…or could I?
My friend Laura is running a 60K this weekend, her 102nd marathon-distance-or-more race.
I frequently tell her that she’s insane and her body isn’t like other people’s, and she disagrees.
I’m currently doing some research at work on people who have done crazy endurance feats or who have run a gazillion marathons, and it’s been really thought-provoking for me.
“If that person could run a million miles and a gazillion marathons, I can totally do more, right? I could totally do an Ironman, or at least a half…”
This research – and my recent sub-4 marathon finish! – have changed my thinking a lot.
I’ve really learned that if you think you can do something, and you have the patience and determination to go after it and not let it go, you probably can. Or you can at least get pretty damn close.
But that’s the thing. How much do you want it?
I wanted a sub-4 so, so badly. I let go of limits, and I believed I could do it, and I doggedly went after that goal for two training cycles to get it.
I want to BQ. I’ve worked hard at marathon training, and made enough gains that I don’t think it’s outside of the realm of possibility, but I also don’t mind waiting until 35 (which, uh, is only a little over 4 years away, which isn’t scary at all.)
Sure, I probably could do an Ironman if I really wanted to. I could do a century ride if I really wanted to. I could bust out a lot more marathons, or run an ultra if I really want to.
But there’s the difference.
I don’t really want to, at least not right now. I really enjoy the schedule I’ve had the past few years: train my heart out for a fall marathon, do whatever I want for a few months, train for a spring half, do some tri training/base building, repeat.
I could run more marathons, but that would interfere with the finely honed work out when I want to, eat cookies when I want to November and December schedule I have planned.
So, Laura, I do finally believe you’re right. Well, half-right. I think your body started out not being any different than anyone else’s, and I think that a lot of people could do what you did if they really wanted to/had the means to. I think now, through all of those miles and marathons, it has become different through adaptation, through how it processes and recovers from miles. I can even feel it after four marathons, each a year spaced apart. My body recovered much better this time around.
What did you never think you could do…that then you did, when you stopped putting limits on yourself?