I withstood the current and swam upstream, as I finalized the pan for Byram to fetch me at the unearthly hour for the thane marathon at 4.30 am. I was dissuaded by most of my friends, and amidst a lot of doubt, I persisted, with my plan to run.
The drive to Thane was a learning experience as Byram told us the story of an Ultra Marathoner…..Dean Karnazes. A strange but true story. He runs all through the night. And had also run the Badwater Ultramarathon, in Death Valley,- described as “ the world’s toughest foot race”- a 217 km course run in 50 degrees!
After some time he announces that this was his twelfth race. That made me think….and I counted…..it was my tenth!
My tenth run…….my easiest run ever! I labored on the unfamiliar uphill- but flew downhill as I overtook all those who ran past me on the way up. I had no idea of the route and I just followed the road. There was no expectation from the course and as there were no people- no expectation of timing. After pollution ridden initial 4k- It turned out to be quite a scenic course. There were hills and greens in the background and even a lake (Chena Lake) to run past.
The weather was on our side, although it started 30 minutes late. As we returned and took the left turn off the state highway, the finish line suddenly appeared and I sprinted to the finish. 2.13.
It could have been better- as usual! But my laces came off twice!!!! And I was enjoying the run towards the end. I am learning my lessons and I will step it up!
I realise I’ve come a long way- it has been 8 years of running…..albeit not continuously- but always been an important part of my life. Today Running is the very centre of my being.
Along these years I had music, poetry, writing and running. All have been fulfilling- and very close to my soul. The first three have I have always known I was inclined towards- even as a child.
But running! That’s a pleasant surprise. I’m not sure if I took up running- or RUNNING found me.