I wrote this post after I ran Boston, 2014 and had just signed up to run Philly, which is HAPPENING TODAY, RIGHT NOW! I thought it would be fitting to re-publish this since I’m going through all of it as you read. It also is helping me lighten up and have a sense of humor about what’s happening for me right now!
Okay, here goes the post:
So I signed up for the Philadephia marathon in November! It only took me about a minute of deep thought after hitting publish on my last post to pull the trigger on that one. It was love at first sight with the late November date, couldn’t see myself letting it go. Plus the price increase was coming so figured I should hit that shit now.
First, a quick explanation of this post. My mom always asks me after a marathon what it feels like, how you keep going without slowing down and that sort of thing. Attempting to accurately explain the feelings you go through to someone who doesn’t run at all seems pretty impossible initially. Until DUH! I realized that marathons and childbirth are really the same thing, just you do them in different places and of course you wear different outfits (I prefer the marathon outfit). Even the process of preparing for each one is remarkably similar (except for the sign up, we don’t need to discuss the sign up), so we can start from the moment it is CLEAR you have committed yourself to each endeavor.
1. Marathon Versus Childbirth – The Beginning
Well congratulations my friend! Get ready to welcome the
end of your life as you know it most beautifully perfect fabulously empowering experience a human can have. It’s called a marathon, or childbirth, whatever you prefer. Yes this is reason # 1. When people find out, there will be some congratulations, lots of anticipation, some questions to answer about your “plans”, and, if you’re paying attention, some doubt as well, although that part mainly will come from you. You kinda sorta have a plan at this point, but you also really don’t totally know what’s coming. You still feel/look like your normal self, and have no way of knowing what joys, pain, challenges YOUR pregnancy/marathon training will bring.
2. Marathon Versus Childbirth – The Training Part I – Long Days
You find yourself eating twice what you normally eat but somehow you are tired all the time anyway. Plus you are craving stuff you never used to and drinking a gallon of water a day. You are fast asleep at 9pm every night. You are starting to wonder how you will ever make it through the training/gestating let alone the big event itself. But according to “plan” things are going well, so you power on. You are noticing your body change and sometimes you love it and sometimes you hate it. But you are beginning to understand what you’ve committed to and how there is no turning back. You do a lot of reading. You are focused on the goal. You talk endlessly to others about what you are experiencing, regardless of whether or not they are listening (sorry!)
3. Marathon Versus Childbirth – The Training Part II – Nesting/Tapering
It’s the final month before the big event and somehow you have more energy now than you did through the rest of the training/gestating. You make sure you are doing everything in your power to be READY for the big event. Family, close friends, and possibly your coach and/or medical professionals have been informed of your birth plan/travel plans/pacing/fueling/hydrating plan. You might impulsively start new projects to use up your excess energy and get your mind off of worrying about what’s to come.
4. Marathon Versus Childbirth – When It’s Imminent
You are hours/minutes away from the start of your journey. Either because the damn race is that morning or you are being induced or you’ve had mild contractions 10 minutes apart for 24 hours and you’re not saying no at this point. The adrenaline is pumping and you’re excited as hell. You KNOW you can do this but you also have NO idea what’s going to happen between now and when it’s all over. But it’s out of your hands now. You’ll do whatever it takes and you’ve got great support. You can do this. And if it turns out you can’t, well, you’re going to do it anyway.
5. Marathon Versus Childbirth – The First Half (from this point on in first person, since it’s just you and your head now)
This is SO easy! What was I worried about again? Why does everyone make this into such a big thing, I mean yeah it hurts a little but I’ve totally got this in the bag. All those long runs/lamaze classes really DID work and I’m SO ready for this. BRING IT ON.
6. Marathon Versus Childbirth – The Wall
Oh wow, okay I think I know what they’re talking about now. Dying dying dying dying F———- Me G– F—— D—– !!!!!!!!!!! There has to be something wrong, how does anyone DO this? I hate everyone, I hate everything. I will never live past this. Please someone stab me in the back with a f——— knife to ease my pain. And stop cheering me on I f——- hate you and everything you stand for. This can’t be normal. NO ONE WOULD EVER SIGN UP FOR THIS BS IF THIS FEELING IS NORMAL. There is an alien inside me about to explode and crush every bone in my body. I have died.
7. Marathon Versus Childbirth – The Final Push
I can do this, I am going to do this, the worst is over, I have a second wind, I am almighty and powerful, I basically have no choice now, cannot quit, almost over, finding new strength. Yes-this-part-actually-hurts-worse-than-the-rest-of-everything-in-the-world-combined-but-somehow-I-am-happier-than-I’ve-ever-been. You can wave those signs again people they actually work for me at this point.
8. Marathon Versus Childbirth – The Finish Line
I am a blubbering mess right now and feeling every kind of emotion and physical sensation ever known to any person throughout the history of human kind all at once. All I know is that it’s all over and all beginning all at the same time. I will never be the same. I can never go back. I took part in making this happen and I’m in awe of the person I never knew I was.
See? Running a marathon and experiencing childbirth really ARE basically the same thing. Which is probably why I started running marathons after I knew I was done having babies. That and I’m just really not a dog person. This should be really fun news for the ladies and also for the guys who’ve always been told they have no idea what it’s like.