We came across this blog entry from Caitlin Constantine, author of the blog Fit & Feminist. She has been training to reach her goal of breaking 4 hours in the marathon for several years and attained it last week. We found her post-race report moving, inspirational, and just had to share some of her insights about the mental aspects of running, training, and digging deep through the pain to find the joy.
I don’t know how to convey the surreal experience of hurting so badly and yet still feeling so strong and fast, because those two sensations so rarely co-exist in my body at the same time, and yet there I was, running hard, awash in an ocean of pain and yet somehow, against all logic on earth, feeling immensely powerful. I was simultaneously at my most human while also feeling at my least human, all of the pretense and artifice and rationalization and bullshit stripped away to reveal the muscle and bone and blood and breath and raw will that comprises who I am at my core.
This is, by the way, what I love most about distance running. Sure, it keeps me in good health and has given me an outstanding pair of calves and it can be as fun as hell, but when you start pushing into those double-digit distances that take multiple hours to complete, it becomes a spiritual reckoning of sorts, where you have the chance to see if you are truly as tough as you hope you might be. The great thing is that even if you weren’t before you complete a run like this, the very act of completing that run will make it so. Very few people come away from a run like this without feeling transformed on a molecular level into something a little harder, a little more resilient.
Read the whole post here.