Why running a marathon is like childbirth, from someone who’s done neither

Yesterday I did the 2014 Perth City to Surf for Active. Although it seemed like a good idea at the time, today I am slightly regretting it. Every muscle in my legs is aching and to borrow a phrase from my favourite book (The Lucy Family Alphabet by Judith Lucy), I am walking like a handicapped tortoise.
Being in such excruciating pain, one would think I did the marathon (42km), the half marathon or even the 12km race but no, I did the 4km division and, I walked. Well actually, I wobbled.
In a throw back to my childhood (see post it’s not easy being green) I was stone cold last in my category. Not only was I last but the winner of the marathon, a jolly Japanese man dubbed the “Citizen Runner” ran right past me surrounded by cameras, followed shortly after by the runner up and the 30,000 or so other competitors running 12km or more. As I made my slow progression towards the finish line I was surrounded by long distance runners who yelled encouragement at me as they passed. One guy even completed the marathon and came back to encourage me while I walked. I choose to believe this was due to my ravishing good looks and winning personality and not because he felt sorry for me!
I had done the 4km walk at the HBF Run for a Reason in May and as that had only taken me one hour and 15 minutes, I was pretty cocky and had set myself a goal of 1 hour for the City to Surf. Obviously if I could do it before, my natural talent would allow me to do it faster this time. Alas it wasn’t to be, I completed the course in one hour and 29 minutes. Damn!

I might have to cut myself some slack though. I’m told (by my friends and family) that this is a very difficult course, one of the toughest in the world and whoever said Perth was flat has obviously not tried walking up heartbreak hill with a walking frame lately. At least I finished.
As I walked I began to think that running a marathon, which is what I had deluded myself into believing I was doing, was not that dissimilar to what I imagine giving birth would be like. Both marathon running and childbirth can take an exhaustingly long time, they both cause you varying amounts of pain, they both take months of preparation and anticipation and most of all when it’s over you forget about how hard and painful it was and do it all again next time. Suddenly I have a new appreciation for Mum.
Bring on 2015!



One thought on “Why running a marathon is like childbirth, from someone who’s done neither

  1. Love it Nina! I was joking to my sister and mother-in-law the night before City To Surf that doing a second mara is like having a second child – exactly what you said about excitedly anticipating it and forgetting how hard it was til it’s too late to back out! LoL you were very sweet in omitting the bits about how its ok to look absolutely terrible in both circumstances, no one blames you for crying or cursing, and no one bats an eyelid at displays of normally socially unacceptable bodily functions :p love your posts. And im so so impressed at your doing the event – let alone getting through the hill!!!!! Inspirational!!

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