I recently read about a woman who turned herself into an Olympic-caliber marathon runner. She wasn't a runner, then ran her first marathon around a 3:45, and then spent the next year training like mad. She dropped an entire hour from her marathon time, getting herself in under the cutoff to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials.
To me, this is simply amazing. To shave an hour off in one year seems absurd. I can't even begin to imagine how she did it other than with massive amounts of motivation and commitment. I can't help but wonder, though, if I'd be able to do something similar. Even if it took two or three years, I wonder if it is possible. I wonder if I have the basic goods in my genetic makeup to turn my body into an Olympic marathon machine. The cutoff for men is 2:22 for Grade "B", so I have serious doubts I'd be able to make it. That would represent cutting an hour and twenty minutes from my current marathon time. I think I'll cut off close to 30 minutes by the time I run another marathon, but I can't be certain about that. And, even if I did, how the heck would I cut the next 50 minutes from my performance?
I'm not sure how much more effort above what I'm putting in now would be required to do something like this. I'm running, or trying to run, six days a week and I'm trying to get to a point where I consistently run 50+ mpw. But, since cracking the 50 mile mark, I've been in a tailspin with my training plans. I crashed and burned for 5 straight days because I just couldn't get my tired ass out of bed. With the extra rest, I did have an awesome track workout this past Saturday, though. But, I followed that up by blowing off my long run on Sunday morning. I made it out for a decent six miles yesterday, but again couldn't get up this morning for my run.