Little Runner Gal

Running, eating, sleeping and all the bits in between

There’s no limit!

on May 6, 2014

We all have our limits and we know them, right? Probably wrong.

I can’t run. I can’t run that far. I can’t run that fast. You may have thought those exact things, or something very similar. I know I’ve thought every single one of those things. Then it dawned on me that not only can I run, I’ve completed marathons, and I smashed my 5k and 10k PB times in consecutive days this weekend! So do I really know my limits? Can I honestly say that I know what I am capable of? And if I’m truly honest, the answer is no!

Last weekend I went and watched a group of parkrun friends finish a half marathon, each pulling in a PB, not the first of the year either, that they may have doubted they’d see, despite the training. This was inspiring in so many ways. So running with them this weekend at parkrun and a local 10k gave me all the oomph I needed to reassess my limits.

I’ve been training hard, both solo and with the club, but sometimes I just can’t push myself beyond the comfort zone. I started to think it was something to do with being a distance runner, that in the back of my mind I subconsciously think that there are so many more miles to come that I need to control my pace, so I constantly run at a comfortable speed. Or is it just that I don’t particularly like the feeling of my lungs being ready to burst, my legs quickly solidifying and the taste of iron in my mouth (and that’s without touching on the copious amounts of sweating)?! Whatever the reason, it was becoming my “limit” and it needed to stop.

So, with all of the above happening (the sweating being the most prominent feature) I pushed harder and harder than ever before, with the help and encouragement of some amazing friends, and smashed out a 5k PB, beating my previous time by 30 seconds. And I was still standing at the end!

The real race was the following day, the local 10k. I should really have rested for that but instead my hamstrings were aching from yesterday’s efforts but I was still feeling positive. Knowing I was going for a PB (49:07 to beat!) I’d chosen a 47 minute friend to pace me. Well I lost him about 4k in and somewhere up a killer hill. Everything was aching, my legs were like lead, I could barely breathe, but I made it round that course, pulled out a sprint finish (it was honestly, pretty epic!) and shaved 10 seconds off my PB. Now, I did have to have a sit down at the end of that one, but I’d done it. Pushed that limit even further. And, it turns out, my maximum heart rate!

(I honestly don’t know how I managed a smile here!)

And now I realise, that’s not it. My limits are off limits, they’re limitless!

So far in 2014 I’ve bettered my 10k PB twice and my 5k, half marathon and marathon PBs once so far. I think I’m finally coming to accept that my capabilities are ever changing!

They’re not defined. They’re not set in stone. They’re constantly pushed and challenged, not just by myself, but by others.

So find something, anything, which makes you re-evaluate your limits. Make your peace with the fact that you can achieve more than you currently think is possible.

And go and achieve it.



4 responses to “There’s no limit!

  1. I love your positive mental attitude and you are so right..the only limits we have are the ones we set for ourselves! 🙂 x
    Fab times..It’s taken me a blimming age to get to a 55min 10km and feel comfy let alone in the 40s! 🙂

    • Thanks Katie, I’m glad you agree. I’ve spent so long thinking I’ll never get faster and now I have it’s suddenly occurred to me, this will happen again! I will get faster! So chuffed for you that you’ve got that 55 in the bag, with the no limits attitude you’ll be closer to that 50 in no time 🙂 x

  2. David Peddle says:

    Hi Sarah, Another great post and I particularly like this one as I always say that faster times come 30% from the legs and 70% from the mind. Recently I looked at the runners infront of me and asked myself if there was any reason I could not run as fast as them, when I realised there was not (in most cases) it opened up my mind to faster times and I have got quicker – so kind of the point you are making.

    Anyway you a much faster than me in the longer runs which you have been focusing on, now you are into the shorter runs you will get faster at them, it’s only a matter or time until I see you running off into the distance! In the meantime I’m looking forward to competing with you – so get ready to race Saturday morning!

    The guy who was meant to be pacing you sounds really selfish (still feeling guilty about that) x

    • Thanks David, well you inspired me to write this one as you’ve just pushed yourself above and beyond, and I should be able to do the same. You are that runner in front of me, and one day I will be running as fast as you!

      You are running your own race and doing so well, so don’t worry about pacing me! One day I will keep up…not sure if Saturday will be the day though! 🙂

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