I had a lot of thoughts on my long run Wednesday. 18 miles and a treadmill will do that to you, especially when you just watched a fantastic Olympic Marathon on Saturday.
Those ladies, oh man, what effort, what heart, what athleticism. It was a perfect race for me to watch because it put things into perspective.
1.) They are blazing fast
Take away for me: Hard work and dedication to the training plan has already got me faster. I have a huge respect for the speed and the distance.
2.) They are between 25-35 years old
Take away for me: I have a long road of running ahead of me. I have only been running for about 7 years and running seriously for two. They have a lot more experience than I do so I cannot compare myself to them.
3.) Their full time job is running
Take away for me: I work two jobs just to make ends meat and still fit in 60-70 miles a week including three quality sessions. I also do recovery and leg work on the bike and in the gym. It’s a lot of work to assure I recovery appropriately because outside of running I am on my feet all day.
4.) They don’t have a social life
Take away for me: neither do I but that is something I am fully willing to give up to be good. I realize and have accepted the introverted part of me that wants early bed times, morning runs and quiet when I’m not at my job (which is very social)
To me, the marathon trials provided a look into what is possible if you give it your all. My perspective about professional athletes changed from thinking they had a certain pedigree to believing that regular runners who just work damn hard can get to that level. An elite runner doesn’t have to come from a collegiate background or have a certain gene, they have to work hard and believe.
They have to get up everyday and run.
They have to follow a plan, take recovery seriously and base their life around sport.
They are just like me and you.
I’ve got a lot of running ahead of me. Many years till I reach a peak of sorts. The marathon trials gave me the perspective that things take time. Just as a tree does not grow tall over night, I cannot expect to run like Desi or Kara after two years of serious running.
At first, that was disheartening, but when you think about it, it’s actually great. I love running. I want to do it for a long time. I do not believe there is a time limit for me right now. I can only get better and that is really exciting.
Basically, the marathon trials showed me that anything is possible with patience, believe and hard work. I no longer feel restless to be faster tomorrow. I simply feel excited to run tomorrow.
How great is that?
What is something that has changed your perspective?
If you could pick one goal to achieve in the next ten years, what would that be?