The Journey of 26.2 Miles – Amazing, Joyful, Testing, Emotional, Painful and so on…
I never thought I would be a MARATHONER until 5 weeks ago, I pushed my limits, dedicated the last 5 weeks preparing my body and mind to run 26.2 miles.
For the past 5 weeks I focused on my training schedule, I gave my 100% effort for each and every workout that I never missed a single run on my schedule. My weekly mileage was increased to approximately 100 km to prepare for the D-day in short span of time.
The interval workouts were so intense and challenging, yet I was totally focused and determined on my goal (to finish sub 4 hr marathon). There were times where I was flat-out tired that I could barely walk or keep my eyes open in office. To keep myself motivated to keep going I had to keep picturing myself crossing the finish line strong over and over again. All that sweat, pain, struggle and sore legs paid off well on the Race Day.
As a part of my training, I included more protein, lots and lots of vegetables, fruits/nuts and low carb/ oily food in my diet, which also helped in shedding few pounds. I am ever thankful to my wife for letting me eat what I like, for shopping all those vegetables and fruits and also for making sure that I get up on time for my morning workouts. But I never had to compromise with my sleep as I ran evenings except for interval workouts (thanks to the cold weather).
I couldn’t sleep the night before race day because of anxiety and lot of things running in my mind. I hardly slept for 3 hours. Still I woke up, finished my routine activities and reached the venue before 8 AM for baggage check-in. It was freezing cold (1 deg), windy but as I started running, I gradually felt warm, I gathered momentum. Initially I was going faster than my target pace as I knew I would get slower during the last 8 km which indeed happened because of the muscle pull on the left leg. During the run, I followed the hydration plan (to have a gel every 40 mins and salt capsule an hour) given by Coach. Even though I got slow I managed to run the final stretch at a fine pace crossing the finish line strong with a sub 4 Hour finish (3:53:22). Such a great feeling 🙂
After collecting the medal, I had to walk 300 m after which I saw my wife, brother & family waiting for me at the finish line, tears rolled down. It was an emotional and joyous moment for me and I will never forget this journey of a runner becoming a MARATHONER. It was an amazing, roller coaster journey full of high and lows.
I doubted my ability to finish sub 4 hr whenever I feel exhausted after the deadly intervals, but Rashmi always had my back as my Support System giving all the positive thoughts and encouragement needed to keep me mentally strong throughout the journey. According to my coach, if I were able to finish all my interval workouts, I would crack a sub 4 hour Marathon. And I trusted him and stuck to the training schedule, I am glad I did. It would not have been possible without my coach Raghul and the love of my life Rashmi.