Hanging tough

Hi Everyone!


First an update from an oversight last week: Zoë came in third in her category at nationals xc, not fourth as I had erroneously stated. Podium! Way to go. And this past weekend we had a bunch of stealthy fast racers in the Holiday10K! Adam (PB!), Cindy (PB!), Eleanor (1st in age group!), Carolyn (nice return from a marathon!) Did I miss anyone?


What I’ve been thinking about recently is that this time of year can be kinda tough on a lot of people. I don’t know what it is – the lack of sunlight? Perceived forced merriness? Different stresses that bubble up after a few months of hard work with your head down? Between race and big goal season blues? Actual hard, uncontrollable things that occur? I’ve witnessed some version of all of this with a number of people who I coach, myself included.


I’m currently coaching a university varsity team. Among this team in the past month I’ve had two kids break down into stress/fatigue tears, one experience a traumatic close family death, one dealing with a close family terminal illness, and one experiencing a lingering illness which affects mental health. These kids are in their early 20’s (some are even still teenagers). I hope I tell them the right things, but I know when I see them show up everyday, that they will be ok. Maybe it’s because they’re distance runners, and we all have this strange relationship with pain. We don’t run away from it, but accept it and keep putting one foot in front of the other. We know that pain is a signal but that we can sit in it and it won’t kill us. I give them space to bow out and take a break, but not to quit. I know these kids will most likely all become very successful, empathetic, self aware and strong adults. But man, you have to go through it to get there, eh? This is the “life as chisel” metaphor.


Anyway, not to be too morose in this note. Just a reminder that life is hard and that’s ok and you can lean on others and you don’t have to pretend to be happy AND that often (not always but often) there is growth and meaning on the other side. And there will be another side. So take a break or slow down if you need to, but no quitting. We all need each other here. Big hugs to all!




On to tomorrow’s workout: Lakeshore and Leslie. 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO.


Let’s do tempo 600’s w 1 min rest. 1 min means they have to stay pretty chill. Up to 8 or 9 of them. This will depend on how chill you actually manage to make them. 9 of them at tempo pace is do-able. 9 at 10K pace will feel hard. Remember, this is base season so we don’t want to do too much fast V02max work yet. There is a ceiling of how fit you can get on that and it’s built on a base of strength.


That is all – see you in the am!