Mind, body, spirit and the marathon

Any motivation is good motivation. Illustration by Jim Carroll
Any motivation is good motivation.
Illustration by Jim Carroll

When I run, I usually find myself thinking about a lot of things. The mind generally hates running, so it wanders aimlessly like tourist in front of you as you try to get to work on time (just kidding, tourists, we love you…as long as you stay to the right while riding on escalators).

Thoughts can range from “oh, look, a pretty butterfly” to “I’m going to die alone and that’s really going to suck.” But the thought that comes to my mind the most is “why am I running?” It crosses my mind constantly, usually in a big picture kind of way. This particular thought is a dangerous one, and can get me into trouble. It usually comes in the first mile or two, or at 6 a.m. before a long training run. Why? Why does anyone one run? Do we really need to?

It’s not like I’m running from anything (like a bear, for instance) or running to anything (let’s say to get a fire extinguisher). It seems that things like fire, or angry bears, or the dreaded fire-breathing bear make sense for a person to start running — but to run just to run, at times, seems just plain stupid. It’s at these moments I almost stop, which is dangerous, because running overall seems to be about momentum (training, races, etc.). To stop is to stop and that can start to kill one’s spirit. After the body and mind cease to cooperate, the spirit is the only thing left that seems to push runners to finish their run, whether it be a 5K, a marathon or to safety from a fire-breathing bear.

When it comes to the physical aspect of getting ready for a marathon, nothing can test the body like a marathon training program. I recently started The Run S.M.A.R.T. Project training program through the New York Flyers (a local running club I recently joined). We train five days a week with Wednesday being a pretty intense group training session. Right now, I run about 32 miles a week, and that will gradually increase until race day.

Physical side effects from such training, so far, have ranged from walking across my living room like an 85-year-old with rickets, to screaming in the morning like a 6-year-old girl from the pain of intense calf cramps (my neighbors keep waiting to meet my daughter, who apparently suffers from occasional early morning nightmares — let them believe what they want). As noted by many marathon veterans, a major key to training for a marathon is actually making it to the marathon. I’m starting to see what they mean. This is tough on everything that makes a human, human: mind, body and spirit.

The good news is my spirit seems healthy. In fact, it seems to be getting stronger and that, perhaps, is the main thing that will get me to Nov. 3 in one piece.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Memorial held for Sean Collier, MIT police officer…

More than 1,600 people gathered at MIT on Friday for a memorial service for Sean Collier, the police officer shot to death a year ago in the aftermath of the…

National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox defeat Orioles, 4-2

Brock Holt the difference in the Red Sox' win

NHL

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump…

NHL video highlights & analysis: Red Wings dump Bruins in Game 1

MLB

MLB video highlights: Orioles top Red Sox, 8-4…

John Lackey roughed up for second straight outing

MLB

MLB video highlights: Red Sox score two in…

Lester shines in Red Sox win over White Sox

Parenting

How to parent without gender stereotypes in a…

Christia Spears Brown, Phd. author of "Parenting beyond Pink & Blue" gives advice on raising kids free of gender stereotypes.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.