Saturday, June 30, 2012

Running my first full marathon and how life is like running a marathon


I know that it took me some time in capturing my thoughts and sharing with my friends but better late than never :-)The idea to run a full marathon struck me when I turned 45 in November, 2010… talk about midlife crisis!!!  I did a lot of online research and talked to some folks who have been long distance runners. I found a training schedule which would have prepared me for my full marathon around June, 2011. Soon I found that the big day would be June 12, 2011 at Lake Placid, NY. If you recall, winter of 2010-11 was one of the coldest ones in North East United States. As a result I did most of my training indoors on the treadmill, either at home or in hotel during my frequent business trips. Lucky for me, in early 2011, I started an engagement in Los Angeles where I started training outdoors in the warmer weather. The worst part of running long distance is that it is a very lonely sport. However, I found an engaging solution, i.e. listening to audio books on my smart phone while running. One is engaged in the plot and the characters and time flies away. It also helped me catch up on lots of reading, including the Stieg Larsson’s trilogy which started with “The Girl With Dragon Tattoo”. With every passing week I really liked spending time on long runs and started looking forward for the big day. As I came closer to the D-day, I started checking the weather forecast in Lake Placid during the weekend of my run. Sure enough, the whole weekend it was supposed to rain and especially heavy on the day of my run. Now, I have never practiced running in the rain. I again started researching online to see what I would need to do different to run 26.2 miles in rain and made some last minute changes. The week of my run, I took a red-eye flight from LA on late Thursday night, reached NJ on early Friday morning, left for a seven hours drive to Lake Placid on Saturday morning, stayed in the hotel overnight, and early Sunday morning woke up to join hundreds of fellow runners…phew, that was my week!!!  I finished the full marathon and enjoyed every 5.5 hours of it in pouring rain on a hilly terrain!!! I will share with you how this experience was like life itself. Before I do this, here, check it out, search for my name once you open this link, http://www.coolrunning.com/results/11/ny/Jun12_LakePl_set1.shtml

This experience really made me think that how our lives are also like running a marathon run. In marathon all the runners start together and as time passes some people go ahead and others fall behind. As more time passes, people who were pacing themselves well and were initially falling behind now go ahead of the pack. In the end, what is important is run “your own” race well and complete it with great satisfaction. Similarly, in life, all of us have experienced how we started together as siblings, friends, fellow students or even fellow workers. As time passes, some become more successful than others and some fall behind. As more time passes, these roles are sometimes reversed. In my opinion, one should lead one’s life with one’s own values, beliefs, and pride. If you are behind your peers, don’t lose your heart and more importantly; when you are ahead of them…don’t lose your head!!!

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