We humans are capable of accomplishing amazing things. Many of those things go beyond what we could possibly imagine. Just this past weekend I completed a 50K trail race. Something I never would have even dreamed of a few years ago. Prior to this race I had completed two 50-mile trail runs, and the first one I completed after a half marathon being my longest race, ever.
Lots of training and preparation went into those 50-mile races. I studied about nutrition, hydration, and how to properly train. I learned early on that many people don’t run more than 25 miles before they run the 50-miler. Which goes to show just how much the human body is capable of.
A lot of people think I’m crazy for wanting to run 50 miles, and perhaps I am! But, one thing I learned from doing these long races is that 95% of completing one is mental. That was definitely the case for this past weekend’s 50K race. I went into the race undertrained. My longest run was about 14 miles, and it should have been 20 miles. Despite my lack of training I went in with a positive mindset, and a lofty goal of finishing in 6 hours. The race ended up taking me 6 hours and 54 minutes to complete, but I still finished, which was a feat within itself.
The racecourse is basically two 15.5-mile loops. Within the first mile of the second loop I began experiencing cramping pains in my calves. I had experienced this particular type of cramping before in another race, and it wasn’t pretty. However, I continued moving forward, one foot in front of the other, and walking on occasion so I could take in more fluids, electrolytes, and food. The pain I was experiencing was real, but in a way it was just mental demons inside my head trying to get me to quit, but I wouldn’t have any of it.
Even though I was undertrained, my body and mind overcame the odds and finished the race. The same is true for many endeavors in life; whether that is starting a business, getting married, starting a family, or running a race. You are capable of great feats, and NOW is the time to start. You will never feel 100% ready. You will always have some doubt. So conquer those mental demons and know that you really are capable of just about anything you set your mind to.