Mumbai Full Marathon 2011

Before my thoughts get off in oblivion, I thought maybe I need to jot down my journey to my first full marathon. I always wanted to run a marathon but never followed any plan or training. Just out of curiosity, I registered for the full marathon way back in August’10. Doesn’t 42 sound small, may be or may be not? But when you go out and run, you know it for yourself! And I know it now, why marathon is called the Marathon!

Well, I started running kind of consistently from May’10 onwards though it was never as training for any event. Running for me came as an element that aligned my routine!
As for practice and so also for fun, I ran Pune & Goa half marathons apart from a 31k practice run in Mahabaleshwar. No doubt the magnitude of full marathon is what makes it so surreal.  Marathon is not just about the day of marathon but the result of days’ practice piled up till M-day. And Marathon is the best way to understand that results come only after consistent effort for substantial amount of time.

Rewinding back to the day before marathon... I along with a great runner friend Dhaval reached Goregaon after collecting all the bibs and jazz. Yes, ‘jazz’ why? For a double or triple dozen goodies that were handed over to runners included chat masala, a couple of other to-cook products such as noodles. Wonder whether M’bai marathon organizers have tied up with dieticians to come up with new research- spices & masalas are nutritious for runners! ;) Someone please help out dear sponsors to have better marketing strategies next year. Pre-marathon pasta was due; no way could I have missed it. Did had pasta and followed by amazing Gujarati dinner before finally dozing off.

The D Day was good. We reached reasonably early. Meet loads of friends both from Pune and Mumbai alike. I love the atmosphere at marathon start, so much energy buzzing around, WOOW.. before the actual ‘suffer-fest’ starts..! :O

Ran pretty good until I guess 27-30k, after which sun, concrete surface, humidity, Bandra Worli sea link climb, all started to test me real hard! Really don’t have any count of no. of Gatorades, water bottles, ice packs, relly spray I might have consumed! Rather than recalling my hard run I would list out what went wrong...

So, here’s some Learning I would like to note for myself or someone who care any....

- Shoe's your Darling:
Wear a shoe which you use while practicing. Make sure the size of shoe is bit bigger than your actual foot size since your foot swells after running a couple of miles. Went adventurous with different kind of shoe, not the one I usually use for runs and Suffering was very much evident. Not necessary to go for an expensive running shoe if you’re not up for but just make sure, there’s proper ventilation and space allowing your foot to settle in case it swells. Obviously considering that you don't run barefoot!

Rest is Game Changer:
 Don’t tire yourself the evening before the marathon. I was busy searching the streets of Mumbai for a specific dry fit cap all evening, Ohh Crap!

Surface speaks:
 Practice on the surface, be it concrete, tar or dirt track, where the marathon is planned to be. Especially, be careful of concrete surface for it hits pretty hard while at the same time it radiates heat on rather sunny day.

Lastly and most Imp:
Practice, Practice & Practice! Also build the knees strong. Try core exercises, yoga etc!

So, finally I did completed my first marathon, a total of 42.195 km in 5:49:03, dismissal timing though! Yet, I did it and must say it’s GREAT FEELING! Do it to know it, I say..

Lastly, I must thank all the Mumbaikars not just the organizers but the rock bands, civil people who came to streets to cheer us up...  I WOULD RUN MUMBAI MARATHON JUST FOR THAT BUZZ & ENERGY OF MUMBAIKARS, firstly and only then for the Superb Early Morning Views of Bandra-Worli Sea-link and Marine Drive! And thanks a lot Nitin to help me, a partial handicap then, get back from Mumbai post-marathon!

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