Mumbai Half Marathon,2011

So as it turns out,I also Like to run..

I found out about this new Mi Amor very recently,when i ran in Mumbai Half Marathon on 16th January,2011.

As things go,one has to register for such marathons quite a lot in advance.

So very typically,after registering myself for this running event and luckily receiving my bib(its a lucky draw through which they decide who all can actually participate on the D-Day),i could not practise regularly till the beginning of December.I had very valid reasons for doing so;but never mind.

So it was 2nd december 2010 and I took a jog for 3kms..I have been able to run only 3kms at a stretch for the better part of the last year..dont know the reasons…I can trek all day in the scorching heat when i am in the mountains;.but i cant run..

or rather,i though i could never run well.

That was partly the reason I decided to take part in the marathon in the first place..just to see if I can really run 21kms.

But I am drifting here…

So…2nd december,i ran 3kms…3th december,i ran 4kms….4th december,i went for a trek…5th december,i was still in the trek…6th and 7th december,I did not do anything…8th December,i ran 6kms…9th december,i could not walk properly…10th and 11th december,I was so worried about something that i could not eat.12th december,i got a news which made my day and I ran 6.4kms…

13th,i again tried running the same distance but could only manage 5…so these fluctuations went on happening and i kept running roughly 4 times a week an average distance of 5kms…

my preparation was so poor that i told myself that on 16th january,i wont be able to run more than 13-14 kms…

I ran during the wee hours of the morning when the cold would bite and fog would blind..i ran after the sunset in the streetlights…btw,there’s a nice broad footpath behind my hostel which substitutes for a jogging track for people like me.for that reason at least,i like my area…I ran after my office hours…i ran before my office hours…

But i could never run beyond 6.4 kms…this,when the race day was inching closer and closer every day..i felt like walking on a tight rope…on the days i did not run,i was hounded by guilt and fear.On the days i did run,i felt alternately satisfied and sour…This went on…crazy work and hangout  schedules were also going along and i just could not think of a way to make my self run 21kms on the race day…

and then, angel came around in the name of a trekking friend who kindly offered his help during training..

But as things would go,we could not catch up with each other till there was only a week left for the event.

After attending a friend’s bday party and sleeping for 4 hours,I dragged myself to Pune Race Course at 6.15 am in the 6degrees cold of pune on 6th january..with him,i ran 6kms non stop..then 1km walk,1km run,1km walk,1km run…n so it was…i finally hit the 10kms mark during my training…In spite of promising him that i’d turn for the run the very next day,i did shin bone was hurting  too much…he left for US and i left my hopes too..

I only concentrated on pampering my legs and not stressing my body too much…in the last week in the run up to the marathon,i ran only once that too only 3 kms..i swam for 30 mins in the   freezing waters of the swimming pool 4 days before the marathon..n that was it…there ended my practise.It was all upon the forces that be now.

15th Jan,2011:A car drive to Mumbai on the Eway with our Altis speeding to 160kmph…Quick breakfast in between n changing locals n buses once in mumbai to reach Cuff Parade to collect my Marathon kit(which,btw,is full of biscuits,noodle pack,bottled iced tea,hair removal strips,TIMING CHIP,safety pins,the BADGE with your bib number on it and the clip for tying the chip to your shoe…Found the organisation of the marathon expo at World Trade Tower very neat.No confusion..very helpful and fresh looking volunteers..Kudos,guys.

Running back to Archana’s (my corunner) home,timepassing till late eve ,bus to bandra..late night sleep with half dehydrated body.Alarm set to 4am for the next day.

Got up on time,had 4 breads with cheese slices and milk alongwith.The place where the race starts was 10mins of walking distance away.This walk warmed up the body a bit..

The starting area was crowded..found a place for ourselves in the multiple queues near the starting line..i was not nervous..i was not thinking about anything…i was blank actually..neither cheered up,nor dulled down… i really really wanted to complete the race..n that too within 3hours..n if possible,without stopping or having to walk in between..i thought that was impossible though..

SO we were flagged off at 6.17am(to the organisers’ credit) and man,oh man,it was an incredible feeling.

Within the first minute itself,i realised that my headphones (which were supposed to inspire me though their music on my arduous journey of 21kms) fall off all the time..and,i also started thinking that may be,i had had too much of water to drink after i had woken up that day and mobile toilets were nowhere to be seen…

But hold on,i am not being sarcastic here by meaning that THESE ABOVE were the reasons for the incredible feeling.

As i said,i was blank in my mind and had already accepted that the race is going to be tough on me and was mentally prepared.Also,this not taking care of the loo at important moments is not a new issue for me..i am just used to ignoring the nature’s call and carrying on with the work ahead.

So back to the moment when we were flagged off…You know,there were thousands of participants for the half marathon..there were people in front of me ,behind me and around me..most of them were in high spirits..already,people were cheering each other up…the atmospher was charged..there was dhol-tasha music to encourage us…it felt GOOD to run among so many enthusiastic kinda started making me feel that may be the run was not so difficult after all..

Hit the 1Km mark in no time…it was good..did not need the music at least at this point..felt good running  in the darkness,approaching Bandra-Worli Sea link..the air was cool and not humid…and sometimes,people would crowd up a bit while running and trip !

now i was 2kms down and the sea link had started…The sea link is a beautiful structure..just to look at it,and look beyond it at the wonderful Mumbai sky line at 6.30 am in the morning was a mind-blowing experience.I was having a gala time running during this patch of the run…my mind was half distracted by the amazing views around.

By now,my mind had started taking a grip on my body and i had decided that i am going to be able to complete this run in as graceful way a way as possible..i had earlier decidde to take a walk after 7kms…but after that much distance,i was reasonably comfortable so i thought i’d do it after i hit 10kms mark…mumbaikars were on the both sides of the running route after the  sea link had ended and we had started running in Worli..the organisation of this event was really good..after every km or so,we were being given bottled water,juices and biscuits and such energy providing and hydration stuff..all we had to do was to extend our hand,rinse our mouth with some water,drink a sip n discard the bottle on the road..there were workers at some points to collect the plastic promptly…

The route of the marathon was like this:Starts MMRD Grounds (Opposite Rang Sharda) – Bandra-Worli Sea Link Route – INS Trata Circle – Worli Dairy – Nehru Center – Mahalakshmi Race Course – Haji Ali – Jaslok Hospital – Babulnath Temple – Chowpatty – Wankhede Stadium – Churchgate Station – Azad Maidan Ends
i went on running..albeit slowly..because i was afraid of draining myself  before reaching the finish line…so i kept singing in my head that i had to run,slow,slow,slow…it helped to maintaining my rhythm..also,i did not want to have fatigued abdominal muscles causing me pain and forcing me to walk or stop…so i was taking it very slowly and steadily..

After 12kms,i was still feeling fit and at that moment,i knew i was going  to complete the race… i also decided that i would do it without stopping or walking in between.Went along the route enjoying the run,enjoying the enthusiasm around,soaking in the spirit of the days,..i used to tire out a bit in between…but by then,i had somehow figured out a way of clipping the headphones over my head so that i’d hear the music that would go bang bang in my ears and that would propel me forward..the way i had clipped on the headphones was funny but who cared?!i just wanted  not to have to stop.

Slow and steady,i went on..saw Haji ali in the distance..ran over Peddar road…had sufficient amount of water n juice while running…i was nearing 15kms mark..i wanted to catch some speed after this..but i could not do so because that was when my right ankle started giving me some was not too much..but again,i did not want to  stop due to injury or twist or something like i continued in the same rhythm..

Obviously,now i was finding it harder that before to keep up the rhythm…the km marks started seeming to be far away from one another…but we all went on…i hit 17kms…then 18kms….19kms…..n that was when i desperately wanted to start sprinting just to make some time….alas,i did not have the energy to do so…so i kept on moving slowly….the sun was also up..but we ran in the shadowy side of the road on the marine drive…the lane along the sea was reserved for the full marathon runners who were to start their race from CST…

After 20the kms mark,i straightened my back,switched off the music(i wanted to hear the people cheering on the way and those on the finish line) and kept was feeling like a lifetime just to cover the last 1000m….900m down..700m down…and then,i hit the golden mark…500m!i caught some speed only during the last 500m..

Saw the finish line.Picked up speed,tried to look graceful during the run and crossed the finish line when the clock said that my finishing time was 2 hours 31 mins!

SO that was my half marathon story.i know i have not been exactly detail savvy in this post..

But then,this was a post about Running.and i DID it!

Proud I am..not about my timing…but just for the fact,that i was able to find out that i LIKE to RUN,after all!

My training was not proper.But then,i knew it from the beginning..Just could not find the time out to run from the already full platter.

But now i would,because it feels great to run.


7 thoughts on “Mumbai Half Marathon,2011

  1. i am running for the first time this sunday. An ex boxer who suffered from knee problems, this Half marathon will be an emotional trip for me. I loved to read ur experience and it will surely help me.

  2. Good Luck Frank! With your boxing training, I am sure you will do well.
    :). Glad to hear that my post was of some help!

  3. Thanks, I dont box anymore courtesy injuries and black outs.. age also catching up but i lost 14 kgs and I am getting back to fitness..
    Your post did help as I imagined the actual marathon and its route. Will keep you posted 🙂

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