Discipline: How to Get from the Couch to the Wine 10K

Discipline: “Do or do not, there is no try.”Strip comic depicting discipline must be stronger than motivation to be successful.

How tacky is it to pick your daily mantra from Star Wars? Yoda, however, is a man after my own heart. Life can be very simple. You did the thing or you didn’t. I’m sure you had plenty of wonderful, well-intentioned, good reasons for not doing the thing. But none of those really matter. You didn’t.

When it all falls down, what is the difference between not doing the thing and doing the thing? Often, that thing is


It’s taken me a long time to learn discipline. One of those super annoying people that’s naturally gifted at things, discipline wasn’t necessary in my life for a good long while. At least, it didn’t seem like it was necessary. If I can skate by with what I have and do pretty well, why bother?

If you’re lucky, the strategies of casual indifference and riding with fate will last a while, but they are short term solutions. Discipline is always necessary, and discipline always wins the long haul.

Getting to the Wine 10K -My Run with Discipline

In my tenure as a staff writer at No-Filter , I’ve talked about this before. How does one develop behaviors to create discipline? How do you get Gritty and make yourself do things you don’t want to do?

Back then I mentioned I wanted to write a book by the time I’m 30. Technically I did that. (see How to Write a Book) It wan’t necessarily the one I wanted to write, but I did it. The one I did want to write, I abandoned for another goal -the Wine 10K!

What I mentioned in my grit article applies here. There are really only two steps when it comes to long term goal achievement.

  1. Make the Plan.

  2. Do the Plan.

I followed my own advice here.  I found a plan I liked and I stuck to it.  I don’t know if it was truly the first “Couch to 10K” training program I found on the internet -it’s certainly the first that came up when I searched it this time -but this is the plan I followed. I’ve done Couch to 10K programs before, and I accept my novice position as needing to be told exactly what to do. My runs started at the Week 4 level since I wasn’t quite starting from the Couch. In retrospect, I will note that if you’re trying for speed as well as ability, you might consider a more detailed program.

Goal 1 was survive. Goal 2 was beat 1:15. An hour seemed too unrealistic to be attainable based off my previous 5Ks, but it was a stretch goal. I think I would have actually needed my 12 weeks instead of the 10 actualized taking time off for vacation. But, I made it!

Wine 10K: The Results

Table of results for Couch to 10K run training.

Of course, I’m a data nerd and tracked all my stats along the way. A pinch here, a pinch there. You can make yourself sprint an extra 0.1 mile to beat the previous day. An important thing you’ll note is that I never actually ran a 10K before my 10K. I mean, hey, it wasn’t part of the plan!

The day of the race, I was unsure I would be able run the entire distance. Accordingly , I set my pace slower than it should have been. But I ran the whole distance and even got below my goal of 1:15:00 time. Barely, at 1:13:00, but I made it. So I say A+.

Will I run another 10K? A half-marathon? A marathon? Probably not. It hurts my knees and geeeeez, boring. Even so, I’m glad I got the opportunity for an exercise in discipline.

Purple background for Wine 10K.



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