A common meme in the endurance sport and fitness community is the idea that you can do anything. Your body and your mind have no limits except what you put on yourself. You know the old saying, you can do anything you put your mind to. 

But here is the thing.

You do have limits and sometimes you can’t do anything.

I’m going to go back a step and clarify that just because you can’t do something now doesn’t mean it can’t ever be done. Whatever your limit is now you do have to work within that limit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t train your body and your mind to surpass that limit and create a new one.

You must constantly be aware of your limits. Both, so you can respect them and at the same time train to surpass them.

Let me give you myself as an example.

I have been training for The Baltimore Marathon, and as I write this there are only four weeks to race day. I started training about twelve weeks ago. I have already run eleven marathons in the past.

So I know I can run a marathon. It is not beyond my limitations.

But I have been suffering from chronic pain which has increased over the last few months. That, along with training that has been going less than expected makes me think I am not ready to run another marathon, and four weeks is not enough time to finish getting me ready. I am almost certain that if I try to run the marathon it will end in a disaster.

So I have to be smart.

I have to make the smart decision, even though the smart decision might be the frustrating one.

Lucky for me the Baltimore Marathon allows you to change your race. I can go from the marathon proper to the half marathon and instead of running 26.2 miles I can run 13.1 miles.

I know I can be ready to run a good half marathon in four more weeks.

There is about a 90% chance that I will be changing my race. I am going to think on it another day.

I have to make the smart decision.