Thursday, December 3, 2015

Sharpening the Spear

Last hard workout for the Cape Fear Flyers XC season last night. Told some of the runners I coach that the workout of 200s was like sharpening the end of the spear, getting us primed for the last race of the year the following Saturday. Fortunately the rains held off, but I was prepared to run them personally even in a downpour.

My own mentality being colored from finishing the book Racing the Rain by John L. Parker. Informative prequel to his seminal running novel Once a Runner published back in the late seventies. We get to see our hero protagonist Quenton Cassiday coming of age, and how he eventually found his way to the sport of running.

"The guy in Kansas will coach me through a local proxy who lives in a shack in the jungle without electricity." Quote from the novel referring to Archie San Romani, a champion miler in the thirties from Kansas. It's a dream of mine to one day write fictional literature, based off my own experiences, that may fire someone's imagination, and excite their running passions in a similar way that Parker's words have done for me the last several years.

But back to last night, I ran with Owen and Zac. Averaged about :36- :38 per 200m, on a quick rest cycle of about :40. Controlled, hard running... repeating it over and over again. Reminded them a few times (and by extension myself) to take them one at a time. I told them going in it would be a tough workout, and it was. But they and I handled it well; with the dedication and attention that runners who are serious about competition need to possess. We can't shy away from the pain on such days, we need to embrace, and become comfortable being uncomfortable.

Talked to them afterwards about taking ownership and being accountable in their upcoming races. We have to go out and earn our race result... it's not going to be handed to us just because we have done all this work the past few months. Concepts I picked up on from listening to a recent Steve Magness and John Marcus podcast.

Plans are on the table for our season end party next Wednesday night. The calendar has flipped to December; darkness swallows up the days a little past 5pm.  The end of one season though is always a bridge to the next one. Though there is still work be done the next 10 days.