You Get What You Get

One of my athletes raced the St. Croix 70.3 yesterday. Once I found where to track him online, I was very excited to see he was leading his age group both out of the water and off the bike. Out I went with Lily for her first brick (she swam a relaxed-looking 100 in under 3:00, and while she’s still cautious and wobbly on the bike, her run cadence is a thing of beauty). When we got back, I quickly checked the race results.

He lost the lead, and the age group win, by 11 seconds.

I ran the gamut of emotions: shock, denial, bargaining (maybe the other guy had a penalty still to be added in), wishful thinking (maybe there’d be two Kona slots for the age group, or a concession based on how close it was), and nerves about how he’d handle it.

But when we spoke a few hours after the race, my apprehension gave way to delight. He sounded thrilled with the finish, and while our cell-phone connection was breaking up, the tone of his voice said it all. It was a RACE, after five hours, when he was caught in the last mile as they headed into town, shoulder to shoulder. He ran as hard as he could—a full-out sprint after almost 13 miles of hilly running—but the other guy, a former collegiate runner and current cross-country and track coach, was simply faster. The competition excited him, and he expressed no regrets at all.

So much for my worries, my guessing how it would feel. He coached me on how to enjoy the moment and take what you get. Thanks, Travis.

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