Thoughts Sans Boundaries

Me and my first Marathon

Posted in endurance story, life, musings by Aditya Moorthy on February 2, 2009

I ran a marathon last December and completed it in about 8 hours. I never really prepared for it although I thought I was reasonably fit to complete it in 5 hrs 30 mins. Running a marathon is a funny thing. There is lot of excitement and optimism at the beginning that you will meet the target you have set for yourself. As the run progresses and you become tired, you tell yourself that this is an incredible challenge and that you are attempting something that many don’t. And when you cross the mid-way point and your legs start to cramp, you develop thoughts that it is better to give up than to damage something in your legs and that it is not shameful to give up and try next year. But if you somehow convince yourself to carry on and reach the 30-34 KM range, you start to ask in your mind some profound philosophical questions about life and pain and the meaning of our actions; most questions for which you never get an answer. But if you still manage to drag yourself towards the final few kilometres of the run, then you get to a stage where there is nothing in your mind. It is blank with no thoughts, all you feel is a dull lingering pain that seems like it will stay with you for ever and you are no longer bothered about anything. There develops an insensitiveness that you have never experienced before or thought that you were never capable of. And then the finish; for one glorious moment, you feel at the top of the world, elated, as if you have been the first ever to attempt something like this and that you are the One. But this feeling vanishes as soon as you begin to revel and it follows by an incredible amount of pain that you have never experienced before. Pain you thought that human body was not capable to withstand and that you are probably going to have some permanent damage to your body. You start to look for a corner to sit and then just pass away.

At least this was how I felt during my ‘record’ 8 hours run. But I did finish. Right after I finished I looked for my brother who ran the same marathon and he finished just under 6 hours. He seemed to be doing quite fine except for some pain in his legs and here I was completely hopeless and wishing that life would just stop there. After a couple of days, I started to get back my usual spirit and the pain started to ebb away. I am now getting ready for my second attempt at the marathon called the Sundown Marathon in May. I hope to be better prepared this time and I am still aiming for that 5 hr 30 mins finish.

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