Well. I've decided.
I don't suck at coaching.
Even when I'm not technically the coach.
For my GBA's, not sucking at coaching usually just means trying to make smart decisions.
Mostly those are related to routing in the dark, choosing non-traffic'd routes, and encouraging people to stay in their pace zones as appropriate for the day's goals. Sometimes this means I get to be the safety NAZI. Recently I even had the privilege of grabbing a runner by the arms and stopping her from running in front of a car. All it really means is I carry a spare head lamp and visor in my beige mini-van. ~ NAZI ~
But sometimes I get to play coach. I send encouraging e-mails to people. I have even sent a text ((hug)). Weird, i know. I get to travel to races and run people in at Half & Full Marathons. I get to stand on the side of a 5K or Triathlons and cheer. I get to run alongside of runners on training runs at their pace, chat them up, listen to their story, encourage them as needed, celebrate as appropriate, & share the glory of their victory if invited to do so.
It doesn't suck.
And as I was saying, neither do I.
I had a moment last week where I found myself talking to one of my favorite coaches. He was about to race for the first time since "coming back" from his "troubles". During the conversation, the following words were spoken:
"Yeah, well race pace is pretty slow these days."
I thought about it for a minute, and reflected on the fact that this person is a Richmond Elite. He's bordering on epic, and a smokin' hot runner ~ it was 100 degrees here last Thursday, true story. He doesn't need some brightly dressed sock wearing "make-believe-coach" in the background spoon feeding him canned wisdom, while telling him to "bring it" or "have fun".
He knows how to "bring it" or "have fun" without any silliness from me or anyone else.
But I ultimately realized that I wasn't really satisfied with his statement. It didn't sound like a good way to go into a race, and I eventually said,
"Race pace is relative to effort. You're still going to put out the effort. The results will be impacted by the heat, the time of day, the return to running after X number of weeks off, etc. Don't belittle the effort because there are circumstances outside your control."
His excessively brief response assured me that I had, in fact, hit the coaching nail on the head.
Don't belittle the effort.
Pretty wise sounding, eh?
Now. If I can only remember to apply this sort of "coaching" to myself.
Or, is being your own coach a bit like, "He who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client."?