Thursday, 17 October 2013

On why running a marathon is just like giving birth.

So many women say to me, "gee, I could never run a marathon". And I reply, "of course you could if you wanted to".

Ladies, if you want to, you can. Here's why: It's because running a marathon is just like giving birth. Only, a hell of a lot easier.

Here are the similarities:

  • You will likely go through more pain than you can humanly imagine possible, and still survive. In fact, you may even finish with tears of joy. 
  • Both events feel like they will never end. 
  • During the event you will regret ever thinking that this was ever a good idea. In fact, you will probably think that this was the worst idea you have ever had.   
  • You will cease to care how you look, that you are dribbling, red faced, panting and sweaty. That is until you see the photos of the event at a later stage when you will look puffy, exhausted beyond belief, have greasy hair and oily skin, and be basically hideous. 
  • Farting: you cease have any control of this.
  • You may (though hopefully not) unexpectedly excrete bodily fluids, all from orifices that you did not expect to excrete from. You will likely have no control over this either. 
  • If not a must, pain killers are at least desirable in both. 
  • In both events you will get handed something at the end for which people will congratulate you - either a finisher's medal, or a baby, and of course most important...GLORY! You survived!
  • The next day, you will be sore, and likely have difficulty walking.
  • For years to come, you will trade war stories with other crazies who share your experience (that is, either mothers or marathoners). 
  • You will not go back for another attempt until you have forgotten the pain from last time.  
Despite all these similarities, there is one crucial difference; at least when running a marathon, if it all gets too much. you can abort mission. Whereas once the deed is done, there is only one way that baby is getting out. During labour, once it's started, there is no turning back. 
And then that little rascal will grow up to remind you everyday of your crucial misdeed. Your naughty little child will at some stage drive you so crazy that you will wish you were never born. At least the pain of a marathon fades. 
And so ladies, let me tell you. You can run a marathon. However, knowing what you do now, you just might choose not to. 

You might also be interested in my experiences of running while pregnant in China.
It's not for the faint of heart!

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