Sunday, February 17, 2008

All Things Must Pass

I was passed in a race a week ago.

What, you say? I've run over 200 races and I was never passed before?

Runners pass me in races all the time, of course. But last week's pass was something special, a personal milepost. (Right: I set a PR and got passed last week.)

You probably know I coach training groups. Currently I coach the Reebok Half-Marathon Program for the SunTrust National Marathon, coming up next month. Later this week I'll start coaching my club's 10K Training Program.

I have never had someone I coached beat me in a race. I coached the "fast" group in my club's 10-Mile Program in 2006. There was a group of young women athletes in that group that I had to push myself to stay ahead of each Saturday. H, who ran her first marathon in 4:07 (my first one was 5:05), M who ran her first 10-Miler in 1:19 (my first one was 1:29), and Sasha, who is currently a coach in the Program. At the end of our long runs, if one of them was still hanging with me half a mile out, I'd push and drop 'em off the back end.

At the target race, Army, I buried them all by uncorking a monster PR of 1:14. Nobody else in the group was under 1:20.

But since then I've watched them all keep progressing as I have slowed down. I focused on Sasha as the best of the bunch. Not by a lot, but quietly she usually beat them all. That's why I was so glad when she agreed to coach in the Program. She obviously has so much to give to others. (Above: Sasha on the right, with S on the left, before last Saturday's race where she turned out to be a giant-killer.)

The day after I returned from my vacation out west, I ran a club 12K (7.456 miles) race. It was a scheduled part of the Program. Sasha ran it as well. The women started five minutes after the men to alleviate congestion for bikers on the W&OD and Custis trails, where the race course was laid out. I finished ahead of Sasha. But I'd seen how she wasn't that far back at the turnaround.

When the results came out I saw that I had set a PR of 1:01:40 (8:16). Woo hoo! Then I checked the women's results. Sasha finished with a time of 1:01:02 (8:11), in the top twenty.

All things must pass. Congratulations, Sasha. (Right: Sasha running around the Capitol last Monday evening with S as part of the Program's weekly evening run, which she initiated. She exemplifies the dedication of volunteer coaches everywhere.)


Danielle in Iowa said...

You got chicked! ;-) (terminology courtesy of Half-Fast)

Susan said...

I can feel your pride as a coach! It's so good that there are people like you in the world of running!

Just12Finish said...

Why are those women running AND smiling at the same time?! How is that possible?

Sunshine said...

Measure of a great coach!! Good for you. Bless the people who are good at teaching.

Thanks for your comment.. "he will be glad you called," etc. .. sweet.