I too got a huge kick out of the Sarah Palin interview in Runner’s World , Jess. I’ll give her a break on the cheeseball factor, since I’ve found that it really is hard to talk about running without sounding totally boring and preachy. But you’re right, she was preaching more than the gospel of endurance. In addition to the "faith in God" line you called out , there was also her weird aside about calling on your rock. Describing running with her dad, she says:
He used to tell us to call on the rock during a race when we were hurting and we were tired and wanted to quit ... We all have a different rock, but Dad inspired us with the knowledge that we could reach down deep and get strength from it. And that's not just a lesson when you're out there dying on the 23rd mile of a marathon but one for getting through daily life. Sometimes you've got to call upon your rock to get through the tough times.
A colleague more familiar with the Christian lexicon than I tells me that "rock" is a fairly common term for God. (Too bad-I was excited about the idea of us all having our own Rock to call on.) Interesting, then, that Palin would say we all have a different one. How very polytheist of her!
Still, I think the nugget of the interview that deserves the closest analysis is this: "I was thankful that I didn't need a whole lot of skills to run." How tempting to tack on a bracketed "for Vice President" to the end of that one.