You’re capable of running much longer than you think. 12-year-old Lee Adianez Rodriguez figured this out last spring, when she mistook a half marathon for a 5K in Rochester, New York.
Running the Wrong Race
Rodriguez arrived slightly late for the Rochester Regional Health Flower City Half Challenge in April. Rushing onto a crowded starting line, she missed her intended 5K route, and ended up with a much longer course ahead.
A Search Party Ensues
Nearing the eight-mile mark, about five further than she was supposed to run that day, Rodriguez noticed the race was taking longer than expected. Meanwhile at the finish line, her mother Brendalee Espada stood confused and worried.
After waiting a bit too long for her daughter to finish the race, Espada approached race officials and Rochester police with her concerns. On the route, full-well knowing at this point that she was on the wrong track, Rodriguez took her mistake in stride and continued to build on a personal-record breaking day.
An Accidental Personal-Best!
Luckily, the search party eventually met the youngster at the finish line. Brendalee found her daughter sporting a new medal and wide smile after completing the entire half marathon. The unplanned feat made Rodriguez one of just a handful of other kids to run the race, where she ended up with a time better than almost 300 other runners.
A Lesson on Limitations
While most of us stretch for new personal-bests on every new run or workout, the accidental approach proved viable for this young athlete.
So, perhaps setting a cap on how many reps or miles you embark on is counter-intuitive to the goal of pushing yourself as far as you can. Or maybe you take Rodriguez’s approach, and simply finish everything you start.
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