Sunday, May 8, 2011

Out Of The Cloudburst

Spent a little over 2 weeks back home and it was great. The trip was only supposed to be 10 days with 4 of those spent in Geneva with Frankie. However, the horrible place that is the US Embassy decided to hold onto my passport for a week rather than pop it in the mail when they said they would. It sickens me, the lack of accountability and the fact that you can't even call up, only email. I had to not only change my plans to travel to GVA but had to change my flight to BOS. The delay was not because of a backlog or anything like that, its about control. They had my passport and my visa and rather than give it to me they said the protocol changed and they had to mail out passports. Obviously to someone this process makes sense. To me it makes no sense. The security risks of a passport with a valid visa going out in the mail surely must be pretty significant. Not to mention the cost and general extra layers of work. Anyway, I told the dude I was going to GVA and then back to USA on Tuesday. He assured me I would have my passport by Friday (a day after my planned trip to GVA) "Nothing I can do about it sir" is what he said. Fair enough, Frankie flew to Dublin and it was all good, even though deep down inside I really wanted to ride the mountains as planned. And the Tour Of Romandie was finishing outside Frankies house on Sunday. Either way the weekend was wonderful and far too quick. My Passport was still missing so I had to change my flight. Since the flight back is in the AM I couldn't fly out until the following day so eventually it arrived on Thursday, almost a week late and I flew out on Friday. There will be no getting the $275 off the embassy for my troubles thats for sure.

Since I no longer run and since no one on the planet can tell me what is wrong with my knee I've turned my hand to a spot of coaching. I never thought I'd be into the coaching game, I tried it before and while it is awesome to see people do well, I was simply not ready. My own running came first and I think when coaching, the athlete must always come first. Fortunately for me I am not working with an ordinary athlete, I am working with a good friend and extraordinary talent in Martin Fagan. We have ben working together for 3 months now and its been great. I never thought I would feel the anxiety of racing again but when Martin races I get those same feelings. I could barely focus on my Battenkill warm up because of my inability to find a cell phone reception that would provide me with the results of the Bupa Great Ireland Run In Dublin. Martin finished 3rd, out kicked by two sharper athletes. Not a bad first race and very positive for him. Last weekend he ran the Broad Street 10 Miler. This was originally on the schedule but we decided against it because of the travel/financial commitments etc. A bout of spring wind however destroyed the training and Martin thought it prudent to go to Philly and race anyway. So in the midst of some hard and frustrating training he went out and ran 46:42 for 10 miles, 17 seconds outside John Treacy's Irish record. Excellent stuff. Next up is Manchester 10k and I have no doubt that if Martin deals with the travel he will run another great race. This is a really strong field so no pressure on Martin to do anything except race. After all, the running game is about racing, not time trialing. Its about getting out there and enjoying the spirit of competition. Some of that has been lost given the focus on times. Everything is about the perfect race and hitting the time. Qualifying standards are very important, no doubt, but running happy and with a sense of enjoyment is more important. Thats the way Martin will race from now on. Fitter, Happier, and More Productive.

Peace and Much Love

1 comment:

  1. Keith,

    I am continually impressed with your insight into sport and desire to help people. Best to you and the people fortunate to find your guidance. You are what the coach of an Olympic Champion describes as "good people".
    And thanks for the hat!