Saturday, 18 January 2014

Excitement, Apprehension

I am subscribed to a number of whatsapp groups. Like the mobile phone itself, I think back to a time before whatsapp and cannot imagine how I managed to get anything done without it. The child cracks jokes about my 'whatsapp obsession' as she calls it - which angers me - partly 'cause it's true - but it is handy, I cannot deny.

Tomorrow is the Mumbai Marathon. Regulars here know that it's the time of my annual pilgrimage to Mumbai, therefore. I usually use the opportunity to meet students, colleagues and friends in Mumbai when I go run the race. But this time I just plan to go, pick up the bib, run, and return back.

The whatsapp groups are 'buzzing' with excitement. We are a number of us traveling from Chennai so the energy is palpable across the waves and feels great. Unlike the others, I slept deeply and when I woke up at 5 am for my customary visit to Porcelain Goddess, I wondered what day of week it is, what do I need to do, when do I need to wake up, etc. for a second.

I usually run a couple of nice long runs - 30kms or thereabouts - before every marathon. For my first marathon I ran around 3 of them. This is my third time running the Mumbai Full Marathon, and fifth full marathon overall of my life. I remember the goal (one of the) for my first full marathon (at Mumbai), was that I wanted to keep running them.

And that has more or less fallen in place- couple times a year I have been donning the shoes (or vibrams, since last year), and lining up for a full marathon. I have a reasonable handle on training for the same, and when people ask, the thing I recommend the most is being sensible and following the program as much as possible.

This year I haven't followed my own advice, so to speak. I have run, consistently and continuously, through at least the second half of the year. I have kept up my strength training workouts, and done a lot of mixing up of pace - due to various reasons - over the course of the past several months.

But I haven't run the 30km long run. I like that one. It's difficult enough as yet that I can't throw them down at will, and the legs feel 'ready' for the 42km after it. I had one weekend - in the entire year - when it make sense to run it. And.. I fell sick. With a throat infection. I have recovered from it and done a decent number of HM distance runs after it, but that still bothers me!

So much that I almost forget that I ran a 50km run after that tryst with germs! But tomorrow, my goals are laid out. I am carrying a ball point pen to write down notes to myself (on my arms), and am hoping that the slight apprehension I feel, is just nerves and nothing real. If I read enough whatsapp messages of others, perhaps their excitement will nullify it!

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