, because for one, (god willing I am alive and running) it is a bridge that I will likely someday cross in my own running. And two, I found myself today amending a work out since mentally I just couldn't get into that spot I needed to be to really gut through what I had initially intended to do. Though I can step back and accept that this happens to every single runner from time to time, and that specifically on a physiological level I was not in the best spot to tackle a higher level intensity work-out. (7 hours driving yesterday + several hours on my feet at the XC meet).

On the flipside, he relayed conversations that his son and teammates have about being able to get to that spot where one can run through a lot of pain and fatigue. Or to be able to sort of disassociate from mentally, while physically moving thru the task at hand. Oh to be young with the world at your fingertips?

Small microcosm of where three runners are at a given snapshot in time.

Keep talking, and keep running all.