In 2015, in the month of January , mumbai hosts one of india s favourite marathon, the TATA MUMBAI MARATHON(earlier it was STANDARD CHARTERED MUMBAI MARATHON). I had registered for a full marathon , but suffered an injury (fractured metatarsal)on the second weekend of training.
After 45 days of cast and physiotherapy , I was back on the course , training for half . I did not change the registration as half marathon bibs were sold out. The plan was to , start with the Full marathoners and stop after 21.1kms.
During one of my long runs, I got this weird idea, WHAT IF???
WHAT IF , I just run the FULL MARATHON in jan , though I was only training for a half. I did not voice it to anyone. Deep down , I was confident I could run the course and but I was scared ,if I told anyone they would voice their fears and that might affect my decision.
So this WHAT IF, thought came to me in late November. I kept up the half marathon training, harbouring the devious plan in my head. I kept running the full marathon course in my head, visualising the various sites I would cross. The beautiful worli sealink and the crowd cheering at the finish line.
Race day came and I knew deep down I was ready . The WHAT IF became I WILL….!!!
The race strategy was simple. At every 10 kms I would tell my legs , to start fresh. I would treat every 10 kms as a race. Erase memory of the past. It actually worked upto to 36km mark , where I happened to bump into my chief coach and I just lost my nerve. The look on his face, is still fresh in my memory. He infact,screamed ..” WHAT ARE YOU DOING?”.
I remember clearly , I replied ” I AM FINE. I WILL RUN.”
Thus began my actual marathon struggle. I was so overwhelmed with various emotions. I was not doing the right thing, especially , as I was part of a running community. I knew I would be blacklisted for not following the rules of the community. I was too confused . One part of me was telling me to stop while the other part pushed me to continue, I had come so far. It would be all over in matter of few kms.
At that time , a good running buddy , who had diligently trained for the full marathon , came along and pulled me along with him. He kept pushing me , not to think and just finish the race.
Both of us finished together. It was awesome . I was numb. I WILL… I DID IT!!!!
The runner’s high subsided, various thoughts started flooding my mind. Especially , the words “YOU DID WRONG” It was crazy idea. I just could not justify my actions and my thoughts .
After a few days, the coaches sat me down for a one on one. The WHAT IF’s and the BUT’s were spelt out to me clearly and I was warned. FIRST and LAST WARNING!!I knew I was at fault, especially , as my running community would be affected , due to my actions. I took the warning in stride and started training again.
A lot has happened since that first Full marathon. Next week I will be running my Second marathon, attending the full training program. Being as regular as possible. This will be my first marathon , after motherhood.