A First Marathon can be described as anything as follows: a Triumph, a personal achievement, a bit of craziness anything, but to someone who has just finished a full marathon after being on the training circuit for a while, it is nothing short of a Milestone in line. Every marathoner has a story and I am no exception, I would love to share my experience.
My first Marathon, an entire 41.195 km was nothing short of a victory to me. I was not in the best of my physical condition to complete the task of running the difficult terrain of Auroville. Though many refrained from telling me that it was one of the difficult trails for a first Marathon, for the only benefit that I will not be discouraged on my first marathon. I owe a lot to my running buddies for keeping it in hiding (to be seriously taken in the humorous spirit!)
So here we go, I was running a temp of about 100 degree centigrade plus the previous night. Was having a bad headache and was actually going through a bad time in all. And I seriously discourage anyone attempting to run a full marathon, if you are undergoing any of the above or even one symptom, but the DNA in me urged me to complete what I started!
Auroville is one of the most beautiful trail that you can ever run. Kudos to the organizers for their generosity and attention to details to care for the entire event starting from bib pins to water points. The run started like any other except that one had to hold a torch in their hand to see the trail in the wee hours of the morning. The first twenty kilometres went off well until the sun came out bright and shining on you. So did the temperature which started soaring after the first few pleasant two hours. Bhasker my friend was there giving me company till the 25th kilometre, then we just saw the 5HR bus coming close to us. Decided to join the bus which had 12 to 15 runners to try and complete the marathon in under 5 hours. By the time I boarded the bus cramps had creeped in to my legs. But I had decided to continue with them until the 31st kilometre. 31st Kilometer I had to get off the bus, and started limping and walking-this is when my good friend Bhaskar gave me a piece of advice, not to stop or sit, if you start realising your cramp, it will not allow you to continue further. The only company from the 31st kilometre was my iPOD and myself. It was one of the greatest mind battles that I have ever fought in my life. I cannot count the number of times, my mind was giving up on my legs and asking me to stop and every kilometre from thereon was winning mind over body, and playing the ‘mind game’. How true, when people told me that life is a marathon, I didn’t realize it until I crossed the 31st kilometre. Every kilometre beyond taught me one thing to ”NOT TO GIVE UP”. Crossed 41 kilometer, with run-walk, run-walk and one step at a time. There are many runners who kept encouraging me, to keep it going, and that is one of the things that I love about the sport. From 41st kilometre when I started hearing the music at a distance, it gave me a boost of energy and helped me to decide that I would be running the next kilometre and finish real strong. The last 100 meters was a real sprint to the finish.
My timing was 5:31min. The best is around the corner and would soon find space in my ensuing blogs. The feeling that I got after finishing the marathon was inexplicable, it was happiness, agony with sense of achievement and of pure bliss. I would cherish my first marathon forever and I would love to do it all over again, sans my fever!!!