Pain is probably the foremost thing that might distract you from completion, quality and eventually your version of greatness. So when pain comes, you should be able to handle it. To respond and make adjustments. Sometimes you need to listen (is my calf jacked up?). Other times it’s so important that you push through it. Distractions are all part of running but pain can be the loudest, and easiest to succumb to. So be ready for it, embrace it and conquer it because it will always pass. Sometimes, it comes in the middle and you push through and reach another threshold on the other side.
For many runners, this may be the first time in a season of life that you’ve felt brave enough to vocalize a goal that scares you. Maybe it excites you. Maybe it’s your 15th half or full marathon. Regardless, you will be faced with an opportunity every day to shy away from greatness. That will be the easy way out.
I want to share a few thoughts on what shying away from greatness may look like and how to react.
Envision a long run, it’s humid and you don’t feel your best. Pain will inevitably knock on your mental door. What will you do with it? My challenge to you is to prepare yourself long before the mental housecall.
The mentality of pushing through goes so far beyond the simplicity of the statement. There is something profound that happens when you don’t take the easy way out. If you’re a new runner, run/walk intervals may be a stepping stone to your eventual goal. However, don’t capitalize on that excuse. Trot at a speed slower than a walk if you have to, but keep that running motion going. Watch your progress explode before your eyes.
Approach your workouts with a competitive fervor. Make a mental note to attack your given running task and make that thing count. Do it to show others what you’re made of. Do it especially when no one is watching. Be proud of your effort and make a choice. The smallest choices pile up. After weeks and months of training your small choices will either culminate in a pile of greatness, or a pile of defeat. You choose. You decide.
John von Dohlen | Fleet Feet Coach