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Old 04-09-2014, 07:27 AM   #1
Benisa
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 16

Brain vs. Disney Medal - Any tips for imaginary pain?

Hi everyone!

I haven't been able to find any thread on this, so I suppose my brain is just super weird.

I started running last August/September, just after I found out that there are Disney races where you get an actual medal, not just a print-it-yourself-certificate. I completed the half-marathon in January (and got my totally-worth-it medal ).

I signed up for the Dumbo challenge in August, and even though I'm still not entirely sure I want to spend about 1,200$ for the torture that is the 11 hour flight, I am trying to train regularly. Unfortunately, I'm not an active person and really don't enjoy running (or any other kind of sport).

And that's where the war between me and my brain enters the story. I would love to get the Coast-to-Coast medal, my brain wants me to stay on the sofa. Most of the time I am quite good at kicking myself out of the house, so I would consider that battle won by me.

As a revenge, my brain creates pain. For example:

- yesterday, I read about someone's problems with his/her hamstring - mine promptly started hurting as soon as I got home after work (I went for a short jog around the block)

- last week, about 3 hours after my long run, I made a weird movement and there was a tiny (seriously, not worth mentioning) pain in my knee - half an hour later I was only able to hobble because my entire leg (hip, thigh, knee, calf, ancle) hurt like hell

- on every short run, something hurts every time I pass a street that I could use as a shortcut home

The pain is gone as soon as I'm concentrating on something else, so I'm sure it's not the "real" kind of pain. If there was a doctor among my friends, I would ask for Placebo painkillers. I am sure they would work just fine.

Unfortunately, I don't have that option, so instead, I'm looking for tips to knock out my brain's desire to let me suffer. Any help would be greatly appreciated - August is still an awfully long time away... BTW: after the half-marathon in January, I didn't hurt at all. Not even my feet. I was sore the next day, but not a single of my various "training pains".

Benisa
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Old 04-09-2014, 10:14 AM   #2
Ariel484
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Congrats on completing the half in January!

You're right, August IS a long time away, and your training cycle is long - as it should be, because you want to be adequately prepared for the race weekend. I think your brain playing tricks on you and feeling a lack of motivation is VERY common.

I'm not sure how much help I can be, but I do have a few suggestions:

1. Sign up for local races - if you can find some shorter local races that you can fit into your training cycle, run those races. With August being so far off, this will give you some short-term goals to work toward and will hopefully help you stay motivated. As a bonus, if you run a 10K you can use that for your Dumbo corral placement (personally I run races WAY faster at home than I do in Disney...probably because there are no characters to distract me! ). The flip side is you don't want to sign up for too much and get burned out, and you DEFINITELY don't want to get injured before Dumbo.

2. Start to strength train once or twice a week - I think a lot of runners DON'T strength train but lately there have been studies suggesting that strength training really helps a lot with injury prevention. Your thread title says that you're having "imaginary pain" but how imaginary is it if you're hobbling? If you make your body stronger it should help you feel better during your runs, so then you don't feel like you need that shortcut because you want to just keep running.

3. Distract yourself - listen to music during some of your runs, think about your day/what's coming up the next day, etc. Visualize yourself running through Disneyland...anything to keep the focus off of "OMG RUNNING SUCKS, MY KNEE HURTS MY ELBOW HURTS I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM...etc."

4. For me...the absolute biggest motivating factor to get off the couch and out the door for my run is the fact that I know if I go to a Disney race and am so undertrained that I can't fully enjoy the experience - if I'm just in pain the entire time wishing for it to be over - I will HATE myself. Disney races are expensive and they are fun - I want to be in good enough shape to soak it all in and have a fantastic time, and I can't do that if I didn't put the work in during the months and weeks leading up to the race.


Good luck!!
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Old 04-09-2014, 01:58 PM   #3
Benisa
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 16

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariel484 View Post
1. Sign up for local races - if you can find some shorter local races that you can fit into your training cycle, run those races.
I have a few races planned until August, and I'm already making excuses why I can't/shouldn't run them. *sigh* Getting up early, and then pushing myself harder than I would in training (I'm training more for "survival" than for any sort of record) doesn't seem quite as exciting when you only get a print-out instead of a shiny medal.

Quote:
2. Start to strength train once or twice a week - I think a lot of runners DON'T strength train but lately there have been studies suggesting that strength training really helps a lot with injury prevention. Your thread title says that you're having "imaginary pain" but how imaginary is it if you're hobbling? If you make your body stronger it should help you feel better during your runs, so then you don't feel like you need that shortcut because you want to just keep running.
Yeah, I really should start that again. I'm about 5'10'', weighing 55kg (120 lbs?), so I'm on the long and skinny side, which makes me naturally prone to back problems. Sometimes I do strength training quite regularly, but most of the time I just cannot face getting up earlier than I have to.

I'm pretty sure that most of the pain related to running is just in my head. It only starts when I think about it. Imagine a tiny twinge somewhere, and my brain immediately shouting "OMG, you've pulled a muscle/dislocated your knee disc/torn a tendon/broken a bone! And that's no surprise - running is just dangerous! All runners are injured! Always!" And then it takes 15-30 minutes for me to be in pain. I honestly don't think that after taking a shower and lying on the sofa for two hours my leg would suddenly start hurting everywhere. Imagination sucks, when my own brain uses it against me.

Quote:
3. Distract yourself - listen to music during some of your runs, think about your day/what's coming up the next day, etc. Visualize yourself running through Disneyland...anything to keep the focus off of "OMG RUNNING SUCKS, MY KNEE HURTS MY ELBOW HURTS I HAVE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM...etc."

4. For me...the absolute biggest motivating factor to get off the couch and out the door for my run is the fact that I know if I go to a Disney race and am so undertrained that I can't fully enjoy the experience - if I'm just in pain the entire time wishing for it to be over - I will HATE myself. Disney races are expensive and they are fun - I want to be in good enough shape to soak it all in and have a fantastic time, and I can't do that if I didn't put the work in during the months and weeks leading up to the race.
I do. Either music or audio books (I just LOVE Harry Potter). Unfortunately, my brain still keeps shouting your entire list. The only thing that keeps me going is the thought of Disneyland/Disneyworld and the fact that I will "win" a medal without actually having to be good at something.

And the thing is, I have always tried to find some type of workout that I would to regularly, because even I realize that I am incredibly unfit. Running is what bothers me least while I'm doing it, so it's really the only option I have if I don't want to end up not being able to take the stairs instead of the elevator in a few years… That's why I really want to find a way to stop my brain messing with me. I can deal with "don't want to" and general laziness (a training plan helps a lot with that), but when it comes to pain, I tend to just give in.
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