An admitted shoe geek waxes philosophical about running, triathlon, and life in general.
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

When the student is ready...

It's been interesting these last couple moths... I have two co-workers that have caught the marathon bug. It all started when my lead engineer's kids ran the Chicago Marathon on October 8th. He flew back to Chicago to watch and cheer them on. I saw some of the video he shot of them coming by at about the 20 mile mark, all the pictures he took... Proud papa he was (and is).

But he also has said that he wants to do that run next year.

The other guy is a diabetic, though not overweight at all, Vietnamese import who loves to glom onto ideas. Enthusiasm is his driver. He said this morning that he thought of that marathon during every step of his three miles (on a treadmill) last night.

The "interesting" part is listening to them compare their training. It usually starts with one asking the other if they ran last night or this morning. Then I cringe as I hear about the aches and pains, the training philosophy (seems to be equal parts "no pain no gain" and "just run farther than yesterday"), and the self-doubt (on one's part) and Pollyanna-esque "no problem" (on the other's part).

It makes me wonder about just how much (or how little) thought went into the planning for this undertaking. Sure, there was loads of inspiration, and that's awesome. But what about some research into just HOW to make it happen, in a sensible way? I do what I can to inject some sense into their training and progression, adding checkpoints along the path to a marathon that's more than 10 months away, but the next day I hear the same things, and it's apparent that it just isn't getting absorbed.

When the student is ready, the teacher appears.

I think I'm coming to understand that axiom more and more. Because I see it in action beside me on a daily basis -- the teacher was always there, but until the student is ready to hear it, the teaching is just so much background noise.

It's very apparent that these two aren't ready. Hopefully it doesn't take an injury derailing their training at some crucial point (like too close to the event to recover) before their ears open up.

So I keep shaking my head in bewilderment, and offer what I can.

Who knows, they may just be able to muscle their way through it.

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