Eight Reasons Why Running a Marathon is Exactly Like Birthing a Baby:
- Obviously, they both take super-human amounts of strength to complete.
- They both take months of preparation which follows this general course: first third is exciting and novel and it all seems a little unreal, second third it is getting a little old, last third, your body is so beaten up that the simple act of getting in and out of the car seems like too much work and when people ask you how it is going, you are like I spent 8 hours this week running (marathon training) or trying to put my shoes on (pregnancy), I am doing GREAT!
- My major goal for both was to not poop on myself. And I succeeded, I think. Unless my labor nurses lied to me.
- In the days leading up to the big event, people like to tell you their horror stories. Why would you tell me that your coworker hit the wall at the 20 mile mark and could not finish the race? Or that your best friend was in hard labor for 18 hours before they finally did a c-section? The only thing I want to hear is it is all going to be fine and someone is going to be standing there with a giant beer when it is all over.
- Excessive consultation with Dr. Google regarding Every. Single. Pain. Four weeks before the marathon, I was developing shin splints, and because of my previous stress fracture, I was so scared to push through that I opted for a four week taper. Then, three days before the marathon, my right sciatica reared its ugly head. This is an old problem that I have had on and off for years, but in my pre-race frenzy, I was certain I had femoral-acetabular impingement, or hip arthritis, or a stress fracture. Then two days before the marathon, I cut my finger tightening Colin’s car seat and I was pretty sure that I had blood poisoning. I think we all know where the problem really was (points to my head.) Any woman who has experienced pregnancy knows exactly what I am talking about with every single twinge being blown way out of proportion.
- After a certain point, you have no control over your own body. At mile 20-something (cannot be sure which one because it was a blur after mile 17), there was a race sign posted that read “Slow down, sharp right turn ahead.” I was laughing so hard. I wanted to take a picture of it and post it with the caption “As if I have any say in my pace right now.” But I could not take a picture, because I could not stop. Because I was running down a hill after running 20-something miles! It reminded me of Colin’s birth, in which the nurse asked me to push one time to see if I could move the baby. She then told me to stop to wait for the doctor who was delivering down the hall. There was no doctor present at Colin’s birth.
- It is way more difficult and painful than you can even imagine. No one can prepare you for it. I had never run more than 18 miles in my life, so pushing on another 8 was not like anything I had ever experienced. When I was dilated to a three with Brady, I called my mom and I told her the pain was really, really bad. She told me later that she was thinking I had no idea what pain was at that point. And truly, I did not.
- As soon as the big event is over, you swear you will never do it again. Then by the next day, you are like, meh, it was not THAT bad. Maybe ONE more time. Right after the race, Mark told me I would do another marathon and I swore I would not. But Monday morning, I was already talking about improving on my time. Mark just smiled and shook his head.
One Reason Why Running a Marathon is NOT Exactly Like Birthing a Baby:
- I ugly-cried as I approached the finish line. I am pretty sure not a tear was shed following any of my births.
I have to give a major shout-out to my brother-in-law, Jimi, who was like my doula in this whole process. He talked me down no less than 350 million times in the days before the race, oversaw that I was properly hydrated and wearing running shoes the day before the race, gave me advice on nutrition for the race, and found me right after the finish line to tell me that I did great, even though we both knew I was quite a bit slower than I thought I was capable of. Which is exactly why I probably WILL run another marathon. Someday.
And another shout-out to my dad, husband, and kids that made the trip to Florida to see me at the finish line.