While we are at altitude camps, a coach comes about once a week to oversee a session, either Jerry or Pascal. The specifics are the same if Jerry is at the track or texting the instructions. But I get more nervous when he’s there. I want to give a good performance. This is complicated by the fact that he usually travels for the hardest workouts. And Tuesday was a doozy.
The original plan was 2 x 2 mile tempo, followed by some 300s. I struggled in the tempo, and he ended up altering the second one (gave me a break at the mile to gather myself). That meant I was able to finish with some dignity. But it definitely wasn’t a knock it out of the park situation.
I want a knock it out of the park situation.
A special flow happens when workouts start clicking, a shared secret begins to grow between athlete and coach. You both know that a flame has been lit. To the outside world, everything is as it was. But to the inner circle, new potentials are unfolding. They are still just dreams, but there’s a growing evidence that the dream isn’t unrealistic. The risks, and hard work, and educated guesses, they are starting to show results. Nothing big, but enough to make you want to dream more, and bigger. Anyone who’s worked on a successful project or collaboration in its early stages would know that sensation. The ultimate flow state is one that’s shared.
I love that feeling. I’ve known it with coaches. I see it happening with some training partners now. But the thing is, it’s not a given, and definitely not this year. I’m currently telling myself that in order to achieve great things, I have to put in great work. And if my breakthroughs and flow states come too easy, it just means the peak won’t be as high. I’m telling myself that it’s okay to be solid, just solid, and not magical, not yet.
Jerry gives me get a head nod and reassurance that I’ve come a long way from November. I have. Though I can’t quite shake the feeling that I wish I was the one he keeps talking to after the workout, making plans for summer races. All I can do is acknowledge it and walk to the car. I have to take my dignified fails for now.