Five Reasons Not to Spontaneously Sign up for a Marathon November 11 2011
I know. This post should be unnecessary. Surely most of the world knows that deciding on a whim to run 20-42 kilometers is not the cleverest of ideas. But the problem is, there are people like me. People who know that it’s a bad idea, but who, for some bizarre unknown reason, do it anyway
This is generally how the situation plays out:
Friend: Hey, so we’re all running a half-marathon this weekend that we’ve been training for over the past few months. It’s going to be really fun. You should sign up!
Me: Man, that sounds like fun, but I haven’t really been training for a half, so I probably shouldn’t…
Friend: There will be donuts.
Me: Where do I sign up?
After every race, I promise myself that I will never do it again and yet, it continues to happen again and again and again. Short-term memory loss? Masochism? Extraordinary love of donuts? It’s hard to say, but in light of the fact that I just registered for my third half-marathon this month, it’s clear that drastic measures need to be taken.
An intervention would probably be ideal, but since that’s unlikely to happen, I’m defaulting to the next best thing: a list of the top five reasons I will probably maybe never spontaneously sign up for a marathon or a half-marathon again.
You won’t enjoy the “free” snacks
It’s true that the food and water stations have all sorts of great snacks. Trail mix, bananas, Coke (the soda, you guys, the soda), chocolate, applesauce, wine (what? I live in France), but using the excuse of “free cookies” is not a legitimate reason to justify running an impromptu marathon. One because you pay for the snacks when you pay your race fees and two because you will probably be too sick/exhausted/miserable to properly enjoy anything except water.
You will lose all credibility as a sane individual
Your friends and family, who have likely held your sanity in question for a number of years, will finally have confirmation of the fact that you have officially lost your tentative grasp on reality.
Pain. Lots of it.
The pain you feel during the race is nothing compared to what happens once you finish it. You will not be able to move for a week. Your body will stage a mutiny and you will be confined to the couch for the next week forced to watch daytime television for hours on end and unable to even hobble to the fridge without agonizing pain shooting through your limbs.
It’s true that training can be annoying, grueling, and tedious, but without it you’re setting yourself up for some bigger problems later on. Running 42 kilometers is not a jaunt in the park and you need to prepare your mind and body for it. If you don’t believe me, ask your knees, ankles, and shins after the race.
That dialogue will look something like this:
You: Ready, body?
Knees: #@$! you.
Shins: Yeah, what they said.
The finish line: it’s probably something you won’t see.
It’s unlikely that you will finish the race. Instead you will have to slink to the parking lot pretending you just forgot to pick up your finisher’s t-shirt. In the event that you do finish, you won’t have enjoyed the time it took to get there and, really, isn’t that the whole point?