A few weeks back I was listening to a podcast which was talking about pain. The concept of the discussion revolved around the fact that we can’t actually remember what pain feels like. When it actually happens, sure we can explain it in vivid detail. But a day later or a week later when the pain has subsided, it is hard to remember exactly how it felt.
One theory is that the brain is wired that way for self preservation. I have never given birth to a baby, but from all the horror stories I have heard no woman would ever have two kids if she could remember it all. I am sure God planned it this way or humans would have died out a long time ago.
I have been thinking of this concept because of my training lately. After talking with Pat “Rocketboy” Fellows a week or so ago, I have been looking at my training plan for the marathon. Pat is also going to try to qualify for Boston in December. He will be doing the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon on the same day that I will be doing the St. Jude Marathon. We were talking shoes and I asked him what his plan was for the marathon. Pretty simple reply, “Run Farther, Run Faster.” Yep, sounds like a good plan to me.
One thing I know about a plan like this is that there will be pain involved. And that is where the pain don’t hurt philosophy is going to come in to play. Last week, a friend at the pool asked my why I was sitting there with an ice pack on my lower leg after running. I told her it was from some form of tendinitis. Of course, she asked me if I was stupid and wondered why I didn’t stop running for a while.
It is amazing for a professional engineer how many times I get asked if I am stupid. I am sure the state licensing board would stop by for a surprise visit if they read my blog. Anyway, the leg issue is just a pain that will be part of the training. I have been icing it every day this week and will continue that until it goes away. If it doesn’t, oh well. Sooner or later, it will stop hurting and I won’t remember what it felt like.
As I ran 10 miles yesterday, I started off slower than I wanted. After a few miles I decided to up the pace a bit and I felt it. By the time I hit 8 miles, I almost slipped back to my self preservation ultra marathon mode and stopped to walk. But I quickly thought of what I was training for, remembered my pain don’t hurt reasoning and pushed on. My last mile was my fastest of the 10. It hurt for no more than 30 seconds after I finished. Then it was gone. After that I was just tired and ready to ice my leg.
I don’t know if this theory is a good one or not, but I don’t have much of a choice. Either I push, get faster and give it my all to qualify for Boston. Or I don’t. Like I said, not much of a choice.