Marathon pain comparison

I'm not gonna lie - running a marathon is not a pleasant experience.

I've only made it round one, and it was horrible.

But, the ever-soothing passage of time helps erase these painful memories and allows you to convince yourself that it wasn't actually that bad, so why not give it another go?

That is why I tell people that whilst pretty much anyone can do a marathon with proper preparation, they shouldn't.

My thoughts drifted to this topic the other day as I contemplated the symphony of suffering I'd somehow composed for myself.

The dull, monotonous pain of the ceaselessly aching ribs I cracked underlining the ebb and flow of pain from the tooth now ripped from it's mandibular home. All this abbreviated with the occasional crescendo from the now absent distal phalanx from my left index finger as I forget it isn't fully healed and stub it on a range of one of the previously unrecognised obstacles that litter my life.

These musings - quite naturally I'm sure you'll agree - made me think that I needed to draw a graph comparing the different pains over time.

Obviously, for it to stand up to any kind of scientific rigour, you need to set some kind of parameters, so I've gone for a simple 0-10 scale for pain (with 0 being least and 10 being most).

Time is measured on a 0-20 scale, with 0 being the time the incident happened. But, 1 unit isn't necessarily a day. I've gone for 20 being more of an unarbitrary period of general suffering, and subdivided that.

Taking the marathon as a starting point, that hurt a lot at the time (0) and for a few days after, but subsided pretty steadily once I stopped doing stupid things like running.

Cutting my finger off with a table saw was, understandably, immediately more painful than the marathon, but that diminished rapidly and is really only an issue now when I bang it (not as uncommon as I'd like!).

The ribs were more of a bore - not as instantly painful, just diminishing less rapidly than I'd likeand pretty restrictive for things like moving and sleeping.

The tooth is all over the shop. Not the worst immediately, but ebbing and flowing over time depending on if bits are still falling out, whether I'm being operated on, or if I've bitten into something too enthusiastically and forgotten the no go area for solids in my mouth.

So, for all those people out there wondering how running a marathon compares to cutting off a finger, cracking a rib or smashing out a tooth, there's now a convenient graphical comparison.

All part of the service here at PRL Towers...


  1. The ribs are like the south Downs rolling gently back to sea level at Brighton. Whereas the tooth is like the Paps of Dura, perhaps crescending a week on Saturday at the top of Ben Nevis without a coat.

  2. I wonder if you'd consider having the words 'get phil in your inbox' re-engineered for the sake of those of a delicate nature?

  3. @ Sall_y 1 - do I want to hear about your paps?

    @ Sall_y 2 - I don't understand what you could possibly mean...