Friday, January 27, 2006

The Marathon

Could've written about this earlier, but decided to wait for a more opportune moment. The long night draws to a close, things are in place for Perspective 2006, our annual academic conference which starts from tomorrow.

I've been working non-stop for Perspective from 8:30 AM onwards, and it is now just past 2 in the morning. The temperature has suddenly decided to take a dip in the last few days, and the guys who were contemplating putting away those quilts have quietly pulled the same quilts over their heads. The media player on my laptop is playing "Rubaroo" from Rang De Basanti; the song can be softly heard 4 feet outside my closed room-door. There is a certain stillness in the air as the hostel takes a breather. After all, Nirma Champions League is over.

I've had a particularly rewarding day. I ran the 10km Marathon.

I'll tell you a secret. I had two objectives when I started preparing for the marathon.

One: I shall build enough stamina to last me 10 kms.

Two: I shall win the race.

I have achieved the first of my two goals. I came in 4th since I was outdone by better atheletes and there's no shame in accepting that. But above all this, this has been a great learning and liberating experience. The spirit mattered and pushing yourself to the edge mattered even more.

Consider this: Prior to this event, I hadn't ever run long distances, although I've walked many a kms at a stretch. So, running such a long distance at one stretch was a new challenge.

From the moment I entered my name for the competition till the time I began running the first lap, I could put in only 6 days of practice. That would boil down to 3 hours of practice at the maximum.

Till yesterday, the longest distance I'd run at a stretch was 5 km in 26 minutes. Today's run of 10 kms at a stretch was the first time that I attempted running such a long distance. To be honest, I'd not thought I'd be able to make it and many a times I'd almost 'seen' myself giving up after the 6th or the 7th lap in my mind's eye. But everytime that happened, I would shake my head and say 'No', I'm not going to let that happen.

Result? A thin, reedy looking guy, who till a fortnight ago was not considered to 'have it in him' to run came in 4th while running a distance of 10 kms in 48 minutes and 56 seconds. Not bad, huh? :)

Of course, at the end of the day, there is a certain bit of disappointment that I didn't even come in 3rd. But then, I was reminded of this picture which was mailed to us a couple of days back by a friend on the intranet.


fotosia said...

that's a good one :)

Shekhar said...

fotosia:Gee, thanks. :)