Mar 7, 2008

First Marathon of my life

The sports genes don't run in my family. I have never excelled in sports (whatever form). If look myself in the mirror i find myself a jack of all trades and masters of none.

But finally I have something to talk about. With god's grace I ran my first marathon of 13 miles on 2nd March 2008. I took 3 hours and 12 minutes to complete it but this is all what i wanted. Alpharetta Marathon is conducted once a year and has 2 flavors

1. Half Marathon - 13 miles
2. Full Marathon - 26 miles

It just a week before when Trilok veer jee put forth the idea of participating in the marathon. My first reaction looking at 13 miles (forget 26 miles) was "hell no" but then he, with his calm and composed nature motivated me and I agreed, thinking If i can't complete i will run as much as I can.

1st day - I started practicing in the apartment gym. The first day i was barely able to reach 3 miles.
2nd day - I took some rest
3rd day - I comfortable ran 2.0 miles at the speed of 4.7 miles per hour. After little breaks i made it till 4.0 miles
4th day - I was little more comfortable now and wasn't tired or pain of any sort. I could complete 5.0 miles with the first non-stop stretch of around 2.5 miles
5th day - I managed 6.0 miles
6th day - took some rest
7th day - took some rest again , wanted to practice but because of some other commitments I couldn't make it

After these many days of practice I knew one thing that completing the race is just a mental game. I can even complete the race by walking 13 miles. I had noticed during practice that even brisk walking kind of gives you a 4 mile per hour speed.

On the race day, all I did was Ardaas and went to the race along with Trilok veer jee. Vijaya cautioned me that don't stress yourself else you will face adverse effects. We arrived just in time and therefore couldn't do a lot of stretching. After the US national anthem the race started and i started remembering my childhood days of sports events. Usually whenever such events happened during my school days i use to feel disappointed since everyone would go past beyond me but this time it was different. I started at my medium pace and allowed everyone to go ahead without disturbing my mind, remembering the Tortoise and the Hare fable. The initial 2 miles were very tough (lack of stretching) but then after taking some water i felt a bit comfortable and got into a good pace. It went fine till 6 miles smooth and steady. the ahead thing will be though i knew that and whatever distance i cover, its going to be a bonus.
I was at the same pace with a fellow runner, Chanda Provost. She accompanied with me till the last and probably only because of her i could finish the race.

Last 3 miles were brutal. I was taking my liquids on regular intervals and didn't feel famished but my knees (specially my right knee) was hurting the most. Although i was just jogging (people who were walking, went beyond me :-)), I felt as if i have tied a 10 kg weight around them. I just hoping that i don't spoil my knee ligaments or any tendons. There was one thing i said to myself "2 steps before the victory and you loose the cup". Your cup is participation and completion :-) and you don't want to loose the cup, coming this far.

It was such an awesome feeling going past beyond the finish line and wearing that medal. Trilok veer jee were waiting for me all smiling and happy. He completed the half marathon in 2:20 minutes.
I attribute my success to lord almighty who helped me through his creations, fellow human beings helped me finish the race. Its his win and not mine.

kbIr myrw muJ mih ikCu nhI jo ikCu hY so qyrw ]
kabeer maeraa mujh mehi kishh nehee jo kishh hai so thaeraa ||
Kabeer, nothing is mine within myself. Whatever there is, is Yours, O Lord.

qyrw quJ kau saupqy ikAw lwgY myrw ]203]
thaeraa thujh ko soupathae kiaa laagai maeraa ||203||
If I surrender to You what is already Yours, what does it cost me? ||203||

Half Marathon Finisher - 365.19