There are quite a few parallels between learning how to become a professional musician and becoming a better runner. Growing up, I had great mentors, practiced for up to ten hours per day, and performed in public whenever I could.  I became a band teacher out of necessity and eventually became something of a mentor for a few young musicians myself.  The main thing I learned through teaching was to try to draw out the best qualities in every musician I was in contact with. It didn't always work out.  Sometimes they weren't ready to admit that they had something to learn.  Sometimes it was my fault; I would try to push someone in a direction that was incomprehensible to them.  One thing I know now is that "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink."  There has to be a willingness to learn before learning can happen.

I have applied some of these lessons to my running.  I ask questions, assuming that almost everyone knows more than me! It can be surprising who your teachers can be.  Most of all, I like to race!  This is like having a gig for a musician.  Everything has to fall into place or else you can easily play the part of the fool.  I really dig the 15K.  Three groups of five.  Not too long, not too short, just perfect.  I love that part of the race when everything becomes silent and it's easy to drift off into dreamland.  Luckily a horse whinnied and woke me up as if to say "Hey Dude, it's time to join the human race!"  I looked at my watch.  What?  4:30 per K.  Yikes, it's time to step it up.  So I stepped it up and reached my goal of racing at about 4:15 or better per K.  At the end of the race, Nick Walker said, "Good work."  Danny Keys gave me some advice for training for the half marathon.  I live for those moments and I'm reminded about the power of a little kindness.

Roy Running 20 Apr 15

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