9 Ways Running a Half Marathon is like Childbirth

I ran my first half marathon in Philly this past weekend.

It was amazing!

The weather turned out to be pretty good (chilly, but not too cold), the city views were breathtaking and no one had to peel me off the pavement halfway along the course.

That being said, running 13.1 miles definitely provides ample time to think.

As I made my way around the city, I couldn’t help but compare running my first half marathon to childbirth.

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9 Ways Running a Half Marathon is like Childbirth

9 Ways Running a Half Marathon is like Childbirth

**Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link, and, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. 

  • Pre-race/Pregnancy:
    • In the final month of pregnancy I over-packed my hospital bag with everything you could possibly need while giving birth and after (e.g. a robe, change of clothes, slippers, socks, sugar free candies, etc.). I even bought an impractical, but adorable coming home outfit for my new baby.
    • Before the race, I made sure I had everything you could possibly need while running a half marathon (e.g. tissues, headband, running belt, watch, socks, throw-away sweatshirt, leggings, long-sleeved t-shirt, etc.). I even bought a bright teal jacket in case there happened to be a blizzard during the race (there wasn’t).
  • Waiting around for the race/labor to begin: 
    • This is the WORST part of pregnancy. It doesn’t help when everyone around you is asking, “Have you had that baby yet?”
    • This is the WORST part of the race. I get in place in my corral, I’m ready to go, I’m all warm and stretched, and then we stand there… and wait.
  • Labor/the race begins: 
    • When I felt the first indications that labor was beginning, I felt excited. This is it! For months I’ve been preparing, planning, and “training” for this. I finally get to meet my baby.
    • It’s such a thrill when you finally get the signal to start the race. This is it! For months I’ve been preparing, planning, and training for this. I can’t wait to cross that finish line.
  • The uncertainty of labor/the race:
    • After the initial excitement of the prospect of labor starting, I began to feel quite uncertain. Wait, is this labor? How long will this last? This must be labor! Huh, this isn’t SO bad. Is this labor?
    • I was told the Philly half was fairly flat except for a dreaded hill near the zoo. Hills are not my favorite things to run (does anyone like running hills?), so I was a little anxious to conquer it. What I didn’t realize is that there is a slight hill before the dreaded zoo hill Is this the zoo hill? This must be the zoo hill! Huh, this isn’t SO bad. Is this the zoo hill? 
  • The pain of labor/the race: 
    • Everyone, from relatives to doctors, told me, “Oh, you’ll just know when you go into labor.” For me, that was absolutely true. Once the labor pain truly kicked it into high gear I most certainly felt it. I’M IN LABOR! 
    • Before the race my brother told me, “Oh, you’ll just know when you get to the zoo hill.” Yep, he was right. THIS IS THE ZOO HILL (I hope I didn’t frighten any fellow runners when I screamed that at the top of my lungs)!
  • The pushing: 
    • For some reason unclear to me, I had the impression that the pushing part of childbirth doesn’t hurt. Well, when you run out of time for the epidural, apparently is hurts… real bad. I’m pretty sure I cut off all the circulation in Good Papa’s hand.
    • While running, I kept telling myself that once I got to mile 12 it would be smooth sailing with only 1 more mile to go. I could easily push myself to my fastest pace toward the finish line. Unfortunately, the last mile was the most difficult mile for me. I probably slapped the hand of the girl holding the sign FREE High Fives a little too hard.
  • The finish line: 
    • There’s nothing quite like holding your baby you carried inside for nine months in your arms. No words can truly describe the over-whelming joy of childbirth.
    • Childbirth may have a slight edge on completing a half marathon (Sorry, but W is way cuter than any medal), but it is still an amazing feeling. I can certainly see why they call it a runner’s high. 
  • The aftermath: WOW! I’m sore!
  • Some time passes: Okay, I’m ready for the next one!

9 Ways Running a Half Marathon is like Childbirth

Have you ever completed a race? What crazy thoughts have run through your head while running? Let me know in the comment section below. 

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