Jan. 10, 2022

A Sub 2 hour Half Marathon effort- part two

Many of my friends had told me that I never brought closure to the post about the sub 2 hour half marathon effort. Today's blog is all about that. If there is one thing I learnt from running- it is to NEVER give up. You keep at it with laser sharp focus. And that goes for life as well. In my opinion, there's lot of similarity between life and running. You celebrate the high points, while taking the disappoints in stride and then bounce back even stronger. That was exactly what happened with my sub 2 hour half marathon pursuit. I talked to my coach and decided to have another go at it in 3 months at Rock Canyon Half Marathon.

In one of my earlier posts, I had talked about the importance of finding your tribe. These are your friends & family who will support and encourage you for every single mile you run. Your failure is their failure, your success is their success. I ran this race with several runners from my group. And they had only one focus- get me to the finish line under 2 hrs.

It was a crisp December morning when the race started. I had my tribe all around me. Some were before me, some were behind me- but they were cheering on for my success. It was definitely an emotional moment for me. I do not know if this happens to every runner but I am on an emotional roller coaster when running long races- I cry, I laugh, I get scared, I get fraustrated and I am in awe- you name it and I have experienced it. It was no different that day as I pushed forward with my intended pace of 9:10min/mile.

Any long distance race is about the last few miles when your body gets tired, your legs don't want to move, but you know you have to move on till you cross the finish line. It's the last few miles that puts your body under maximum stress. Strong runners clocks their fastest pace during that time. However those last few miles had always been my nemesis. Mentally I had yet to overcome the physical sensation of my body- that feeling of tiredness and the urge to stop. But on that day, I was not ready to stop at mile 10. My tribe did not want me to stop. I kept pushing forward. I was so close to my goal that I could almost smell it.

At mile 12 I looked up and there's a hill for the last one mile. I took a deep breath and tried to squeeze out the last bit of energy from my body as I started going up the hill. My legs felt super heavy. My body started shutting down and it's a feeling of deja vu. I kept telling myself- don't look up, one foot in front of another. So many faces started floating in front of my eyes-my coach, my wife, my daughter, my tribe all rooting for me and telling me I could do this. I can do this. I looked up and noticed I was surrounded by my tribe trying to pace me up the hill and take me over the hump. Tears started rolling down my eyes at their camaraderie. I told myself that I got to this- if not for myself but for my tribe. All of a sudden I felt a huge surge of energy and I took off. I took off as if there's no tomorrow. I took off as if the race had just started. I took off as if I had got a fresh pair of legs. I took off with my tribe running and cheering me on from behind. I felt liberated. I was finally able to break free I was able to break through my mental block. and I did it. On 12/8/19, I crossed the finish line of Rock Canyon Half Marathon at 1:57:58