I was thinking about personal limitations today on my 15 mile long run. I’ve come to the conclusion that limits are primarily mental. Today, I heard my internal voice saying, “one hundred miles is really far; are you sure you can do it?”
In 2010 I volunteered at Ironman Louisville as a “Finish Line Catcher.” Every Ironman competitor has someone greet them as they cross the finish line, to help them get something to eat and ensure that they get their medal and swag gear.
It was amazing how many athletes would run, literally run, across the Finish Line only to completely collapse on the other side. I carried grown men to the medical tent, who one minute earlier were running.
How did their bodies know that it was only one more step? One more step and then they could stop?
The answer is their bodies didn’t know. Their minds knew. Finishing an Ironman triathlon isn’t only physical; it’s mental as well. In fact, I would challenge that it’s more mental than physical.
We tell ourselves that we can only go so far and no farther. This isn’t just in running or triathlons, this is in life. I’ll never be a writer. I couldn’t start a company. It would be too expensive to go back to college. My dream is too big.
I have learned that the dream is never too big. It’s the thinking that’s too small.
As I ran today, specifically during the last three miles, I hurt. It was tough. I felt like I would never get to the point where I would l be able to run 100 miles. I started to become discouraged.
Then I stopped. These three miles are where the money is. It’s pushing through these three miles that will drive my distance threshold out farther for next week.
I will finish step by step, the same way I’ve finished every other run. The same way I’ve accomplished every other dream. Next week, I’ll be stronger because of the work I did today, both physical and mental.
Do not trap yourself with small thinking. Redraw your limits.