Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.

Posted: September 9, 2008 in marathon training, run, running
Tags: , , , ,

“So, you want me to turn Buddhist now?!”

Snuffy sighs. The poor man. I know he is trying to teach me something. But I am in no mood to listen. I had called him to talk about my speed intervals the next day.  I had just reviewed the paces required. I am terrified.

“No,” he says. “I’m just saying you should consider having a mantra. I read somewhere that most elite marathon runners have it. It’s a phrase or a word that keeps them going.  It keeps them focused during the most difficult periods of a run.”

“I have a mantra!” I tell him a bit too huffily.

“Fine!” He says, a bit exasperated now. “If the word BREAKFAST does it for you then think that and use it!”


There is clearly something wrong with this man’s reasoning. What if I need to do the run in the evening? But I keep this thought to myself.

Apparently, Snuffy can read my mind. He sighs again. “Or, you can try visualizing. You should be pretty good at that.”


“Yes, for instance, pick someone running ahead of you and think of that person as one giant magnet pulling you towards himself.”

Hmmm… that could work!

So I start my speed run and I start visualizing.

The man is a magnet. He is pulling me in.

And it works! I can feel myself running a little faster. I check my polar watch. Wonder of wonders! I am hitting my target pace. But soon enough my legs start wobbling. My breathing is getting more and more labored…

I must focus harder! The man is drawing me closer to him. Come on! Work!

“The man is a magnet!” I announce this as stubbornly and as loudly as I can to anyone in the universe willing to listen.

My outburst startles the woman running a few meters ahead of me.  She glances behind her and she starts to pull back. Soon enough she is running behind me. Clearly, the magnet is not strong enough to work for two!

Wow! I am moving faster. Snuffy’s advice is working! But then, the image starts crumbling. The magnet slowly disappears. In its place I see a dark void. And it’s growing bigger! It’s pulling me closer to it!

THE MAN IS A WORMHOLE!  I see the stars of a distant universe…


Change tactics. This isn’t working. I need to visualize something else.

The man is Brad Pitt.


Now that’s better!

And I zoom towards my inevitable destiny…

  1. DATC says:

    Ibang klase ka talga mag sulat, saludo ako sa iyo. Pinahanga mo na naman kami.

    You should write professionally, something like Dave Barry or David Sedaris.

    Thanks a lot DATC! But I don’t think the name David suits me! 😉

  2. jinoe says:

    Nice matra. Brad Pitt does it. Maybe, I should think Angelina without the babies she is carrying.

    Deal! You take Angelina, I’ll take Brad! Walang saulian, ok?

  3. sundaywarrior says:

    Hey there! nice bumping into you this morning…looks like you’re aiming for -4hrs with that kind of intensity , great!

    Haha! I wish! Maybe I should think Lance Armstrong instead of Brad Pitt next time? The plan is to enjoy every kilometer of our first marathon. That’s why we are training as best we can right now. Para walang sisihan when we get to the starting line. happy happy joy joy na lang!

  4. prometheuscometh says:

    Is the inevitable destiny a cheesburger?

    Haha! Let me just say that DATC’s breakfast of champions version is very, very, very different from mine!

  5. Gigi says:

    Nice one! Hahahaha… Btw, sorry I haven’t been able to sail yet… The little one has been keeping me busy!

    Gigi – FitMommy

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