Try again. If that fails, try again.

I did not have the best of week’s last week. Having received the news from my running coach that I had not followed my training schedule correctly and had therefore not improved as he would’ve liked sent me into a depressed spiral where I questioned my running and considered quitting.

I got blasted by my coach for even having thoughts of quitting. He said to me: Get your mind right!

Ironically, this is where I am lacking in “strength”. I am disciplined enough to train every day. I have even changed my diet, cutting out wheat and red meats. I drink enough water and have ensured I wear all the running gadgets one can buy. All the boxes are ticked. But getting up when I have fallen down is so difficult.

Previously, when it came to motivating myself and getting my head space right, I would sit quietly and repeat positive statements to myself. I would envisage myself running and completing races. I would fill my time with reading motivational running books. It would always be a very private and personal journey.

But there’s something I realised a few months ago when I started my blogging. When it comes to believing in my abilities, nothing helps me do that more than realising that others believe in me. In fact, spending time with people that build me up is exactly what I spent the week doing.

Dinner with a best friend (who meticulously read back to me every sentence from my coach’s email and analysed each comment with a fine tooth comb and turned each sentence into a positive statement – Marci, you mean the world to me), to the awesome run with an inspirational friend from Cape Town (Rogeema, you are too awesome for words) and an Iron Man (Morne) who surprised me with a visit, right down to the motivational tweets and caring comments on my blog telling me that quitting is not an option and that they believed in me.

There’s nothing that touched my heart more than realising that other people are so willing to share in my running pains and get me through the bad times.

I’m back up. I’m running.

Dear coach, let’s start again. I’m ready.

6 thoughts on “Try again. If that fails, try again.

  1. I don’t know if it is just a matter of context, but it seems like every time you mention your coach in a post, he is berating you. How are you supposed to keep things positive (to stay in the right head space) amid so much negative reinforcement?

    You didn’t improve as much as HE would like – your next post (sorry to skip ahead :-P) is about a 10k PR posted the day after this one. Who are you running for? The very statement that drew you to read my blog, that at the end of the day, YOU are the person you have to satisfy, still applies here.


  2. Thanks for your blog. I can really relate to your experience. I’m more of a cyclist than a runner, but I know about the ups and downs on this journey. Training is tough, especially when it stretches you to really grow. When you look at great athletes, the one thing they have all got is real mental toughness and this is something that is earned not from having a journey free of doubts and falls, but even more of them than most of us. The champion keeps getting up though, and it’s this quality that inspires us even more than the physical feat, even more than winning. Remember the beginning of Batman when his Dad asks him – ‘why do we fall Bruce? So that we can learn to pick ourselves up.’
    Keep running!


  3. So good have have your blog to read again.

    I think your right, our first challenge is to believe that we can do anything and the second challenge is to realise that we will fail and have to keep trying.

    I have to share with you that you have inspired me to run..even though right now I am in the walker category.

    I tried running against a clock and found that it actually was a negative, so now I just run my course and enjoy it..

    I think that is another important thing, to enjoy what your doing, it helps getting over the failure hurdle.

    People will most times try not give up on something they enjoy, but easily find a reason to quit what they don’t enjoy.

    Happy Training.


  4. Babe, the fact that you RUN is amazing. I wish I could run, but I have a long journey before my body will allow me to do that without hurting itself. I envy runners. I envy people like you. Runners have a certain kind of passion about them that I admire.

    Keep on doing it. I look up to you.


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