marathoning is just another form of insanity

Posted: December 3, 2008 in marathon, marathon training, myphilosophy, running
Tags: ,

“[Scientific testing] can’t determine how the mind will tolerate pain in a race.  Sometimes, I say, “Today I can die.'”- Gelindo Bordin

“Running is a big question mark that’s there each and every day.  It asks you, ‘Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'”
– Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian and sub-2:12 marathoner

“Out of the silver heat mirage he ran.  The sky burned, and under him the paving was a black mirror reflecting sun-fire.  Sweat sprayed his skin with each foot strike so that he ran in a hot mist of his own creation.  With each slap on the softened asphalt, his soles absorbed heat that rose through his arches and ankles and the stems of his shins.  It was a carnival of pain, but he loved each stride because running distilled him to his essence and the heat hastened this distillation.”
– James Tabor, from “The Runner,” a short story

“We are different, in essence, from other men.  If you want to win something, run 100 meters.  If you want to experience something, run a marathon.”
-Emil Zatopek

People think I’m crazy to put myself through such torture, though I would argue otherwise.  Somewhere along the line we seem to have confused comfort with happiness.  Dostoyevsky had it right: “Suffering is the sole origin of consciousness.”  Never are my senses more engaged than when the pain sets in.  There is a magic in misery.  Just ask any runner. –Dean Karnazes

“The marathon’s about being in contention over the last 10K.  That’s when it’s about what you have in your core.  You have run all the strength, all the superficial fitness out of yourself, and it really comes down to what’s left inside you.  To be able to draw deep and pull something out of yourself is one of the most tremendous things about the marathon.”
– Rob de Castella

“Some of the world’s greatest feats were accomplished by people not smart enough to know they were impossible.”
Doug Larson

“The woods are lovely dark and deep, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
Robert Frost

“What matters is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”- Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Marathoning is just another form of insanity.”
John J. Kelly, winner of the 1952 Boston Marathon

Most people never get there.  They’re afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance.  But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living.  If you’re not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you’re not constantly demanding more from yourself–expanding and learning as you go–you’re choosing a numb existence.  You’re denying yourself an extraordinary trip. –Dean Karnazes

“Run like hell and get the agony over with.”
Clarence DeMar

  1. DATC says:

    Wow, may review of related literature 🙂

    haha! geek! 😉

  2. ricov says:

    Blessed are the insane. 🙂

    Nice collection of quotes you got here.

    😉 for they shall joyfully crawl to the finish!

  3. prometheuscometh says:

    These are your mantras while running in Singapore!

    Basta! Whatever works!

  4. Christy says:

    I will read this again and again, as part of my preparation for my full next year..

    Best of luck and godspeed then in your training and on your big run, Christy! If you liked this then you may enjoy this site too: It’s the one that features the first marathon stories of a lot of people. It’s one of the ways I prepared myself mentally for the long and tedious portions of the marathon…

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