January 27, 2009

Thoughts on Running

Every single time I run, without exception, there is a point where my body screams at me to stop. My body feels the pain shooting through my legs, the tension in my shoulders, the dehydration, the fierce beating in my chest and the sweat that stings my eyes. There is a constant battle between my mind and my body throughout the run. Before I really became a runner, I was told by a veteran of the sport that running is 90% mental and I will be the first to admit that he seemed really stupid to me. How could anything that requires such physical training and effort require such a small amount of physical ability? As the years have gone by though my thinking on this subject have changed dramatically. (Although I still do not agree with the 90/10 ratios.) You see, I know what it is like to have a 20 mile training run planned and to be stuck on a treadmill in a hot, crowded gym because of an ice storm. Three hours on a treadmill requires a lot more than physical ability. It requires a passionate determination to accomplish a goal and the ability to press on when everything inside of you is screaming in rebellion. I admire the ability in myself and in other runners to obey the passion and complete what our bodies insist we are not capable of. Whether it is a short jog around the block or the ultimate ultra marathon, the choice is ours alone. In the battle between what we feel and what we know is possible, who will be victorious? My body has definitely won this battle quite a few times but perhaps it really hasn't because there has always been a next run and a new goal and a feeling of accomplishment when it is done. Maybe that is really where the victory lies...at my personal finish line with the realization that if I can do this, then I can do anything.

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