|On my way to 2:31 and 2nd place in the 1976 VMC Marathon|
Improved physical ability through harder training is, perhaps, easier to achieve than the mental self-belief needed to fully realise running potential. The latter does come partially from confidence that you have done the training necessary to run your best times. However, even then, your performances can be constrained by the boundaries you set yourself, often unconsciously. You can think that you are performing at your limit, but in reality, you are not.
|My Hamilton Marathon|
This was certainly the case in my running career. For most of the early 1970s I was training hard, running marathons in the 2:30 to 2:40 range, and believing that improvement would come in minor increments, if I was lucky. Then, in June 1976, I ran a marginal Personal Best time of 2:31 in the Victorian Marathon Club (VMC) Championship for second place behind a visiting New Zealander. My prize, as the first VMC member to finish, was a trip to run in the Hamilton Marathon in New Zealand in October 1976. I was over the moon with this prize, my biggest reward to date. I can still remember walking along the beach near where we were staying after the race feeling a great sense of exhilaration and anticipation. I dreamed of breaking 2:30 in Hamilton, which had a reputation as a fast course.
|Barely legible 1976 Hamilton Marathon results|
Of course, I have subsequently wondered whether I should have been a 2:15 or 2:10 marathon runner, but there's evidence I lacked the basic speed necessary. I never broke 4 minutes for the 1500m or 2 minutes for 800m, despite plenty of attempts. Then again........
After the session I walked a little over 6km as my training for the day. I could still feel pain in my right arch but am moving a little more freely.