Saturday, May 26, 2012
Discipline and routine...the twin towers of success
Friday, May 25, 2012
I hadn’t spent any time with Marie since the state meet last June. She’s been an extremely busy girl in her first year at Purdue. She’d suffered a stress fracture in her femur during cross country and had been recovering throughout the winter and into the track season. She had managed to do five workouts on the track and then had entered one race at the very end of the season.
“I ran the 1500 and clocked 4:33,” she said.
I did the math. It was an equivalent 4:53 mile with almost no running or racing for six months. And she’d blown away the field.
“Marie…that’s incredible. That was a 6-second pr off of no training or racing!”
“I know! My coach is pretty excited and I think I’m going to have a great cross season,” she said.
Her coach should be excited. If this girl continues to improve, she’ll be national caliper…as her sister Kim was, by this fall. She’s a bio-engineering student with an eye for a medical degree and extremely disciplined. What she puts her mind to doing gets done. If it’s running…look out Big Ten…and then the rest of the country.
We were gabbing away racing east on the turnpike in hopes of catching the mile, which started around 5:30 p.m. when I noticed the approaching exit was the last in Ohio. I’d missed ours and after an illegal u-turn and berating the navigator (I placed all responsibility on Marie…she was holding the map), our recalculations confirmed that we’d miss the premiere event of the evening. We were looking forward to seeing Theresa Heiss, currently the fastest miler in the state and the girl who’d beaten Marie with a lean at the tape at last year’s Regional meet (but whom Marie outkicked in the state meet one week later). She would be running in the 800 as well, so we’d resigned ourselves to seeing that, at least.
It’s always odd for me to stand along the fence and discuss races with runners I’ve coached. As much as I enjoy it, I’d rather Marie was in the race and I would have been sweating every stride. Without an athlete in the competition, my interest wanes and although I always enjoy watching superb runners, with no emotional involvement, I found it anticlimactic. We’ll go to the state meet together next weekend and camp out the night before, but the meet will seem sedate after last year’s dramatic race when Marie sped from last to sixth over the final 500 meters.
On the ride home, we discussed the ‘big event’ Marie would like to do upon graduation.
“Kim did that cross country ride and I want to do something like it. Maybe the Appalachian Trail…would you do that?” she asked.
Would I do that? Does a bear shit in my campsite while he’s looking for my food?
“You have to do something like that. I told Kim how I can’t remember what I did six hours ago, but I can still recall in great detail the 1,100 mile bike ride I took when I graduated from high school. Yeah…I read a book about the AP and I’d like to do it…or the Pacific Crest Trail…or the ‘Ride the Divide’ course that goes from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide,” I said.
Her eyes lit up at that. Her discipline is incredible. She’ll work full time over the summer for Parker Hannifin, run 50 miles a week and once back in school, meet a most demanding academic load.
“Once I get my routine going…I can handle it – no problem,” she said.
Discipline and routine. Anyone can achieve their fitness-related goals once these two elusive concepts have been mastered.