Plan the work, work the plan – then ADJUST!
Goal 1 – Qualify for Boston – Check.
Goal 2 – Go to Boston and run your fastest ever marathon.
You sit with your coach and make a plan. It’s aggressive but you are ready for it.
Training begins and you hit it hard with focus and intention.
You feel great, tired often, but great. Your training races are going well.
Then, you feel a little “off” – “kinda flat.”
Gulp – you are pregnant…
Adjustment number 1 –
You talk with your Dr. your family and your coach. You decide to keep running. You decide to run Boston.
You are deflated because you know you can’t push it, you won’t run your best time.
You come to terms with this “adjustment” and realize it’s fun to run for just the fun of it.
Now Boston can be a different kind of race. You can take in the sights, enjoy the crowd, the city, the course at whatever pace you want.
Your coach adjusts your workload – the efforts and the volume.
You are getting a little bigger and a little slower but feeling pretty good.
You head to Boston – as ready as you can be.
I was along for this entire journey and learned lessons as a coach and an athlete.
I was excited to see the Boston Marathon and the city of Boston during race weekend as a spectator.
If you happened to pay attention to the 2018 race you’ll know that the weather was bad – super bad. So bad in fact they called it the “worst weather in the 122-year history of the race!”
I can attest it was horrible – each day worse than the day before and race day worst of all.
AYS athlete Lindsay continued to adjust. We payed close attention to the ever-worsening forecast and made a pre-race, race and post-race plan. (Continual adjustment).
Tights instead of shorts, long sleeve jersey instead of sleeveless, light but rain proof jacket over that (with a hood) and, a modified large trash bag over that (at least to get to the start line, keeping as warm and dry as possible – pre-race) full gloves, long socks.
Watching the local news the night before was pretty dismal. Morning lows in the 30’s, pouring rain and winds of 20 mph. Afternoon high of 50 and rain would continue to increase its intensity throughout the day, peaking at 2-3pm right when Lindsay and 20,000 or so others would be finishing the day. Wind strong and steady all day long – and a headwind.
I was stunned when they news cut to a race participant at the finish line checking things out.
They asked, “with this terrible weather what will you wear tomorrow?”
He said, “I’ve trained a long time for this race and always in my shorts and singlet” (he peeled off his sweat suit for effect) “That’s how I’ve trained and that’s how I’ll race.”
No adjustment. Crazy I thought!
If he had trained for a mountain race expecting it to be very cool and on race day it was predicted to be unseasonable hot would he still wear layers? I think not.
Race day began with terrible, chilly rain and strong wind. Lindsay layered up, pulled on the trash bag and we slogged through the soaked streets and park to the bus shuttle.
I headed back to the hotel to watch the elite men and woman start on TV.
I was amazed how many lined up in shorts and singlets only. A few in jackets, but not many.
As they approached the finish line I went to watch it live and in person. It was absolutely pouring and really cold. If you watched you know the results. Desi pulling off an unbelievable win for the USA in the woman’s field – face drawn and tight, lips blue and eyes shot from the cold. In the men’s field the leader lost a huge margin in the final two miles and the winner – a virtually unmentioned runner from Japan who came from a cold, wet climate and famed for loving terrible conditions. Both men and woman’s elite fields were the slowest in decades and the top 10 of each field was a mix of virtually unknowns.
I can tell you first hand most of the top runners coming through were wrecked! Limping, bent over with cramps, various shades of blue and miserable looks of pain on their faces.
(No adjustments) ….
The “regular” field looked a heck of a lot better. Many underdressed and not faring well but, many more well-adjusted and looking comfortable and happier (relatively) Some even able to sprint for the finish.
The rain continued to increase, my pants were soaked as were my shoes and socks but I loved the crowd and watching all the runners achieve their Boston finish. Lindsay’s adjusted goal was to run just under 4 hours – shooting for a respectable time, especially being 3 months pregnant and in terrible conditions. I saw here coming through the group, still snuggly in her layers and the trash bag on. 3:58 soaked and smiling. – Great adjustments!
Today’s point is this. Yes, we make a plan. Yes, we include hope in the plan for great weather, personal bests and perfect days.
Additional however we need to plan for and ADJUST for all the variables!
Life changes, bad days, illness, terrible weather and injuries are part of life.
My AYS athletes often share with me one of the very best benefits of having me as their coach is when these things happen. The “Oh crap – now what do I do?” moments when they need to ADJUST are the times I offer them the most important advice.
If you or someone you know are ready to Amaze Your Self and have someone in your corner to help you adjust and improve contact me at AYS and I’ll help you “Do what you can’t – YET.” http://www.amazeyourself.life, firstname.lastname@example.org
Your’s in the outdoors!