I run happy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Suffering for Your Sport

Here are a few things that have kept me busy during the last two weeks:

 Watching friends race The Carlsbad 5000!  It was a windy day but we had lots of fun spectating.

 Stinky Pants has a disco party in the bath tub.  These are GLOW STICKS which provide at least ONE HOUR of bath time fun(as long as your little one isn't afraid of the dark...).
Bobbing and swaying for EASTER PEEPS.  This was so fun to watch.  My kinders "earned" a marble jar party through good behavior and actually requested this activity as their "party."  It also gave me a glimpse into their mouths and I was very impressed with their clean, white teeth...which were about to be covered by sticky, purple,  PEEP!

In contrast with the low key FUN I've been having during my two weeks of SPRING BREAK,  I've also been training for a 5k which I'm running tomorrow(down low race-K)and I'm  training for a hilly trail 22k race in Malibu in a few weeks...

and thinking a lot about SUFFERING.  As in PAIN.  It came to me last week after reading an elite's blog about how she wakes up every single day with some type of pain and also runs with pain, generally, throughout most of her runs.  She isn't injured, just a fast runner who  must MANAGE her pain. Check her out here:   http://camilleherron.com/

That's me!   Well, not the FAST RUNNER/ELITE  part but as I've begun to put weeks of hill training into my running schedule and then follow that with interval training at faster paces,  I've realized that my body is SORE.  I'm not afraid of this pain anymore,  after a few marathons you begin to appreciate that the pain is a reflection of how hard your body has worked and performed.  I have, instead,  learned to welcome the pain and even ask for more, especially during races.  It's not the DEBILITATING pain that makes you want to limp, fall to the ground and reach for ice.  It's more like the eye rolling pain, the pain that sets in when you've pushed your body to it's limit and you still know you have more to GIVE.  It's just a GOOD KIND OF SUFFERING.  A "bring it on suffering."  A PUSH THROUGH-HANG ON  suffering.  

Frank Shorter once said,  "Marathons hurt up to point and then it doesn't get any worse."  I have become a seeker of that most ultimate pain and suffering just so that I can KNOW that that's where the threshold lies and it won't ever pass that point and get any worse.  So far,  I continue to seek it in every race.  It's become a new THING of mine.  Crazy, I know, but still fun in the sense that it's connected to RUNNING and moving forward as quickly as possible.  Pain is just a part of that game.

I know that we all have different reactions towards pain, running and racing.  Some have a higher threshold of pain.  Some not so much.  It's become an interest of mine as I take on more hills at a faster pace and get ready for my race in a few weeks...trying to find the threshold which is NOT the sweet spot of running but rather,  more like the SUFFERING SPOT.  Such a challenge.

How do you react to pain and that SUFFERING SPOT during a race?


  1. Oh, I NEED some of those glow stick in my bath after a long, PAINFUL, run...wouldn't that be so much fun and help in recovery, I'm sure :).

    I bet the kiddos were so much fun bobbing for Purple Peeps, how fun! You have a good class with great dental hygiene :).

    Good luck with the 5k tomorrow, will be very anxious to hear how you do since you've been on fire lately! You go and rock it, girl. And have a total blast!! A hilly 22k will be so much fun and you'll race up that hill super fast like it's your job. That's what you do! And that's what all that xc practice last year got you in shape for. Being sore is the icing on the cake - you know you've worked hard and the body is adapting when it's sore and let's you know it!!

    Go Meg, gooooooooooo!!


  2. Love those glow sticks! Those would be a great birthday present next time I need one for some little guy or gal.

  3. Cool on the glowsticks!! I'm a bit sad actually that I don't have kids young enough to play with glowsticks in the tub anymore....No-on second thought, I guess I take that back!! Maybe something for Joe and I on vacation-ha ha!

    So, your low key 5K comes with some big time good luck wishes from Minnesota!!!! You go girl!!! Oh my word, coming from flat country, that 22K is a MONSTER!

    Good post Meg! I've read Camille Herron. Ooh-I am on a quest to find that suffering spot!!!! After I get my right leg transplant, I'm ON that!

  4. There's an elite runner in my squad who's 48 and whenever I see her outside a running event I think that she's injured. She walks like a stiff old lady with arthritis. It's such a surprise to see her running ridiculously fast speeds after you've seen her hobbling around.

  5. I'm never not amazed by you supergirl. That race looks like it might take you to your suffering sweet spot (you nut!) but I do know what you mean - it's that pain that means you've achieved and worked and pushed..

    I want glowsticks in MY bath - never thought about that before but now I'm obsessed...

  6. I got a bunch of glow-sticks and strings in a goody bag recently, NOW I know what to do with them!

    The endorphins from racing often mask most injuries, but I try hard to stay aware so if there is any, even little niggle, I am aware and can pay attention. Usually though I injure my self when training but luckily that doesn't happen to often or I would never race!

    Cheers Meg!

  7. Grandbaby is so cute!!! Love the Frank Shorter quote! This is an encouraging post....I always have some ache or pain that nags me but can't stop me...

  8. I think glow sticks would make any bath better :)