Greetings for the season! Hope this message finds you in good health and mood.
Keeping up with the challenge of running marathon one day, I have registered for full marathon (42 kms, route) @ StanChart Mumbai Marathon to be held on Jan 17, 2010.
Last year I raised around Rs. 47K as charity for physically challenged children. All the money was donated to NGO ASTITVA, based in my town Dombivli. This year too I am planning to raise charity for them. In this mail, I take opportunity to appeal you to support my cause.
You can contribute minimum of Rs.10/km and anything above that. All money would be collected after the race. Race organizers use an electronic chip which is attached to the shoe which measures distance covered and time taken. You would be contacted after the run along with my completion certificates.
It has been 2 years of practice now. I completed 21 kms in around 2 hours last year. This year, I plan to complete 42 kms in less than 5 hours. Though, practice while working and commuting in Mumbai is difficult; I have been pushing myself towards the full marathon. My longest runs so far have been around 30 kms so far. Hopefully, with all your motivation I would be able to push myself to 42 kms mark.
If you are interested in supporting the cause, please help me with more details so that I may contact you after the run.
running tracks around XLRI – Jubilee Park
Today I had a 4 km run in the Jubilee park for one last time, before I leave XLRI. The climate very much humid and cloudy, I just hoped it would rain (it dint). These tracks had been my companion for last 2 years, specially the last year of my training for marathon.
These two years, I had ventured on various running tracks. My constant desire to run longer took me along various routes, however with availability of water in Jubliee park along road, I did my most of running inside Jubilee park.
Some of the routes are
2.9 km http://treksee.com/p/igm
3.6 km http://treksee.com/p/igl
3.9 km http://treksee.com/p/64o
4.5 km http://treksee.com/p/j89
4.6 km http://treksee.com/p/igi
4.9 km http://treksee.com/p/igj
5.2 km http://treksee.com/p/j8a
5.5 km http://treksee.com/p/ign
5.7 km http://treksee.com/p/igk
6.4 km http://treksee.com/p/igo
7.2 km http://treksee.com/p/j8d along Subernarekha river
7.4 km http://treksee.com/p/j8b
8.9 km http://treksee.com/p/j8c
17.5 km http://treksee.com/p/7ch
20 km http://treksee.com/p/83y
Roads in Jubilee park are good surfaces for running, though hard and crowned to large extent, it is relatively less crowded (except weekend/holidays). Most people walk/jog in morning in Jubilee park, I was among very few people who run in evening.
I am going to miss these tracks. Hope I find some good running tracks back in Dombivli.
Today morning a friend’s messenger status said “Great pleasure of doing thing what others thought you can’t do”
Well, quite true. I always enjoyed pleasure taking challenges. Challenge had been my motivation many times. This challenge need not be posed by a real person always. Often its the challenging task itself, as if it is laughing at you and telling that you can’t handle me. A mathematics problem stands in front of your eyes and mocks at you. Or a difficult client consulting assignment which cannot be handled using known wisdom. Its the pleasure for me cracking such tasks, mathematical problems or assignments.
Since childhood, I have never cared to anything what others had to say about me. Thanks to my father who always taught me self confidence. Though I had never given anyone chance, that others would tell me that I can not do something; be it academically or otherwise. Hence for me doing things what others thought you can’t do, did not mean real pleasure. The greater pleasure lies in doing what you thought you can’t do.
In 1997 after my SSC exam, I went to my first trek in life with few friends who had done some trekking earlier. I had always wanted to go trekking. This trek was to fort of Raigad, once captial of Ch. Shivaji. Trek was very simple that time, simplest way was to climb some 1000 steps. There is one section of fort known as Takmak point. This point has a steep cliff/ mountain face and winds are quite strong around this place. I remember I could not go near to the cliff. I was sitting some 50 meters away from the cliff waiting for my friends who had great time near the cliff. I was, infact I am afraid of heights. I realised I can’t trek. In 2000, I got another chance. I applied for month long Basic Mountaineering Course in Manali. First few days it was like torture I was doing to my own body. They taught us many things including rock climbing, rapelling, basic survival techniques, etc. Only at the end of few weeks I started enjoying it. I was making more progress since then, and at the end of course I felt proud of myself!
Since then I have done a number of treks. Trekking has taught me strength of mind over body many times. There were treks where I thought I should run away (1, 2). I cant continue any long. Why am I trekking? People had also asked us what is the point of giving so much pain to the body to get to the top of mountain. Most of time we start our trek, we look at the mountain and think, this mountain is unclimbable (3). I thought I wont be able to climb this, and these are the climbs which I enjoyed the most. Most pleasure came at the end of trek which I thought I should run away.
Another fear I tried to overcome is blood. I faint on seeing blood or on slightest of injury. I have tried hard to overcome this thing, but however brave I am, I have fainted number of times. Often it happens at subconscious level. I have tried to find some medical reasons for it. I believe it is some syndrome, where when I see blood or injury, my blood vessels contract. This contraction leads to reduced blood flow to my brain, which causes me to faint. After a history of such fainting cases, it has established as a fear. I have tried to deal with this through blood donation. First time I donated blood, I fainted. But every time I kept donating blood. I had been donating blood 4 times a year, till quite recently (14 Nov, 14 Feb, 14 May, 14 Aug). Everytime I donated blood I had a pleasure, not because I was doing some philanthropic task, but I defeated myself.
It was the same pleasure when I completed my first half marathon. I always wanted to run a marathon. In 2000 I had run 7 kms for my hostel. I was on bed for few days after that. I told to myself running is not for you. But people around me, Ravikanth, Sameer and Satsang inspired me and kept my dream alive. After 9 years, I reached half way of my dream. I still think, full marathon – 42 kms, is a task I might not acheive. But I am ready to wait another 9 years to disprove myself, because now I know the amount of training I would need to complete full marathon.
If you had to fail, it would be because of none other but you. We create mental blocks for ourselves which act as hurdles. Challenge lies at overcoming them, going at a level further; there is more pleasure and life on the edge. Greater pleasure lies in doing what you think you can not do.
Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits (-anon)
(1) read Adi Kailash,
(2) read Cycling – Harihareshwar/Srivardhan
(3) read Durg-Dhakoba descent via Kuthedar Vat
just before the finish line
Thanks to your support (over Rs.40000 pledged so far) and motivation, my long training finally paid off. I completed the half marathon [21.097 kms] in 1hr59m [update chip data reads 2hr00m36s]. The timings were well within target of 2 hours, though I could have still performed better.
I stopped my training 4-5 days before the event, shifted to carbo-loading strategy to increase the glycogen stored in the body muscles. Train travel to Mumbai was tiring but gave the necessary sleep. A day before the race, I stayed in hotel close to the race venue to avoid exertion and get necessary sleep.
Mumbai was very different on the race day. The race started from CST, whole roads were closed for traffic and heavily guarded. At 0545 in morning, Azad Maidan was filled with runners. Over 36000 people had registered for the race, 4000 for full marathon (42 km) and 7000 in half marathon category. We lined up at the start line few minutesbefore the race; I managed to be in front with some elite runners and other celibrity runners including Milind Soman and Gul Panag. The atmosphere charged up few minutes before the race, with loud music and commentary by Radio Mirchi. Finally the countdown began..5…4..3..2..1.. and the race begins at 0645hrs.
Managed to start at a comfortable and steady pace. The weather was pleasant in morning. I had decided to maintain a steady slow pace till Marine Drive and allow my body to warm up. Only after reaching Marine Drive I gathered pace. Found couple of runners who were running at a steady pace which suited me, kept them as pacers ahead and followed them till half way. Cheering by Mumbaikars was really worth seeing. There were rock band performing on the road, young-old everyone on road cheering us, helping us with water and lime juice.
I underestimated the gradient on the route. Though Marine Drive was flat, road from Kemp’s Corner towards Worli had a steep gradient and over long distance. This took toll of many runners including me. I dont remember, but I would have managed the 12.5 km mark (where we tookU turn) within a hour. However return journey was tiring, gradient didnt help at all. With just 5 kms remaining I was totally exhausted. Somehow managed to push myself a little ahead each time. The most difficult was the last kilometer. One could see the finish line so close, but had to fight mentally and physically to keep body moving. Finally I crossed the finish line. I looked at the digital clock, it read 0844. I had managed to finish the race in 119 minutes! Amazed at myself, down by fatigue I took some time to regain my breath for my return journey back home.
The whole experience had been absolutely exciting. Found many people who had been running for a cause similar to mine. This had been my first marathon experience, and definitely moments to remember. Now looking forward for next half marathon – may be Delhi Half Marathon in November. It would take somewhile before I take the next challenge ofFull Marathon.
In case you have already pledged support http://kaushal.info/2008/12/28/cause-for-the-run/ I would be contacting you soon. If you havent and want to contribute, contact me for details.