Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Pain Cave

You have all probably heard me talk about the pain cave. It was a concept I learned from Sonja. She uses the pain cave theory in all of her Ironmans. I know that a half marathon or even a full marathon is no where even close to an Ironman, but I think that no matter what level you are at you can use the pain cave theory. What it basically is, is knowing that you will be tested in any of these endurance sports and you need to decide how far into "the pain cave" you are willing to go. The pain cave is a scary place, because for most of us we feel our best just sitting around, or maybe going for a light workout. But all of these endurance sports requires us to be in some sort of pain. Some days/races the pain is minimal. Some days the pain is unbearable. So on every race you have to decide how deep into the cave you are willing to go, before you know what the pain will be like.

I didn't know of the pain cave when I ran my first full marathon. If I did, my finishing time would have been a whole lot faster. I might have collapsed at the finish line, but that time would have been faster.

On Sunday, the pain cave will be present, however I have already decided I am not going very far in. I might sneak in there part way, but I am not getting lost in the pain cave. My body is just too fragile right now. My lungs are just now starting to feel a tiny bit better, and well I want to race more in the future and going deep into the pain cave this weekend puts me at a higher rate of not being able to do that. Plus, we are staying with Katie and Rob Dog and I intend to stay there and not the hospital. I intend on Katie feeding me until I am fat and happy, not eating hospital mush. I intend on walking to Starbs with Katie in the morning, talking about life, not walking out of a hospital talking about what new drugs I am on. I intend....okay okay you get it you get it. :)

I started thinking yesterday about how blessed God has made my life. I complain about the dumbest stuff. Instead of complaining I need to praise God that I am even in the place to be complaining about something. For example, AA and I are being "grown ups" these days and are trying to buy a house. I was complaining here and there about it, and then caught myself. I need to thank Jesus that we even have the ability to buy a house, and need to pray that the house HE already has picked out for us would be a home where His name is proclaimed. I caught myself complaining about how my hamstring was killing me after running. Gosh I almost hit myself over the head with that one. I should be thanking God that I can run! I need to get into the GRATEFUL CAVE....and run as far into it as humanly possible!

Caves....who knew they could provide such insight on a Wednesday. :) What is something you have been complaining about, that you should actually be grateful for?


  1. I'm excited to know about the pain cave. I've been going in there without knowing what to call it when I do p90x lately. Also I've been complaining too much about having to move houses lately. I should be grateful I even have a home and I'm not living in earthquake/tsunami ravaged rubble or something. Thanks for the perspective! good luck on your run!

  2. Shelby-I'll be praying for you and Aaron as you go to Dallas and as you run! I know you'll listen carefully to your body and I just hope you have a great run and an incredible time with Katie & Rob. Have fun!!

  3. Hi Shelby,
    You don't know me, but I found your blog by googling mine! LOL

    My blog is We have much in common.

    I live in Texas and see you will be visiting our great state soon.

    I will be praying for you as you push through that pain cave.

    I take a very similar approach in my running. I ran a 100 miler recently and it only took me 80 miles to finally allow God to take over. I'm just slightly stubborn.

    Anyhoo, I thought I would give you a shout out and let you know that I will be following you!
    Your sister in Christ,