Monday, January 19, 2009

Things that I learnt yesterday...

Initially, I had planned to write my account of the Mumbai Marathon 2009 with the usual stuff : how did I get there, how did it start, the enthusiasm of the people, the color and sound that accompanied the event etc etc. But then I realised that not only would that description be similar to what you would normally read in the newspapers the next day, it would also be a virtual copy-paste of my earlier posts on the Marathon. So this time, I decided to focus on something else and share what I learnt about the marathon yesterday. For the record, though, I managed to complete the 21km Half marathon course in 3 hrs 09 min, three minutes more than last year. Given that my target this time was a sub-3 hour finish, the final time was a bit dissapointing. But then again, I was happy enough just to complete it given the unfavourable conditions (it was a more than a couple of degrees hotter this time, though that is not an excuse). And I would like to thank my old engg friend Srivatsa for responding to my request on Orkut and giving me the requisite documents so that I could participate in his name (given that I had missed the registration deadline this year).

Anyways, here is some quick gyaan that I got yesterday.

a. Marathons are all about competing against yourself: Hence, it is not a question of how many of your friends are participating, how ahead are they, what is going to be their time etc. In endurance tests such as these, you only compete against your own body and resistance. What should only matter is your own targets.

b. Having a running companion helps: Now this might sound contradictory to the point above, but having a partner (of roughly the same ability as yours) helps a lot, especially in the middle stages of the course. The two of you can alternatively go past each other and set the pace for the one following. In fact, there are professional pacemakers in such races whose job is to set the pace for the race leaders. For example, between kms 8-14 yesterday, I had my IIMB friend Ketan for company, which helped a lot. Being alone in the race is quite bad. And if you have nobody, you can always befriend a handsome/attractive co-participant ;-)

c. Performance on the treadmill is not the final indicator: If your treadmill is telling you that you are not upto the mark, do not take it too seriously (of course, do not completely ignore it either). My observation is that your performance on the actual track and day is much better than the best you can manage in the gym (provided of course, the weather is not unfavourable !!). Some possible reasons are of course: the mass of people around you that provides the adrenaline rush, the fact that on the road you can set yourself tangible targets e.g. 'I will run from Chowpatty to Wilson College', 'I will walk the next km briskly' etc etc. Running on the treadmill is monotonous and hence boring.

d. The heart carries the body in the last few kilometers: By the time you come to the final stages , your body has almost completely given up. Thereafter, its only the spirit that keeps you going. The sight of the finishing line pushes the body past its limit against all odds.

And finally, a reinforcement:

d. There is no city like my city !!!: The sheer number of people who lined the streets yesterday was overwhelming. Not only were there more people, their support and enthusiasm was exemplary. The so-called elite of Peddar Road and Marine Drive came down in their thousands on a Sunday morning, armed with water, trays of glucose biscuits and more than a word of encouragement. But for them, I guess many would not have crossed the finishing line. A friend of mine who ran a 10km race in Bangalore was saying that there was hardly anyone on the road there. Similar was the case in the recent Delhi half marathon. My city has once again made me proud !!!!..

So as I give myself a day's rest today to allow my feet to recover, here's looking forward to 2010 !!!!...



magiceye said...

good on you!
unfortunately did not see you as was capturing the runners at bandra reclamation at the half way mark. just watching them was an awesome experience so can imagine how uplifting participating would be!
best wishes!!

Amit Gokhale said...


Thanks for dropping by !!!.. Yes, it was a truly uplifting experience.. which is why I participated in the first place.. makes you feel so good about yourself..

Nemo said...

3 hours is really good. :)
As for me, the marathon practice has hit a full-stop and I plan to take down that blog soon.

Monsieur K said...

i am proud of u - u have made it 3 in a row now! thts really awesome - lets hope we crack it in 2010 with a much better timing - dhanno's also agreed to participate next year! :)

Priyanka said...

good job amit.. :) saw your marathon pics on orkut as well .. way to go :)

Amit Gokhale said...

@ Nemo..
Do give it it a try, even if you stop after a few miles :)

@Ketan aka Monsiuer K
Good job done by you too..... 3 hrs without much practice is too good... Yes.. 2010 is the target.. < 2 hrs 45 min.. :)

Thanks !!...:)