Runners Forum - Kick Runners banner
1 - 20 of 60 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm talking about that deep down desire to push yourself farther and harder than most people...Do you have that innate ability to tolerate pain and fatigue and cramps and breathlessness?<br><br>
The very best road racers have it. I see them hit that extra gear in races. They dig down-it seems their concentration is locked in. They have focus. Their pace actually <i>picks up</i> at a point when logic says they should slow down.<br><br>
I envy that drive, that focus. It is magnificient to watch.<br><br>
My theory is that it is mostly inborn. You have to be able to <i>suffer</i>. If you are really good, you can suffer even more and for that you are often rewarded with finishing very high in the standings. That is the bait. And then you punish yourself in training to achieve an even better race.<br><br>
But the best races take a little something extra. Yes, the training has to be done. You have to peak at the right time. Do enough multi-pace training, enough over and under distance runs. Do enough faster training...but when crunch times comes and it's late in the race and there's a rival running with you, can you force yourself past that point and take it up a notch?<br><br>
I'll bet I could name those people who can do it...<br><br>
(I am not one of them, but I wish I was.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,784 Posts
Mcsolar posted this the other day. <a href="http://www.theonion.com/content/node/42542" target="_blank">http://www.theonion.com/content/node/42542</a><br><br>
The last paragraph is especially inspiring.<br><br>
"(I am not one of them, but I wish I was.) "<br>
I bet you do or you wouldn't be where your at today. Some of it is inborn; some of it is taught.<br><br>
Sometimes I think I've got it sometimes it seems I don't. I want more of it for sure.<br><br><br><div style="text-align:center;"><br></div>
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,689 Posts
my theory is that some people have the ability to ignore the suffering. well, maybe not ignore; more like they accept it, put it into a corner of their brain, and focus on something else. whenever i get into a state where i'm thinking about the pain and feel like i'm "trying harder" i know i'm in trouble. but on a few occasions i felt that suffering, but didn't focus on it or struggle against it, i just let it be, and tried running faster anyway.<br><br>
similar ideas are discussed in the book "running within", which is probably why it resonated with me:<br><a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=3Zip6fLuq_MC&pg=PA165&lpg=PA165&dq=running+beyond&source=web&ots=v9HzvJLrXu&sig=nNmZxUPiVmqdiarm4FOlaMpTzPg#PPP1,M1" target="_blank">http://books.google.com/books?id=3Zi...MpTzPg#PPP1,M1</a><br><br>
ps - i just found a web site where you can order a can of "it", so i'm sending two cans to dtoce for boston '08!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,030 Posts
The cold clammy hand of fear is already closing around my heart for what's coming in this weekend's 8k. I hate racing, I hate the pain. I'm a wimp and really struggle to hang in there at the end. I go through these phases in an 8k:<br><ul><li>One week out: Dread and fear, tempered by feeble attempts at positive self-talk</li>
<li>The morning of: Descent into evil mood, vain search for acceptable excuse to bail</li>
<li>30 minutes before: Warmup, during which I run like a bicycle. One that's been run over by a truck. Self-doubt peaks.</li>
<li>5 minutes before: Shuffle around in the start queue, sandbagging desperately at whomever will listen.</li>
<li>First km: Go out too fast</li>
<li>15 minutes: Lactic acid floods in, and a familiar "oh, no" speaks. Suffering begins</li>
<li>30 minutes: Desperate to pack it in, manage to stagger along, this is the decision point. I've only backed off once.</li>
<li>5 minutes to go: Dreadful, dreadful - try to hang onto coat-tails of someone else. Everything is screaming to quit.</li>
<li>1 minute: Hyperventilating audibly. Pelvic floor fails.</li>
<li>Finish: Stagger about, making scene</li>
<li>5 minutes after: Brag and strut and prepare for the next one. Go change. <img alt="blush.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/blush.gif"></li>
</ul><br>
Motivation - For me, it's all about getting those fitness benchmarks. I'm not hardware calibre in this region, but it's worth fighting through the races to find out what I'm made of. Near the end, there's always a lot of decisionmaking, and I'm afraid that I have chosen to let someone go more times than might be good for my character. Oh, well.<br><br>
In sum, Dale, no. I ain't got it, and put myself through hell pretending that I do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,698 Posts
Thanks for the book, mc. That looks like a good one.<br><br>
Mustang, how about you try a can of <a href="http://youtube.com/watch?v=qRuNxHqwazs" target="_blank">Powerthirst</a> or <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-3qncy5Qfk&NR=1" target="_blank">Powerthirst Rocket Edition</a> and report back? (Warning: irreverent humor!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,784 Posts
MS - that's funny. However, runners on this forum and even the elites have these same thoughts. Some aren't as obvious as others.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,698 Posts
In an attempt to make a more meaningful contribution to this thread...<br><br>
I certainly do not have 'it' by nature, but on two or three occasions, I have been able to set aside the pain and push myself hard enough to understand that I can run better than I thought possible if I am willing to pay the price. It is a revealing and humbling experience. Almost spiritual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
thanks for the book rec-It's now on my list.<br><br>
I'm enjoying Hal Higdon's 'On the run from dogs and people'. He's a pretty funny guy. It seems every chapter ends with witty comments.<br><br>
I <i>highly</i> recommend it.<br><br>
-------------------------------------------------<br><br>
Nice discussion. I think we have several people who have 'it' posting here.<br><br>
I've had a few races where I was driven by anger or fear (which reminds me of another book on my list...), but the number of times I just picked it up on my own, at the end of a 2M or 5K race, well, I might have done it once or twice.<br><br>
I'm usually content to keep it the same and grind it out but not push too hard.<br><br>
This year, I will test my limits again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
757 Posts
I am one of those politically incorrect thinkers who believes it is genetics 90% and the rest is training, while some folks run well inspite of thier training. Sometimes I get the idea that running and suffering is some sort of a moral issue with some folks. Personally my own suffering or talent is not why I run. Based on talent alone, I would not run. I run because I can and I love it.<br><br>
I don't suffer when I run, certainly on some steep mountain trails I may reach a point where I am nausious and feel that I can't go on, but I push ahead. The reasons being is not that I am hurting, because I am not hurting, I am loving it, feeling the blood flow, the strength I had not enjoyed even months ago, occasionally I reach the summit of the hill without stopping and the only thought is "Thank you God for this blessing".<br><br>
My absolute favorite race was the Jupitor Peak Mountain Steeple Chase, a very tough and challenging run to the top of Jupitor Peak and back around to Park City, Utah. There weren't alot of people there, the start was an uneventful "ready, set, go" and off we went. The water stops had folks there rather than to congratulate you on the good job that you were doing, were there to see if you knew your own name and weren't delirious. Some were taken off the hill because they were disoriented and delirious. When I came to the finish line, there was no medal just a fellow there to say "You are now officially an animal". I was bloody from a fall, dirty, sweaty walking back to my car with a huge smile and so proud to be called an animal. Did I suffer? Not for a minute, I loved every moment of that run.<br><br>
There was a sign about half way down the hill at the St. George Marathon that said "Pain, No Brain". What a profound statement! It just seems silly and short sited to run a race or run to the point where one will knowingly cause damage to themselves as to prevent further running or running with pain for months afterward.<br><br>
On a more practical point, if I had the talent and was trained to the point where there was a potential to win several thousand dollars or a chance at the olympics or material sponcership, it would be worth it and the struggle to the point of physical damage would be worthwile if not admirable.<br><br>
I guess this is probably just the musings and ramblings of an older guy who placed his values in the wrong things and drank to much.<br><br>
Good Runs All, Larry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,515 Posts
No. I don't have it. The few times I've run 5Ks I've been nearly last (most recently, I was 4th from last). I stagger along wishing I was anywhere else in the whole world. My face is beet-red. I feel like I'm only going on will; certainly not due to any physical ability what so ever. My DH, bless his heart, is always at the finish line telling me how wonderful I am. He sees me at my worst - pouring sweat, sickly looking beet red face & neck, stumbling due to exhaustion. I don't know how I was so lucky as to ever meet this man.<br><br>
The thing is -- I've been physically active all my adult life, between slow running, speed walking, aerobics in the 80s when it was so popular, regular yoga classes, did kickboxing in the 90s, lots of rowing, and some weightlifting. I even did about a year of belly-dancing classes! This is just to show that I'm not the kind of person who sits around. Yet running is so incredibly hard for me. I put in absolutely major effort, yet I'm slow and can't go far. It's very frustrating. It's almost like my own personal challenge for life. The furthest I've ever run was almost 7 miles and that was an aberration, because otherwise my long runs were about 5.5 miles. At this point I'm rebuilding <again> after my bronchitis episode. Before that, I was rebuilding from my torn calf in late Sept and had gotten up to doing 3 miles regularly. Seems like I keep sliding down that slippery slope of injury/illness, and then rebuilding. It's pretty frustrating.<br><br>
But, short answer to "do I have it", is NO. I'm far from a natural or even learned athlete. And I'm old. And heavier than I want to be. I do realize that I'm better off than most women sharing my age & occupation, but I'm not in as good shape as I'd like to be.<br><br>
I am in awe of people who can dig deep and give that extra push and actually accelerate when it's now or never. I try like hell but somehow fall short.<br><br>
Susan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,104 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I like that statement, Larry! <i>'Pain, no brain'</i>.<br><br>
Don't get me wrong, pushing yourself to the limit usually does <b>not</b> cause one damage to themselves.<br>
(and I don't want to have a big discussion on the central governor theory again...)<br><br>
But the best racers, the one's we read about in the journals and watch as they glide through races at unbelieveable speeds, can push themselves-and they do have <i>it</i>. They do punish themselves and suffer...and they perform and race at a different level.<br><br>
I think racing does not equal running. I've said this before. We all have different reasons for this great endeavor, but I still want to race a bit-before my body will not let me. Push myself harder and faster and I think a lot of it is physical and quite a bit of it is mental...<br><br>
I've been thinking about it lately, hence this thread.<br><br>
------------------------------------------------------<br><br>
FTR,<br>
I think all runners do not give themselves enough credit.<br>
I believe that MS and Riley, and KS, and MC and milbot all have <i>it.</i><br><br><i>It</i> is the ability to push to a new level.<br><br>
That might be running a few more miles per week. It might be picking up the pace during a race of any distance. It might be trying a race at a new distance. Most certainly every runner has it. We just have different amounts...<br><br>
and as KS said so eloquently, 'I want more of it'...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,788 Posts
Why do I recover so quickly after races? (OK, except for marathons) I mean, 1 minute later I'm chatting happily with others and thinking "meh, that wasn't so hard."<br><br>
Because I didn't push myself hard at the end. After every single race I think "really, I could have finished harder." At the moment of truth, maybe 400m from the finish, I merely "try hard." I don't have it. <img alt="sad.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/sad.gif">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,426 Posts
Me too! I want more! <span style="font-size:xx-small;">Or I think I do.<br><br></span>I like training more than racing. I probably should say I <i>love</i> training, at least the running part.<br><br>
That said, I have <i>never</i> had more fun than last March when I <i>raced</i> for the first time ever. It was a half marathon about a month before Boston. That digging in with the herd just past the halfway point (I may have been too conservative in the first half, but it worked for me in this race), the surge and fade with a group of five or six. I was the only gal in the bunch and felt scared to get out front and push, but the time came where I dared to and, dammit, held it. What a rush!<br><br>
Sometimes I think I'm "running away" from the pure enjoyment of running by pursuing faster race times, but it seems I just can't help trying to get those times down ... at this point in time anyway. I'll always love running, though ... fast or not-so-fast. Can you feel any better than running into a cold stream on a hot summer's day?<br><br>
I've only been nervous once before a race -- that was pacing Econo in Portland. I get a little bit hyper -- not quite like ksrunr but close; I don't fret it. It's what I love to do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,959 Posts
Well, where to begin?<br><br>
Everyone has IT as nature.<br>
But every has buried IT with nurture - or rather a "false nuture"<br>
The point we strive for is to reveal the IT that is within.<br>
We peel off layer upon layer of the false nurture through alert encounters with suffering.<br>
IT is more about letting go than accumulating.<br>
More about becoming vulnerable than safe.<br>
To reveal your IT requires good theoria and praxis regardless of the medium.<br><br>
jjj
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
649 Posts
Great thread Dale..<br>
The recent Runner's World has a photo essay on scenes from th NYC Marathon. Pictures of guys crossing at 2:55 supports this whole thread. The runners that just broke 3 hrs showed <b>alo</b>t of pain.<br><br>
I've wondered recently, especially my last 5K, if other runners were experiencing my pain. If you look at neighboring runners while you are killing yourself, it looks (to me) like they are gliding effortlessly along. I've often wondered, "are they feeling as bad as I am?". Then I have thoughts, "maybe I'm a lousy runner but I have a higher pain threshold than others". Msally's description is perfect. I wonder how many of those nearby runners are feeling the same? If they are, maybe a strategy would be to smile at them and see if they fall back <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif">.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,580 Posts
Okay, I'll jump in. Econo, you have it. Like many women runners, you tend to underestimate yourself. ETA-I've raced her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,784 Posts
Econo said "Why do I recover so quickly after races? (OK, except for marathons) I mean, 1 minute later I'm chatting happily with others and thinking "meh, that wasn't so hard." Ditto what Opie said. But I would add if you've recuperated rather quickly there are 2 reasons. 1) you didn't run hard enough. or 2) more likely your are well conditioned and it doesn't take you long to recover.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,124 Posts
This is exactly why I've never run a race before. I don't want "it".<br><br>
That said, I think I'm developing a lemming persona, the longer I hang out here. Case in point, the first of my goals for 2008 as listed in my signature below.<br><br>
"It" scares me. I'm afraid of failing. That's why I haven't ever tried yet.<br><br>
But do I have "it"? Time will tell.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Although I'm no Dathan Ritzenhein, I think that I have it. And actually I think that it's a learned trait that you can train yourself to do. The key is to know yourself and know when and where to push in a race so that you've expended your energy to the fullest.<br><br>
As a young runner in college in spite of being a pretty decent workout runner I could rarely put it together well--maybe just a few times over dozens of races--and actually tanked at least part of any race about 2/3 of the time. Didn't know how to handle race day pressure.<br><br>
After college it got better and better.<br><br>
Now, I never just throw it in, and rarely tank. In fact if I do tie up, its because I've gone out too fast in a shorter-type race (say mile to 10k) and have gone anaerobic or have induced asthsma. Even then I'll push as hard as I can until I get to the finish. Pretty much any time I cross the finish, I'll be bent over and gasping for a couple minutes. Fell over after the Equinox Marathon in '06 and they splashed me picture on the sports page. That sucked.<br><br>
At some point, I'll go to what end? And will back off. But for now--it's what I race for!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,829 Posts
I agonize over this one, I'm not sure of the answer.<br><br>
I don't feel I have anything to prove about finishing hard races. JJ100 had a 51% drop rate, and I honestly never considered the possibility despite more than my fair share of stuff going wrong. Two of my 100Ks in 2007 involved getting lost and wandering around for a couple of extra hours, neither made me consider a DNF either.<br><br>
At the same time I've noticed a tendency to let up in the last 20 miles of long races, I just quit caring about time or pace and mail it in sometimes. Am I leaving a lot on the table? It's hard to say. Maybe I could have gone a minute a mile faster for those miles and had a time 20 minutes faster. Or maybe I would have run that pace for the first 5 of those miles and then exploded and ended up going an hour slower.<br><br>
So I don't know. I bat this back and forth.<br><br>
The one thing I've learned is that in very long ultras this question becomes insignificant compared to a related question: can you hold a sharp mental focus for the whole time. If you start to woolgather, even for a minute out of each mile, and quit paying attention to the trail you will eventually stumble or fall or bash your foot on a rock. Do that once at mile 50 of 100 and you may be able to suck it up and hold pace for the rest of the race. But all you have to do drift off once an hour and you'll start to get bashed up enough that it overwhelms any amount of willpower. What's worse, sooner or later you'll be "working" mentally to suck it up and keep going so much that there is nothing left to miss the obstacles. When you start to remind yourself of Wile E. Coyote, the drive to finish fast is pretty much irrelevant.
 
1 - 20 of 60 Posts
Top