Tuesday, February 12, 2013

AUROVILLE MARATHON : February 10, 2013

Distance: 10 km

Time : 1hr : 24mins : 53 secs

It all comes down to that moment in time when it  it does not matter who you are, what you have done or where you have come from or where you are going. You are just in the purity of the moment and just being there. It comes down to experiencing that joy, which I feel is the best form of gratitude and appreciation, at just being there for no rhyme or reason.

On Sunday it was all down to that for me. The training period was so full of ups and downs that the run day was actually quite, calm, relaxed, blissful and  peaceful and quite an anti climax  as compared to all the drama and happenings in the past three months.

I has started the season with a severe pain in my knees and right shin. For several weeks during my training period, I ran with the pain and came back to pain at home. The coaches and the physios (thank and bless both of them) helped me with exercises and tips on how to manage the pain.

We had a set back in my family due to my husband's aunt's demise. After that  I had to rush to Mysore due to my father's hospitalisation and subsequently had to stay back after his unfortunate demise. I missed many training sessions and runs during this period.  But getting back into training helped me to regain focus and also to come back on track. It helped me to not get swept off by emotions but gain some semblance of normalcy over myself. It helped me cope with everything that was going on around me.

I came back to Bangalore and started training and amazingly most of my pain in the knee just vanished. I was feeling better and running stronger with almost no pain at all. It was no short of a miracle and in the famous words of Paulo Coelho it was as if the whole universe was conspiring to help me to run. I felt very positive and said the same to Santhosh and he just shook my hands. I felt on top of this world.

On Thursday, two days before we were supposed to leave for Pondi, I came down with a severe bout of food poisoning caused by the late night dinner the previous night at my favorite north Indian restaurant. All the paneer thikhas masala and roti subjis came out both ways in full watery style again and again. But somehow, I was confident that this will pass and I will be fit the next day. I remembered Samantha Fox's old song "Nothings gonna stop me now".

It was a herculean task to organise a road trip for 100 absolutely insane runners and two very brave hearts took up this daunting task courageously and accomplished it with clock work precision and absolute finesse. The trip to Pondicherry itself was one big party. The bus ride was full of singing, dancing, laughter and enjoyment. After we landed at Pondicherry, we did a little bit of sight seing after lunch and then set out to have the pre race night pasta dinner. It was very tasty and we returned back and crashed early to be up and awake early the next day. 

On the race day, when the whole world was fast asleep, it was a glorious sight to see 100 odd very excited people at 4.30 in the morning very chatty and chirpy.  We all went to the Marathon starting area where the full marathoners had already started running. The half marathoners started their run to loud sheering. We had a wonderful warm up session with music and it was great to shake our hands and legs to 'I gotta feeling, tonight's gonna be a good night'. We were joined by Chief himself which filled us all with a sense of well being and a warm feeling.  

The run was just normal and just like any other training day. I did not actually do or feel anything extraordinary or new. The trail was beautiful and the weather was cloudy and a bit humid. I met a few runners from Bangalore whom I had met on the Bangalore Ultra run and we caught up with each other and exchanged tit bits about our training and other sundry topics. We drank a lot of water and electrolyte and ate a few chikkis. I finished strong and did my personal best time of 1 hr and 24 mins 53 secs. 

I immediately joined Padma who was cheering the runners and started yelling, screaming and shouting and cheering all the runners. We were joined by more runners and we formed a cheering squad and danced to the drum beats. We continued cheering for the next two hours non stop and shouted ourselves hoarse. We cheered almost all the RH runners except Karthik and Sharath. We had to go to have our breakfast as we were told the buses might leave. The return journey in the bus to Bangalore was even more riotous with a lot of games, leg pulling and friendly banter. 

What running has helped me achieve is that sense of freedom being on the trail and running as best as I can or as best as I want to on that given day. That sense of letting myself go and that feeling of lightness that comes with it is what I have discovered. I finally feel that I have arrived and that I have found something. I never knew that I was looking for this or that I was in need of this till I realised that this is what I always wanted to do but did not know about it. So running for me has begun to go way deeper. 

So here's to many many more years of running and improving every day and taking great joy and pleasure in each small victory and each new discovery. here's to many many more moments of euphoria and delirium and pure vivacity and pure bliss.

1 comment:

  1. "...sense of freedom being on the trail and running as best as I can or as best as I want to on that given day. "

    Well thats deep..:-)