Saturday, June 21, 2008

Embrace the Pain

Wednesday evening, the Half Marathon Training Team sponsored an injury prevention clinic with a local sports doctor, Dr. Dec. She commented that "Running hurts. Did anyone tell you that?" We all chuckled but it was a knowing chuckle. Running is great -- I love it. There are huge physical and emotional benefits but one does have to endure a certain amount of discomfort. I'm finding that, even after almost 5 years of steady running and after having tamed the 10-mile barrier, that longer runs and faster runs do leave me with some aches.

Looking ahead to today's Mayor's Marathon, the Anchorage Daily News posted an article yesterday on this very topic. Here's a excerpt -- the full story can be read here:
Prepare for pain.

The forecast for many of you 26.2-mile first-timers is partly miserable with occasional periods of suffering and a mild chance of legitimate anguish. Doesn't matter if you're a lickety-split type or someone who gets passed on training runs by people pushing strollers -- the marathon does not discriminate.

Still, it's important to embrace your agony. You've worked hard for this day -- if not, big bummer for you -- and you've no doubt persevered through some difficult training, so you have experience with excruciation. You're going to endure some bad patches Saturday, sure, but you'll be in good company.

While this article is in reference to a full marathon, the same holds true for a half marathon (at least for us mere mortals) -- even a good, hard 10K leaves me with some pain.

Ran 10 miles today -- 7 with the training team and then 3 more on my own. Pace was good, actually a little fast for the training plan, at 8:18 mpm. I've ended up running with 3-5 "young" guys when the group runs and they took me to the cleaners on mile 7 today. I console myself with the excuse that they were heading for the barn and I still had 3 more miles to go -- it makes me feel better. (grin) These guys are fun to run with (thanks to you all -- Hank, Todd, John, Chris, Drew) and we push each other to do just a little better each time we run.

Run well, y'all (and embrace the pain),
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