Sunday, January 16, 2011

It is not the legs that run

The 6:15 am Start
It is not your legs that run 21.097 kms- it is your soul that does. I always knew it, today, I know for sure.

Most of the Mumbai half-marathon is run along sea-fronting roads. At 19 kms, you reach a psychological milestone when you take a sharp turn and start running inland. That is the point when you know you have almost made it. That is the point when you would expect people to start speeding up because they are so close to the goal. But they don't.

I maintained my even pace after turning in, and in the next kilometer overtook not one or two but Sixty-nine people. They must all have run a good race to reach where they had in the time that they did. And yet, without even increasing my pace, I was effortlessly overtaking dozens of them every couple of minutes. Why?

So close to the end, when they knew they could crawl the rest of the way and still make it, their soul had given up. It was as if they race was over and the remaining two kilometers were just a formality to be gone through before picking up their medals.
And me? The agony of running with acute stomach cramps since the 8 km mark spurred me on- I sprinted the last 500 meters in less than two minutes- that was a promise I had made to myself last year. I kept it.


sarah@theunwrapping said...

ah, a metaphor for life, too.
congratulations on meeting your goal!

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Congrats on your race. I haven't run one in years but I always took the steady pace approach.

sue said...

WOW! Congratulations! What an achievement and no doubt a wonderful sense of fulfillment. To overtake people at the end - incredible - WOW again.

The few times I've done something really physically challenging, I got to the end with a sense of wonder and pride, asking myself: "Did I really do that?" It's such a buzz.

What are you planning next?

Mason Canyon said...

Fantastic. Congratulation on reaching your goal and completing the marathon.

Thoughts in Progress

Patricia Stoltey said...

Awesome! I can't even imagine the determination and strength needed to run a race like this, Rayna. Congratulations.

Al said...

Wow congratulations!
I cannot imagine running a marathon.
You have amazing determination.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

That's an amazing accomplishment! You've got to feel proud. :) That shows such endurance!

slommler said...

Congrats! I have never run a marathon. I am impressed!

Margot Kinberg said...

Rayna - I am so truly impressed! You did a wonderful thing, and I hope your sons realise how lucky they are to have such a wonderful role model in you!

Deb and Barbara said...

I am in awe, Rayna! Congratulations!! Both for your own victory and for inspiring all of us.

Hope you can walk today ;)
xo B
The Middle Ages

Hart Johnson said...

You're a superstar, you know that... I think you're right that a lot of people pass the 'almost' and relax before they get to the finish line. You have a good reminder here how much potential there is for those of us who know we aren't done yet.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I admire your dedication! I used to run distance, but it's been years.

Danette said...

Well! I've gotten behind and didn't see this! Congratulations on your race and how well you ran!! That's a race well ran!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

@ sarah@theunwrapping - it is indeed a metaphor for life. Runnins all about living, I think. And, thank you.

@ Susan - steady pace is teh best, isn't it? That way, you can be sure of finishing, or at least increase your odds of finishing. And, thank you.

@ sue - thank you. And yes, it was great being able to overtake people.
It is amazing, isn't it? When you look back and wonder if it was really you that did it.
No plans right now. I want to concentrate on my strength for a bit.

@ Mason- thank you. And yes, I was thrilled to finish in the time in which I did.

@ Patricia- thank you. It is all about starting to dream, I think. Once you decide you want to do it, you end up doing it. Ask Jan if you don't believe me.

@ Al- thank you. I was crazy enough to try it the first time. Now that I know it can be done, I do it.

@ Elizabeth - till I saw all your comments, I was slightly mad at myself for not attempting the longer race. Not so any longer. Thank you.

@ SueAnn- thank you. But what you could do is sign up for a 5 k or 10 k - I am pretty sure you can walk it, and it may be the start of your distance 'runs'.

@ Margot- my older one is counting down till the day he can run the race with me. My younger one has seen me always running, so doesn't know the difference.

@ Barbara- thank you. And if I can get a couple of you to sign up for 5 k races, I would be more than happy.
And of course I can walk- I did all my stretches well.

@ Hart- I am not a superstar. I am just stubborn. I don't like the idea of stopping when I reach the almost, and the thrill of not stopping just spurs me on further.

@ Diane- don't you miss it? I think I would, but maybe not.

@ Danette- thank you. And I have only now got down to commenting, so you are well early.


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