Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Can and Will, the eternal struggle

I know I can bust out a marathon.  I’ve done it before.  If I continue at my current pace, I know I’ll finish the marathon in January.  I can set my pace at 13 minutes per mile and grind out a slow, steady, 5:30 marathon without any major problems.  It won’t be pretty, but I won’t die trying.


The thing is, I don’t WANT a 5:30 marathon this time around.  LAST time I ran a 5:30 marathon.  I know what that feels like.  I’ve climbed that mountain, looked down and seen the valleys.  I don’t need to spend $100 to run another marathon slowly.  I want to run a little faster race this time. 


This time, I want to finish in the front half of the fourth hour.


But the question isn’t “what can I do?”


The question has NEVER been “what can I do?”


The thing that defines Man is the ability to run for long distance.  Man IS el cazador, el coreador.  Physiologically, the issue of “can” has never been in question.


However, the fact remains that much of the population of the world today has never run 26.2 miles in its entire life, much less 26.2 miles in one shot.  But even for them the question is not whether or not they can.


The question that begs an answer is “what WILL I do?”


Will I do the extra conditioning needed to extend my endurance so that I can maintain a 10 minute pace for 26.2 miles?

Will I do the extra training required to mentally prepare for the distance?


I know I can run a marathon.  I know a person can run a marathon in under 4:30—hell, people run the marathon in 2:05.


WILL I run a marathon in under 4:30?  Do I have the will to push through that time barrier?


I think so.  Time’s coming to prove it.

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