Monday, October 24, 2016

My maiden marathon run

Earlier this month I ran my maiden marathon in Hartford, Connecticut. I completed the 26.2 mile course in just less than 4 hours. Last year I ran the half-marathon. I completed it quite comfortably in 1 hour 45 minutes. So, I planned to try the full one this year. Generally, I run 6 miles everyday on the treadmill. Once in a while I go to a trail to run similar or slightly more distances. However, once our daughter was born last June, I struggled to follow the above schedule. Hence, I was hopeful but a bit skeptical whether I would be able to finish!

On the race day, I started off on a moderate pace of about 8 minutes per mile. The weather was good - cold and slightly cloudy. The crowd was very encouraging. Up to mile 15 or 16 it was nice and easy. However, after that my body started complaining. I really had to push myself to keep moving. Twenty mile mark gave me a psychological boost - I only need to cove 6.2 miles more. I kept telling myself - 'push some more and then you will be able to see your daughter's innocent smiles'.

What I found out is that it's not only about the body but the mind as well. You need mental strength as well (in addition to physical) to complete a marathon, at least the first one. Determination to finish is as much important, if not more, as physical fitness. There were times when my body wanted to quit, however, my determination to keep pushing kept me afloat.

Some people ask me why I run, why I endure such pain and discomfort. Regular running is fine as long as it is to keep myself fit and my weight in check. But why 5k, half-marathon or marathon? Well, I sometimes ask the same question to myself as well. Truth is, I love running. I developed this liking over the last few years. When I run, it kind of liberates me. It relives my frustrations, stresses of daily lives. I better able to think through things while running. Though it seems counter intuitive, after I complete a run, I feel more energized in stead of feeling sapped out of energy.

Completing the marathon had given me new confidence to withstand anything. It has increased my patience and perseverance in other facets of my life. I feel like I can live through any ordeal  - be it whole day meetings in office or flying first time with a four month old baby!


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