5 Weird Things That Happen To Marathoners

Taken from here.

In celebration of this Sunday’s famous New York Marathon–one of the biggest and best if you ask thousands of runners around the globe–the Today show was kind enough to remind people about the strangest things that happen to a marathoner’s body during the 26.2 mile trek (as if some don’t think running that far is strange enough to begin with).

As someone who has completed 13 marathons, including New York (the scene at the start on the Verrazano Narrows bridge is like no other with 47,000 people this year all jockeying for position, men peeing off the side of the bridge and women just squatting to go amidst the crowds), I can attest to many of the “quirky health hazards” that Dr. Lew Maharam mentioned on the show. But, the funny thing is, even though some of these happenings seem embarrassing, they’re not. We runners are a strange bunch, in and of ourselves. And the general rule of thumb is: The longer the distance, the less modesty. So whether it’s dropping your shorts to pee right next to a bunch of strangers, letting gas rip out loud or blowing snot into the air, we tend not to care.

Whether you’re running or cheering on runners at the marathon this weekend or any other time, you will probably notice a few of these:

Runner’s trots. I’ve seen this happen one too many times. During a long run, your GI system may also get the runs. It can start as stomach cramps and gas and lead to a desperate need to go potty. Sometimes runners make it to a port-a-let, and other times they lose control and go in their shorts. They just keep running though.

Hyponatremia. Some marathoners worry about drinking too little water during a race, but drinking too much of it can be bad too, causing hyponatremia. This can lead to dizziness and nausea and find an unhappy runner hurling along the side of the road or passed out.

Chafing and bloody nipples. If you think this sounds painful, you’re right. Sweat combined with a shirt that constantly moves over your skin can make it raw, irritated and bloody. While it can happen in our armpits and inner thighs, it can also happen to our nipples–although mostly to men because women’s sports bras usually prevent this. Guys who forgot to cover those bad boys with some band-aids can be spotted with strategically-placed blood spots on their shirts about mid-way through the race.

Blackened toenails. Snug running shoes can make your toenail hit the end or top of the shoe, causing blood to pool underneath the nail. This can lead to bloody socks and shoes during the race, and even a toenail floating around in there when you pull off your socks.

Hitting the wall. When your body runs out of carbs, marathoners run out of gas. We call this “bonking” and it usually takes place around mile 20. Your legs feel like lead, you’re completely wiped out, you’re forced to slow down and you hate the world. You can spot these runners by the sheer look of agony and contempt on their face.

Blubbering. Even someone who normally isn’t emotional can often be found bawling at the finish line. Make no mistake though, those are tears of joy!

Good luck to all the marathoners this weekend–weird bodily happenings and all!

Photo: 3.bp.blogspot.com

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