Luck, Perspective and Potlucks
Long before she had a website, Coach MK had a private Google Group for her 1:1 clients. We are slowly republishing work from that vault, over here.
From: Coach Fleming <email@example.com>
Date: November 16, 2015 at 1:20:40 PM CST
To: Fitness Protection Program - Winter 2015 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Luck, Perspective and Potlucks
CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who ran Las Vegas last night! I hear the 35 mph headwinds were a bummer.
I wanted to take a minute to reflect on that very point: the definition of success. Runners all too frequently tie their definition of success not just to a number but to a number on a particular day. That is a setup for disaster. There are SO MANY factors that will be out of your control on race day it can be overwhelming (and unproductive) to list them all, but knowing what you're up against doesn't make it any less crushing when mother nature JUST WON"T cooperate. Comments like, "at least you DID IT!" can feel condescending instead of congratulatory. In fact, just about anything anyone says will fail to address much less assuage the source of your frustration and anger. When something goes wrong, IT SUCKS ASS. I am not going to waste my breath trying to turn your frown upside down with a silver lining or trying to change your attitude. Your emotions are yours and they are valid. F*CK THAT RACE.
When the anger passes and the frustration crystallizes into determination, remember that you are well-coached and much-loved. There is one other person in this world that cares about your performance just as much as you do, and cares about how your performance impacts your mood way more than your significant other does. I'm waiting for you, and I am PROUD OF YOU. More than anything I don't want you to lose perspective. Though you think you failed because you didn't hit a particular number on a particular day, I may remind you that you had a totally solid training cycle and could PR at the Rudolph Ramble or FaLaLa Half. I may pull your Garmin splits and show you a 10k PR from the race data you didn't realize you had. You see, I like winning. I look for victories everywhere I go. Training, when done correctly, is never wasted. Failing to hit a particular number on a particular day isn't tantamount to wasting training, it's bad luck. That is not the same as losing. The only thing we lose when we have bad luck is perspective (unless your bad luck happened at the craps tables!).
You trained. You SSCed. You foam rolled. You ran hard, and you ran smart. Look at yourself in the mirror. Reach down and touch those rock-hard glutes that pushed you up hills, that did A MILE OF BURPEES, that carried you across the finish line on a night everyone hid from the wind while you stared it down. You are stronger and faster than you ever thought possible. Now put on your medal, order some room-service margaritas, and when you wake up tomorrow morning and realize that your ankles don't hurt and your joints aren't sore and somehow for the first time ever this marathon didn't destroy you, you may see a victory. That victory may give you better perspective on that race and your definition of success. If it doesn't, call me. I will say, "F*CK THAT RACE let's get nachos." For now, that may be all the perspective you can handle, and that is fine.
*end of deep thoughts*
Now for the important stuff- REALLY hoping the snowstorm doesn't stop me from getting to Maroon Bells (the ice cream shop, NOT THE MOUNTAINS!) tomorrow night! I also hope it doesn't prevent any of us from attending the Tuesday Night Group Run and potluck at BRC!!!!!!!!! RSVP below, hope to see you there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!