"What was the toughest moment faced by you ???"
Of-course I have many and probably would face a lot more of them in the future, but my only answer would be
"Running and finishing my first marathon @ Bengaluru Midnight Marathon in 2012"
Bcoz nothing inspires people more than something which is elusive. And in my opinion nothing can be more elusive and glamorous than running a full marathon, with minimal financial investment. In fact a full marathon is a total different character than a half marathon apart from the distance. Its in full marathon that you start along with the everyone, and you struggle to reach the midpoint and suddenly the majority of those "half marathoners" are celebrating. God damn it !!!!!, I still have half of the distance left and 3/4th of the pain to endure. Running from "midnight to dawn" sounds very impressive, but running a marathon is one of those cases where you get f**ked up real-real-real bad , but still in the end you are overjoyed. It is the one where running after the 20km mark is pure unadulterated torture, without even a hint of pleasure, but people still do it and so did I. Why did I do it then?
- Bcoz not everyone can do it. 91 registered for BMM2012, 59 completed it, compared to 360 odd half marathoners, which makes it an exclusive club year on year.
- Bcoz I thought I could do it (hopefully !!!), with some decent training and torture endurance.
- Bcoz it was No.1 in my bucket list and financial investment required was almost negligible.
- Bcoz I wanted to prove a point to my mom that vegetarians can complete marathons :P.
Hence registered for the event as soon as it opened, so that I dont have any afterthoughts. Thank god for that, bcoz 1 month leading to the event I was riddled with injuries and I was not even sure of completing even half of the distance. Marketing Phenomenon "sunk cost effect" came into picture and I landed at the venue to recover as much money as possible of the 1k paid for the registration.
From then onwards started the torture, both mentally and physically. Suddenly the circuit seemed a lot more desolate. Now it had come to a situation where I couldnt even see a single fellow runner, leave alone the 10-15 runners accompanying me in the previous laps. The temperature was dropping very quickly. I presume it was around 10-11 C with the windchill. The support staff were shivering, since they didn have the luxury of keeping the body warm like we did with all that running. Steam was accompanied by every breath. But thankfully was wearing a winter-friendly running jersey hence didnt feel that much chill due to my own sweat. But my legs were not so lucky. My calf muscles started to seize up, upto a point where it was difficult to even walk. But in the back of my head I knew that the moment I stopped, my entire body and not just my legs would seize up , which would ultimately throw me out of the race. Therefore even with legs in such a condition I made a conscious effort of brisk walking till the legs felt OK and I could resume running. Hence started alternating between running and brisk walking whenever legs would seize up. The deadline for the marathon was 6am, so I had to finish it before that no matter what.
|Before: @ around 5km mark|
|After : @ around 25km mark|
Somehow when the clock was close to striking 5.30 am , I was staring down the finish line. Suddenly all of a sudden I had the urge to sprint towards the finish line and so did I. And not surprisingly the calf muscles again seized up, but surprisingly I didnt stop. The final push towards the finish line didnt seem right with anything other than a final farewell sprint. Jumped and shouted with joy at the finish line, which was keenly observed by fellow marathoners who had just finished theirs and which was followed by a smile in their faces. They understood :). Within few moments of photo session saw the sun rising from the east. At that time it dawned on me that I had run from midnight till dawn.
The drive back home was another story, having a tough time keeping myself awake after a sleepless, hectic night. Somehow reached home and it was time for the much needed sleep. This was followed by 2 days of stiff muscles and joints, walking without bending legs raising everyone's curiosity at my workplace :P. In the end my marathon was powered by 8-9 bananas, 1 orange, 1 energy bar, 1 snickers bar, 2 Gatorade bottles, 2 bottles of ORS and lots of water, apart from the carb-loading done the previous 2 days. I lost close to 3.5Kgs when measured just before the race and after it !!!!! Even though the timing of 5.29 hrs (my GPS gave a timing of 5.25 hrs :P) is nothing to boast about, the fact that I completed, what I started makes it all the more satisfying. End of this , I learnt one important thing about myself "I am not a quitter !!!!" :).
Bib Number: 10
Gender Rank: 42/54
Net Time: 05:29:05
Net Time: 05:29:05
Gross Time: 05:29:12