The 5 Stages of Emotion While Running a Marathon

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I recently had the good fortune of running and finishing my first full length marathon.  And because I’m a giver, I’m going to recreate the run for you, the average Joe (or Josephine for the ladies!).  Why?  So when you think to yourself “Self, I should train for and run a full marathon! I enjoy hurting myself as much as the next guy, and have always wanted to embarrass myself in front of family and friends!”, you can just save yourself the time and money and take up backyard wrestling.

Stage 1 – Anticipation (and terror)

After months of training (mostly spent watching Rocky montages while wearing velour jumpsuits) the big day arrived. And I was ready, I had my fancy pants running shirt, my fancy pants Running Room water bottle and my fancy pants…uh….pants.  I was ready, willing and possibly even able?  Then I see this: Evidently the entire city had the same idea I did, and they all looked like they knew what they were doing.  Could they smell fear (or was that the turkey I had hidden in my pants for an emergency?)  I think the guy next to me might be a vampire.  Is it possible to actually have negative % body fat, oh man, they’re starting…

Stage 2 – Panic

The gun goes off and we’re all running en masse.  From space it must look like a herd of hipsters at an iPhone launch. After fumbling with my phone and kind of elbowing my way to an open spot, the madness starts to subside.  Alright, just relax and remember your montage training.  Start up my playlist and get down to my running.  I’m where I need to be now…

Stage 3 – Belief…and non-belief

The first half of the marathon had gone really well, all joking aside the training was paying dividends.  I was clear headed, was remembering to keep myself hydrated and had only one MacGyver related hallucination.. I thought to myself  “Self, this is going well…what could possibly go wrong?”, which is followed by me smacking myself in the back of the head, because anyone who has ever watched wacky hijinks on prime time television could have predicted what happens next. Both of my calves cramped right up, same time, leading me to perform what I like to call a sidewalk swan dive. Writhing like a beached narwhale, I finally managed to hobble to my feet and resume some semblance of shambling, although any attempt at jogging brought shooting pain through my calves like the kind of pain one’s soul got when watching Highlander 2 for the first time. Hobbling as badly as a story line in a Movie Central movie, and still being at mile 19 of the 26 mile run, we get to…

Stage 4 – Panic round 2 (The near death experience!)

Oh man oh man oh man, what was I #$%&^ thinking??  Running is for the anorexic and beautiful, not the husky and hungry!  I’m going to die alone and ham-less out here!  What will my kids do without a father?  What will my wife do without a husband?  Who will carry on all of my leadership roles in the Richard Dean Anderson Fan Club…wait a minute, what is that…

Final Stage – Mind Blowing Euphoria

I have seen all three of my children enter into this world, I have been married twelve wonderful years and I have owned not one but TWO DVD copies of Space Jam, but I have never seen anything as glorious as what I saw right then… With every last Baconator fuelled cell in my body, I hobbled across the line, I had done it! So, what did I learn?  There is absolutely nothing more satisfying than completing a full marathon…once.  The extra amount of dedication to both training and diet to step up from my comfort zone, the half-marathon is not something to be taken lightly.  I have nothing but respect for those people who run these on a regular basis, but with 3 kids, I can’t give this distance the amount of respect it deserves.  So I’ll be sticking to the half marathons from now on, but I will always have this.

© 2012 – 2015, Dysfunctional Parrot. All rights reserved. No reproduction of written material is permitted.

About Author

ShawzBear is a 30 something Canadian man just trying to make a buck peddling useless video entertainment to the masses. He is blessed with a wonderful wife and 3 amazing kids and enjoys running, hockey and is a founding member of the 101st Care Bear Fan Club, Alberta Division.

  • Cumpek

    What was your overal time?

    • Shawzbear

      Well….it ended up being a far from ideal 5:20. I had been shooting for a PB of 4:30, before my body decided I was done abusing it!