I’m about to complete Week 5 of the Couch to 5km app and I really, really struggled on my last run. The intervals were a 5 minute warm up, 7 minute run, 2 minute walk, 5 minute run, 2 minute walk, 7 minute run, 5 minute cool down. I had completed the run before with a minute less on each of the intervals. Just. I’d doubled my recovery times using some of the warm up and cool down as buffers. But this run, the last run of week 5 felt like the hardest thing EVER.

I cried in the middle of it even.

Like, cried cried. Couldn’t breathe and it literally forced sobs out of my throat. I felt like a tool. What a drama queen. Crying, sobbing, isn’t going to help anyone get through. My 30 second emergency mid-run stop turned into a minute while I dragged myself together. Because my brother told me too, of course. He said that I had to get back on. That I had to keep going. That I’d be angry with myself if I stopped now.

That {worse} it was in my head.

BUT WHAT!? Not being able to breathe isn’t in my head. I literally cannot get breath in. That’s not something I can fake. But it sort of is. As I calmed the sobs, wiped the tears and picked up the pace again I just repeated to myself ‘calm down, breathe, you are doing this’.

Calm down, breathe, you ARE doing this.

And I did. I made up all the run intervals. I had one 30 sec and one 60 second panic stop. But I did it. My mental toughness is being tested and dragged out of me. My brother is doing that with his demands on me. It makes me feel a little different about the trainers you see on TV. I hope they care like he does.

I wrote the words above on Saturday, I was still frustrated and deliriously happy all at once. Last night I made a second attempt at that run and will proudly declare it done. Sure I still extended my walks a little had to stretch a major cramp in the final run but I got there. I started making bargains, you should have heard.

What if I make it to 6 minutes, instead of 7… That’s good too right?

My brother kindly told me to quit my crap and stop talking myself out of it before I’d even started. He was right of course. I knew what I was I up to. I do it all the time when I do the runs on my own. Make deals, bargain my way out, compromise. The thing is I don’t want to compromise. I’ve completed this program before in that I made 5km of shuffling. I’m determined to make it 5km this time at my current full run speed.

No more bargains for me. Plenty more runs. It’s all in my head. 

Do you find the mental game tough when it comes to exercise? Maybe it’s motivation, maybe it’s the negative talk or bargains like I have. Tell me would you, make me feel less like a loner loser.

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