A Letter from a Coach to his Athletes
By Coach Grant
As I headed out for my run Sunday morning, things were not the same, I was alone getting ready to run my favorite loop out of Green Lakes State Park. It is amazing what goes through your mind when you are running alone.
Mile 1 – I headed out of the park down to the canal just like so many other Sunday mornings. Since I was alone, my thoughts went back to the first time I ran this loop. There were no pace groups. The 80 or so runners all started together. Coach Fred and Coach Mandy started at the back of the pack speaking to every runner they passed. “How are you doing today?”, “Keep up the good work”, “See you at the end”, few words but amazing affect on the psyche of a runner.
Mile 2 – The song “Like a Rock” came up on my playlist. My hands were steady. My eyes were clear and bright. My walk had purpose. My steps were quick and light. And I held firmly. To what I felt was right. Like a rock.
I tell myself all the time. Everything I do or don’t do today will affect if and how I get to the finish line.
Mile 3 – The point where the run starts to get serious. Mental moxie and core strength. We need to keep our body and mind strong. Keep doing the core workouts using your own body weight as resistance. It will pay dividends when we get together again. What are your daily affirmations to keep you mentally sound?
Mile 4 – Bob caught me. I met Bob in 2014 at a session for how to eat when you train for a marathon. He is in a much faster group. I practiced what I preached. I picked up my pace to try and keep up. He circled back as we talked about stuff. Remember it is “social distancing” not “social isolation”.
Mile 5 – It was time for a nutrition break. I took my gel and drank my water. We need to remember to eat and drink smart during this.
Mile 6 – Technology is a wonderful thing when it works. Strava wasn’t recording my distance. Sometimes we need to roll up our sleeves and get the task at hand done no matter how we feel about it.
Mile 7 – I was approaching the end to this loop. What’s next? Instead of putting my feet up and doing nothing, I should grab a copy of Meb’s book “26 marathons” or watch “Without Limits” the Steve Prefontaine movie.
Mile 8 – A runner’s child asked, “why is Grant the only guy in these running pictures?”, because I am the smartest man alive. We all need to be smartest person alive as we navigate this situation.
A much more famous/better coach than me, Vince Lombardi, said... "Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a civilization work."
Even though we may not be together for a while, I trust that each one of us is doing our part to stay healthy and be ready to pick up where we left off.
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay smart.
- Coach Grant
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