I would normally just email this to Eric but I decided to post this because I think others may feel the same.  First, I have been working with Eric for 7 years. We had a few good years before an old ankle injury almost ended my running career.  I was operated on and then I let Eric work his magic.  I live near Eric so I work with him on a weekly basis.  I have been doing all the stuff that you see on this web page as well as what is coming out on his DVD's.  8 months after my operation I qualified for the 1/2 Ironman World Championships and had my best race yet at the North Face trail 1/2 marathon in SF with 3rd place overall women.

This week I took a few days to get out of the snow and train in St. George for the Ironman in May.  After a very hard 1st day, Eric could tell it was going to be more of a mental challenge rather then physical.  He told me not to confuse being difficult with failing.  If you have worked with Eric, nothing he gives me is easy but I don't always feel like I'm failing.   On the last day the light bulb went off.  I feel like I am failing when a workout doesn't go the way "I think" it should.  For example, if I can't go as fast as" I think" I should, eventhough I have done what Eric has told me,  then I feel like I'm failing.  I am always working on my weaknesses but sometimes I preceive it as failing.  Just because it may be a weakeness its not a failure.  Eric has also told me that you shouldn't look at a weakness as  a "weakness"  rather as an opportunity to improve!

As I move forward in my training I will remember Eric's advise and with a lot of patience and hard work I will continue to see my weaknesses as an opportunity to get better and not as a failure.  You cannot fail as long as you keep trying.

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Comment by J-F lemay on April 21, 2011 at 3:19am
Comment by Margot W on April 19, 2011 at 1:27pm
Thanks for the comments. Its nice to know that others feel the same.
Comment by David Szymanski on April 17, 2011 at 10:25pm

Thanks, Margot.  Really great to hear your experiences.  Hearing them made me put mine in a different light.  I've been working with Eric for 20 months.  Like you, I often feel as though a workout didn't go the way I thought it should.  Did a 5-mile climb this past weekend to get in one of Eric's long climb workouts.  I did not impress myself.  Even though PE was high, HR and speed were not.  I was wet and cold, teeth chattering on the descent.   


My experience - Eric's training is not something that leaves me feeling good every day.  Some of my weaknesses have been persistent and have been hard to beat.  But, when race day comes, I am always amazed at results.  I was able to shave a significant amount of time off run and bike splits recently and there was very little evidence leading up to the race that I was all that much faster.   I am confident that Eric's training has helped me outperform people who are fitter, have more strength, more explosiveness ... in short, people I really have no business competing with.  Your note made me realize what it is that does it ... it's those crappy days in the rain, maybe two or three days into a grueling sequence that help me to stay focused and loose on race day.  At 43, I should know this, but a part of me still believes that the path to improvement is paved with these movie montage performance breakthroughs in training ... the kind where the hero feels like superman and races up a hill or around a lake.  I guess I need to let that idea go.  

Comment by Nyttja on March 31, 2011 at 10:04pm

That is what a great coach does - unravels the mind game of running, especially when one is trying to do something "big" (marathon, ultra, tri - whatever). To be able to see that failure does not mean the end of your training but the start of your improvement is a great thing. I am working towards that. Still on almost every run I catch myself wishing I was able to run faster, run up the hill instead of walk, just be better. I am learning to catch those negatives, to feed my monkey brain positive messages and just enjoy the fact that I am out there, doing it. 


Just stared with Eric, this site is new for me. Really learning and loving it.


Thanks for the post. Glad to hear there are other people working through failure issues and still running.

Comment by Eric Orton on March 25, 2011 at 5:27pm

Well done my friend!!  The only thing impossible is failure!!

Great week....you are now ready!  And thanks for this, it means a lot to read this and I hope others chime in on this - very important stuff!!


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