Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Adam Goucher - Race Confident, Calm and Free

By Adam Goucher

Watching Kara race is always torture for me. The longer the race the more I suffer. Even before the gun goes off, I am a bucket of nerves. When I am the one racing, I am able to focus my energy and channel my pre -race nerves into my warm-up activities. Visualizing, stretching, warming up, drills, or even talking with my coaches about strategy, clear my mind and allow me to deal with the anticipation. But when Kara is racing, I have no outlet for my stress or emotions. I have no control over the outcome. It is torture.

In the final hour leading up to the race on Monday, I was overcome by emotions and inspiration. As I watched Kara warm up, I reflected on how far she had come, not just since the birth of our son Colt in September, but even since February when she was nowhere near ready to run a marathon. I have been with her every step of the way for the last six months as she put everything she had into her training and preparation. I have lived in constant awe of her drive, focus, and determination to get back in shape. I have witnessed the effort and emotion she has poured into her comeback and the build up to running the Boston Marathon.

With these thoughts swirling through my mind, I was in search of some kind of outlet. I wanted to let her know how much I admired her. I wanted to share with everyone how much she inspired me. I quickly typed the following message into my iPhone and posted it on her facebook page and our Run The Edge page.

“Some people may not realize what an inspiration Kara is to me. Besides being an amazing athlete she’s an incredible wife and mother.

Her drive, dedication, focus and passion to harness the best she can be is nothing short of amazing!

To my love- Race confident, calm and free! -Adam-”

I knew she would not see it before the race, but I wanted to express some of the emotions gushing through me.

When the gun finally went off, I thought I would feel better. But the nerves did not go away. I wanted so badly for her to succeed. I kept getting updates that Kim Smith was 30 seconds ahead, then 40, then 50. I was starting to panic as I wondered if she could lead fire to wire and if it was a mistake for Kara to let her go.

In the final 10K is was clear that Kara was not going to be able to catch the pack or win the race this year. At first I was a little sad knowing how hard she had worked and how badly she wanted it. But when Kara crossed the line in under 2:25, I felt so proud, so relieved, so inspired, by what she had accomplished in only six months training since giving birth. I didn’t believe I could have any more love and admiration for her than I had before the start of the race, but I did.

I was again overcome by emotion and pride. I was so exhausted, as if I had run every step of the race with Kara. As if I were the one out there in the heat of it, matching moves, trying to keep up my cadence, focusing my mind and driving my body. Who ever thought being a spectator could be as demanding as racing itself?

I know he is too young to understand, but I keep explaining to Colt how amazing his mom is and how lucky we Goucher men are to have her in our lives. Every time I tell him these things, he smiles and drools. I think he understands!

For more on Adam please click on the title link.....

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