The similarities between running a marathon and having a baby don't seem to end, I'm noticing. First there are the months of training (pregnancy). Then the big day comes, and you're scared and nervous and don't really know what to expect. And even though you knew it would hurt, not like this OH MY GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! Then the crushing nausea and the random chills. Also the subtle fear, through the whole thing, that you really might die. I mean, people DO die doing this! Then it's over and you can't stop processing the whole thing.
I've been reading more about post-marathon recovery, and the physiologic impact of running 26.2 miles. I had learned a lot of it before, but I didn't really KNOW it until now. First and foremost, running a marathon isn't a show of strength and fitness. It's a stunt. It's not as foolhardy as climbing Everest, and it takes a good degree more dedication and hard work than bungee jumping, but it's still a stunt. Aside from the risk of sudden cardiac death, it is not good for your body. Cardiac function takes over a week to return to normal, and in that time, people are still at increased risk of dying- DYING!! wtf?! You're pretty much guaranteed to get sick within a week of race day. And let's not even talk about the weird aches and pains that crop up. All week long, I've felt like I had the flu. Just, achey and tired (soooo tired...) and foggy.
Oh yeah, and the other way that running a marathon is just like having a baby? You spend the whole process swearing you'll never do it again, but then the days (or weeks or months) pass, and you totally forget how much it sucks (suuuucks!), and wonder not if you'll do it again, but when.