Monday, October 6, 2008

While NOT on a run....

A friend of mine completed the St. George marathon this weekend. He's probably five or six years younger than me and overall he is definitely fitter than I am. He didn't have a good base going into the race so he just wanted to finish it before the six-hour time limit. (He was also trying to redeem himself after last year where he was injured about half through but finished anyway and barely before the time limit.)

So, we were discussing the weather (sucked - rained the ENTIRE race), his pace (good), hitting the mental wall (around mile 24), and his general sentiment through the entire race. He was very excited that even with his low base mileage, he finished three minutes off of his PR. Yeah for him!

What!?!? Wait - back up. He finished three minutes off of his PR? That can't be right because his finish time was 4:47:47. His PR is 4:44?!?!?

HEY! MY PR IS 4:59:25! How can it be that my PR could be only 15 minutes off of his?

Could it be that he's just not a good athlete? Well, that could be, but he actually is a good athlete. He's fit; he's conscious of what he eats; when not running, he exercises a lot. OR, could it be that I'm not as bad of an athlete as I think I am? Nah - that can't be it.... Can it?

What if, under my beer gut (calling a spade a spade, people) lies the body of a nimble and lithe gazelle-like running goddess? What if I've just been too lazy to really push myself to find my potential? I mean, I've been running for 6.5 years, and I look much the same as when I started. I obviously haven't had a lot of motivation to get or stay in shape.

I often justify my bad behaviors by saying "What's the point? I'll always be like this." But, what if I'm wrong? What if (cue the Hallelujah chorus) I really am an athlete?

At the end of our conversation, he indicated that given all of the things going against him this weekend, by finishing with an almost-PR, he now knows that he can do more. He can push himself harder and further. Yeah - you and me, both, buddy! (SHOUTING: On the left - goddess about to pass!)

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