This is the first year that I haven’t made fitness goal one of my “bucket list” items. Now that doesn’t mean I’m not exercising, or don’t have goals, it just means I’m taking the pressure off a little bit. Also, now that I officially have 83 push ups all in one set, one mile in 6:23, 5 miles under 35 minutes, and a burpee mile under my belt – I was feeling a bit lost on what my next goal might even be!
A lot of people ask me why I don’t run more races, or shoot for a marathon. My stock answer has always been that my knee won’t make it, and succumbing to reality has been far more challenging than anything else. Two weeks after blowing my knee, I was sent to physical therapy so that I could simply be ready for them to cut open my knee for surgery. On the office wall was a picture of a previous patient crossing the New York Marathon finish line and they had written “8 months after ACL! Thank you!” I thought, Ok, if he’s running a marathon after 8 months, surely I’ll be good soon. About 16 months later, I was limping through six miserable miles.
But last week I was out in Kansas for work and I had to pleasure of talking to an acquaintance about Iron Man. Her goal was to run it before 40, and last year she cruised through the whole thing. I mentioned that I didn’t think I could ever run a marathon with my knee still stiff and sort of crooked, but she said, “No one runs the whole thing! They just run the first half and then walk really fast.” Suddenly I couldn’t stop asking her questions: where did she train? what did she eat? how long did she prepare?
Yesterday when I got back into town, I threw on my running shoes and went outside to run for an undetermined length. A little over an hour later, I returned from 9 miles:
Let’s just be clear that 9 miles is not my status quo. And 9 miles at 7:26/mile is even more astounding. But as I was running, I was thinking about that Iron Man, and if my knee would actually hold up to something bigger. Frankly when I got home, I was positive I could have powered through a few more miles. (Granted, I took one hell of a nap later).
This is not blog post proclaiming, “I’m going to run Iron Man!” but instead an admission that I can push myself more. I’m not sure if that means signing up for a legit race, or just running an unofficial half-marathon for fun (because I torturing my body is my version of fun).
Sometimes I can get stuck in a mental rut, and seeing that other normal people can achieve monumental goals is a good reminder that my head can get in the way of my body.
And guess what! I not even sore!