How Hard Will It Be?

Susan Donnelly finishing Moab 240

It’s going to be hard.

But how hard?

You want to know now

You want to know whether you can do it.

But the whole point of the race is that you don’t know.

You signed up for it because it’s a big, audacious dare and you were betting you could do it.

Now that it’s getting closer, you’re worrying. 

You put money down. You invested time. You told people. But you’re not guaranteed a finish - only about 65% of the starters finish the average 100-mile race. And you know it’s going to be mentally, emotionally, and physically hard.

What if you don’t have what it takes??

What if you can’t do it?

I’ve done over a 100 100-mile races and I can I promise a few things:

  • It will be hard (I sometimes forget how hard).

  • It’s not superhuman hard - people have finished.

  • There’s no way to know how hard it is and whether you can do it…until you do it.

  • And last but not least, you don’t really want to know exactly how hard it is yet.

If someone could somehow tell you exactly how hard it was and that you could do it, then what would be the point of doing it? 

It’s like getting on a rollercoaster - you know it will be scary and you’re nervous, but you’re okay not knowing how scary it will be until you’re riding it.

Putting yourself up against a big unknown is the reason we do things like run 100-mile races.

What’s going on in your head is that facing the unknown was exciting when you first signed up, but your mind doesn’t like either the unknown or failing, much less a combination of the two. Now that the initial excitement has faded, your mind is there, demanding proof that this will end happily before it gets on board with the idea. 

Until you give it proof, it’s going to try sabotaging your plans.

“What if it’s too hard? Maybe you shouldn’t do it…”

To deal with this thought and reduce all the worry it creates, you only need to do one simple but critical thing.

Promise - literally, promise yourself - that even if it’s hard, you’re going to do it anyway.

Every time your mind worries about how hard it will be, counter those thoughts with:

“Yes, it might be hard…AND I'm going to do it anyway.”

Worry allowed to run rampant can make you shrink down your dream just because it’s hard, or give up on it entirely because you don’t know how it’s going to turn out.

You’re not going to let that happen because you’ve promised you’re going to go for your the dream anyway.

The best part of this simple solution is that the more you keep promises to yourself, the more you trust yourself. And the more you trust yourself, the more audacious goals you’re willing to dare.

So to answer the beginning question, yes, running 100 miles is hard, but you’re worth doing hard things for.

I promise.

Susan Donnelly’s signature

PS - If you've been avoiding prep for your race, I've got a new offer to help - a 4.5 session, 6-week Race Rescue package. I'm offering a limited-time introductory offer and have one opening left.

Sign up here or email me here to set up a free consult call to see if it's right for you!

PPS - The photo was taken by Howie Stern at the finish of Moab 240 last year. It was hard…and I you can guess from my expression, I was so glad it was and that I’d come back from injury to finish this hard thing. Days of little sleep, relief, pride, tears of joy, all at the same time. 💚