Running a marathon is like giving birth

Not that I’m an expert, but I imagine running a marathon is a lot like giving birth. Nine months preparation. Physically and emotionally exhausting. And there’s always the fear that you might shit yourself half way through…

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“Oh God, where’s the nearest toilet?!”

They also say that women forget the pain of childbirth in the days and weeks after. Apparently it’s an evolutionary thing, otherwise no-one would give birth more than once and we’d have died out a long time ago. I think a similar thing happens after you run a marathon. I’m writing this 7 days to the minute from when crossed the finish line after a gruelling 7 hour ordeal at the West Coaster marathon. I know that it really bloody hurt, that my back when into spasm, my entire left side seized up and my legs got sapped from running (ok, walking quickly) up dunes of black sand..

I KNOW these things happen, but can’t really REMEMBER the feeling. Instead, what’s stuck around is the memories of the beautiful vistas I saw along New Zealand’s rugged western coast. I know how I felt when I saw the finish line, the pride as I got the finishers medal placed around my neck. I remember the fun I had during the 16 river crossings – including the couple of times I ended up falling in.

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The ups and downs of the day. The flat bit at 28km was river crossing, at 41km across sand dunes.

I’ve read in a couple of places since that since crossing the line that the West Coaster is regarded as one of New Zealand’s toughest marathons – I evidently didn’t do enough research in the run up as I didn’t find out any of this before I entered. I can’t recommend taking part enough if you get a chance. I’ll always have the pride of having finished such a gruelling event – from now on I can’t imagine any other races being as hard.

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Which brings me back round to the forgetting pain stuff. I messaged my old dance partner on Saturday night saying that I’m never doing this again. Her reply? “Give it a week and you’ll already have entered another one.” And, stupidly, I have! March 4th, Mountain to Surf Marathon near New Plymouth. By the sounds of it, it should be all downhill, right?

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