The inaugural 5in5 challenge couldn’t have gone any better. Colin succeeded in running 5 marathons in 5 days, in very difficult weather conditions, inspiring friends and fellow runners, stepping up the game and setting the bar high for anyone coming after him.
And it did it all by himself.
In an ironic turn of events, five days before the start of the #5in5, I turned the corner in my kitchen and my little toe got caught up with the kitchen bench, snapping in two. While I have to laugh for my first fracture coming from something stupid like turning a corner, rather than from a legendary fall from a mountain peak, it was soul destroying at the time. After 18 weeks coaching Colin, I was looking forward to finally celebrate by running the 5 marathons alongside him and keep my end of the deal - to support him no matter what.
It took me three days and the advice of 4 different physiotherapists, to decide to cycle next to Colin instead of running. When I finally summed up the courage to tell him, his reaction was a shock and a realisation that, maybe, it was meant to be like that.
“It is ok” - Colin replied - “I can do this. You have trained me to do this. Since the beginning, you insisted I should be able to turn up any day of the week, anywhere, in any condition and run a marathon.. or five in five days! I now know I can”.
Pretty powerful statement. He took full ownership of the challenge and my work was done.
As running five marathons in five days was not enough of a challenge, for the first four marathons, the weather in Sydney was extremely hot (high of 34) and the last run in Canberra was totally the opposite, cold and wet.
The courses were designed to keep Colin engaged and to be hard enough for them to be a challenge :)
I am sure Colin will put together the chronicles of the 5 days; as his coach and partner in this journey, what stood up and inspired me, was the confidence, clarity of mind and total commitment. He embraced the #5in5 challenge and was 100% invested in the vision and in his own WHY it was important to do.
There was no space for second thoughts, double guessing or self pity.
It is fair to say the personality traits propelling him forward during those 5 days were very different from when he started the training 18 weeks prior.
Colin and I discussed about this at length. During the 18 weeks, there were few key moments when he either realised his resilience and strength or made the conscious decision to trust the #5in5 process, to brake through his mental barriers and change his perspective.
For me as his coach, this inaugural 5in5 was a great learning experience. Everyone is motivated by different things and triggers by different events. What works for me, doesn’t work for others so I had to understand, adapt and find the right way to work together while getting the message through. I am proud I could provide the guidance and structure for the training, nutrition, logistics and most importantly, on the mindset. The 18 weeks were not without some dramas and confrontations but it was all part, and possibly, the best part of it. We both grew and became very good friends as result of the experience.
I am extremely proud of Colin’s achievement and I was certainly the second most excited person in Canberra when he crossed the finish line of his last marathon.
I can’t wait to start the new #5in5 intake for another amazing journey and meeting more amazing people.