Suspend doubt #twit2fit #running

Zig Ziglar reminded me of the "fake it 'til you make it" mentality.  Suspend doubt, and trust that the pieces will fall into place later, and that you have the ability to connect the dots. I found this mentality critical when trying to understand calculus.   No, I never had a real problem understanding calculus.  I did, however, have moments where my understanding lapsed.  I noticed some fellow students getting stuck at that understanding gap, yet I would instead accept things as they were stated and allow the gaps in understanding to fill themselves in.

My biggest challenges to date have been because of doubt and not lack of ability. Writer's block nearly prevented me from getting my master's degree.  I always had doubts that what I was looking at was worthwhile.  I had fits and starts with many research ideas because I couldn't believe in myself or the idea.  I finished my thesis, because time constraints forced me to suspend the doubts.

The same goes for my running.  Until age 29, I had a few moments where I attempted to become a runner.  I failed miserably.  I'd get about a week or so into my efforts and give up, because I did not see any progress.  Unfortunately, if you look for progress, it won't happen.

Then something happened.  3 months before my 30th birthday, I started walking 3-5 miles per day, every day.  Without realizing it, I was jogging a little more each time and walking a little less:

  • By June, I had managed to run my first consecutive mile in my entire life.
  • By my 30th birthday, I ran my first 5k (33:44 - 10:52/mile).
  • By that December, I ran my first half-marathon (2:08:23 - 9:49/mile).
  • By the follow November, I ran my first marathon (4:34:06 - 10:28/mile).
  • In six more months, I ran my fastest marathon in 3:39:45 - 8:24/mile.  I began this blog shortly before that race, and let other people know about it after the race.  I believe the only way I can continue to improve is get beyond goals that are reasonable in my mind, as I've already passed all of those goals, anyway.

View all races.

I believe the first thing that happens when doubt creeps in is that we lose focus, and the doubt gives us an "easy out".  Don't take it.  Maintain focus.  Dispel those doubts.

[I Will] Because I "can't"--qualifying for Boston #twit2fit

We all do things because we're supposed to be able to, because we were "born to do it."

I know a lot of runners who were accomplished cross-country runners in high school who have failed in their attempts to qualify for the Boston marathon. Some of them fell out of shape over the college and post-college years. Some of them never made the full commitment to train for a marathon versus shorter races. Some of them just hit upon misfortune during their attempts.

I am not such a runner. My high school fitness test "mile of running" was north of 13 minutes (a six hour marathon time limit is a 13'44" pace). In fact, I never *ran* a consecutive mile until 2006. That mile is still one of the hardest I've run in my life.

After training for my first 5k for 8 weeks, I ran my first 5k at 206 pounds in 33:44--a 10'52" pace. With that sort of 5k time, McMillan running predicts a 5:30 marathon.

Today, I'm at 168 pounds, and my fastest marathon time was 15 months ago in 3:39 and change. Since then, my speed has improved quite a bit, but my endurance has suffered through injuries resulting from trying to push too far, too fast. The race predictors put my current 20:59 5k time as capable of running a 3:20-3:30 marathon (with proper training.)

Until the day I turn 35, qualifying for Boston requires a finish time of 3:10:59 or faster. Up until 40, I still have to beat 3:15:59. My current training plan puts me at 3:17.

To put it simply, I'm not capable of qualifying for Boston. There it is. I'm not good enough.

That's why I'm training to qualify, by 40. It's because I wasn't born to do it. What good is life if you meet everyone's expectations all the time, anyway?