If I could only tell you how many times my dad said that to me growing up. It is a virtue. Just not one I have very much of. –I’m working on it- That being said, there are many things I will probably never have patience for: ignorance, racism, people that try to shove their beliefs down my throat, animal/child abusers, how horribly my blackberry works, people that can’t distinguish your and you’re or there/their/they’re, anyone on the road or in the grocery store at the same time as me… ok, maybe I’m not really working on it.
But, in running, it’s patience or perish.
This is all stemming from the fact that I ran 3.5 miserable 11min miles today, after a muscle-soreness inducing leg workout yesterday, and four-and-a-half hours of sleep last night. (own harshest critic, much?)
I don’t want to run 11 minute miles anymore. But the truth is – the next half marathon or two (maybe three, please not three) are going to be run at 11 minute (or higher) miles. And that’s an improvement. So what’s my problem?
I’ve already stated that I am focusing on endurance, not speed, this year. But there’s just something lame about being an 11min miler. Well, not really, but it would be nice if I could shake this negative-nancy attitude!
My dad was always the one preaching patience; my dad is also an endurance athlete. Related? ummm, yep! He used to note that the most competitive age group among recreational runners was those in their 40s. Why? they’d had years, often a decade or two of base-building. In fact, in running, I think there’s a slightly older trend, even among elites, than in many other sports. Like gymnastics – wanna make that Olympic team? you’re probably around 18 years old. Swimmer? 25ish. Marathoner? Pushing 28. In fact – the average age of the three women that just qualified for the 2012 Olympic marathon: 30.67
Oh, and you know, that guy that won the Olympic Marathon Trials (2:09:08) with his SECOND marathon PR in 70 days – Meb Keflezighi – he’s 36. In most sports that’s just down right geezer status.
I’m not trying to be an Olympian (haha, oh the thought of it). But as long as I practice patience with running, I see no reason not to get better with age – like wine. Mmmm wine.
Distance before speed is my motto. I desperately don’t want to get injured.
I’d much rather practice patience than be a patient.
Run easy now and again, folks. The finish-line will still be there.