Monday, July 27, 2009

The Joy in Pain

6 months back, I remember scolding Dilip, when he completed his half marathon, and asked him if he was crazy to run such distances. Today I completed a Half marathon... 13.1 miles.. 21kms. The feeling at the end of it was awesome. A sense of accomplishment, which I have been lacking for sometime now ;).

The run started off 5 miles from Golden Gate bridge. For those who know the area, along embarcedero road. The first 5 miles was easy, plain roads before the uphill to Golden Gate. Two 31.5 degree gradients, and I was pushing myself to keep running. A "walk" just doesn't count as "running". Although sometimes. it felt like people walking were overtaking me
Enter Golden Gate bridge, and it was covered in fog completely. With close to 20000 runners in the event, this was one place where it felt really crowded. Just one lane for runners in each direction. The constant overtaking, and apologies kept you distracted for the next 2 miles. The 7.5 mile marker was at the end of Golden Gate bridge, and I was happy that only less than half the distance was remaining. 2 miles back on Golden Gate bridge, and reached close to the 10 mile marker. Legs still felt very fresh, and I was happy with my pace. I was clocking 10min miles constantly.

The last 3 miles were really tough. I expected this to uphill in parts, but to my suprise, it was uphill all the way, with flat road in parts. Although, it was not too steep, the constant uphill tires you out, and slows you down. For the first time, I saw myself searching for the mile markers. 3 such miles, and I was there at the end of my first Half marathon. 2:17:18 was the clock and a complete relief.

As i said, a sense of accomplishment, but then, this is only half the job done. The real thing is in another 3 months. A Full marathon (26.2 miles), and I am so looking forward to it.
2 months back, I ran a 10K, and I knew i would definitely be able to complete the half marathon. I can't say the same thing about the full marathon now. Although, the half marathon has boosted my confidence immensely.

I have been limping all day today. My knee hurts ( I kind of sensed it around the 6th mile). Getting down stairs has never been so difficult. With every step, there is pain. But there is a lot of joy in that pain.


Rago said...

Dear Balaji, Also called Karthik!!!! Good writing. Take care. Hope your pain would have gone by this time.

Gandalf said...

Sooooooooooper, Maga !!!!!! You did it :)

dilip said...

Sooperr maga..
Now u know the joys and the feeling that go with these things..:) I am sure you will have a better experience with the full one..
All the best maga..

fenix41 said...

Hi Karthik,

Your story is very inspiring. I am in a similar situation and would like to kick start
my running so that I can do one marathon at least. Do you guys have any group where
I can join and learn some basics? I would be very keen to get some tips over email
too if it is not possible for you to meet in person.

Thanks a lot and I hope I can do this with some tips from guys like you.
Please email me at