I’m an impatient person. I don’t like to be kept waiting for anything, and in fitness terms, this means I like to see results as quickly as possible. As you can imagine, this can often lead to trouble, especially when paired with lofty half marathon PR goals and only a few months of specific training for each race. Last year I repeated the cycle of feeling under-prepared on race day and then frustrated with my finish time, and have since been worried about being stuck in a half marathon rut. That was until I read an article on Desiree Davila, who will be representing the USA at this year’s Olympic marathon, which put my own impatience into perspective.
Desiree trained full-time for 6 years in a tough Oregon running project before finding her recent race form. When she arrived at the project, she was warned; “The winters will be tough. Your parents will wonder if you’re wasting your life. You’re going to have a lot of years of putting in mileage that nobody sees.” But she stuck with it, even when her marathon debut didn’t go to plan, and with patience and focus (and a hell of a lot of training) she reached her goal of reaching the top tier of marathon runners.
Of course, I’m not saying that we should all adopt the reclusive ‘eat, sleep and breathe running’ lifestyle of the world-class athletes, to achieve our goal race-times. But getting an insight into the level of commitment of the very best runners, certainly makes me re-think my own approach to training. So, from now on I will definitely try to be a bit more patient and respectful of the lengthly process of getting fitter and faster, because although it may take me 6 years, I WILL set a new PR!