However, today, I'm going to talk about the reality of it all. Overall, I think marathons are not very healthy. Does that stop me from doing another one? Ah heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllls no! I do all kinds of shit that are unhealthy for me. I'm not a 50+ year old man, so I'm hoping that marathons won't kill me one day, via heart attack.
With that said, today I wanted to tell you about the bad parts or marathons and marathon training. So many people commented about how unfazed I looked in the pictures (not here, but on Facebook, emails, at work, etc), but the reality is, it was hard as shit. The entire journey was difficult. That doesn't mean that it wasn't enjoyable, because it was. But I'm here today to tell you some weird surprises that I've encountered. Duh duh duuuuuuuuuuuuuuh. ( Just kidding. It's not that dramatic.)
A lot of people might start running to lose weight. It's a high intensity workout, and when you get into the running grove, you do end up dropping some pounds. You would think that, as you pile on the mileage, you would burn more calories. True. However, have you seen people who run marathons? Aside from the professionals, a lot of people (including those who have trained for months) are normal sized. It's not a pack of rail thin people running towards a finish line. This is because you get huuuuuuuuuuuuuungry. Duh. You eat. And eat. And EAT. I'm here to tell you, that ever since I went past 13 miles, I gained 8 pounds. ( I don't know why I bolded that. It's fun.) A lot of it is muscle. But a lot of i t was the extra body mass that I needed to last the 26.2 miles. My pants are a little tighter, but I ran the thing in less than 4 and a half hours. That's gotta be something, right?
Second off, training was FUN but tapering SUCKED ASS. You would think that the running miles to get to 20+ miles is torturous, and a week of eating carbs and not running is heaven. I'm here to tell you that it was the complete opposite, at least for me. I love running. Those long runs were exhilarating. I wouldn't have gotten to the 20+ if I didn't love it. Tapering, on the other hand, made me restless, bloated and constipated (sorry if TMI), and stiff. My muscles started hurting from lack of movement. At first, eating carbs only was kind of fun. However, you don't get to eat EXTRA food, but you're supposed to REPLACE other food groups WITH carbs. It doesn't mean a piece of cake everyday. It means more vegetable and grains in place of that ounce of chicken. ( I didn't follow that very well. I definitely went overboard and indulged, but whatevs.)
Finally, running for 4+ hours straight is definitely torturous on your body. 2 days after the marathon, I got a sharp pain in my ankle, and had to limp for the rest of the week. I swam and kept my muscles moving, but I got really scared. I rested and pretty much recovered since then, but I definitely had a moment where I thought I had fucked up my foot pretty seriously. I got lucky this time, but marathons could hurt you. In fact, every year, someone does die every year. (Not to scare you, or anything.)
Having said all that, though, it was still one of the best experiences of my life. All the pain and trials and tribulations were worth it, and the high I felt afterwards was priceless. Glory comes with a price, and I would pay it again to feel that euphoria.
SO! What are you waiting for?? If running a marathon is one of your goals, NOW is the time to RUN!!! Honestly (and I say this with all my heart), if I can do it, YOU CAN.