Monday, September 3, 2012

The Downside to Marathon Training

So beyond the obvious part about spending hours on end running (which some people would consider torture in itself) marathon training can have some other unexpected consequences, including:

1) For one, I am starving.  All the time.  Well, that's not entirely true.  After I run, I want absolutely nothing to do with food.  I have to force myself to eat, when all I really want to do is take a nap and a shower, or lie down and watch reruns of Gossip Girl.  Then about two days later I can eat a full pizza and two hours later be ready for another meal.  Every night at 11 p.m., my stomach is growling.  It's totally annoying.

2) For another, my toes hurt all the time.  I learned the hard way the first time that I trained for a marathon that runners usually go up a full shoe size for running shoes because your feet swell when you run long distances, and if you don't get larger shoes your toenails will turn black and fall off.  Lovely.  Now I have all 10 toenails and order 9.5 Nikes, but I still feel like someone stuck pencils up my toenails.

3) Maybe most surprisingly (but maybe not considering #1) a lot of marathon runners actually gain weight.  I think there are probably a few reasons for that.  For one, if you typically run 25 miles a week, and still only run about 25 miles a week (even if you do 16 of them at once) you're still burning the same number of calories for the week, but your brain and body feel like you've worked way harder.  That means not only does your stomach act like you haven't eaten in a year, but your brain also thinks that you've "earned" that extra Whoopie Pie, scoop of Nutella, or serving of frozen yogurt.  For another, your body is being pushed to the limit and it holds onto extra fuel to prepare for the next time you decide to torture yourself on a treadmill.  So in other words, if you think you're going to run a marathon and look like a supermodel, you might have another thing coming.

4)  I have to do a lot of laundry.  A lot.

(Yes, that is totally me on the left.)

5) On days when I don't have runs, I get a little antsy, and a little cranky.  It's like I'm so used to having running as an outlet now that when I don't, I feel a little off.  How weird is that?

So that's it.  Happy Labor Day!  I'm off to do laundry, eat my face off, and look cranky!

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