There are a million photos on FB already, but I am lazy - so I picked this one. Here is most of us all relieved, exhausted, deflated, a few seconds after the last awesome Full Marathoner coasted in past the finish line.
I barely slept last night. There was confusion. Excitement. Gnawing worry. I kept making mental lists. I woke up once to put up a list on Evernote. Volini Spray featured prominently in my list and was to later create enough trouble and frantic phone calls to indicate that there is a lesson to be learnt there.
Child and husband woke up fairly promptly (though it was 3:15 am) as I rushed around waking them, pulling on my jeans, finding my amphipod (which I found) and looking for a bandana (which didn't surface). The calls started by 3:45 am and prodded us out of home in due course...
Everything is a haze after that. The next thing I know is that we were saying CHEEEESE above (and Krishna was behaving like Rajnikanth and changing his clothes for every camera shot). I ran out of energy at two time instants - I remember that - once I just stood frozen somewhere for 30 seconds and another time I was sitting down and zoned out.
The best moment of the day was a quiet one for me. I had pictured this and imagined I would be noisy. Screaming, cheering, shouting, clapping... When I saw him turn the corner, things went real quiet inside me. I ran the last few meters of the race with my super awesome strong half marathoner husband and, still without a word, ensured that he received his medal from our little spawn in her too-big volunteer tshirt... 2:12. Am too proud for words.
When the child & I stood near the start mats and saw the full marathon flag off ON THE DOT at 5 am, tears welled up in my eyes. There was no time to analyse my emotions as I wanted to take a snap of the 5:15 (SHARP!) flag off of the HM. But I haven't forgotten that moment, the second best one of the day, and featuring Ram, inspiration to all of Chennai (and beyond).
Rocket & I shared a few minutes of that unique mix of joy and sadness for our country, for our women, as we talked about the little lady who won the Full Marathon in some un-imaginable time. She came from nowhere I knew, touched her brother's feet when she finished her race, and offered her thanks to Goddess Earth (as I understood).
My gender made me proud today. I can only imagine the battles they fought to get themselves out there; to finish strong; to smile. My friends came from Bangalore - two of my dear friends from my college days. They ran past the hostel we all, long years ago, shared so many good times in. I met two other women from outside Chennai - their faces familiar to me from facebook. My own campus friends - students and colleagues alike - were there in numbers. Of course, the Chennai Runners, the Dream Runners, and most of all Rocket with her spectacular second place finish....
[Not to mention my little baby daughter, who woke up so ridiculously early this morning; walked everywhere holding my hand; hung medals on hundreds of sweaty necks; and ate nothing - and more pertinently, did not read anything - till nearly 8 am when her father rescued her from me]
I am thankful, grateful, overwhelmed, sad, happy, and immensely emotional. My physical body is battered. My lower back is spasming, my period (always impeccable timing that one) driving me insane, I am not even thinking about my right foot. My mind is a whirl of memories, snapshots, thoughts. Overall, all I want to now is run for a long while and sort everything out the only way I know how to. But perhaps some sleep might first be in order...