Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Los Angeles

I have two athletes racing the LA marathon on Sunday, Kim and Monique.  It will be Monique's first attempt at the distance and it should be a solid step forward for Kim.  I'm hoping the marathon magic that Ryan started at Carlsbad will continue for both of them.  And yet I worry about something silly going wrong and having an unnecessary impact.  There are so many ways to f up a marathon and only a few ways to get it right.  Fortunately, both of these ladies have a large network of friends to call upon for help.  Monique will be escorted by Vince and Kim rattled off about 10 people who are planning to help her out along the way.

When I look back through Kim's workout log I can't help but be impressed.  I've never heard of or seen anyone follow a plan with the diligence and discipline that Kim has put into the last 14 weeks.  She has consistently nailed every single workout and actually made it really difficult for me to coach her because I have to remind myself not to throw in extra workouts to cover the misses that all of the rest of us encounter when life gets in the way.  Kim's effort and dedication have greatly exceeded my own throughout the past 14 weeks.  I want so much for things to be perfect for her on Sunday, and yet I know that universe likes to give us as much as we can handle, no more, no less.  One thing I do know about Kim, she has that quiet confidence that pays off big in long races.

Monique is a little different, perhaps more bubbly about the experience, perhaps more openly affected by the ups and downs that we encounter when we push our bodies through a grueling stretch of training.  I think Monique has experienced a lot in the past 14 weeks and I believe those lessons will continue to sink in over the entire year as the training effect is absorbed in her body and mind.  When I remember back to a tempo run I did with Monique last year and how excited she was about being able to crank out 10 miles relatively unscathed I can't help but be proud of her for the effort she has invested into this.

Vince is looking at his first experience pacing a marathon, something that is near and dear to my heart.  In fact, I've written a bunch about how I really prefer pacing to racing, it's every bit as challenging and possibly even more so to give of yourself during an event than to race it.  Pacing well is sort of like assisting with a yoga class while also taking it, something I never would have attempted before teacher training.  I still remember how strange it was to pop up off my mat when my name was called, still breathing heavy from the prior flow, and attempt to remember the sequence, a few basic cues, and carry the tempo of the class set by the previous leader.  I think Vince will have a big smile on his face at the end no matter what happens, he's the type who enjoys giving of himself to others and he brings endless energy and optimism to the table each and every day.

As for me, well, I continue to learn about myself by taking on these small positions of leadership.  I've learned a lot about my limitations, and my instincts.  Sometimes I have been spot on, sometimes I have been way off.  I've been inspired by the work these three have done while I've been slacking off.  But most of all, I'm very grateful for the trust and acceptance I've received along the way.  It is a truly special thing to take care of someone else in whatever way I am able to, and I don't take that responsibility lightly.

Good luck to everyone racing on Sunday!  I've put in my request for tailwinds, 55 degrees, and clear skies.

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