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.