The Friday morning run was horrible. 9 miles of misery that, somehow, I slogged through. It left me feeling sick. There were no thoughts and no feelings – I was just a shell of a runner, sweating all over the kitchen floor and drinking water without really wanting to drink at all. I didn’t want anything.
That last half was painful in a simply painful kind of way. I kept glancing down at my Garmin and seeing my current pace, 9:20, 9:15, 9:30 and on and on, and I kept thinking;
‘How was I ever going to run a 7:40 pace for 26.2 miles? I can’t even run 9 miles at a solid 9min/mile pace!’.
That led my thoughts to one of the ‘couch-to-5k’ groups I ran. They were fairly sure the 9-week plan we were using was too aggressive, especially around week 4. That was probably true, too, for some of them. Some people are actually starting out from a real couch and not just a metaphorical one – there can be a big difference. But it may also have been that, for some of them, pushing up against hard boundaries hadn’t been done in a long time either. It’s scary and it’s hard and it can fill a person with doubt. It might even lead one to think;
‘How am I ever going to run 3.1 miles? I can’t even run 4 minutes straight – 30 minutes is going to be impossible!’
But as tempting as it might have been to accept the doubts in my run – and for you in your run; that this is all too hard and we’re all in over our heads, as I kept going, I found a mantra that I think can help us all; “trust the plan!”.
The plan can get you there. “Trust your training” as Jenny says, “It works and it’s there for a reason.”. We all know it’s hard, and my goodness I want to quit sometimes too because it feels awful, but that’s just me, bumping up against my own physical and mental boundaries. The plan will push you and you will push your boundaries, and if your goal is to run the 5k, as easy as it might be to blame the plan for being too hard, make the choice to keep going and do the hard work, trust the plan, and we can all accomplish great things.