On a rainy afternoon in Cambridge, MA and I got the pleasure of meeting some amazing women runners who would take to the starting line ahead of me. One had her sights on achieving US Olympic trail qualification, another on winning her age group, and still another on running well with less than a week out from taking a nasty spill on her bicycle. We chatted about all things running and enjoyed the fabulous spread provided by my host for the weekend and his new love.
The new qualification standards for the Boston Marathon were among the topics discussed and, one runner had a particularly interesting view on the topic. She felt that we, as humans, set limits on ourselves by chasing a specific number. Suggesting that the simple placement of some arbitrary set of qualification standards may automatically be causing us to chase a goal far less than we are truly capable of. Citing world records of the past that, while once seemed impossible, are no longer so impressive.
Isn’t funny that just a day later, Geoffry Mutai of Kenya would blow past all prior records with his finish of 2 hours, 3 minutes and 2 seconds? His performance speaks to the topic of discussion. Contrary to what is being printed, he most certainly was not “propelled by a tailwind.” He was propelled by hard work and a belief that he could achieve more than anyone previous to him. As for that downhill course, I don’t think you’ll find many, if any, marathoners who will say that the downhill course is easy. It’s downright grueling.
I’ve been giving the idea of limitations some brain-time this week. Never in these past many years of marathoning would I have considered running two marathons so closely spaced together. Yet, here I am preparing to do just that.
IF I were to let my mind suggest other things previously thought impossible, I might entertain running a course-PR or running under 4 hours. I know, I know, it’s crazy-talk but I sometimes let my mind go there. I must admit, it feels good to let it run through my body. It may be inconceivable, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.