I remember a while later I had to convince the girl that she could run a sub-20 5k. It took a lot of work to break her down and convince her to drag her butt out to the race, but she came. Of course, I was right.
I remember another long conversation on the phone after E ran a 50k. I remember telling her if she focused she'd be a great marathoner. "Eh. I don't know," she said. She liked pacing and ultras and running with friends slowly for fun (like running 11:00 miles with me when I was pregnant with peanut!). She wasn't sure she could give all that up in the name of making a name for herself.
I don't know what finally convinced her to focus on her own running, but she did and in 2 short years, her pr went from 3:16 to 2:49:53!
I always joke with her that if I can't train and race at a high level, she can do it for me. And she did. So awesome! And inspiring. In no way do I want to diminish from her amazing achievements, but witnessing her improvement makes me know I can do it too. Maybe not make quite such a big leap, but there's a whole heck of a lot of untapped potential in these here legs and with the right mix of hard work, support and hutzpah I have some big prs to come!
Maybe some guy in blog-land is rolling his eyes and saying I can't make big improvements as a runner with two babies to take care of or because I'm getting old or just because I'm me. But the key, as I have learned from E, is to aim high and keep aiming despite the naysayers, the bad races and workouts and the doubts. Keep your eyes on the prize and believe.