The Cycle of Abuse
“Easy? Oh yeah EASY for me is like 8:00. That’s a totally easy pace!”
"MK that WAS an easy run! I ran 9 minute miles! My heart rate was 175 BUT I FELT FINE!"
Most runners I encounter have never actually performed an easy effort run until they start working with me.
The next iteration of the FPP will likely be called, "Overachievers Anonymous" because most runners need rehab. They claim to be addicted to running or racing but when we break it down they are addicted to making really really bad decisions. Running is their abusive, jealous boyfriend: they claim to love it and that it makes them SO happy even though they are constantly injured, they defend their running no matter WHAT, and it makes them feel bad about themselves; they are always disappointed and never quite good enough.
The hardest part about my job is quelling the, "I'LL SHOW YOU!!" instinct in overachievers, as though there is glory to be had in flagrantly disregarding the boundaries you pay me to set as your coach. When I say, "please don't do X" the response that flashes through your head is, "I'LL SHOW YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" as though I just threw down a challenge. You don't need to show me anything, I already believe in you. I believe you can do absolutely anything. Just because you feel you 'can' do something doesn't mean you 'should' though.
Two people are going to care about your performance and progress. I mean, REALLY care. You and me. In truth, I probably care more than you do. I'm your stage mom. You say you want to reach a goal? You ask me for help? I take that responsibility SERIOUSLY. I chart the course, strategize, establish your support network, argue with you when you make choices that deviate from the plan or will decrease your chances of success, and cheer for you every single day. I am IN this. I will see victories when you can't, I will see the progress when all you can see is one missed number, I will cheer on every single workout no matter how inconsequential that workout is to you, because I know how much your progress means to me.
Stage mom knows what is best for you. She knows you need conditioning just like every other athlete. She wouldn't ask you to do anything that would reduce your chances of success because her success is tied up in yours. She knows you need to jog on your easy days. She knows you need to slow down to get faster. She knows perceived effort is total bullshit and that you just aren't ready to judge your own effort levels by feel. She knows you are an overachiever and loves you anyway. Most of all, after watching you endure years of abuse she wants you to be happy and in a happy relationship with running.
Let's break this cycle together. This week, please resolve to drown out that voice in your head that tells you to treat me like an adversary. Remember that jogging is running and it makes you STRONG not slow. Download the Headspace app and try to turn running into a meditation. Let yourself be slower than you want to be today knowing it will make you faster tomorrow. Defy that voice in your head that calls you a loser, not the coach who loves you and knows you are a winner. Please, let me love you!
You are coached. You are loved. YOU ARE WELCOME.