As a fan, a participant and coach it’s been an overwhelming week in the world of running. I’m not sure I’ve ever been so inspired by a group of runners as I was on Monday and maybe even more so today as I procrastinate doing my own workout as I read race recap after race recap. Good race or bad race, these runners have heart and grit.
Something that has been standing out to me as a coach the past few years is that we all want the glory of reaching our goals, but the reality of what we have to do to reach them isn’t always clear. Our favorite social media running superstars and professional runners are quick to share both their heartaches and victories, but from this point of view they make it look easy, even though what they are accomplishing is in fact extremely challenging.
I think despite the fact that we follow all the ups and downs of someone else’s training and racing, the “instagram effect” glamorizes the process shielding us from the reality of exactly how hard that person is working and how much they give up on weekly basis to make their goals happen.
Knowing exactly what it takes and deciding if its worth it is up to you. There have been times in my life where I would do anything to reach my running goals. While other times, half way through a training cycle I realize I haven’t really been putting in the amount of work required to succeed and that deep down I wasn’t willing to do what it took to meet my goals.
This winter, when Sarah asked me to be her coach again as she trained for Boston I was thrilled. Her goal was to break four hours. If you read her race recap from Boston, you’ll get a little insight as to why I love coaching her so much.
I previously coached Sarah to run her first marathon in Chicago last October. During her training period she didn’t miss one single workout. NOT ONE! She’s a prime example of someone who was willing to give what it took to meet her goal.
Here are a few things she said about her race and training for Boston:
“It really wasn’t an enjoyable run. I was miserable probably 85% of the time.”
“Training for and running this race was the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life. The weather I don’t think could have been worse. It was a constant struggle to get excited for my training runs where as with Chicago’s training, I looked forward to it.”
Goal crushing isn’t easy. It’s painful, dirty and full of setbacks and sacrifices, but is it worth it and are we willing to really do all it takes to reach our goals?
If the answer is yes, then know that things are about to get really uncomfortable and may stay that way until you cross the finish line or cross that goal off your list.