Trust the process

Left foot; right foot; left; right… remember to breathe. Three counts in; two counts out

The running felt labored. Maybe insufficient sleep; maybe too big a meal. Whatever the case, I was feeling more penguin than gazelle.

…how many more kilometres do I have to run? I really want to stop… left foot; right foot; three counts in; two counts out…

Running is simple. Put one foot in front of the other. Preferably at speed.

Simple; but not always easy.

…too many kilometres… left foot; right; breathe. Three counts in; two counts out...

…the park’s actually really quite beautiful…funny how I feel so uncomfortable, how much I just want this all to end, and yet…and yet know that if I weren’t me, I would be insanely jealous of seeing this “me” running through a park like this.

…oh boy, I’m really tired…breathe Donn, breathe...three counts in; two counts out…

I’ve been a runner for a while now. Reasonably well-trained, I see myself as a serious hobbyist. I’ve read up on running; watched YouTube training videos; competed in small and big events; and perhaps most importantly practiced, practiced, practiced. Even when I didn’t feel like it.

…how much longer? I want to stop. Let’s stop. Breathe. Three counts in; two counts out. Trust the process. You got this. A thousand runs before you’ve said you want to stop mid-run, perhaps two you have. You won’t stop. Breathe…

…three counts in; two counts out. Still some way to go, slow it a bit, but move…move!

I’ve created some basic rules around running, a basic process: run three times a week, between 5 to 15 kilometres each time. Put one foot in front of the other, at speed. Breathe rhythmically: breathe in for three steps; breathe out for two. At higher paces, breathe in for two; breathe out for two. Take walk breaks for longer runs: 2 minute run; 30 second walk. On horrible runs, go slow, don’t stop. On good runs, have fun!

…this guy in front of me — he’s running too slow for me to trail behind, but faster than my comfortable pace. We’re near the end. I can do this — I feel a need for speed. Let’s do this. Breathe. Two counts in; two counts out. Man, this speed feels good…see ya guy-who-runs-just-slightly-slower-than-my-comfortable-pace!…

When I step out the door, no matter how I’m feeling, I give in to the running process.

No more thinking. I leave the thinking at the door, because that’s been done.

If for whatever reason I figure I can’t or shouldn’t run — injury; work; family; (lack of) sleep — I don’t even step out.

But once out *click whirr* “trust the process” I run.

PS: I ended the run on a high. The last kilometre was the quickest with an almost perfect 180 cadence, and I finished feeling spent but great.

PPS: I couldn’t help but think that there were so many parallels in what I had gone through in that hour to life in general that I absolutely needed to write about it. Whether in following a recipe or a marathon plan — or to bring my work into it a “forecasting process” — many times it feels like we’re going nowhere, making no progress (or worse, regressing!), and everything seems wrong. But taking things one step at a time (reminds me of my favourite Frozen 2 song “the next right thing“) and following through with the next action regardless of doubt, can lead to the eventual achievement of what you set out to do. When it’s time to plan, plan. When it’s time to do, do.

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