Today, I have pains in my knees, both my ankles are swollen and I walk like a penguin. But I am extremely happy with myself and proud of my achievement. I ran the Bengaluru Midnight Marathon (42.2Km) in 5 Hours and 20 Min. That’s an average of around 8 Kmph. Right now, an awesome feeling of achievement engulfs me making the pains tolerable and the trouble bearable.
Last year I had taken part in the half-marathon of the same event. This time I am glad I went for the full. I drove to the venue at 7.30PM and got my BIB number and the timing chip. My friends Srini (who took part in the full marathon) and Babu (for half) were also there and we kept each other company till the run began (spending the few hours going around the Forum Mall, talking and listening to some loud music).
The clock struck 11.30 and we geared ourselves for the actual event. The marathon was supposed to be flagged off at 12 Midnight and after a brief warm-up we went to the start/finish line. The night was chill but with all the excitement around the cold didn’t matter. We had to run 10 laps with each lap being 4.22 Km. Based on last years experience I had a strategy in place. Instead of running the initial few laps at full blast (and then struggling to complete), I took a mature approach of running at a more leisurely pace so that I could sustain my speed continuously till the finish. Keeping a target of completing two laps every hour helped me gauge my performance and finish the marathon without any cramps!!.
I made sure I motivated/urged enough number of people on the way. But as time flew the chit-chat and smile waned. But it was always heartening to see my friend Srini smiling and commenting everytime we crossed each other (twice in a loop!). Also another friend of mine who kept me company was Karthik. He called from US several times during the run to keep me going. Is this what comradeship all about?
Anyway, I could sense the shift in my cheerfulness and the diminishing energy levels as the laps went by. I could clearly feel myself slowing down during the 7th & 8th lap. The mind continued to push, but the body was asking it to go to hell…It was a unique experience indeed. One has to run a marathon to experience this funny feeling (or maybe getting heavily drunk might also help you land there..:)) But seriously, this is what makes you feel good about yourself. When the going gets tough and you keep going, you have all the right to touch the finish line. One of the finest examples where perseverance matters and where it pays.
Believe me when I say, the amazing feeling cannot be replaced with anything. Its something that one needs to experience to appreciate it. In the following years, you will look at yourself in the mirror and feel proud of the moment. You will think about this incident and cling to that last thread of hope when everything else seems down and out. You will continue when people say “Its Ok” to give up and say you cannot carry on…This experience will help you to continue fighting with new strategy and new vigor. And last but not the least, it will help you gain an experience that no amount of blogs/articles will help you realize - An experience of a lifetime, the lessons of which lasts an entire life.