I will start this post off with a quote from George Sheehan, “THE OBSESSION WITH RUNNING IS REALLY AN OBSESSION WITH THE POTENTIAL FOR MORE AND MORE LIFE.”
As a runner growing up, I was constantly asked
WHY DO YOU RUN?
At times people would even joke about all the running I did. They would say things like,
“Ha-ha… I would only run if my life depended on it.”
“I would only run if the cops were chasing me.”
I would smile awkwardly not knowing exactly how to respond to comments like those. People just did not believe that I truly loved to run. They did not understand the deep internal gratification running brought me every day. Rather than running away from something, like cops or death, I was running towards life and self-discovery. I don’t think they understood what running could do on a deeper more personal level.
Runners have this deep desire to constantly outdo themselves/perform better. Whether it is your first race or 50th race, it doesn’t really matter. You will constantly have the craving for another race. If you performed well, you will want to preform even better the next time and if you raced horribly you will want to prove to yourself that you can do better. It is a never ending cycle for more and more life.
On Saturday Andrew raced his second indoor race of the season. Both races were run very consistetly. If I were to convert his 3000 meter times from the previous week to a 3200, he would have run roughly 10:12. This week Andrew ran the 3200 indoors in a time of 10:10. Any amount of inprovement is something to be proud of. He ran right behind the class 4A 2012 Cross Country State Champion, Simon Belete, who placed 2nd in a time of 10:00. Before the race started, Andrew looked at me, becasue we both knew there was going to be some tough yet fun competition.
Seth definitly surprised me this week. Every time I spoke with Seth this week he infomed me on how good he was feeling. If you have never run indoors before, it is a unique experience. Seth has never run indoor track before; therefore, I was a little nervous about how he was going to handle the experience.
As the gun fired Andrew took off, as usual. Seth was supposed to go out slower than Andrew, and he did until lap 3. At which point he decided he could hang with the top guys. I was a little anxious at first, but looking at him run, he seemed confident. Lap by lap, Simon, Stephen, Andrew and Seth raced one by one. Throughout the first 13 laps all 4 ran a very even pace. With 3 laps to go (600 meters) Simon and Stephen Muegche picked up the pace. I looked down to jot down the splits, as I looked up with 500 to go, I saw Seth creep into 3rd place. I told both runners before the race one bit of advice.
“With 2 laps to go I want to see a change in pace, I want you to look different. You are no longer cruising. I want you pumping your arms a little faster, lifting those knees a bit high and pushing off of those toes a bit harder. Even though, out there, you feel as if there is a different in your pace, I can promise you I don’t see it. You will think you are moving faster, trust me you are not, you are tired, so at this point you just have to put in that much more effort. I want to see a different runner out there.”
Seth heard my words and switched gears. He looked like a different runner. He kept it up and even picked up his pace the last lap to finish in a time of 10:04 (official time). As I mentioned earlier, Andrew’s finishing time was 10:10 finishing in 4th place.
I am so lucky to be able to coach two runners who have the passion to develop into the best runners they can possibly be. It is still very early and a lot more work is yet to be done, so stay tuned for an exciting season. I am looking forward to seeing them get faster and faster.