While running is a physical activity, I’ve come to find that it’s very much a mental game. I wrote about getting around the next corner, but it’s always easier to write about the corner once you’ve moved past it. We like to comfort others with the phrase, “This too, shall pass.” But, when the end is not in sight, or you wonder if you’ll ever see the end at all, the phrase is not very comforting.
In the Couch to 5K plan, there are numerous running/walking combinations. Even as the running part lengthens, I take great hope in the fact that soon I’ll be able to walk for a bit and catch my breath.
Then comes Week 5, Day 3: Run 20 minutes with no walking.
It is a scary day. It sounds way too hard.
So, what do I do when running is hard and I’m not sure I can take another step? I turn up the volume on my motivating music, and I start changing the words that are flying through my head. It becomes a mental battle to fight for positive thoughts.
I can’t. You can, for a little bit longer.
This is dumb. I could just walk. Think of how good you will feel when you finish.
I want to quit. Just keep running. Just keep running. You can do it!
And before I know it, the 20 minutes is over. And the victory is so much sweeter when the battle was a hard fight!