9 hours ago
The mind can convince itself of anything, even that it is strong. But the marathon calls the mind’s bluff. It brings commitment and focus into stark relief. It forces one to confront the true nature of determination.
Worse, our brains are wired to work against us. In the latter stages of the marathon, every fiber of the body cries out for relief. The brain becomes a crisis manager, interpreting signals of exhaustion from the body as threats of imminent system failure. In turn, it sends out powerfully incessant demands to cease any unnecessary running.
And your brain can be quite persuasive.
It will actually send signals that mimic collapse before the actual point of collapse. It wants you to stop before you crumble. This is why mid-race you feel like death warmed over but somehow find the energy to “kick” at the finish. Your brain realizes you’re about to stop and allows a last burst of speed. This is real science, folks. Your brain tricks you. If you’re not ready for this clever cerebral assault, you will fold like a cheap lawn chair.