I have written several times in this blog that running is just a hobby and I can never be that good a runner because I started running late and because my profession cannot afford me adequate practice time to be a runner worthy of mention. And I have other ambitions and all other kinds of manure excuses that are basically a whitewash of a man afraid of hoping, aiming and risking failing to meet a set goal. And of course the world being witness to that failure. So keep expectations low and manage them safely. Bunk.
In fact, I wrote last week, "I can never run like Wanjiru and I have no interest to ever win any money in a running event."
I have had some time to reflect about it and realized that this is loser talk. This is pure bunk and I have realized I have been rationalizing myself into having a safe little bubble wherein I live comfortably without having to exert myself too much or risk failure. This has been my way of avoiding something too challenging, something too difficult, something that would take something out of me. Unfamiliar territory. Something that would test me and stretch me to the limits. Something that would become my failure, or my greatness.
Today I realized that what I have lacked is someone to push me and encourage me. Someone to tap my bubble and tell me "Come out." But I did have that someone all along. Except I probably expected that someone to be Paul Tergat or some other accomplished runner. That someone came in an unexpected form of a plus three hours half marathon finisher. Last week, one of the people I practically persuaded and convinced to run in the Stanchart Marathon told me, "Why don't you just lose a few more Kgs and go for the jackpot". I dismissed that instantly and took it to be a mistaken inference that if you lose weight you automatically become fast. But I forgot that it is practically myself who pushed her to go for the race. "I cant do it. I will not" she had persisted earlier and I prevailed on her that she could do it and she would finish. "No way!" she insisted. But she finally showed up for the race. And when she finished, she remarked that one thing she realized was that she could run. And now she is fired up to improve her time next year.
There is a saying I have lost track of which says that nobody ever accomplished something greater than they could without someone else encouraging them and believing that they could.
I have been looking askance at running as if it will take away something from me if I let it in my life fully. But this has all been a cop out. My rationalizations don't withstand close scrutiny. I think I have just been afraid of failure. So I aim low and act like an outsider. How will taking running more seriously impact on my life plans? It wont stop me from achieving what I want. So I have decided I am bursting my bubble and making no more excuses. I want to see how good I can get at this. So sub 1:30 or better is what I will be going for. No limits. I want to break all barriers.
I ran 26Kms in 2:20 mins yesterday. I want to start keeping a log of the mileage I cover every week and every month. Hopefully, by September next year, I can cover more than 60Kms a week and I hope to clear that distance in under two hours by June. It has a hill and its long. Just what I need. I should be running that circuit every fortnight or three weeks trying to reduce that time minute by minute till I get below two hours. If that happens, I will be close to my best.
November week 1 mileage: 26Kms
I just discovered a great site that is authored by Constantine Njeru. He was with me in the Stanchart Marathon and he finished in 2:54, striving to maintain a 4min per Km pace. He is 28, Psyched to death and aiming to run sub 2:45. His site is full of tips for beginners and masters alike. I feel as if I found a soulmate. He has great tips on Hill Running, training plan and a running mantra. Check out that site.