Just three weeks into my quest to Boston Qualify, and I've hit that first seed of doubt. It's funny: I knew this was coming, but my mind was still susceptible to it.
You see, doing something for three weeks (or four weeks, depending on whom you ask) establishes a habit. In this goal, I've already witnessed that my mind is becoming wired to put in the running time; the other night, when a freezing rainstorm was rolling in, I put on my shoes and claimed my miles. A few years ago, even while marathon training, I would have stayed on the couch.
The issue, however, is the need for positive feedback. Although I'm "feeling" stronger, my running times aren't reflecting the work I've already put in. Again, I can deal with this cognitively: I took the month of December off, so I know I'm still getting back in shape. While I shouldn't be seeing the results yet, I secretly long for that affirmation to keep me going.
And this is why people give up so early: they don't fully trust the strategy.
I'm obviously going to keep on running the plan and try not let it get in my head. But the lesson I've observed here is applicable across a spectrum of situations. Discipline takes time. You can't expect overnight results. Tortoise vs. Hare/Slow and steady. <Insert cliche here>
Come on people: it's a marathon, not a sprint.