The Last Piece of the Puzzle: The Race

By: Carmen Troncoso

I heard that a blog in general lets you report on something you have been pondering about, or perhaps a rant of some sort or just a general way to tell your friends what’s going on in “Carmen’s” world. I’m assuming that since you all are reading this you are interested in running subjects.

Since not much has been going on in “Carmen’s” world running wise, except that I have to get in shape and you don’t want to hear about that, I thought I might write about the “Emperor Penguins”, but alas! It has been done before (see Chris Gowell’s blog on January 2nd, well done Chris).

Instead I decided to brag about the runners I coach, since they deserve some credit for what they did at 3M half marathon yesterday. As we all know, except for the first places and perhaps someone with a good story, the rest of the participants never get any press.

To run the perfect race you have to be in perfect balance for months, every day builds on the next one and so on. You have to talk yourself into doing workouts that you know will be hard, mold your psyche to believe that you can achieve your goals every workout and every race along the way. In other words follow the plan.

This group of runners did just that.

They have been putting together workout after workout, for 5 months – with this specific race as their main objective for the season. It doesn’t seem like a long time, but the focus required to stay on target for that long is incredible. “Life gets in the way” in so many ways when you are older; you have to work doubly hard at keeping your body fresh, and keep your motivation going when you know you have to travel for work or one of your kids is sick. You have to be disciplined enough to take a couple of days off when you know you are catching a cold or your hamstring starts to speak “in a foreign language”…(yes this sounds like a rant to me…)

Then, once you realize that you have made it in one piece physically and you just have one week to go, the nerves and doubts begin. The negative thoughts, the pressure to perform, because all your friends and family KNOW you are doing this…and so on.

This is not easy, my friends. It’s particularly difficult for “grown ups” who face the added pressure that serious running and racing should not be part of a “grown-up life”.

Well, yesterday they proved that everybody is a champion. I’m most proud of the fact that they put together every piece of the puzzle that is a “stellar performance”, and by the time they turned the last corner onto Congress Ave. they had that last piece of their puzzle in their hand (yes I saw them waving it) and as they crossed the finish line they were able to place it on the last space…for the picture!!.

No picture? No matter they all have one in their head.

And this goes also to all the other runners that accomplished their goal yesterday.


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