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Getting to the Finish Line - 42.2K - First Full Marathon

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

The Finish Line of SCMM 2014 motivated me to come back for more..come back for First Full Marathon. The 12 months of waiting was shortened when Nagraj Adiga announced Bengaluru Marathon. Why not try my first Marathon in my own home? Without thinking much I REGISTERED :) :) Prakash was the catalyst ;)

Come July, started training with Prakash. Thoroughly pampered with the Promo Runs, the free Tees, the yummy breakfast and endless pictures from Vijay, Anju and Archana. Nandi Hills and AOL being the best. The 12 hour run with All women’s relay team was fantastic.

Friday nights were early to bed and Saturdays the alarm always rang at 4:30, slow and steady trained from 20km to 35km. Some where during the training, realized that i needed to work on my flexibility and joined Radha for yoga. Loved the yoga sessions, the deep breathing and the calming exercise. in three weeks time I was doing upto 40 surya namaskars, head stands and various poses. Swimming and strength training at the gym kept me happy, cross training is important!

Diet.. that was integral too, ate healthy, hydrated well. Included sprouts, salads and soups with vegetable juices into my diet.

Some where..three weeks before the race day, I was injured… the painful ITB. Religiously followed the strengthening and stretching that Dr Gladson suggested. As days passed I was refrained from running due to the pain and my hopes of doing the BM actually diminished. Only one runner can understand the heart break of another, Romel, Shuva, Vivek, Anil, Aishu, Shuvashek, Shyam were always there to listen, advice and comfort me. Many of them suggested I rest and get back strong as there are many more Marathons. Dharma’s advice was ‘Start the Race, listen to your body, go as long as you can, quit if its impossible… but START’. Three days before the race I started feeling numbness and had painful hip flexor and I decided not to run! By now, i had put to rest the thought “Will I.. Wont I..Will I…Wont I”. BIB collection has never been so tearful..if not for the hugs from Archana, Vijay, Rama, Vasu, Anil, Ajay.

Having pulled out of the BM, I met up with my girl friends on Saturday night and danced for more than an hour… only to realize that my leg actually felt better, the pain in the hips had vanished. Thank you Poonam and Nandini :) My next call was to Prakash, “I AM RUNNING." WAS IT A MIRACLE? Did the letting GO of the mind… heal the body? A question that is yet to be answered...

Race Day - Alarm at 3:30am and stadium at 4:20am to meet all my runners, Aishu ran into my arms for a Good Luck Hug, Ajay and Shyam promised to come back for me. I decided to run with Suresh since he was planning a 5:20 finish. A few pictures at the warmup area and before I knew we were at the start line. It was one of the most beautiful mornings of Bangalore. Around 5k Harsha caught up and the three of us started pacing together… slow. Speaking about adventure and sports to Pit stops we plan. 10k and Ulsoor Gurudwara was on my left, just to close my eyes for a few seconds and pray for a safe finish :)

As I increased my pace Harsha and myself ran the next 10k together. The cheering of the Indian Army was something I cannot pen down. Sorry for the Half Marathonners, you could not experience that. Before I knew I was at the 28km, the U turn at the Adugodi Junction. I felt comfortable and strong too, but decide to continue the same pace. I had the joy of running with Srinath Sir, Shuva and plenty of high fives from Ajay, Gladson and hug from Gauri. At the 35k, Prakash handed me gatorade and the was a call from my mom. This really helped, cos the last 7k would be the real test. Vijay and the Bullet kept popping at every junction to bring that smile on my face. As I ran through Musuem road, it struck to me… I could be actually finishing the race…

Finishing line never looked lovelier. Dharma was right there “See I told you… you could do it”, Vasu, Raj, Nivi, Suzy and Vineet… happier than ever. IT WAS AT THAT VERY TIME..THE FIRST TIME… I LOOK AT THE GARMIN…4:37, MY first Marathon and I had completed it!

A few things that worked for me

- There are no short cuts to running a marathon - its continues training

- Hydration and diet is so important (I stopped at every aid station after the 6k)

- Run in the middle of the road (You feet need to be at the same level

- You need have a pool of happy and supportive runners and friends to keep going... 42.2 k is then a JOY :)

I had read, 'Marathon brings the best in Challenges you,Humbles you, Gets you on a High….’ I experienced it!

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