Tundra Trailblazer Jeff: Trust in the Process

Trust in the Process by Jeff Clark

Process matters. Solving complicate math problems involves a process. Operating a profitable business involves a process. Finishing your first marathon is the same way. Following the process will help you reach your end goal.

Finishing a marathon, especially for a mature (58) runner like me, is a step by step process. This will be the 14th time that I have toed the starting line. So far – I have won (finished) 9 times. Lost (DNF) 3 times. Then there was that one tie when we had to close the course because of the heat. Each marathon has taught me something.

The marathon requires planning. The last few marathons that I have run, I finished with an aching back.  Weight has been an issue. My job as a professional truck driver doesn’t help. This year my process began with a decision to talk with my lease partners at Paper Transport. We trimmed my hours from about 65 hours per week to about 52 hours per week, We rearranged my routes so that I could get into the gym 3 times per week. Cross training is an integral part of finishing a marathon – especially for us weight challenged old folks.

The Prevea guide and training runs provide a logical approach to your training. Long training runs are easier with company. I realize that many of our runners live too far away to drive to the runs on a weekly basis. You can still use the guide. Educate yourself as much as possible. I recommend John Bingham’s book Marathoning for Mortals. There are countless other guides and training plans. The Prevea guide has the advantage of focusing on this marathon.

You will fail. Deal with it. Forgive yourself. Don’t make it a habit. Get back on the plan as soon as you can. The marathon is not the center of our lives. We have families and jobs that are more important. There will be times when family and career will take priority and you will miss a training session. It happens to everyone, including me. Make sure that your family and your job, are on board with your plan.

Don’t exceed the process. The process is the process for a reason. The easiest way to develop runners’ knee or iliotibial band syndrome is to do too much too soon. Developing your leg muscles is crucial to avoiding injury. On that day when you’re scheduled for 8 miles, don’t go 10 miles because you’re feeling great. The object of the process is to get you to the starting line healthy and ready.

Enjoy the process. You may not lose weight, but you might find your clothes getting looser. Early in the process you may feel exhausted at the 5 mile point and doubt that you can get to 26.2. A month later you will be breezing past the 7 mile marker and remembering when you were exhausted after “just” 5 miles. The process is cool and it works.

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