In biology, we refer to a relationship where two organisms rely on each other as symbiosis. If both organisms benefit, it is called mutual symbiosis. Until recently, I’d never experienced running symbiosis and I was clearly missing out. The emerging symbiosis between my coach, my teammates and me is making an enormous impact on my evolution as an athlete.
I can count on Dan to send me daily words of encouragement and to remind me that the process is the goal. I can also count on him to put in incredible workouts and keep up his end of the bargain as my teammate. I’m so excited to run in his footsteps as we both chase our VCM dreams this Spring. Seth is the consummate cheerleader, always commenting on my training log and checking in about how I’m feeling. As a fledgling group, all of the Olde Bones rely on each other to push forward, push harder and make the jumps in our careers of which we know we are capable.
And then there’s Will who deals with us every day. Will is a student of running and he’s incredible at what he does. He took Ben from a 2:03 to All-American in the 800. He produced the most successful cross country team at MMU in over a decade for two consecutive years. He got a 4 minute PR out of me at the half marathon in Philly. None of his schedules are magic; he knows his athletes and he knows his science. Some of us (ahem, DR) need to be held back. Some of us need to be pushed (me). But all of us trust Will with our running careers and it makes all the difference. I’ve had a number of coaches over the years, but Will is the first who has earned my trust, my respect and who has taken the time to know me as an athlete so that every run is tailor-made.
As my focus turns to VCM, it’s time to sit down again and evaluate what my training cycle is going to look like. Unlike Dan, who has been gearing up for VCM since early Fall, I mentally needed a break after Philly to get hungry enough to race again. Running along the course last night, however, I was elated to think about what race day might be like for Dan and I and excited to report to Will that I was ready to gear up again. Can’t wait to see what we all pull off in May.