Thursday, February 21, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon - Review

Today's Total Calorie Intake:  2326
(Exercise Calories:  361)
Total Net Calories:  1965

I went to see The Spirit of the Marathon tonight.  The movie follows 6 different people who planned to run the 2005 Chicago Marathon (luckily, they were not filming the 2007 Chicago Marathon which ended up being pretty disastrous).  It followed them through their training and then through the race.  It featured two elite athletes, two first-time marathoners and two repeat marathoners (one trying to qualify for Boston).  Of course, I related to the stories of the first time marathoners the closest (and they both finished the race - with respectable times to boot - which put me a little more at ease for May 4).

The movie was inspiring to me - knowing that all of this training will pay off and I will cross the finish line.  However, there were also one thing that this movie brought to light which I had not thought much about yet - Hitting "The Wall".  Basically, there comes a time in the marathon where you have pretty much used up your stored and available energy and you end up "running on fumes".  This happens to many marathoners somewhere around 20 miles into the race - so if you hit the wall at this point you end up running the last 10K "on fumes".

And it looks painful.

The movie didn't dwell on this much, but as they showed many of the race participants towards the end of the race I could see from their faces that this was a mind-over-matter struggle.  After running for over 3 or 4 hours (I'm talking normal people here - not the elite runners), it looks like your body is in physical pain yet your brain is making your body continue.

I know that I'm currently training myself up to be strong enough physically to run this race.  However, after watching some of the race footage, I'm wondering if there is some way I can train myself mentally to be strong enough to run through the pain?  Is just getting my behind out of bed at before the sun rises four days a week to run enough mind-over-matter training to get through the physical discomfort of miles 20 through 26.2????  I hope so...

1 comment:

pigtailsflying said...

Hey Mike, I just saw SPIRIT OF HTE MARATHON, and have run two of my own marathons, too. Just wanted to chime in and say that your long runs will help you develop the mental toughness needed for the last 6.2 miles of the race. Everyone has their own inner, emotional & spiritual, reserves they tap into those last miles. You will find yours, too.