It was not my intention to encourage anyone to start running, but I did want to make sure you were properly informed if you decided to do so.

That’s why I told you about the good, the bad, and the ugly that occurs when you run.

To end this prolonged blog series, I’ll reveal one final thing that no one tells you when you run long distances: after you run, you will eat EVERYTHING.

And I do mean everything.

After I crossed the finish line, I was herded into a line with all of the other runners and handed more food than I could have eaten in life. And yet I somehow managed to eat it all.

The first thing I was handed was a bottle of powerade. When the elderly gentleman at the table handed it me I said, “The Lord bless you and keep you kind sir” and kept it moving. I slowly sipped – who am I kidding? I chugged that sucker. The powerade was done in 5.8 seconds, but that was no problem because then there was a water table. An elderly woman handed me a bottle of zephyrhills and I said, “A blessing upon your household you dear soul” and kept it moving.

Yes, when I’m dehydrated I talk like an 18th century vicar from the English countryside.

The powerade was doing its job, so I was able to sip my water like a normal person.

That was until I came upon the breakfast box table.

And the granola bar table.

And the fresh fruit table.

And the Luna bar table.

And the gummy snacks table.

There were so many tables.

It was a slightly pudgy girl’s paradise.

First, let me tell you about my breakfast box. It was like a McDonald’s kids meal for runners. It had multigrain crackers, hummus, granola, cereal, and a bunch of other things I didn’t bother to take the wrapper off of before tossing them down my gullet. Even though there was a granola bar in my breakfast box, I still took one off the granola bar table. I may have given that to Chi-chi, but I’m not that selfless, so I probably ate it. I don’t remember what flavor it was.

Have you ever had a Luna bar? I hadn’t until that day and now I don’t know how I ever lived without them. You must understand that Luna bars are the offspring of rainbows, unicorns, puppies, golden dolphins, and chocolate. That bit of exaggeration may be due to the delirium I was suffering at the time, but still. Eat a Luna bar. They make dreams come true.

Well, if your dream is to not be hungry they can make dreams come true.

All the gummy snacks were Disney themed. I took multiple packs and ate my weight in Princesses, Buzz Lightyears, and Mrs. Incredibles. Good times, good times.

I’ve saved the fruit table for last because something extremely strange happened there. I’ve never been particularly fond of bananas. As a child I would eat them if Chi-chi or Grandpa Sharpe (Chi-chi’s father) made me, but once I hit the age of 12 I decided that I had had it with bananas. I still feel as though Grandpa Sharpe was thoroughly disappointed in me for refusing to eat bananas. Two things I look upon with fondness: My grandfather’s love of ripe bananas and his powder blue suit that he wore to my sister’s wedding. I haven’t been to my grandfather’s grave in a few years, but I wonder if a banana tree has grown over the site. I also wonder if Emmalyn’s addiction to bananas comes from him, but that’s an entirely separate blog post.

To get on with it, I do not like bananas, so I’m still not quite sure how I ended up eating two bananas after the race. Here’s what I think happened:

Elderly person at the fresh fruit table: Would you like some fresh fruit?

Me: I’ll take an apple.

EP: We’re out of apples.

Me: Do you have any grapes?

EP: We’re out of grapes.

Me:Oranges, perhaps?

EP: Fresh out of oranges.

Me: Grapefruit?

EP: That gentleman got the last one.

Me: A peach?

EP: No.

Me: Strawberries?

EP: No.

Me: Plums?

EP: No.

Me: Cranberries?

EP: Fresh or dried?

Me: Either.

EP: No.

Me: Blueberries?

EP: No.

Me: Blackberries?

EP: No.

Me: Raspberries?

EP: No.

Me: What do you have?

EP: We have fresh ripe bananas.

Me: I don’t like bananas.

EP: Oh go on, have a banana.

Me: I don’t like bananas.

EP: Oh go on.

Me: I don’t want one.

EP: Go on.

Me: No.

EP: Take the banana.

Me: No.

EP: Take it.

Me: No.

EP: It’s fresh.

Me: No.

EP: It’s ripe.

Me: No.

EP: It’s edible.

Me: Give me the banana.

After running 13.1 miles, you will eat EVERYTHING.

Even after eating all of that I still went to Panera and ate a fuji apple chicken salad, half a Panini, and half of Emmalyn’s grilled cheese sandwich. On the drive back to West Palm I ate a bag of turkey jerky…and a bag of regular beef jerky and I don’t even like beef.

Beware the half-marathon hunger.