Coach's Pride

As a coach I have been privileged to play a role, however small, in the lives of many individuals who have gone on to do great things in athletics, academics, and life.

I know my contributions to these former athletes future achievements have been relatively small. But, I take pride in those contributions none the less.

This past weekend another former runner gave me further cause to be proud of the role I played in his athletic life.

How Much is Too Much?

This year's Bolder Boulder costs between $48 and $79 to run. The 2012 New York Marathon costs between $216 and $347 to enter. The Runnin Of The Green Lucky 7k in Denver costs $40. The Rock Canyon Half Marathon in Pueblo, Colorado was $35 this past year. The Winter Series 10k I ran at the end of February cost me a measly $18.50 to enter.

When it comes to race prices, they are certainly relative.

I have helped put on 2 road races and can say they are no small task. But, what always strikes me is the apparent lack of rhyme or reason when it comes to the price of races.

Track and Field

It's that time again. Time for wind, cold, spring snowstorms, rain, and long days being outside in all of it.

That's right; it's track season in Colorado.

For all of the challenges spring in Colorado brings, I can say that I genuinely enjoy track and field. I know this isn't a sentiment shared by all track and field athletes, spectators, and parents. So, I thought I'd take a minute to share exactly what it is I love about track and field.

Winter Series 4

I have been on a good number of runs where I unexpectedly encountered difficult conditions. I have run into thunderstorms, encountered shoe-sucking mud, discovered leg burning hills, and have run from clear trails to snow covered paths.

It is one thing to discover unexpected difficulties on a training run. It is quite another to encounter them in a race.

Particularly when you are expecting challenges in a race, but the challenges you encounter are different than those you are expecting.

Familiar Places, New Experiences

One of the great things about being a runner is the opportunity it affords one to see new places, or to see familiar places in new ways.

This past weekend I went to Glenwood Springs with 2 of my favorite running partners. While there, we were able to see a place I have been traveling to on occasion for my entire life in an entirely new way.

Run Keeper

Social networking is all the rage these days. Between Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and all the other iterations of similar sites, there is certainly no shortage of ways for people to connect and share.

I know lots of people who are avid social networkers. But, to be honest, I am at best luke warm about the whole idea.

Which is part of the reason why, when my sister and brother-in-law tried to convince me to start using Run Keeper I was skeptical.

Seeking Excellence: Making A Commitment

As I have thought about this idea of creating a culture of excellence, a couple of obvious challenges have occurred to me.

First, how do I effectively communicate my ideas and expectations? Just looking at the comments made on these posts makes it apparent that when we talk about "excellence" different people think about different things. Different people carry different definitions of the word and the words surrounding it.

Seeking Excellence: Being Versus Doing

As I have given more consideration to the idea of seeking excellence, it occurred to me that I need to refine my definition of excellence.

The excellence I want to strive for in my life, and encourage others to strive for in theirs, is an excellence of process, not of arrival. With this in mind, I now define excellence as striving to be one's best.

I realize there will be some interesting semantical twists and turns as I go down this path, but I think, despite any issues with terminology, the point will remain.

Seeking Excellence: It's Not a Destination

Let’s say I set a lifetime goal of running 20:00 for 5k.

With regards to striving for excellence, defined as being the best one can be, there are 2 obvious problems with my goal.

The first is, what if I am capable of running 18:00? But, when I get to 20:00, having achieved my lifetime goal, I stop setting my sights higher, celebrate my accomplishment, and keep on running 20:00 over and over.

The second is, what if the absolute fastest I am capable of running, no matter how I train or how hard I work is 22:00? At some point I will give up on my goal and quit.

Seeking Excellence: Escaping Mediocrity

Twenty seven years is a long time.

Twenty seven years ago was the last time the high school I coach at won a State Championship in any sport other than cheerleading. (No offense to cheerleaders, but I've never considered it a sport on par with the sports they cheer for.)

Over the past 27 years there have been a couple of appearances in State Championship games, and the track team has produced many individual State Champions. But, when it has come to winning the big games, our school has been woefully unsuccessful.

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