A few days ago Huffington Post ran an article entitled "26 Reasons Not to Run a Marathon". Although I haven't been as vocal about my extreme distaste for running in past blogs, I'm going to say it right now: I really fucking hate running. And while I didn't necessarily need 26 reasons not to run a marathon because I wasn't wrestling with that decision in my mind (nor have I ever), I still read it, and it inspired me to put together my own list of why you should never run a marathon.
I've run races in the past - some 5ks, a 10k and a 12k - and when I say "run" I mean "walked up the hills and ran down them really fast to make up for walking." My participation in said races was sometimes voluntary, sometimes not - in fact my first 5k I was told about when I arrived at the airport to visit my friend for the weekend and found I had unknowingly been signed up for competitive running, an activity in which I did not partake, competitively or not, at any point in my life.
Running is not fun. Granted, this is coming from someone with asthma and the lung capacity of a squirrel, but seriously. Other parts of my body don't like it either and they work just fine. Yet for whatever reason, I've had a dysfunctional relationship with running where I try it, remember it sucks, stop, forget how much it sucks, decide "maybe it'll be easier this time," sign up for another (short) race, begin training for said race, remember "oh god, this is fucking torture," reluctantly run/walk the race and have momentary happiness at the end when I get a free tshirt and a medal as though I was a winner of some sort. And I get really pissed if they don't have finishers medals for everyone, because what the hell did I get out of this if not some trophy that will jingle with all the others on my closet doorhandle for the rest of my young life?
I've heard people say after a race "I feel so great, I want to run a half marathon next!" What? I did a 10k and at the end I thought "I have no interest in ever running this far again, pretty sure I'll just stop here."
Running sucks. Running 26 miles sucks SO MUCH that I can barely express how dumb it is, especially since we're not hunting buffalo within a 50-mile perimeter for survival anymore. So below you will find my insightful and true facts about why you shouldn't run a marathon:
1) I really shouldn't have to say this, but do you people know about the first "marathon?" A guy had to run 26.2 miles from somewhere I should probably Wikipedia in Greece to a town called Marathon to deliver an important message, like a war was coming or the king died or there was an invasion of locusts, I don't fucking remember. Anyway, when the guy reaches Marathon with his message, completing his journey, HE DIES. He runs 26.2 miles and INSTANTLY DIES, because human beings are not meant to just fucking run and run and run and run.
So someone thought, "Hey, let's commemorate this historic moment by doing this thing that killed this guy." Because we also have competitions commemorating the Titanic by intentionally sinking a ship and seeing who can get to the lifeboats and survive every year, so why not try this other thing that has NOT BEEN ACCOMPLISHED WITHOUT DEATH.
2) It hurts. Running hurts me after about 45 seconds, but running will hurt ANYONE who does it for 3-5 hours straight. Your legs wish they were amputated, your lungs wish you would just take up smoking and your heart is just screaming "FUCK YOUUUUU" the entire time. The HuffPost article even talks about how marathons INJURE YOUR HEART, which is probably what happened to the poor guy that is rolling in his grave because other idiots are doing what he gave his life for FOR FUN.
"Don't eat too much fat! Don't eat too much salt! Don't smoke! It's bad for your heart!" We haven't turned these things into competitions (ok, maybe the eating thing but everyone acknowledges that's a terrible idea), but let's go run so far we break our most important organ!
3) YOU WILL NEVER WIN. Ever. No matter how many marathons you run, how fast you get, how much you train, you're not Kenyan (unless you are, in fact, Kenyan). There is nothing you can do to become physically Kenyan even if you go take a citizenship test (which has not been proven to make you faster), so ladies and gentlemen, you will never win a marathon. Everyone knows only Kenyans win marathons, and I'm pretty sure their flag has a dude running on it (I have no fucking clue what the flag looks like). So just give up.
4) Any event where it is not only possible but acceptable to shit and piss in your pants has no place in mainstream civilization. I have obviously not done it, but I've seen some YouTube videos that I can't unsee. Oh, gotta go to the bathroom at some point during the running of 26 miles? I can't bear to lose the precious minutes it might take to use a port-o-potty or at least a piece of foliage, so I'll just do it in my pants. Voluntary pants-shitting is just not something I'm comfortable becoming a part of America - I've shit my pants and it was most DEFINITELY not voluntary, nor did it earn me anything other than an ambulance ride and a really embarrassing walk of shame through a nice hotel. If people have to clean up feces off the street after an event it sure as hell better be a parade and the poo from horses, because people shitting in the street needs to stay in the movies with Maya Rudolph. Just...no.
Ok, so I'm pretty sure I don't need 26 reasons not to run a marathon. The first one should be pretty solid, and if you're not convinced, the second one should convince you. And if someone tells you about something good about marathon running, ask them "When that happened was any part of your body in pain?" They'll be lying if they say no. Even a child has the wisdom to know that "that hurts" means "maybe I should stop doing that." Apparently we lose that wisdom over time.