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The second of my Marathon-Megs’ blogs from 2011. At this stage of my training, the pain factor was level 10 and I was thinking that running a marathon was pure stupidity.


When I think about what running my first marathon will actually be like I think:

1. Start line.
2. A bit of running for a few hours.
3. The finish line – which will, of course, have many of my adoring fans there cheering and congratulating me on my great effort.

Then we will head off to the nearest bar to enjoy a few chardies and talk about what I have just achieved.

Well, this is how I would like my first marathon to play out anyway, and up until recently I really thought it had the possibility of being just like that. You see the problem is others who have run marathons always seem to talk about them in high-level terms. They say things like “it will be one of the greatest things you do in your life” and “crossing the finish line is the most amazing feeling in the world”.

They lure you into this false world of make-believe glory and achievement, but what I am discovering the more I train and the longer my runs get, is that these people seem to have left out some very important details about marathons…..the pain factor.


What they should be telling you

You get these blisters on your toes which are really painful and they don’t go away until after you stop training for the marathon.


Your ITB will tighten up so much that your knees become extremely sore. Go to your physio and ask them for this foam thing and roll across it every night. The pain of rolling across this foam thing is actually far more painful than your knees, but you will eventually feel better.


After about 30km your glycogen stores will probably get really low and your muscles will start to waste away if you don’t replenish these. This is also known as ‘hitting the wall’ because that’s what it feels like.


The real pain

I have discovered that there is a pain worse than any of these things and again it is something that no one has really described in detail – CHAFE.

I thought chafe was something only the boys at my lifesaving club got because they had been walking around in wet DTs for too long. But let me tell you girls can get it too and in places I didn’t realise possible. After a long run I find big red (and sometimes juicy) welts under my arms, between my toes, between my legs, between…..actually I don’t think you need to know the other places. Luckily, I have found that paw paw gel is a great relief.

I can clearly see that my first marathon will not consist of just ‘a bit of running’ and some ‘celebratory drinks’ at the end. Instead, I think it will turn out to be one of the most agonisingly painful days of my life. I no longer want adoring fans waiting at the finish line; I feel two paramedics and an ambulance might be more appropriate.

I am off to my physio for yet another hour of pain. Last week I was feeling great about my challenge but after writing about all this pain and missing skin I am seriously starting to question why I, and anyone else, would want to do a marathon. Today’s verdict on marathon running: definitely stupidity.


Read my next instalment of Marathon-Megs, Something To Think About.

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