371 days. Redemption.
Those days and that word has been playing on my mind ever since Mumbai Marathon 2017. Its one thing to miss your target, a completely different thing to be disappointed at your own performance cause your 100% was simply poor.
My first target for full marathon has always been to finish it in 5 hours, and I am not stopping until I get there. Although I could not achieve the same this year, I am not entirely disappointed with my performance, mainly cause I managed to shave off a good 53 mins from my previous attempt.This years experience for me was much better than last year for so many reasons.
Performance in 2017 Vs. 2018. Net Timing in 2017 was 6:36 hrs.
Since I wasn’t amongst the last runners , there was an adequate amount of water, relispray and other services. Although, water sponges are still a luxury only faster runners can afford. Other than that, the weather was significantly better this year and an early finish meant lesser time in the afternoon sun. It also meant, more fellow runners alongside, which is just easier mentally.
The best part was after the race. Unlike last year, I had quite some energy left. The following 36 hours was simply soreness and a slight bit of stiffness; a way of the body saying, ‘you did run a full marathon yesterday’. Last year, I was almost flat on my ass, wanting to sleep and not get out of the bed cause I was afraid my legs wouldn’t be able to carry me. This year, I was back in the gym after 36 hours.
I also learnt that better running also enables better learning. Unlike last year, since I did not have to use all my mental reserves into finishing the marathon, I also had the mental ability to identify my mistakes. How I’m supposed to pace myself through the whole race, my hydration frequency, etc. Simply put, the quality of experience gained this year is far more superior than last year. Could never have noticed these things previously, cause my brain was busy reminding me and pushing me to finish and nothing else.
That’s me and my forever young father, who finished his half marathon in 2:24 hours. Mind you, he is 53 and has no intentions of slowing down.
I’ve never needed any outside motivation, cause I get some from the man across the mirror, and the rest from the man right next to me, proving by example that ‘Nothing is impossible’ and that ‘Its never too late’.
In conclusion, I’d say that running a full marathon is always going to be painful. You can never train enough to avoid pain. But you can train enough to reduce it and get used to it. Also, if you’re mentally strong and determined to do it, no power in this world can stop you from achieving it.