I just finished a book by Haruki Murakami called "What I Talk About When I Talk About Running". I liked it. It's different. It's a little random. It is basically just a collection of thoughts about some of his running experiences.
There was a particular chapter that I loved - the one where Murakami talked about his first (and last) ultramarathon. He describes the way he felt mentally and physically in great detail. It got me nervous and excited for my first ultra coming up. Here are a few quotes:
He talks about feeling worn out at the halfway point and wondering how in the world he would be able to finish the rest of the race. " I realized something was wrong. My leg muscles had tightened up like a piece of old, hard rubber. I still had lots of stamina, and my breathing was regular, but my legs had a mind of their own. I had plenty of desire to run, but my legs had their own opinion about this."
"The thirteen miles from the thirty-four mile rest stop to the forty-seventh mile were excruciating. I felt like a piece of beef being run, slowly, through a meat grinder. I had the will to go ahead, but now my whole body was rebelling. It felt like a car trying to go up a slope with the parking brake on. My body felt like it was falling apart and would soon come completely undone. Out of oil, the bolts coming loose, the wrong cogs in gear, I was rapidly slowing down as one runner after another passed me."
And then the kicker:
"As I ran, different parts of my body, one after another, began to hurt. First my right thigh hurt like crazy, then that pain migrated over to my right knee, then to my left thigh, and on and on. All the parts of my body had their chance to take center stage and scream out complaints. They screamed, complained, yelled in distress, and warned me that they weren't going to take it anymore....I tried to talk each body part into showing a little cooperation. Encouraged them, clung to them, flattered them, scolded them, tried to buck them up."
Oh boy. What have I gotten myself into?