two learnings about marathons

March 7th, 2010

When the IT band screams, running on it causes pain as bad as labor. IT band pain, too, goes in waves. And, just like labor pain, there reaches a point with IT band pain where the waves plateau and even the ebbs are like flows. Today that was about mile 18.

I’ve done harder things in my life than run a marathon. Stage races when I raced bikes were harder. 2-3 days of grueling 2-4 hour pain or 8 hours at the track. In both cases, despite the fact that you hurt from the first race, you had to suck it up until you finished all of your races. Usually, the kid with the highest pain threshold won. Believe me, this is far worse than having to stay at the table until you finish your brussel sprouts. I’ve survived both. Labor was most definitely harder. But, because running a marathon is relatively special, but widely understood to be excruciating, as with labor, when you’ve finished, you hobble off with a ton of street credibility which somehow makes up for the fact that you are hobbling.