If you've never read John Parker's Once A Runner or it's late coming sequel Again To Carthage, I would highly recommend doing so for a variety of reasons, assuming you have at least a token interest in either running or personal struggle, as both are included in the books, and both seem to be analogs to the other therein.
At some point in Again To Carthage, the protagonist's mentor Bruce Denton offers a bit of sage wisdom gleaned over the years and through the miles: running is fun, but training is decidedly less enjoyable.
I would disagree.
Granted, I've never trained, run, competed, or in any other way existed at the elite level of Denton or his protege Cassidy, the stories' main protagonist, but I have run, I have trained, and I have competed. Hard.
I agree that running is fun. I enjoy doing so. My disagreement comes with the assertion that training is less enjoyable.
Training is hard.
Training can suck.
Training can hurt.
Training can beat you up and leave you doubled over, panting, wondering why you chose to embark upon such a journey, with a ludicrous goal in a silly activity for an absurd distance.
...but that's what makes it so marvelous...
It truly is a marvel what you can do, both in terms of what you can achieve and how you can shape and mold you physical, mental, and emotional self through this outrageous act of training.
Others don't and won't understand it and will, more often than not, try to convince you to relent, but you can't. We can't. And what's more, we can't explain why.
Yesterday's run, for whatever reason, was hard. It sucked. It hurt. It beat me up and left me doubled over, panting, wondering why I chose to embark upon such a journey, with a ludicrous goal in a silly activity for an absurd distance.
...and it was marvelous.
Running is fun. Training is fun, too, but it can truly suck.