For the last few days, I have been wondering how, despite all the pain one goes through for a full marathon (or even a half even though one can’t compare it with a full), how does one forget the pain so quickly. And then I read about the ‘halo effect’. It is something that describes the positive emotions experienced by a new mother when the baby is placed in her arms for the first time. The happiness of holding her baby for the first time overpowers any pain or negativity from the birth within ten minutes of giving birth! Doesn’t that explain it all? The exhilaration of holding the finishers’ medal will make you forget the last 4-5 months of training as well the last few hours of torture. That also explains why runners who have done more than few marathons, might forget to tell you somethings about your first full:
1) You would be hoping or expecting weight loss but will most likely put on weight specially during the last 2-3 weeks of the tapering period where the mileage would go down but appetite won’t.
2) You will go through a terrible low after the extreme high. It will happen post a few days of completing the marathon. You will keep wondering what’s next and why it’s over why you wanted it to be over.
You will also wonder what to do with the extra time you have.
3) You will hate everything and everyone that comes your way post 30km. That’s right.
4) You might be talking a lot of about running during your training. Actually that’s the only thing you will be talking about. And your runner friends would understand but it might be painful for your non-runner friends (if you have time for them that is).
5) You will most likely be very hungry during the run which will make you angry like never before. And despite the fact there might be food available (depending on which marathon you choose), you might not be able to eat it.
6) Post the full, and during the few days of recovery break, you will feel like that you can’t even run 5km let alone 42.2 km. That fear almost seems real and will make you very anxious.
7) You will still respect half marathons but a full marathon will always be the one which you will truly desire.
But as I said everything bad would be forgotten the moment you cross the finish line. Finishing a half marathon is exhilarating, being able to finish your first full marathon is insanely exhilarating. I still get goose-bumps when I think of my first.