Monday, August 29, 2011

A New Saying

On the run Saturday evening I came up with a new saying

"The pain you know is worse than the pain you don't know"

Think about it, why does a runner start struggling with a pace in a race? It is partly due to the fact that they can't maintain that pace. But I believe it is bigger than that.

When I start to struggle or suffer, I start worrying about what is going to happen to me if I continue at that pace. I worry about what has not yet happened. I worry that I will start experiencing pain I just can't handle. I start.... you get the picture.

The reality is, I use the current pain and juxtapose it to future unknown pain. Dumb

Now that I have revisited a modest amount of intensity training, I have retaught myself that "I won't die" if I continue this for another minute. AND..... my body will quickly recover so I can do it again.

I started thinking about that during the first hill climb Saturday. "This is starting to hurt, and we just started running". I was using that pain as a barometer as to what the Meat Grinder would feel like 12 miles later.

At the top of the hill I relaxed and it all came back. And it dawned on me coming out of the "Back 40" that "The pain I know is worse than the pain I don't know"

Many people use a similar thought process in ultras by just running "aid station to aid station", not thinking about the entire race. I have a hard time putting mile 90 out of my mind when I hurt at mile 25.

So this is my solution instead. Maybe I should trademark it.


Runnin-From-The-Law said...

Exactly how I feel! (But i'm on a much smaller scale in marathons than you in your ultras). I need to quit freaking myself out about potential pain and just deal.

Helen said...

I like it. Though I have to say that is rarely my problem. I get totally caught up in the moment and get so fed up with how I am feeling that I don't even consider what I will feel like 1 mile or 10 miles later. But it is all about being able to convince yourself that the training is done (even when sometimes it isn't) and press on because your body has more reserves that your head wants you to believe. I need to put this to music and play it to myself :)