Wednesday, August 27, 2008

like birth?

As I am going into my first marathon, I am consumed about reading people's experiences with their first marathon. I can't read enough books, have two on hold at the library right now! I am scouring blogs, looking for any advice at all that I can take from their experience. I feel like the first time I was pregnant, the anticipation ...... you are excited and scared. I remember being so excited but really wondering how the baby would exactly come out... just how bad would it hurt? Some of you know I have a strange blood disorder - that made me not be able to have an epidural.... so I know only one experience of child birth and that was one that didn't involve drugs. Let's say if I could have had them, I would have! It wasn't even considered, so you just gut it out. Why? Well you have to, you don't know any better. I mean you can't really stop it from happening, although I am pretty sure I tried to get hubby to take me home at some point. I was done, wanted to go home and try again another day.... but no I stayed in the hospital, and sucked it up and had the baby!

I have been told by Dr's that having kidney stones is much like giving birth. Having had kidney stones 4 times and being hospitalized each time, I can say... child birth is a lot easier! My dad once asked me why on earth you would ever go through that kind of pain again (he has had kidney stones before) I remember saying to him, cuz the pain is so worth it in the end. You have this beautiful baby to hold. Kidney stones, well not really fun all the way around, and if you do get to keep the stone - no one wants to see it.

Now this is where you may think I've gone off the running deep end. Will I look at the pain endured during the marathon and think it is worth it? I hope so. You have this goal, the marathon. It started out as a mission, a far away- I -can -stop -the- nonsense -and -not- really- go- through- it- at- any- time-, mission. Then somewhere along the way I convinced myself I could really do it. Then after putting in months of months of training, my mind and body caught up with one another and I knew I could do it. Now it is a matter follow through. I have put in over 500+ miles of training runs. When I set out to do the marathon, I didn't focus on all the months of training I focused on only the 26.2miles. Same with when you get pregnant, you don't focus on the baby who will soon be 2, 3 and 4 years old, no, you are focused on the cute and cuddly sleeping baby you take home from the hospital. If you went home from the hospital with a 2 year old you might go screaming back and return the child! But no, you start out small and work your way up the through all the milestones before you get the toddler.... same with running. You don't start out running 26.2 miles, no you start with one mile, or in my case a few minutes of running at a time. December '08 was the first time I ran a 5k race with out stopping. Then it was running for an hour, then hour and 1/2, then a 1/2 marathon, then 3 hours of running ... now I have built up the endurance to run for over 4 hours! I am doing it. As I hit my longest run of the training next week, 20 miles I can't help but to smile. I am in the the last pregnancy phase - the phase where you are just wanting the baby out safely. I am excited for the marathon to come, yet still nervous of the actual day. Kind of like wanting the baby out, but not wanting to go through the labor.

I had a friend that was pregnant the same time I was, after I gave birth she asked me how it went, really? I smiled and said some kind of a response like, oh not so bad, you will be fine.

What I didn't say was - it is some of the most intense pain you will ever feel in your entire life, if you can get drugs, by all means take them, take them early and often! But I didn't want to freak her out, so I side stepped and gave the answer she needed to hear. The one I needed to hear before I gave birth to my first child.

So now as I search for first time experiences of marathoners, I am finding the answers that I need to hear. I will survive, it is tough but well worth it, the pain is all worth it!

So in a few weeks I will go and find out for myself...


Wes said...

If you had a baby without medication, a marathon is going to be a piece of cake for you :-) Your goal is to find a pace you can sustain for 26.2 miles, and focus on your nutrition. Those two things will get you through the day.

I'll say it again for you. It's not about the race. It's about the journey. After the marathon, you will be joining the 1% of the population that is a marathoner.

Come on in, the water's fine :-)

Marcy said...

They say the hurt involved with a marathon is equal to that of childbirth. We shall soon find out, now won't we? ;-) Having the pleasure (sarcasm) of experiencing child birth both with and without drugs (not by choice, just too late for them LOL) I really don't think a marathon will be that bad. At least your privates still stay intact after running, right? LOL

Anonymous said...

I love this comparison of the marathon to childbirth, and it is so true! I am excited for you and can't wait to hear how it goes. I know you will do have done the training and if you can run for 4 hours in a training run, you will be fine. Your adrenaline on race day will get you through the last 6 miles...and your drive to finish :)

bill carter said...

I know you are going to do great. The reason I am so sure of this is because you are approaching the marathon in the correct way.. just go out there with an open mind and see what happens. Advice? I could give you tons, but I will stick to a couple key points that you have probably heard over and over.

1. Take you time. The marathon is long so you need to pace yourself physically and MENTALLY.

2. Break the marathon down into manageable chunks. I use 4 mile pieces and in my mind there are only 6 4 mile runs to get through. Yes, i know 6x4 does not equal 26.2, but the marathon requires a little lying to yourself!

3. Enjoy the journey. The marathon is about seeing how far you are willing to go. Realize that it is a challenge that very few people will ever try, let alone complete. But for those who do, there is this sense of empowerment that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

Best of luck and can't wait to see how it changes you.

Non-Runner Nancy said...

You can do it, Em!!! You are going to do great. I have heard them compared sometimes but everyone's experiences are so different. Interesting to me that I can have kids much much quicker (and no drugs!) than I could ever run a marathon. The marathon scares me more, but only cuz I can have a kid in like a decent hour to hour and a half. :D I think maybe I was born to have kids and not so much to marathon??!! Anyway. You've put the work in already, now just enjoy it. I so wish my body could hold up to a marathon. I'm so excited for you and so jealous!!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I had babies without medication, mostly by choice. I actually don't think it is the worst pain that I've experienced. Contractions only last about one minute at a time. The actual birth itself is pretty bad, but even that has a destinct beginning and end.

No guarantees that marathon pain will be in one minute intervals, but even that will have a beginning and and end.

You can do it!