Thursday, June 17, 2010

How is a raven like a writing desk?

A few weeks ago, I decided to get a deep tissue massage--an 80 minute deep tissue massage. It was wonderful, and painful. Very painful. But I relaxed and let the massage therapist dig deeper, getting the knots out and loosening tight muscles. The tight muscles hurt the worst while the pain of breaking up a knot actually felt good. Very good, in fact

The pain I felt during the massage made me think of the pain I feel when I run . . . Yes, I feel pain when I run, and it isn't pain from injury. I feel great after running, but there is a difference. It's much harder for me to work through the pain of running than the pain from a massage, even though the result is positive from both. Why is this? I've been told it's psychological. 

I want to love running, but I'm not quite there yet. And my comparison of the pain from a massage with the pain from running? Well, it's like asking how a raven is like a writing desk . . .
I want to be a better, faster, more efficient runner, and I want to love running.  If you are a runner, what is your secret?


C said...

Behaviorist psychology says running sucks because running involves pain, and so the mind associates running with pain. Running-pain, running-pain, running-pain. So strong is the connection, that after long enough, your mind isn't registering pain CAUSED by running--it's registering pain SIMPLY BECAUSE YOU'RE RUNNING.

SO, some ideas to reprogram your mind:
1) Distract yourself--keep your mind busy and interested in something else while you run--I listen to university lectures on philosophy, economics, and cognitive neuroscience while I run, and really focus my attention on what is being discussed--unlike music, it requires genuine attention and it takes my mind away from the discomfort and diminishes the strength of the subconscious association of running to pain.

2--Music can help zone out into "no-mind"--a trance-like state of heightened but detached awareness.

3--Maslow, Glasser and others have hierarchies of human needs. Form positive subconscious associations to running by linking running to a psychological need. Among them are; survival, love, power, freedom, and fun. So, reward yourself with a small amount of favorite food immediately after EVERY run (survival need--food); run with people you really like and don't see often (love/connectedness); run with people much slower than you (power/winning/competing); play games that involve running--geocache, trail-run, etc. (fun).

Linking running to the positive immediate meeting of basic needs can make it something you like more.

tk said...

Oh, listening to lectures sounds good--I'll have to try that. I listen to music, but I can still think about the pain . . .