Yesterday was one of those practices where nothing seemed to be going right. The streets were a slick mess, the park where we normally run on Saturdays was an un-plowed field of crusty snow and ice underneath, and even Otis almost took a digger in the parking lot on some black ice. It was looking like we were not going to get in a quality speed day. I was getting discouraged, and I was racking my brain to try and come up with an alternative, and quickly, before the team showed up at the park. In my mind, we had to get this workout in, it is getting too close to race day to be sacrificing workouts.
So, Otis and I jumped in the truck, and raced down to the other end of the park, and packed the athletes in as well. They seemed to be relieved that we weren't going to run in the park, but wary of what else I had planned for them. (My athletes usually are wary and suspicious when I say I have a "surprise", I wonder why?)
Driving down Arapahoe, we passed a couple of middle school tracks, but they were covered in snow. I was thinking maybe DeKoevend Park would have plowed some trails, but no luck there either. The best thing we could find, in a the short amount of time we had to find it, was a loop around the church at Goodson Rec. Center and the Highline Canal Trail. It was in a parking lot, with cars coming in and out, but it was the safest and best alternative I could come up with.
Instead of doing Kenyan Runs at 600 m, we did them at 400 m, which was the longest loop we could map out. We therefore did more of them, to make up for the shorter loop distance. Also running on part of our loop was a marathon training group, who had tried to head out on the Highline Canal Trail, but found out it was way too icy and too much post-holing to be of any benefit. We also had lots of cars pulling in and out to get to Goodson Rec., and a few corners that were in the shade and still covered with black ice. Was it an ideal training situation, hell no, but it was the best we could go given the weather and the all the other variables, so we had to make it work.
What I am most proud of is how well the athletes did make it work. They were dodging parked and moving cars, taking turns wide and straight to minimize the ice, running with their heads on a swivel to avoid the slower marathon runners, throwing in accelerations when they got slowed down by obstacles; it was a fantastic display of what I dubbed adaptability. Adaptability is being able to take a bad situation and turn it into a positive. Not getting frustrated by the problems we were facing, but being able to get around them and deal with them in an appropriate way. Changing your initial ideas to work with your surroundings. We could have just packed up and not gotten in a great workouts, but the athletes were determined to get some benefit out of the day. They fought through the cars, the ice, the horrible drivers; and they got in a very high quality speed day. That is just amazing, as most people I know would have decided to go Einstein's a couple of hours early.
Hats off to Katelyn, Tyler and Corrina, yesterday was a fantastic workout for all of you, you got some great speed work in when I bet a lot of your competitors were home watching Saturday morning cartoons. Let's hope for some more sunny weather today, to melt all this snow, so we can get back on a normal schedule for this upcoming week.