Just now, I had a moment about my training that made me smile deeply.
Until recently, I regularly described myself as slow but steady. “I can’t go fast, but I can go long,” I would say. And that was okay with me. But this year, I’ve been working on speed, and the work has paid off. In October, I did my fastest marathon ever with an overall improvement of 19 minutes off my previous best time from nearly three years ago. I was thrilled with that. According to my official results, I ran the marathon at an 11:12 pace. That pace for a marathon is simply unheard of for me.
So today, my dear friend Erin emailed me that she has to run 12 miles on Sunday, and she invited me to join her. She wrote that she is aiming for a 10:00 to 10:30 minute per mile pace. In my head, I thought, “That’s fast, but it’s only for 12 miles. I think I can do that.” And then I heard myself.
(A) It’s shocking to me that I’d suddenly be sitting here confidently thinking that I can do a 10:00 to 10:30 pace for any kind of distance.
(B) It’s funny to me that I think of 12 miles as “only” anything. As if 12 miles is a short way to go?
I love how much my thinking has shifted this year. I love that I have confidence in my new-found speed, and I love that my perspective on distance is warped, even for me.
The reality is that I may not be able to keep up with Erin. I’ve chased her before, and she’s kicked my butt. But I’m really looking forward to trying. And that, too, is a fun realization for this former chubby girl who didn’t think she’d ever enjoy running or view herself as a decent runner.