Tuesday, April 25, 2017

7 Things More Painful than Running a Marathon

As I struggle through yet another marathon training cycle, I think to myself: why do I do this? Yeah, sure, there's that whole joy in the journey thing, the finish line feeling, the medal around my neck, and the sense of accomplishment. That's all really good. But is it enough to convince me to line up one more time to run 26.2 miles?

Let's face it. Running is hard. Running a half marathon is hard. Running a marathon? Not only is it hard, it can be painful. For some of us, the pain is physical, like blisters or chafing. For other runners, it's emotional pain, like when you hit the wall and can't fathom running one more step.

We runners pay to do this. No one forces us to run. In my world, a lot of people aka non-runners try to talk me out of running another marathon. I'm not getting a lot of support here. So in an effort to convince myself that I've got what it takes to run on, I came up with a list of real-life things that are, to me, way more painful than running a marathon.



Now to be fair, I didn't go for the obvious. I can imagine a lot of things that are way more painful than running a marathon. Like getting run over by a car. Breaking a leg. Cleaning out a porta-potty. All special kinds of torture, yes, but these things aren't in my everyday wheelhouse. For the purposes of this exercise, I wanted to think of everyday things that to me are more painful than running a marathon. You can come up with some of your own.

1. Housebreaking a dog is a painful exercise in patience and in the case of my beloved Cocoa seemed to take forever! Just when we thought it was safe to replace the carpet in our house (we haven't done that yet), she squatted down in front of me and emptied her bladder. She is now a year old and I think it's safe to say that she is 99% housebroken. We were buying Nature's Miracle by the gallon. It got to the point where Cocoa started chewing on the spray bottle and growling at it. Killing her vibe, one squirt at a time.

the head tilt always gets me
2. Weeding my flower beds is an exercise in futility. It feels as if every time I pull the weeds, within 2 days, more weeds come to replace them. It's like they know I made more room, just for weeds. We have this certain kind of weed that seems to communicate underground--"hey Joe, the lady made more room over there. Spread your roots!" It's more like an ultramarathon.



3. Atomic situps are a form of torture like no other core work you've every done. I'm happy to share little gif with you and let you be the judge. Ouch. If you can do these, count me impressed.

4. Buying a car is probably one of the worst experiences you can have. The games, the sales pitches, the negotiating... it's nerve-wracking. Wouldn't it be nice if you could just go in and buy the car? Even after you buy the car, you have to deal with the finance manager. Sometimes they make you go talk to "the guy" when it's just another way to get you to spend more money. When I bought my Jeep, we had to talk to a guy doing the hard sale pitch for some paint protectant. Why the heck do you need that? Is the paint going to melt off when we drive off the lot?

Buying a car is a whole day experience. A whole day wasted when you could have run a marathon and be done with it.


5. Going on a grade school field trip is a special experience no parent should miss. Because not only does it make you appreciate your own children so much more, it will also give you new respect for teachers. Don't get me wrong, I love children. I work with children in my job as a pediatric nurse practitioner. But being trapped on a big yellow bus with 50 screaming kids is way more painful than any marathon I've ever run.


6. I've had more than my share of dental work. I have multiple crowns and I'd much rather run a marathon than have them replaced. First of all, there are injections all over the mouth to numb me up. Have you ever had an injection into the palate? I'm salivating as I type this--and not in a good way. There's the grinding down of the enamel with the burnt flesh smell that emits from your mouth. A goo-filled impression mold that you have to bite into and allow to harden, all the while trying not to gag as the crap trickles down the back of your throat. Bitter tasting adhesives used to glue in the new crowns. Sanding and refitting. Really, now that I think about it, a marathon is way easier than dental work. Plus Dr Tooth listens to Neil Young while he works. A little Neil goes a long way. Dr Tooth asks me what I'd like to listen to, but I kind of feel like I'm at his mercy in the chair, and so Neil Young it is.

Don't even get me started on the "cotton mouth".


7. Sitting in traffic is not fun. Chicago has some of the worst traffic in the nation. I'd hate to have to commute downtown every day via car. I live 25 miles from downtown Chicago, yet in the morning it can take upwards of 90 minutes to get there. Can you imagine? Three hours of your day spend sitting in traffic? Whenever I'm sitting in traffic, I always think that I could have run this faster than this! I mean heck, Cory Reese spontaneously runs a marathon in the morning before work. Sure beats sitting in a car...



So when you put it all into perspective, running 26.2 miles isn't as painful as it seems. Right?

What are some things that you think would be more painful than running a marathon? 

I'm linking this post with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run; Debbie, Susie, Rachel, and Lora for Coaches' Corner; and with Nicole, Jen, and Annemarie for Wild Workout Wednesday.






89 comments :

  1. Yes to the school bus! I was a stay-at-home mom for several years, and felt it was my duty to give of my time since I was available. Every single trip...10 minutes into the bus ride I'd be calculating how many hours until it was over. Truth. I love kids, but there's a reason I didn't become a teacher. I have patience for my own kids...but the other ones? Not so much.

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    1. I always say the same thing--and in my job, I only have to be with the kids for the appointment, then they are gone.

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  2. Omg!! That is the BEST dental meme I have ever seen! Literally lol'! As a dental hygienist I see this all day. I love my job and sometimes forget that some patients really do hate coming. ;)

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    1. I really don't hate going to the dentist (I love getting my teeth cleaned) but those marathon crown replacement sessions are tough. And the cotton swabs....salivating again....

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  3. Detangling a skein of yarn - there's been a few times when a skein has been wound wrong, and OMG. Talk about a lesson in patience - and I swear, one took me longer to detangle than it would have to run a marathon!

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    1. It's like trying to get a knot out of a necklace. Ugh!

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  4. Certainly giving birth to a child, which I've never experienced.

    I once had to have surgery on my foot, and the injection to numb it was incredibly painful -- but it didn't last long. I used to have a lot of bladder problems as a child, and being cathertirized is no joke.

    Housebreaking most small dogs is not for the faint of heart. And Lola still has an accident like maybe once a year, or once every couple of years, but she came to us with no house training at all at 10 months so I think she does pretty darn good.

    My husband bought his last car online. From a different state. And the DELIVERED it.

    One of the few good things about living here is that there is rarely much traffic. Coming from Austin, which has its fair share, that was definitely a good thing.

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    1. Actually, having given birth twice and run 4 marathons, I would have to disagree with you. Actually a lot of marathon runners compare the experience to giving birth but most would not say one was worse than the other. Instead of a medal, you get a baby and how nice is that?

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    2. Except most runners seem to have amnesia about both events -- giving birth & running a marathon. That is, they forget the pain when it's all over and want to do it again. But that's just an observation since I've never done either.

      And again, everyone's marathon experience is different -- just as every woman experiences childbirth differently. I think there are a lot of similarities, but then what do I know?

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  5. YES TO THE SCHOOL BUS FULL OF KIDS. I'd have to bring along a travel mug filled with diet coke and vodka.

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  6. Having run a single half, I am grossly unqualified to step into this conversation, but I'll just second Judy@chocolaterunsjudy re childbirth.
    I must live a charmed life: nothing I have endured beats your list! ;)

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  7. Totally agree with you on the dentis and atomic situps! I can maybe do 2-3 atomic sit ups before I want to cry and I absolutely hate the dentist. I would rather deal with needles and give blood than go to the dentist!

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    1. I just dread my next checkup--RA messes with your gums and I know they're going to make me see the periodontist...that's a whole other form of torture!

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  8. ...and we don't get medals or snacks or swag for any of those!
    There are "good" car dealers that come right out with their best price and don't subject you to "the manager" with the hard-sell add-ons. It's why I've gotten the same car the last 4 times.

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    1. Well, that's the thing! Altho I do get nice new shiny crowns after my dentist appt.

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  9. Sitting in the middle seat on a crowded airplane with people on both sides who don't understand the meaning of "personal space."

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  10. Listening to someone chew with their mouth open. DON'T EVEN PLAY

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    1. Haha--one of my best friends eats like that. You just look the other way...

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    1. That's a tough one, for sure. Don't know how you do it!

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  12. Dude. Wendy. This post had me rolling!

    DENTAL WORK IS THE WORST!!!!!

    And those sit ups. I'm going to do those now just so I can replace my IT band woes with core pain. Hahaha.

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  13. Potty training a stubborn toddler is right up there for me. My little guy took FOREVER. He would go hide to poop and then walk around with it in his undies until someone smelled him out. Meanwhile he sat on my leather couch....my bed comforter....etc. There was poop all over the place. 😡
    Also, holidays with the In-laws are pretty brutal for me. I spend 99% of the time drinking too much wine so I can just ignore the MIL and her moronic opinions about EVERYTHING. The woman is never at a loss for words.
    Bring on the marathon pain any day.
    Hope my contributions to your list have encouraged you to keep on training. 😀

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  14. What a great perspective post! I can so relate to buying a car. I am in the midst of that and I am having a really hard time. I have driven my Toyota Tundra for 15 years but I don't want another truck. Looking for a midsize suv but so far I am not loving anything I have tried. And then there is so much time wasted "playing the games" Hate it! Yep, I would much rather run a marathon!! You might just have to convince me on what type of vehicle to buy but you would never have to convince me to run a marathon. I'm gonna have to remember this post during those tough miles in my next marathon ha ha. And remind myself there are worse things I could be doing. Love it! What kind of Jeep BTW?

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    1. I have a Grand Cherokee. It's 7 years old--I should get a new car, but it is still so awesome that I keep on driving it!

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  15. I hate dental work, buying a car, core work, kids field trips, traffic- all of it! I hate the oil change place too! My car should get bling when we finish! UGH! Funny post my friend!

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    1. I don't mind the oil change place but I do mind when I have to bring my car to the dealer for repairs. Warranty work is the worst. It's like the medicaid plan for cars. No one wants to help you.

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  16. The trips on the school bus was even trying for me, and they were my classmates! I don't know what it was about getting my whole class on a bus, but I was ready to hurt someone by the time we got to the actual destination.

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    1. I don't know what it is about getting a group of kids on a bus but it's a recipe for destruction!

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  17. All these things are brutal... I can't think of anything else other than playing Mousetrap with my nieces and nephew... oh, the bickering that ensues (strange that it only happens during that game and not Catan or any of the others).

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  18. I miss the pain of marathon training! But to even think about that right now is scary. I just went through the car buying process and I hope I don't have to do it again for a long time.

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    1. Isn't it funny how I don't think you are strange for saying that? I love/hate marathon training. When I'm not doing it, I miss it.

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  19. I have never housebroken a dog but potty training kids was hard! I love that ab move and it is super hard.

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    1. I do not love that ab move! Becky just laughs at me when she makes me do it.

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  20. OMGosh, I hate dental work...wish they would just put me under and let me sleep through it! Shopping at a Wal-mart, IKEA, or Sam's Club in mainland China is painful (and torture on a weekend or rainy day). Soooo many people with no sense of personal space or right of way, sprinting to sample free food and blocking the aisles, sleeping on beds, couches, chairs, shopping carts!, and ladies screaming into loud speakers trying to sell something. I do not miss living in mainland China.

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    1. Shopping at Walmart is one of my least favorite things to do--actually, I rarely go there. I can't imagine what it would be like in China!

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  21. I can't believe no one said drinking the prep for a colonoscopy. That stuff is so bad I can't even!!! I would much rather run that drink even one cup of that vile VILE poison.

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    1. I want to meet the guy who named it GoLytely. I mean, what sick person came up with that?

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  22. OH I ADORE THIS AND YOU.
    and YESSSSSS to the car buying.
    Id rather do a marathon every damn weekend than that haggling business.
    xo

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    1. I'm just going to keep my car until it dies.

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  23. Haha!! With you on the school field trip! Kids that haven't been trained in the particular areas that drive me crazy (i.e. carrying your own backpack, coat, sports equipment, etc)...well, drive me crazy!

    And I'd say dealing with toddlers in general might be harder than running a marathon :)

    Keep at it!

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    1. Toddlers and teenagers give you reason to run a marathon!

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  24. I literally would rather run two marathons back to back than be trapped on a bus with elementary school kids hahaha. Jk...I love kids ;)

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    1. I do too, but not all trapped on a moving school bus!

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  25. I did opt for the paint protectant ('cause I park under oak trees). BEST MONEY EVER SPENT! LOL. I do hate the process of buying a car though. After a horrible experience with laughing gas, the thought of going to the dentist has me shaking in my boots. And yes, I've had the palate shot. UGH.

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  26. Too funny! I absolutely agree with you about being in the dental chair...I've been stabbed far too many times and it's even less fun when you can FEEL them doing it!

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  27. As I am enduring dental work right now..... I agree! But I would pick Neil Young over the country music my former dentist (Dr. Sausage Fingers) had to listen to! I really love my new dentist.

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    1. Don't you think dentists should have thin fingers?

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  28. I have a field trip coming up with a whole bunch of 4th graders to New Orleans. Three hours there and three hours home. My daughter really wanted me to ride the bus with her. Heeeeelp! Lol 😆

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  29. Bahahaha!! Potty training Moose was the most stressful time of my life.

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    1. Housebreaking a puppy is not for the faint at heart!

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  30. OMG this is so great because I am barely two months into potty training - although Star is really doing well with it, there are still accidents and they drive me nuts! Luckily we have mostly hardwood floors but yes, Nature's Miracle by the gallon for sure!!
    And the dentist? The worst ever. Ever.
    I also hate dealing with salespeople in general. Why do they insist on making it so painful? *sigh*
    And, for the record, I feel you when it comes to finding joy in the journey. I'm currently looking for mine and it may even be the theme of the rundown next week... *sigh sigh*

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    1. If I didn't have a sense of humor, I don't know how I'd get through this!

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  31. After just coming back from a kindergarten trip to the aquarium, I whole heartedly agree on that one. Sheesh. I run marathons to get a break from all that!

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  32. Haha! You have me nodding my head and considering another marathon! You think one dog is bad? Try 10!!!! We may never get new carpeting (and we really, really, REALLY need it)! I have never gone on a field trip, but I used to coach cross country and I've spent many hours on yellow school buses with teenagers. (Actually, I kind of enjoyed it in spite of the noise, heat, discomfort, etc. Kind of like a marathon!). And the car thing? I dread it! My car is three years old and they keep calling and emailing me to convince me to trade in for a new model. Nope! I'll just drive this thing until it dies, thank you, rather than deal with another car salesman and/or finance manager!

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    1. My car is 7 years old and I really should start looking at new ones but the buying experience still lingers...

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  33. I'd rather run a whole marathon than have a child without numbing drugs lol

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  34. I've run 13 marathons (some of my 50ks are included in there as well as the two at the end of an Ironman). I also love the dentist, have been on more field trips in my 41 year career as a teacher than I can count- what is painful for me is seeing others in emotional or physical pain. Especially when there is nothing that I can do except BE there for them...just heard you have RA. Have you tried methotrexate? (sp) Hubby's went into remission on this drug. Best of luck! Cheryl (cpalen@cox.net)

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    1. You know this was all tongue in cheek, right? Yes, I'm on MTX--have been for 5 months since my diagnosis, as well as Humira. Hoping for a remission too!!!

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  35. PS- I can do those setups (about twenty of them before I lose form)- I am going on 64. My gymnastic coach used to make us do them! :-) C. Palen

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  36. These are all painful experiences, especially buying a car. I absolutely hate it, and we had it do it twice in a very short period of time since my car was totaled in a car accident thanks to an idiot who was on his phone while driving. Ugh!

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    1. Ugh is right! Glad you are ok after that.

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  37. YES to the dental work, LOL!!!
    Ok, here's my two cents (and I know you'll appreciate it)....RAISING A TEEN. Hands down, hardest. Thing. EVER!

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    1. Oh yes, that would be right up there!

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  38. Ha! What a fantastic idea for a post. And definitely these are good things to keep in mind at the end of a marathon. Although I think sitting in traffic would feel quite nice at mile marker 24. I might opt for that instead. I think that more painful than a marathon is definitely stuff like dental work, or any uncomfortable medical procedure.

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    1. A colonoscopy was on someone's list, and I'd have to second that emotion.

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  39. I couldn't even read #6 - that hits too close to home! And the thing about Chicago traffic is that it's bad all day. I think once we were heading to O'Hare at 7 am on a Sunday morning and were shocked at how close it was.

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    1. Pretty much! Even late at night, the traffic is really heavy.

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  40. Ha I love this! I think standing in line at amusement parks is def more painful than a marathon!

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    1. My boys are big, so I had forgotten about how awful that was! Waiting in line for an hour to ride for 1-2 minutes. Seriously.

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  41. An epidural free childbirth WITH Pitocin. I was told that "natural" child birth would be like running a marathon. While I get the analogy, it was NOT like running a marathon at all. Add pitocin in there and yeah...wow. One of the most painful yet incredible experiences of my life. Our bodies can do so much more than we give them credit for and we are much stronger than we think!

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    1. Ouch! You are right about strength. If men had to give birth...

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    2. Ain't that the truth....HAH!

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  42. I've always been so impressed by people who could do atomic situps! I can't even do a regular situp. :[

    I detest sitting in traffic--I turn into such a bitter and angry person when I'm stuck in it!

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