To go for it, or not………………..

In the preparation for a race, one can train to the best of their capabilities, and hope that things go your way.

My grand ambition to was do a Sub-2 Half Marathon at Vasai (yes, I took a train and actually went there!) I had worked hard for it. Fought the Demons of Doubt, and actually convinced myself that I was capable of doing this. This was it. Do or Die.

Unfortunately, Die, it was!

27th October, Vasai, one step behind the elite runners at the start line. (We had wormed our way all the way up!)

I took off with a flying start at 7 am. I saw the red sun, rising above the grasslands, and thankfully the sky remained cloudy. I blessed the weather gods as I developed a good rhythm within a couple of minutes of 5.30 mins/km. Soon there were a lot of familiar faces, a runner from Hyderabad and a girl I had met in than and the usual suspects we see while training,  in races within Bombay and other cities. We stayed togethe,r with the two hour bus, which we thought was going too fast. After a while Rahul and I decided to let them go but keep it within our sight. All was well!

It was 8.02 am .We completed the required 11 km in 62 minutes. The hard work was done, now only 10k  in the second hour.

At 8.03, something changed, in me and around me. I just could not keep going at the same pace. My pace was slacking, I stopped checking it, I ran on instinct. Sweat was flowing down my back faster than my feet were running. I could see the flag of the sub -2 bus disappearing into the crowd. Then, life got more interesting! A flyover showed up and a couple of kilomteres along, another one, which was much bigger than the previous. The momentum of the entire pack had dropped.

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All along the way, the crowd support was rousing. People were out in large numbers and children in their crisp school uniforms lined the streets high-fiving all the runners.  School bands and djs blaring pulsating music were at every corner.

Despite all this, I could not pick up my feet to match the pace that I was supposed to be doing.

By kilometre 16 I saw that the dream was gone, a part of yesterday. So I plodded along, found an injured  Rahul and Mulraj, both accomplished runners, struggling was in elite company ;).

Anyway. 2.08 it was.

What can I say about the run?

It was organised very well, from the buses to pick up from the station to the well stocked and covered finishers area. I should treat this as just another 21k run, and not a race for my personal best, due to the crazy October heat.

What do I learn from this run?

You can train all you can, as hard as you can, but the outcome depends on various factors, some of which are beyond your control. Yes, we can fight them, try our best to go against it, but at a point we need to weigh whether the struggle is worth it, and to what end.

Had I pushed a bit harder I would have cut a couple of minutes of my time, which would still have not brought my time to the much coveted timing of 1.59. I had resigned to my fate when the outcome was certain.

Maybe thats what it

The acceptance of reality.

We can analyse, regret and repent.

But accept we have to. We must

The sooner we face the certainty of the reality after overcoming all the excuses, causes, factors, the sooner we can resolve it and move ahead.


So sometimes…….que sera sera



8 thoughts on “To go for it, or not………………..

  • Great going Parul, and very well written. I am sure you will achieve your sub 2 very soon. Today’s weather also was quite hot and humid, so I am sure the SCMM will see your success.
    Hearty congrats for today’s achievement and all the very best.

  • Lovely narrative of the feelings ..all runners could have gone through today..with my 2.09 hrs pune run, I was also trying for a less than 1.59 hrs..but ended up with a 2.16 hrs
    Experience is dito. .what you have expressed here..Hoping to do a sub 2 some time this year it self 🙂 Isn’t it a good idea to have a lovely dream ..some time to be experienced …soon. .if any one can be of help in this journey. .all are welcome:)

  • Your honest approach to the half marathon is appreciable. No doubt there are many factors which affects your running. Keep it up & we are sure that you will achieve your desired result.

  • Parul – nice account of your experience today – yes, it was brutal conditions…not the right event to try for a PB – still you tried but I would not say you failed 🙂 – am sure the next event will see you run much stronger….all the best

  • “Karmanyeva adhikaraste ma phaleshu kadachana
    Ma karmaphalahetur bhurma te sangostvakarmani.”

    You have aptly summed up, “…it depends on various factors, some of which are beyond your control.”

    Best wishes for next marathon.

  • Parul dear, i know how tough it is & how dissappointed u must have been.I saw it happen at Thane earlier. But dont despair, just keep up the practice pace & we will do the first 11 K in 55 mins. & fly to the finish line in Goa well under the 2 hour mark – that’s a promise from Santa.

  • Parul the Vasai run was a difficult one since it was very hot and humid. I was also struggling in the last 5 kms. The timings of my Mumbai Marathon-2012 &13 were much much better than Vasai Marathon. I am sure the Goa and Mumbai Marathon will be very good. You are running very well and I am sure you will achieve your target.

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