Re: Potential, how do you gauge it?

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Woody, one comment. I think a lot of people underestimate the mental angle. However, that’s something you have to train just like you train your legs. I remember talking with Double a month or so before I ran Lakefront and he said something that really stuck with me and that I was reminded of during Lakefront. He said that most people who run marathons fear the marathon because race day is the hardest day of their training cycle. He said that he and I were different, we look forward to the marathon because race day is easier than many of the days in our training cycles. In other words, we push ourselves so hard in workouts while we’re in middle of hard training that race day is a piece of cake compared to these workouts. This is where the mental toughness comes from. I can’t even tell you how many times in that final 10k at Lakefront, when I was beaten up by the wind and battling those conditions on my own, I thought about my training and I thought about what Double said. You know what? Once I thought about all of those killer long runs, fartleks, hills, track workouts, tempo runs, and runs at Lapham Peak, I realized that I had already done all the hard work. If I packed it in at that point, I was sacrificing too many hours of extremely intense work in order to save myself from a matter of minutes of intense work. Taken as a whole, Double was right. The training itself was much harder than the marathon so there was no way I could let myself give up once I had already gone through all of that. That’s where mental toughness comes from.