Things like founding a company, or talking to a gathering of 1000 people or convincing that one girl I admire (after we have talked enough) or running a marathon even in a dream would seem like delusion for me. But one of this, running a (half) marathon happened for real in 2018.
I do go for a stroll every day, I wouldn’t dare to call it as a walk, because people even below 5 and those above 50 do overtake me consistently. But being the lonely inhabitant, I am forced to eat everything I cook and its difficult to cook less for a single person (what if it isn’t enough, its better to overeat than to starve with that feeling of wanting more) and hence I gained weight beyond what my college time buddy could imagine. I took that as an insult and motivation alike, along with the fact that my triglycerides were high with a hereditary risk for diabetes, I decided to give running a try! That was a year ago.
I try to run 3kms every day and would end up running 10 days a month, a little under 3. By the time I hit 2.5, I would be exhausted and stop. The days when I manage to run 2.8 , I would walk twice as slow and twice as long to reach back home. But this September some mystic force moved my feet to experience a 5km run. It used to think time spent honing your physical body is time taken away from flexing your mental muscles, so was never a fan of intense or long physical activity. Rather I used to drain time daydreaming or random walks across youtube channels. It had become a habit for me to take up more than I can chew not only on my food plate but also on my work plate and reading desks. The internal image I had of myself is that of a person who never finishes.
A wild thought occurred to me that if at all, I can run a half-marathon, then maybe I am not that bad! But 21.1 km seemed too long and long enough to have inception like confidence that one can finish what one starts. It’s also challenging enough, that I had the risk of proving what I thought I was.
I started taking my run’s more serioulsy, 5kms were tough, but I was able to do it, I endured and started increasing. Within a week I went from 5 to 11 and that’s when I started believing that I am gonna try this for a win! But still its only half of goal, and I am done and exhausted with 11. Will it be even possible to walk past that finish line, I started dreaming and desiring about it with earnestness. It’s no longer a dream,but a proof that needs to be proven. I put my researcher’s hat on and this youtube channel helped me get some structure for my runs. Though I wasn’t following a fixed plan, I incorporated what I could from their randomly picked videos. October rolled by with clocking 100 kms for the first time in a month. The marathon was on 9th 12:00 AM , about 40 days away. I kept on my runs in November and took advice from my friends who tried it. I went for a run with a friend couple of weeks before the marathon and pushed myself as hard as I can and I clocked 15, came back home and registered for the marathon assuming I have it in me.
Alas, only to find it hard to even walk! I can’t let this goal of mine go away just like the other big ones I am yet to realize in life. But I didn’t want to be stupid to get injured as well. I kept quiet for a week, but the pain persisted. I was sad, fearing that I won’t be able to even start. But 3 days before the run, I was able to walk without pain, and I said if I can do 5k without pain, then I am going to start and do as much as I can on race day and there will be next time. I was able to do 5k with mild pain and decided to risk my legs for the race day.
It’s a midnight marathon, where 5k,10k runs start in the evening and the full and half marathons were scheduled at 12 and 12:15. I was part curious and part anxious. It helped that the venue was closer to my home, went there observed all the festivities and warmed up well. When it is time, my heart raced a bit high even before I ran, its something like never before! It was a 5km loop that needs to covered 4 times! There was energy in people around, music and merry! I leaped in and was running faster than I ever did, I consciously slowed down, expecting that my legs will give up sometime soon. I used to walk every 100 ms for every 1km and in 30 mins I completed my first lap, three more to go. There wasn’t pain, I was enjoying my run, but I was still doubtful about completing it. There were all kinds of people obese,lean, professional and amateur around me. These are people who decided to test their will and endure the pain, I got inspired by looking at many faces. I realised every one is running a race of their own instead of with each other. I kept revising some concepts from deep learning to make me forget the passage of time! And somehow in little over 1 hr I crossed the start again, 10 kms in 62 mins, now I had the belief that I can finish it. With this new found confidence though the second half was slower than the first half,it was more joyful and hopeful. Beliefs can be transformational! I cheered up people along the way when I sensed they needed it!
When I was inching towards the close, I had a moment of pride and the proof I was searching for. When you sweat it out with the right strategies, you increase your probability of success. The universe more often works for your favor when you are prepared and you can own the victory when it rolls the dice on your favor. On the other hand, you might even land up victorious due to luck in certain attempts, but deep inside you know you aren’t the reason for it. This runs all my near and dear ones, knew how I pushed myself for it. 2018 made me rethink what I was thinking about myself. Having broken the jinx, now I am sweating it out for my other big goals in life. And I am also not letting my foolish thoughts make me deprived of anything that I can do.
Wish you all a wonderful start to 2019, whatever might be the big dream of yours, go get it and realize you are destined for much bigger things! Get your proofs,if you havent done it already.