Twenty four hours later.
For al those people who have watched a marathon in awe, looked on with admiration at first, the proper athletes, then the skinny machines that aren’t quite professional athletes but not far off, the good for age, the slightly chubby but not too bad, the first timers, the ones that just gave it a go, the ones that look like they have problems with walking-let alone running, the ones doing it for charity and then lastly the bewildered fuckers in a pair of Converse. For those people who with tear in eye thought “I’d like to do that! What an accomplishment! I’m going to buy some trainers and give it a go!” For all those people that harbour dreams of athletic prowess or simply need a new challenge,
Let me whisper some words of wisdom to you…”Don’t do it. Don’t fucking bother mother fucker! Marathon running is a stupid pastime for masochists. It’s not big or clever. It’s neither noble nor magnificent.
Now, let me tell you why.
It breaks your body.
People say it’s a cheap way of keeping fit and healthy, but they are lying. It’s really, really fucking expensive. Have you seen the price of proper trainers and have you ever heard of a hard up sports physio?
Did I mention that it really fucking hurts? It’s DIY torture.
It hurts a lot.
The thought of running 26.2 miles hurts.
The training hurts.
It hurts because you can’t drink on a Saturday night because you’ve got your long run to do on a Sunday morning.
It hurts getting up at 5.15am on a Tuesday and a Thursday to run for forty five minutes before the little shits get up. This pain goes on for months and months. You have to trick yourself into doing the long runs by lying to yourself and saying that you’ll just do eight miles if it hurts.
There’s the inevitable muscle tears, stress fractures, lower back pain, IT band problems, Achilles problems, shin splints and all manner of other things that can go wrong with your body.
If you run a lot, you will have heard of parts of your body, that no normal mortal will have. You will have heard of them because they hurt when they shouldn’t.
If you sat on your arse on the sofa with some cake or a nice bottle of wine, you’d never have these niggles, aches or pains.
The night before a marathon hurts. As you lie awake, wiling yourself to sleep but find yourself incapable you will wonder why the fuck you have entered into this ridiculous pastime. It really hurts when you’ve finally got to sleep and the alarm goes off on the morning of the marathon. When You rise from your bed, almost hallucinating from lack of sleep, you need to eat something which hurts because you feel nauseous with the anticipation.
The application of liberal amounts of Vaseline may ease your chafing. Eating as many Ibuprofen and paracetamol as you dare might kid you into believing that this isn’t going to be that bad.
All this to stop the inevitable hurt.
You will leave your possessions in a draughty hall or tent and then freeze your fucking tits off for an hour before the race begins. If you don’t do this, you run the risk of being too hot for the next three to six hours of your life.
No matter how well prepared you are (and I am not) there will be a problem with your kit. A bum bag that rubs, a trainer too tight, leggings that cut into you. These things will all hurt. They will rub the skin from the affected area until it hurts a fucking lot.
It particularly hurts whilst you’re doing it, the first six miles hurt because you know that you’ve got another twenty to do. The first six miles hurt because you are only just getting warmed up. The next six miles hurt less but unfortunately you are already anticipating that the final six miles are going to fucking kill you. You will worry that you need a poo or wee. You will look out for portaloos for miles and then shit in a bush to save time.
Are you hydrated enough? You don’t want to drink too much because you once talked to someone who drank too much. Should you try eating a gel? Don’t touch the gels. They are sperm samples injected with fruit additives to make them more palatable. The adding of fruit derivatives still doesn’t make them palatable.
You might be lucky enough to have a friend with you. DON’T FUCKING LOSE THEM! Keep looking for them. If someone gets in between you and them, simply elbow that twat out of the way.
But nothing and I mean nothing,prepares you for the last six miles. They hurt. Sometimes they don’t but usually they do. I once ran a marathon and didn’t hit the wall. I usually head but the wall repeatedly.
It’s simply a case of mind over matter but what if the mind is weak?
Let’s just say it hurts.
But it’s not..
You wake the next morning and you try to swing the appendages formally know as your legs out of bed but you can’t. You will need to use your arms to position your feet on the floor. As you do this, you will realise that at least two of your toes are now gigantic blisters.
Your shoulders will hurt, your back, your neck, fingers, elbows, the bits without skin from the chafing.
You will get to the landing and fall down the stairs because you can’t straighten your legs. If you are clever you will come down sideways, one foot at a time whilst holding on to the bannister.
And as you are walking around looking like you are doing a bad zombie impression because you are so stiff, you will pick up your phone and see a picture of yourself on social media. The picture will be of yourself with the corners of your mouth turned downwards, gasping for air, looking anything other than athletic, if you are like me, looking a bit portly and wobbly. Nothing at all like a runner. This is the biggest hurt. This will hurt more than anything.
I have two toes that have blisters under the nail and my trainer was so tight on one foot that my foot is swollen and bruised.
In essence, it hurts, save yourself the pain. Take it from a woman that knows.
But me, I’m doing the Loch Ness marathon in September.
It will be fine. I’ve already signed up. My body won’t hurt by then…
Chin chin, up yer bum Mofos.