Counting in all the training hours, it’s days worth of running. Kind of like locked-in syndrome in motion, many thoughts would run through your head while you, uhm, run.
1. Oh God why…
To someone who has paddled and swam further than I’ve run, going for a marathon is like being a fish out of water. Every step I take, my feet are asking why they’re touching solid ground. And for oh-so-freaking far.
2. I actually have to train.
When the rational mind takes over after the shock and denial, it finally dawned upon me that I’m not Barney Stinson at the New York City Marathon. Completing a feat like this without endangering my life requires a plan. And that’s when I realized that sleeping looks overrated.
3. My feet… aren’t killing me. Yet.
James Bond and his chick in Quantum of Solace crossing the desert in dress shoes? That’s more fake than his acting. Only with proper gear will I survive this.
4. When did this pop up?
If you live in a metropolis, buildings can pop up like mushrooms. In Singapore, I can actually leave the country for a week and come back lost.
5. Damn I look good.
I drag myself to the track mainly because it’s the only thing that makes that abs come out of hiding. Marathon prep also got me into the habit of eating and sleeping properly. Seeing some progress in the mirror is the most addictive drug.
6. I can eat anything!
Running a marathon burns up a whole day’s worth of calories. So you can afford to upsize that extra value meal right? Sorry, it doesn’t work that way. Try Googling the calories in a can of Coke. Though it does make cheat days feel a lot less guilty, so go risk a Double Down.
7. And feeling all sorts of hungry.
You’d think that after a run, you’d be too tired for any other ‘physical activities’. Apparently there are still some muscles you missed out. Training apparently increases your testosterone level, so like desert after a buffet, there’s always room for it.
8. But first, gotta check in and post a selfie.
A workout doesn’t count if you don’t check in and show it to the whole world. The cross fit guys know it best. Also helps that if you’re syncing your run on the Nike+ app with Facebook, where every ‘like’ gets you a cheer while you’re running.
9. Where’s the photographer?
There are always photographers at sports events to capture your sexy sweaty moments. But they’re also trained like ninja paparazzi from the school of speed cameras. If you don’t want an unglam pic and pose a display pic worthy shot, you have to remain alert and flash that Colgate smile no matter how near-death you are.
10. I can’t shake off Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off.
A good earworm can make or break a distance event. It is also the surest way of getting sick of a song. Considering the latest album releases, no prizes as to what hits will accompany the marathon next month. By the end of the event, nobody will be complaining that she took off her tracks off Spotify.
11. Might as well get something else done.
Two hours is too long to just keep staring at the pavement. Try out Podcasts and audiobooks from Audible.com. At first it might seem weird to be listening to news updates or The Hunger Games trilogy while your blood is pumping, but when you realize at the end of a run that you’re somewhat smarter, it’s pretty cool.
12. Running from my sorrows.
Had a bad break up? Stressed for exams? That bitch at work pissing you off? Run if off! It’s the best way to calm your nerves. By the time you realize it’s your feet that’s aching instead of your heart, you would’ve forgotten what you were worrying about in the first place.
13. My legs have a mind of their own.
Your longest distance was only so far, and there’s only so much that you think you can do. But when you go past that barrier and keep going, you’ve entered the world of the impossible.
14. Crap, I’m out of juice.
You’re only human, so there really is a limit. It’s like when your pre-workout runs out at the gym, or when a flying Superman suddenly becomes human.
15. Found the meaning of life.
Meditation was never my thing. I can’t keep still long enough. So I was pleased that when I get writer’s block (like me halfway writing this), hit the pavement and I somehow attain enlightenment along the way (while chasing that hottie).
16. An excuse to dress like a slut!
Maybe not like a slut, but running is a good excuse to wear as little as possible (besides swimming and Halloween). When else can you turn up in town sweaty, wearing things that leave little to the imagination?
Great, the marathon is just around the corner, but what are the details? Do I have to scroll through the website or sift through my e-mail for the info? Oh #firstworldproblems. Thankfully for us advanced degenerates, some marathons have their own app for a one-stop solution.
18. Must not lose face!
During training, I’ve been using the Nike+ app to place bets with my friends. For some marathons, their app also provides live tracking. The last thing you want is to have your rival at the finishing line watching you crawl back.
19. Post-run selfies!
A run is never complete without the mandatory triumphant selfie. Better still if you’re topless and biting the hard earned finisher’s medal posing like an Olympian. Remember to use the official hashtags!
20. Welcome to the brotherhood.
What time is it? 5am and you’re on your way to get yourself blisters and a week’s worth of cramps. Nobody else would know your struggles and triumphs other than your fellow runners. Weeks later when you have your Sunday brunch and spot someone wearing the finisher’s t-shirt, your gaze will interlock and you will have that intimate connection, knowing what each other went through. #nohomo
21. I’m Superman!
During training camp when I first joined the swim team, the coach turned us out and made us do an ‘endless swim’ in the middle of the night. Through gritted teeth, we did it anyway. And when the sun rose, we realized that we clocked more mileage than we thought possible. Just like finishing a marathon, you have achieved something that <1% of society has done. That feeling will last you far down the road, where you can truly say with conviction that impossible is for other mere mortals.