The other day, I was reminded by the half marathon training group coach that the Boston Marathon was adjusting the qualifying times. Instead of needing to run a 3:20:59 this fall in the Baltimore marathon (already quite a challenge on the hilly Baltimore course), I would need to run a 3:15:59. Now, since I don't know exactly what my reasonable maximum is on the marathon (I've only run one and I was dealing with a slight injury), I may be able to ponder this, but the extra five minutes compared with what I had been planning for since October seems like a big deal.
After pondering if for a bit, I have realized that there is another life lessons/running lesson link. When I was working toward my promotion to full professor, I received a lot of advice about how to shift what I was doing to accelerate and make more certain the promotion process. While I respected all those who provided such advice, I eventually decided just to continue doing what I was doing. I figured for all the stresses that my job creates, I might as well enjoy what I am doing. If I was good at what I did and I did not get promoted, I would then look for another position doing what I enjoyed. The key was to make sure I loved what I was doing and to hope that everything else would take care of itself. I felt a lot less pressure, and it did take care of itself.
So how does this relate to running? Well, with the thought that I don't have a good chance of qualifying for Boston this year, I am feeling less pressure. Now, I can just focus on running because I love running and I love writing about it. Maybe I will qualify. If I do, I'll be quite happy. It'll be another example of things taking care of themselves when I don't put the pressure on. If I ever decide that I don't love the gifts of running and writing so much, I'll hang up the running shoes.
Until then, I'll just remind myself that I do it because I love it!