Thursday, June 23, 2011

Embracing Pain

Did you see the March 2011 Runner's World article about Dean Karnaze's new book? Granted, Dean may have a fairly large ego. BUT....Dean is an incredible runner. AND.....Dean is an incredible, humorous, inspiring writer. So I can overlook ego.

I loved some of Dean's quotes related to pain:

"Returning from my daily run the other morning, I came upon my neighbor, out in his slippers collecting the morning paper. He looked at me in my running gear and asked, 'Doesn't running hurt?' I thought about his question. 'It does if you're doing it right,' I said."


"I never feel more alive than when I'm in great pain, struggling against insurmountable odds and untold adversity. Hardship? Suffering? Bring it! I've said it before and I've come to believe it: There's magic in misery."

I think the challenge of moving past pain is one of the reasons I truly love running. After doing this running thing for a while, pain doesn't scare me anymore. I'm not advocating going crazy to the point where you cause injury, or running despite injury. There is a difference between pain and injury.

As long as it doesn't involve getting my blood drawn, I love the challenge of pain. Ken Chlouber said "Make friends with pain and you'll never be alone." During each race I learn a little more about how to control and override pain. Maybe, like Dean said, there really is magic in misery.


  1. You're right! I'm still trying to make pain my friend. :)

  2. Love this post! I could not agree more. Without pain we would not be so proud of our accomplishments. It is that pain we overcome that makes it so worth it every single time.

  3. That's really cool. I always hate it when I'm in it, but as soon as it's over I love it. Pain makes me realize that I did something that was "worth it." Kind of like having kids :)

  4. Great post. As long as pain is just soreness and not outright pain in one spot or area, then I think it's fine to push through and keep going.

    Now I learned that you almost never (except in races), go all out, because it only increases the injury risk. I think mentally it is helpful too, because then you only have the mental burden of going all out during races instead of during training.

    Glad you subscribe to runners world too!

  5. Great post for me today. Sunday I have a 6 mile run and I know I'll be in pain afterwards!

  6. For me, my most memorable races are the RARE ones where I felt GREAT! I hate that it's so rare, but for me, it's the days that, like magic, everything comes together. (like St. George 2009)

    I need to learn to, more adequately, push through on the MANY OFF days.

  7. I couldn't agree more. The pain that comes with running is a good pain!