Marathons or Tattoos?

April 4, 2015

I recently had my first tattoo done by the awesome Rodrigo Souto at Black Garden Tattoo. It turns out that getting a tattoo has more in common with running marathons than you might think. They both hurt, but the pain is more than worth it. People who don’t do them think you are mad and many can’t understand why you would put yourself through it. There is strong camaraderie amongst both communities. The preparation is also weirdly similar. I was advised to have a restful week, to sleep well and to avoid alcohol before my tattoo. I was told to eat a good meal beforehand (but nothing out of the ordinary) and to bring sugary snacks and drinks to take during the event. Apologies to the lchf crowd! My tattoo even took pretty much exactly the same length of time to complete as my last marathon!

My triple hard manly tattoo!

I’ve been unable to run for nearly six months now due to post-infection viral fatigue. It’s beyond frustrating. My only symptoms aside from fatigue are mild flu-like aches and pains at night and in the morning, occasional chesty coughs and the inability to do any exercise whatsoever. A 15 minute gentle jog makes me feel terrible for 36 hours. I’ve had expert medical advice as well as all the blood tests under the sun and I’m taking the right supplements. Of course, things could be much worse. Running aside, I’m able to go about my daily routine as normal and I will get better eventually.

When I do start running again, I’ll be starting from scratch. My fitness has eroded completely and I’ve put on a lot of flab. It’ll be a long road back but I have unfinished business with the marathon. My dream of running sub 3 hours may not be realised but I still want to lower my personal best.

Something else marathons and tattoos have in common is that they are addictive. Despite the suffering, soon after finishing one you start thinking about your next. Let’s hope I can get back to running soon or I might end up covered from head to toe in ink.

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