Without training they lacked knowledge, without knowledge they lacked confidence, without confidence they lacked victory
– Julius Ceaser
Physical events and Marathons have a different aura of excitement around them. Waking up in the twilight, reaching the location only to find people warming up. Have you ever experienced that early morning aroma? Believe me it is completely different from the training days, and you definitely need to experience it to understand what I am referring to.
Covid-19 had put an end to almost all events. During the second half of 2021, events started resurfacing around the world and in India. Unfortunately, I was either misinformed or was scared to travel to the location where the event was being held. And finally the day dawned when an event was announced close to my dwelling.
The preparation for every marathon begins a week before. So did this one. The idea was to taper the running and reduce it gradually. The previous day, I do not believe in stuffing carbs. It has never worked for me. In fact, stuffing carbs has only caused me to have a heavier stomach before the final run. So I prefer to stay light. But yes, I purposefully increase the water intake.
In the past marathons, I have realised that in the morning hours you are always focused on the run and will definitely tend to forget something or the other. So the best thing to do is keep all stuff ready for the next day. In the morning, focus on having a pre-run meal, some black coffee, get dressed and leave.
I was up at 3 am, all excited and all set for a new day! There was fog was all around, with very low visibility. The drive from Bavdhan to PCMC was very interesting. Couldn’t even see the car ahead at 100 mts.
Reached the ground at 5.00 am, and just loved it. All 21K participants warming up, getting ready for their run. The visibility was so low, that the zumba session could only be heard. At 5.30, the 21K flagoff was an awesome feeling.
Meanwhile, the 10K participants gathered for a nice warmup and a 6 am flagoff. I hopped on to Rohit Kshirsagar’s bus. The target to clock in a 10 K in under 60 mins. I still remember him saying, ‘Apan winners ahot! C’mon!” (We are winners! C’mon!). Steady pace of 6.00 and then the last 1 km push. And voila 57.23 gun time. Target achieved!
I was ecstatic. In January 2020, my gun time was 1:17:23. This had considerably improved to 0:57:23. An improvement of exactly 10 mins. I did not have a podium finish, but it was great. In a way beating your own timing is the greatest feeling that you can ever have!
The training was completely worth it. The 2 years were well spent!
Stay Safe! Stay Healthy!