More about me as a runner

2017 Target Events

  • 15th Jan - Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon - 3:49:54
  • 12th Feb - Auroville Marathon HM - 1:46:28
  • 29th April - Western Pacific Marathon
  • 15th October - Bangalore marathon - tentative

Blog Archive

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

First Full Marathon attempt

My first attempt at Full Marathon was at the Pune International Marathon on 8th December 2002. I gave up at the 34rth Km completely dehydrated and exasperated. Not because I was not well prepared or did anything majorly wrong during the race –in fact I had done a couple of solo 40Km runs in training. The event just was not conducive for slower amateur runners like me. Runners were expected to reach the half way point in 1 hr 30 or so and complete the FM in 3 hours or so. Maybe because of this I ran the first half quite fast. I was very keen on running my first full marathon and relied on the assurances of the organizers that slower, amateur runners like me would be allowed to complete the race. However, in reality the experience was very different. My bib was snatched away at the half way point as got there in about 1 hour 50 minutes. And soon after that the aid stations started to disappear and all traffic began to flow. I found myself running along with two wheelers, buses, autos etc and also pedestrians and cows and the weather also became warmer(the race started at 9am). It was very tough - both mentally and physically. Due to this I had to start walking and lost my momentum. I had a couple of bites of the energy bar without washing it down with water – as a result I also began to feel nauseous. At that time I lost the will to go on and I gave up. Later I learnt that very few amateur runners were able to finish the run. Given that I had been preparing for over a year(since August 2001 when I did my first 15K) for a Full marathon I was extremely disappointed with the DNF(Did Not Finish) result. In the train journey back from Pune to Bangalore ,I did a mental rehearsal of the race several times and realized the errors I made and the lessons to learn:
a) I started too fast. 1 hrs 50 minutes for the first 21Km was way above my target pace and that drained my energy. I resolved henceforth to start slow and steady
b) Taking walk breaks – I had tried this in training based on Jeff Galloway’s recommendation but it did not work for me. So I had abandoned it. During the race I was kind of forced into doing something I was not used to
c) Eating the energy bar without washing it down with water – I later read in Jeff’s ‘Marathon, You can do it’ that doing this is likely to cause nausea

I was quite determined to ensure that I don’t make these errors again and try and run a Full marathon at the earliest available opportunity. And this came in Janaury 2003 in Chennai 6 weeks after Pune. Thank Fully, I have not had a DNF since Pune 2002 and hopefully it will stay that way! It can be very traumatic for a runner to work hard and train for an event and then not be able to finish the race due to some unforeseen reason.

No comments: