Woohooo…. Yes I completed my first 10 K Marathon. I cannot believe I have done it. Yet, it is true. From a person panting for breath if I ran 10 feet together, running all the 10 kms for a marathon, I have come a long way!
It all started with the early morning regular walks that I have been consistent at ( at least one claim to fame ). Now that I have been at it for the last 3 years, and I do not miss out an opportunity to talk about it, the moment someone starts about exercise or fitness routine. Talking about my walking routine, may sound like self-praise, but in essence the more I make it public, the difficult it is for me to back out – great technique. Try it with your inconsistencies and see what miracles it can bring about.
I should thank my friend Sudha who tells me often, that I am doing the most difficult of stuff like walking every day. I started believing her when she followed my footsteps and started the walking habit. I felt that I had to continue this habit, to ensure she stays inspired.
It was during this time, I got to know that Kumar who works in my organisation, in the same premise and in the same floor as mine, is a marathon runner. He had done 4 full marathons and more than 10 half Marathons. During our corridor / water cooler conversations I got to know more about his marathons and when this Wipro Chennai Marathon was announced sometime in September, Sudha and I decided to enrol. Kumar was encouraging and was generous with his tips on how to practice for a marathon and how different it is from walking.
During one such tips session, we rechristened Kumar as Coach Kumar. I have to tell you all this about Kumar – when I first met Kumar, he had a nice little pigtail and I loved it. None of my friends till then had sported a pigtail and I thought he looked quite modern and savvy. Not many men can carry it well enough and Kumar kind of managed it well. And these days, Coach Kumar sports a man bun and he continues to be the only man in my organisation who I can ogle at :-) :-) didn’t I digress there and divulge a big secret? I hope Kumar does not read this he he he…
We also kind of forced him to come to the walking trail that I go to, to train us for the marathon. Coach kumar didn’t have much choice – we kind of bulldozed him to be our coach and also garnered more women power by adding 3 more women to our marathon group. Coach Kumar was a sweetheart and he came with us every Saturday for the practice run. 4 women and coaching us could have been a nightmare for him. He started with the 1 minute run and 1 minute walk routine. This was moved to higher sprints of running and lesser walking. The first few weeks were only 6k running and walking and the last few weeks we started doing the 10 k walking and running.
Coach kept us motivated, shared his own running experiences and his friends’ experiences. He continued being part of his own group of runners “Pillar Pacers”, practising on Sundays for his full marathon, but yet found time to coach us on Saturdays for the last 3 months.
The Marathon originally was scheduled on December 11th 2016, but cyclone Vardah made sure that it was postponed to 8th of January 2017. Coach could not join us as his Full Marathon was flagged off at 4.30 am and ours started at 7.30 am.
The running itself, the frenzied running crowds, the people who were cheering the runners, the pacers, the sun, the roads of my city – it was nothing less than a fantastic experience. Months of training, pain, perseverance, rising against your own will all culminated into one thought for me on 8th of January. RUN VINCY RUN. I told myself, unless you faint, you will not stop running. I enjoyed the sights, thanked the volunteers, people cheering the runners, musicians playing loud music along the way, the adrelanine rush when the tagline of Wipro Chennai Marathon “Gummthalakadi Gummava, Chennainna Summava!!” was played (sorry to those who do not understand Tamil, this is not a phrase but an emotion & cannot be translated ) – I took it all in savoured every moment of it and ran the entire 10 km. Most importantly with a broad smile.
I completed my first 10 K in 1 hour 45 mins and 2 secs. Not a great timing, but to me it is incredible that i even attempted it.
Like I mentioned in FB after posting the Marathon pictures, “Strength does not come from doing what you can, but from overcoming stuff that you thought you cannot do”
|The warm-up stretches before the run|
|The four of us who trained together at the starting point Napier's Bridge as soon as we arrived|
|picture clicked while running on Adyar bridge - notice the sea of Runners in front of me.|
|With Karthik TM, my friend, of EVAM theater fame. He was the pacer for us. Can you believe he ran in a Panchagajam?|
|every muscle aching - but the smile says it all|