Pain Cave: the physical feeling of discomfort, pain or fatigue we get when running hard and pushing our limits, it can often feel enclosing like a cave with only 1 way to escape - to slow down.
In workouts we can often go to the "pain cave", sometime we just stay in the mouth of the cave and sometimes we go deep inside. But over the course of a training cycle, we visit this "pain cave" so many times that we start to get a sense of familiarity to it, we understand its characteristics, its depths, its shallows, we get a strange sense of comfort with it, and even over time start to feel at home there in the cave. It is then, when we have gotten to this point, we know we are ready to go racing.
Some call it "getting comfortable with being uncomfortable" or "mental callousing" but regardless of what you call it, it gives a sense of purpose to the discomforts we experience in training. So much of our success will be determined by how we learn to deal with our time in this "pain cave". Do we stay positive, accept it, appreciate its place in expanding our limits, and make the most of it, or do we let it defeat us, rob our motivation and look to escape as soon as possible and never go back. It is in this way that running can often mirror our lives. Very rarely do truly good things come without its share of sacrifice and perseverance.