So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Name Is Pain

What's your name, my name is Pain - Where do you live, I live anyplace - Where were you born, in the state of fear - How old are you, nineteen hundred and ninety four years ... ("Pain," Elton John, Bernie Taupin - 1995)
What's your plan, my plan is pain - When will you leave, I'll never go away - How will you breathe, you'll give me life - How will you see, sitting in the temple right between your eyes...

This morning was one of those infrequent ones, thank goodness, where I find my body has failed to adapt to the amount of stress I've placed upon it. I had also occur about a month ago, not long after adding a few more workouts and a few more miles to my training. But this morning is a little different. Rather than the subtle, gentle ache of fatigue, I am enduring what I would definitely classify as pain.
My name is Pain, you belong to me - You're all I wanted, I'm all you'll ever be - From the beginning in a world without end - I am the air, I am Pain...

Yes, that very "far on the right hand side of the pleasure-pain scale" feeling Hume wrote about. He probably didn't use a continuum like I tend to, but he talked about how we as humans gravitate toward pleasure and avoid pain. I can understand why. There aren't any good drugs that will deal with pain and still leave you able to drive your automobile, sit at your computer, or be anything close to functional.
Pain is love, Pain is pure - Pain is sickness, Pain is the cure - Pain is death, Pain is religion - Pain is life, Pain is television...

And while we definitely know the difference between physical and emotional pain, we're less able to differentiate between physical pain and discomfort. I'll take for example one of my athletes. After the second set of Tuesday night's track workout, she mentioned that her calves were burning and in pain. I told her, 'don't worry, you're good.' 'You have one more set to go.' She managed to plod through the third set at more or less the same pace as the first one.
Before she went to do her cool-down jog and striders, I explained the difference between discomfort/fatigue and pain: Discomfort is generalized, diffuse, surface level, and decreases almost immediately after you stop exertion. Pain is focal, intense, deep and remains without regard to exertion level. A brief discussion of Noakes' Central Governor Model of Fatigue soon followed. All I'm trying to do with my athletes is get them to "turn the thermostat up" another notch.
However, for me today, it's more C.S. Lewis' megaphone of God. I think the message is: Rest.

1 comment:

losdog said...

yes, I put running on ice this week and did swimming and biking. I threw in the elliptical today and feeling better. I will test it out Saturday at the adventure race because I have no's a race :) but I will take me a couple of aleve before-hand and take it from there.