As my tired legs beat the digital clock, I raced across the finish line…….I celebrated the end of the race to the words…….
“I ran to so well I could to 5 km more”
“I should have run faster and cut my time by 3 minutes”
“I don’t feel like I have run so much”
“I’m not tired at all”
The look of happiness and the euphoric feeling was the binding factor of this set that had just finished running 21k.
The last kilometer mark is a true test of the mind.
Last year when I saw it- I thought I’m almost done and I can walk the rest! My suffering won!
This year, the 18km mark spurred me on to accelerate and my pace improved-especially the last 400m when I was almost sprinting.
How we finish depends almost entirely on how much we train-as we train for similar distances so more or less know how to pace ourselves.
Race Day, however is a new day-as we race against time, and push ourselves to better our time and usually the pace of the first half determines our second half, and the eventual outcome. Cramps, fatigue and mental breakdown- any of these can strike unexpectedly and all strategies are out the window. For others the magic of the Race Day can make them fly!
Upon finishing there are hugs and smiles all over! Timing is discussed in milliseconds. Disappointment looms large over some of us who don’t make it to their cut off time –set by themselves! The fastest runners are also a target of this demon- as I heard Kochi say- I clocked 1.41- It could have been a sub 1.40!!!!
For some of us- the glory of this run is over within 5 minutes of completion., as dreams are shared……….
As I planned for my full marathon- next year-others plan to cut their time- and set serious targets. A super veteran half marathon winner aspires to run the full distance- and that too following the footsteps of Pheidippides, – from marathon to Athens.
All this of course- could be a result of the runner’s high!
Each runner becomes an inspiration- for a friend, a member of the family, their children and a lot of times- his fellow runner!
As I prepare for a full marathon in 2012- this is my log for the year- I hope to know by registration time whether I should register for the half or the full.
Until then…….I will learn many things- about me, about my mind and life. Running has become a metaphor for my life. May I find the strength I need!>