So here’s a disclaimer. I am not pregnant, nor have I delivered a baby. But., one of my best friends was pregnant throughout the time I trained for my marathon, and our lives have always been eerily parallel, despite the fact that she lives about 8 hours away in Nashville. As I was going through the whole process – the training, the race itself, and then the after, I asked her about it, and she seemed totally in agreement, that training for, and executing a marathon is kinda sorta like the process of getting pregnant and delivering a baby. Also, fun fact: now that we have kids, we are sworn to secrecy about what happened at her wedding weekend. I am fine with that 😉
How Marathoning is Like Delivering a Child
By: Cheri and Mama Chelsie, cause she’s actually delivered a child.
- You’re pregnant/you’ve registered for your first marathon! So what do you do? You tell your best friends, because you’re kind of so excited, but kind of terrified. What have you gotten yourself into? Oh well, you’ve got forever to prepare for this, right? Right? Why do some people so happy for you, and some people seem so terrified for you?
- Realizing that what you’re about to do is going to be a big deal, you go to Barnes and Noble and sit there with a tea while you read every single book on the topic. You might even bring your laptop to Google some stuff and do some cross-referencing. Why the hell are there so many theories on this stuff? Should I eat seafood? Is caffeine okay? Am I about to get judged for all my choices?
- You tell people. And the world starts to implode. First, it’s a lot of congratulations. Then, a lot of unsolicited opinions. Then a lot of stupid questions. “How far is a marathon?” “Why are you doing that?” “I think my sister ran a marathon once, but she said it made her hate running. [shrugs] Hope this doesn’t make you hate running!”
- Once you get over the initial shock of what happens, you realize, you have to eat well. Gone are the days where you could mindlessly toss back a few cups of coffee, or drink all night with friends because each day when you wake up, whatever’s in your belly is what is coming with you for the run. If something doesn’t agree with you, your body will certainly let you know, and you may find yourself in the bathroom a little more than usual.
- You talk to your friends about how they did it. How did they prepare? What should you know? Some of their advice is comforting. Some of their advice is terrifying. You kind of think you can do it, but you kind of doubt yourself a little bit.
- You start going to bed a little earlier. But it doesn’t really matter, because as you get a little closer to the event, you won’t sleep well anyways. You’ll fall asleep okay, and find yourself stress dreaming about every thing that could possibly go wrong.
- You get a little practice with your longs runs (a few fake contractions). Some of them make you really confident. Some of them are defeating, and you’re really not sure if you can do it. But what choice do you have right now? You can’t back out, right?
- Some really weird stuff starts happening to your body. You’re hungry all the time. But you only want to eat good stuff. Your thighs rub together. Things spread, things come together, and your energy is all over the place.
- Okay, it’s the morning of. You can do this! After 9 months (or less) of training, you are so pumped, and very nervous. And the adrenaline of what’s about to happen to you starts to pull you through.
- Less than halfway through, endorphins are flowing. What are people talking about?! This is awesome! You might even nod your head and high give some passers-by. Mind over matter that’s all it takes. ::hair flip::
- Chelsie was in labor for over a day. Luckily, there is not really that when you’re marathoning. But an hour and a half after those endorphins are flowing, despair comes. What the frick were you thinking? Why did you think this was fun? Why did you tell everyone you were doing this? Now if you were to lay down and die, they will know you failed. You’re breathing heavily. You’re making noises. The only thoughts are the thoughts of your loved ones, and how you have to make it back to them. Not religious? Doesn’t matter. You will be praying.
- The final push. 25.5 miles. People tell you you’re almost there. You hope so, because seriously, you’re not sure you’re going to make it. But you put one foot in front of the other, and keep moving. And suddenly, the finish line appears. And with that, you give it literally everything you have.
- Euphoria. You’re crossing the finish line. And you collapse into a pile of emotion. Disbelief. There are tears and sobbing. Someone puts a medal (a baby) on your chest, and a blanket around your shoulders. There are hugs and smiles. And in the words of Chelsie, “you feel like a million bucks,”
- The would-be Rip Van Winkle. You want to sleep for 1000 years. But you have to call your family and friends who are wondering how/what you’re doing. Ugh.
- The next day, when you feel like like 10 trucks ran you over, you swear that you will never do this again. No one in hell could pay you enough to make you want to do this again. Your chub rub hurts. You want to eat, but you can’t. And you want to slap whomever it was that said this was a good idea.
- The blackout. A few days later, when you’re feeling better and your homies are slapping you on the back for what you’ve done, you literally black out all the crazy stuff that happens to you, and you think that it might be a good idea to do it again. Whaaaaaa? Who would do this more than once!
Happy Valentines week beautiful people! What have I missed about training for a marathon/having a sweet baby?