26 Point Tuesday

I never really knew much about running when I started. In fact I used to (and still do at some points) hate it. I didn’t enjoy it for most of my life and actually threw javelin on my college track and field team so I could hang out with my track buddies without having to run. I hated it that much.

I just started to do it as a byproduct of triathlons and like I said, I really didn’t know much. I had run exactly 1 5k about 6 months before before I started my blog and really only knew about the marathon as far as distances go. I didn’t know if I’d ever run one (it sounded like a pretty far distance), but I figured I might do it eventually – just because it was there.

Then, last year, I did my first one – wow. That was tough, but I did it. That was it I figured.

No need to do that again. But of course, I did again and again. And I started to realize how much more there was to running.

Once you start to dive into that rabbit hole, you start to see how far it goes.

It’s sort of like learning a language.

The deeper you get and the more you know, the more you realize just how little you actually know.

I began to realize that there are marathons and then there are ultra marathons. There are 100, 200, 300 miles races. There are Ironman, Double Ironman and Triple Ironman races. And people like David Goggins do them in their sleep.

It’s mind boggling. Staggering really.

You begin to ask yourself: What is a marathon?

It’s 26.2 miles. 42.16km.

There’s nothing special about 26.2. In fact it’s sort of an odd distance.

Its the distance some guy ran about 2500 years ago between Athens and Marathon in Greece and a bunch of people decided to commemorate the event & create a bunch of races inspired by it.

There’s nothing wrong with that, but at some point you realize it’s an arbitrary number. It’s a good goal, but it’s nowhere near the limit of what you can do as a person.

And you can go beyond it. You can do things that you literally never ever thought you could do (or, for that matter, even knew existed).

And when you start to do that, the things you used to think were incredible become mundane. You realize when you’re training for an ultra that the 26.2 miles you used to think was a massive event, isn’t.

It’s just Tuesday.

And you start pushing a whole new set of limits.

Comments

  1. says

    So true! It’s amazing how our perspective changes once we make a choice and start taking steps toward a goal. Thanks for being an inspiration to change in a positive way. I’ve used your posts many times as a kick in the a** when I needed it.

  2. says

    It’s always interesting to see what different people view as impossible. Some say they could never run a marathon, some say they can never run a mile. To others, they would not know what to do if they didn’t run miles and miles per week. As Maja Brown commented, it is all about perspective.

    Most goals worth achieving seem impossible before you take the first step. After a while, you can’t imagine doing anything else.

    Thanks for the inspiration Joel.

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