The Mindset Behind My Couch to 5k Expedition [Part 2]

I completed my 5k milestone on 20th February 2024... Ta Dah! 

And wow what an incredible experience running that final run.  I had Mutemath to keep me company in my ears and when I turned on to the beach decking at around 6pm to fun the final stretch, it was quiet, pitch black, just me and the beach.  I had the biggest smile on my face and I felt so high, in fact I kept on running after the bell.  

All I can say is, the feeling of achievement was so worth it. 

So welcome to part 2 of this blog, if you haven't read part one, you can read it here.

Here's where we get into the real nitty gritty of the mindset hacks I deployed to get me through some of the toughest moments.   

Let's dive in. 

When the going got tough, I pretended I was running with others
I’m a lone wolf.  Always have been.  I prefer living to the beat of my own drum.  But when the going gets tough, you need others.  I’d read somewhere that running in packs is encoded into our DNA and so when things felt tough I tapped into my imagination and felt myself running with a bunch of other people across the plains of Africa.  Coupled with the music I was listening to, it gave me an extra burst of motivation.   Your imagination is the most powerful tool at your disposal when running. 

I only ran when I wanted to
It didn’t matter to me how long it took me to achieve this and, as a rebel, I didn’t want to be shoe horned into the recommended time frame that the app suggested.  After all, the app didn’t know my body.  I only ran when it made sense to me and sometimes that was only once a week.  Also as someone going through menopause, I needed A LOT of recovery time and time to get back in the zone again.  Too much, too soon for too long would have overwhelmed my system and I would have crashed.  I also had to navigate the flu and a bad back, but I wasn’t going to give up.  So I gave myself space. 

I was NOT prepared to pay the price of not achieving this
I don’t like the feeling of disappointment and try to avoid it like the plague, however in this context, avoidance of disappointment worked in my favour.  In my mind I’d made a decision to experience myself as someone who could run a 5k and if I didn’t know myself as that person, I’d feel gutted, restless, unfinished and disappointed.   Not something I was prepared to experience.  I have this philosophical point of view which I learnt from Alan De Botton, he says: ‘choose your suffering’.  What type of suffering would you prefer?  The suffering required to run a 5k or the suffering of not achieving it?  Based on my history, I knew the type of suffering that I would prefer and I was just NOT prepared to go to the ‘dark side’, when there was another option.  Finish the damn thing or live with an itch that you can't scratch.    

I didn’t share the start of my journey with anyone
The science says, you are more likely to achieve your goal if you don’t share it with anyone (at least until you have found your stride), apart from the people close to you that need to know.  The reason being, that once you get all the likes and comments, your effort and commitment can wear off too soon.  It can create a short term sense of having already achieved the goal when you haven’t and can reduce motivation.   So I kept shtum until I was about 3k in and then I started to share.  I had so much I wanted to say about the experience as I was going through it, but it’s only now that I’ve actually done it am I able to share the real juice. 

I didn’t look at how long I had left until I got very close to the end and if I was doing it again, I wouldn’t look at all.
People kept saying to me, how long have you got to go before you reach 5k, and honestly I didn’t know.  I wasn’t looking.  The same kind of zoning out that I was doing during my runs, I was doing about the whole thing.  I just wanted to be in the moment, running if I felt like it, recovering if I didn’t.  Looking too far into the future would have made me feel sick.  I was where I was and THAT was ok because I was enjoying the journey.   Yes it’s been amazing to achieve, but what’s made it more amazing is the fact that I was able to show up for every run.   That’s really shown me what I’m made of. 

So there you have it. 

You might be wondering, well that's all well and good Sally, but your strategy wouldn't fit my personality type, because let's face it we all respond to an expectation differently.  Well the good news is, if you're struggling with something and you're looking for some assistance, it doesn't matter how you respond to an expectation (both internal and external) I've got your back.   

Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT), can help with ANY kind of behaviour change and the best news is, it's tailored to YOU. 

If you're curious about how it can help you achieve something like a 5k or anything you want, click here

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RTT with me is accessible from Brighton, Shoreham, Hove, East Sussex AND ONLINE. 

RTT helps with anxiety, weight loss, depression, low confidence, public speaking, fears, phobias, auto immune issues, frequent urination, migraines, low libido, hot flushes, insomnia, brain fog, vaso vagal syncope, peak performance, sexual dysfunction and anything that requires a change of perception or behaviour.  

 

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