Hello people 😀
I have been inactive for a long while now. But, that is not because I don’t find interesting stuff to write on, it’s just because I have been caught up in so much more that each time I aspire to write about something, the most I am able to do is to enter the topic in my “Things to Write About List”. 😛
However the full marathon experience was something that truly deserved a space in the blog. I couldn’t procrastinate it.
I participated in the Hindustan Marathon on 27th-March and completed the full marathon, that is 42.2 kms in 5:49:22. This was also the time when I was lead in the organizing of Triquetra’16, the first ever collaborated inter college sports fest organised by IIIT-D, NSIT and DTU. Hence, it was a tough time to go and run 42 kms in the middle of the sports fest running, in which I was the organizer as well as the player, but as I had taken the decision to run this full marathon 1.5 months ago I stuck to it, just to keep up to myself. And I am so glad about it 🙂
I had run half marathon (21.1 kms) thrice before, but this was altogether a different achievement. In my preparation, I had reached the mark of running 18 km without a break, after gradually increasing to this level. I had planned to reach 30 km, but couldn’t. Training for marathons isn’t easy as it requires sessions of longer duration. It is easier to take out 30-45 mnts each day than to take out 3 hrs together once or twice a week.
I was very excited the day before the run and I slept only 4.5 hrs. I got up at 3:00 AM, took a cab from my hostel in Okhla to Dwarka sector 10 metro station (near Ramlila Ground), the starting point of the marathon and reached there around 4:45 AM. The race was to start at 5:00 AM.
It was a 5.27 km stretch one side, making it a 10.54 km lap. The full marathon runners had to complete 4 laps. I was feeling good, all set and prepared. I had eaten 3 bananas to keep up the carbohydrates.
I ran the first 16 kms without a break, and then did a combination of very less quick walk and running till the 21.1 km mark. But that was just half the milestone. My legs had started to get heavy and I did realize that I was under prepared for the full marathon. Completely the half seemed enough. I didn’t even do the half in my best time.
I decided to walk for a while before starting to run again. However, sometimes walking isn’t a good idea either, as it gets more difficult to walk. I had started to feel the pain. I had been listing to songs all the while and had been tracking the time and distance using a couple of apps. I removed the earphones as they had started to feel monotonous. The mind had reached the level where it could process very less information and just kept on playing the last song I was hearing on a loop.
I was actually taking little breaks to burst out in ache and then keeping moving ahead. Around the 25 kms mark, I met a random person who was also a full marathon aspirant struggling to run. He asked me the time I was targeting to finish in. I had a crazy fascination to complete the full marathon within 5 (extend to 5:30) hours based on my timing to complete ~20 kms during practice. But at that moment, to be honest, the thought I was fighting in my head was whether to leave it now, or try atleast another lap and then take a call. 6 hours is the cut-off time, I was dead tired and told him that the only thing I am targeting is to complete the marathon within cutoff time, if all all I am able to complete. The dude pushed me a bit, told me that we could complete it. It wasn’t his first full marathon, so he seemed more experienced. It helped me running with someone having the similar target. So I kept on, survival mode.
We ran a km and walked half in combinations. Around 30 kms or so, the pain had reached such a level that it couldn’t be felt anymore. I was confident in my head that I could and I will complete the marathon. I just have to keep pushing myself. It was more of a psychological challenge now. Physically, I had already drained out so much that I could’t feel any new type of pain, I was in that state where moving at a constant speed came naturally to me.
I was imagining the moment when I am completing the 4rth and the feeling that I would experience at that time. It made me keep going and stopping didn’t seem like an option anymore.
Then came the 4rth lap. It started well, but soon it became completely deteriorating. From combinations of running and walking, I had come to combinations of walking and stopping to cry. I literally screamed a few times. The roads were almost functional now, the reaming runners were far away from each other and only a countable few volunteers were left on the road to guide us the path and give us the water. That was one poor management. If the cut-off time was 6 hours, everything should have been functional till that cut-off is over.
Each time I passed a km mark, it seemed more possible. When I had completed more than 35 kms, I just didn’t want to give up. It was a huge struggle. But I kept thinking about the last 200m and the feeling I will attain after completing them. Around 3 kms were left when I had made peace with myself and attained a constant speed. I ran the last km and as per expectation the last 200 m were a total bliss. It so magically happens that you tend to let go of all the pain in the last 200m because the sense of completing the marathon is so strong that is crushes any of the pain you might be feeling.
Thanks to Sankalp, for taking the video 😀
There were two more students from my college who completed the full marathon. Congratulation to Dhruv for completing the marathon in an amazing time of 4 hrs and congratulations to Rekha Di for completing the marathon within time just like me. She has always been an inspiration and she only motivated me in the first place to take part and go for the full marathon this time.
NEVER EVER, HAD I PUSHED MYSELF TO THOSE LIMITS. BUT I WOULD LOVE TO TO THAT AGAIN AND AGAIN.
Do try running a marathon. The feeling is un-explainable. I had also written this post about marathon long time ago.