Is the Best Run=Best Race?

SCMM 2015: 3:59:52 ( My Personal Best)

7 seconds have suddenly created a new identity for me. Ms. Sub-4. 7 seconds over 4 hours…what percent would that be? I cannot even calculate down to the decimal. Could 7 seconds make my race better or worse? What is the real definition of a good race?

Last 4 months my training has been on schedule. Based on that and my fitness level this was my goal, and I achieved it. I had followed a similar plan last year- with an amazing result. I had maintained my focus all through the training, so I assumed this year would be the same. I had become stronger and fitter. So it had to be.
So on Saturday morning ( if you can call it that!!!) I went for a small run (2k) at 10 am. Just because I had gone last year- the only difference was that last year I went at 7 am, and this year, because I was exhausted from the entire week- I went out at that ridiculous time. My birthday, the Expo and the Book launch. All within a span of 10 days. Oh yes- and a day trip to Chennai for work. Only a Saturday to rest, unwind and gear up. One day- 12 hours to find the positivity, the faith in myself and develop my resolve. But what did I spend it on? Facebook and phone calls.

About 4 weeks ago, I had written a post about the ways to finish a race well. My number one thought was to get a pacer. Much to my delight, my marathoner friend Mulraj, an excellent runner, who was missing SCMM, volunteered to be my angel, and pace me for the last 6km. and I felt a sense of relief. Thank god, I thought Mulraj will pull me through.

And then began the race. I met some inspiring runners on the way. 2 runners from Delhi, who had finished with me, Akshay was one, Otmar from Germany on his 99th marathon, and Rajesh Swaminath20130916-222555an from Bangalore, on his 28th, who encouraged me and told me I was bang on pace, going strong. And what did I say to him…Rajesh please carry me through…where was my conviction that I could do it for myself?

All was going well until 32km when we all know, that the marathon really begins. I plugged in my iPod(A bit early I feel in retrospect.). I struggled up Peddar road. Walked 20 steps. Gave into my weakness. I ran on, across my building smiling like a star, hiding my pain, only waiting for Babulnath. My nephew Aadit,(all of 11 years old) ran a fast kilometre with me and handed me over to Mulraj. Now take me to the finish I commanded, thinking that he will pull me and I will be able to follow. Where was my will to run? Where was my focus? My training had brought me till here only for mind to fail me. Mulraj did pull me through, but with no help from me.

Lesson learnt:
All races are different
All races cannot be my best effort.
Each race teaches you something new about yourself- your strengths and your weaknesses.
The level of satisfaction is independent of the goal achieved. It actually depends on your effort and you are the only person who can decide that.
Did I give it my best?
Am I happy?
Even though my timing last year was 10 minutes more than this years’, my sense of achievement was greater. This year I just succeeded in reaching my goal.
Do I deserve this year’s sub-4?quote-about-success_12955-0
Maybe, because I did work hard for it.
Was it a good race?
NO- I just got lucky and a lot of help.
All these years, I had always believed that only you can do what you have to do. Today I feel, that sometimes others can also help you to reach your goal. Last year I was invincible. This year I was lucky.
Lucky: a new word in my dictionary. I never believed it existed until last Sunday, 18th of january 2015.
Thank you Mulraj.



10 thoughts on “Is the Best Run=Best Race?

  • Congratulations!. It is always an achievement when you better yourself. And we can’t do everything on our own. So whatever help you get on the way, accept it and in turn pay it back by helping someone else in future.

  • Hi this was a wonderful run. For once we were worried that you may not finish in below 4 hours! But after all Parul is Parul , you did it and made us feel very proud. Keep it up.


  • Superformance Parul….the confidence and faith of doing a sub4 was all over you when we met at the expo…..Couldn’t run this edition due to an accident on Thursday. ..but reading your book relieved me and made me relive the entire route…Thanks…Congrats and all the best for bigger dreams….

    • Thank you amit! For your wondeful commnet and reading the book! So sad that uou had to miss it. Hope ro see you on the road soon! Take care. Thanks again

  • Congrats Parul. The 2 Delhi guys were struck by the Mumbai heat as you’d predicted. We were bang on schedule till the 32k mark and then phoos.

    The lessons learnt cannot be said better. Congratulations on your awesome timing.

    • Hi Parul, have just started reading your book post finishing Sachin’s autobiography. You write well and surely can convert a non runner into a marathoner. The feelings and emotions expressed by you are very similar to what disciplined runners go thru. Am sure you are gonna inspire a lot many to take up this unusual form of meditation. And yes a sub 4 does matter and you shud make it count but as I always tell people who don’t run “the greater joy is in the journey training for the marathon and the final day is just ‘another Sunday run’

      Take care and keep inspiring.

      A fellow runner,

      • Thanks kashyap! After sachin, its me! Wow. Thanks for your wonderul comment. And yes. I completely agree that it is more about the journey than the final outcome. 6 months of training for one day! Keep running and discovering life without limits!

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