Part 2- The Half Marathon

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I laid out my sexy running gear- Adidas tennis skirt… Running and Living tee shirt (not so sexy)… Nike sports bra… Nike shoes… and socks with hearts on them. I wanted to look good in the photos. That was the 2nd objective after of course actually finishing the run. During my last 10 km run organized by Pinkathon (NGO) I just pulled the most comfy and ugly looking clothes run wear and lets just say… I am not tagging my pics on fb. I learned this during Jazz… if you look good you perform well. Looking good makes you confident and is half the battle won.

KC and I returned from ‘History of India’ by Vir Das playing in Delhi on Saturday night and promptly went to bed. The alarm was set for 4.30 am and the run started at 5.30 am. And Murphy’s Law happened… the alarm didn’t ring (phone was formatted on Friday and I lost all my settings). Thankfully, waking up at 5 am every Sunday helped (cannot wake up so early on weekdays… am weird) and my body clock jolted me awake at 5 am. I rushed out of the house in 10 mins… only ate half a Muscle Blaze protein bar in the car… and did not say goodbye to KC. We had to park the car at Club Florence and then walk a few 100 meters to get to the start line. Guess what, the marathon started before I reached. I had not eaten enough… desperately needed water… and was late.

I am a slow runner and this was the worst thing to happen. Now, I would be behind everyone… if I had started running on time atleast there would have been company for some distance. I just plugged in my best music and started. Thankfully, there were others like me so I had company till they over took. But throughout there was always someone around… either in front or behind. The run started on a plain road near the golf course extension and moved into the jungle where we had to climb to a hill. At 8 km mark we reached the top of the hill. Thats the view… this was around 6.30 am.



And thats while coming up the hill. This is a better terrain… there are few stones here.






I had really slowed down while climbing uphill and had decided to run for it downhill to make up for the lost time. That is what I did at 8 km… ran like there was no tomorrow. At 9 km another guy joined me and we started running together. One reason why I prefer to run alone is because I can run at my pace… there is no pressure to match someone else’s pace. But this felt pleasant… I didn’t realize running and talking could be fun. After 5 km I was tired and wanted to walk. With all good intentions this guy kept asking me to jog slowly rather than walking. Now, I believe how much you run vs jog vs walk in a marathon is different for everyone. There are people who look down on walking and prefer only running. On the other hand, a walk helps me cool down and gives me energy to pick up my pace. After another 1 km I asked this guy to run along since I was slowing him down. Thankfully, he went ahead. 12 km- 17 km were the toughest and most tiring. It was 8 am by now… the sun was overhead… and the 5 km was on open road which means no shade. Also we had to take a U turn and then run back. Now this is always interesting and frustrating. When there is a U turn… all I want to do is reach there as fast as I can. Also meeting so many people on their way back is frustrating and they will be condescending (with good intentions) and clap/cheer for you. It is difficult to react… I mean, I still haven’t reached the U turn while you are heading back… and you are clapping for me. So, what happens when I finally take a U turn? Yes… I also clap and cheer for people who are still running towards it and they also give me the same expression I had on earlier.

Thats the thing about running… there is always someone ahead of you… and someone behind you. All you can do is compete with yourself.

At 17 km… I realized I wouldn’t finish in 3 hours. C’mon… a girl can dream. But instead of giving up I decided to get as close to the target as possible. At 19 km I chatted with another guy who had given up and was walking the last 2 km.

Me: I had hoped to be able to finish within 3 hours

Him (weird look) : 3 hours are up and you have 2 more to go. In a different kind of weather it would have been possible

I reached the finish line at 3 hours 15 mins and many people told me I had really covered up the distance in the last 10 km.

I thought I would be dead or tired by the end of it but it was fine. I chatted with an ex-colleague and headed home for a massage.

Coming up next- Tips…

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