The Marathons I did not Run in 2016

The Auroville Pondicherry Marathon in February 2016 was my solo attempt at completing a marathon last year. After running about 37 km, I threw in the towel and, for a marathoner, took the road less traveled for the remaining 5 km – on the bike of a helpful volunteer. The hurt of retiring from the run prematurely stayed with me for some time.

I was overweight and I hadn’t practiced well enough before the run. That surely did me in.

Every run needs preparation – physically and mentally. There are no short-cuts. Past performances do not guarantee similar results.

It is the same with almost everything else in life. I have to begin on 0 axis every time I start something new whether it is in business or in a new relationship. There is a recipe for every worthwhile venture – for running a marathon or even for making a relationship harmonious.

The bitter taste the Auroville run had left in my mind goaded me to start practicing again. As soon as the dates were announced for theChennai Trail, Bengaluru and Spice Coast Kochi marathons, I enthusiastically and promptly registered.

But it took me a long time to get out of the groove of comfort I had ensconced myself in leading up to the Auroville run. Getting up at 4 in the morning seemed a strange thing to do. I did practice, but off and on. When I did, I huffed and puffed. It was tough going.

I am blessed  that I am healthy on almost every count. Despite that, cold and mild fever upset my rhythm 3 times. This threw me off gear for at least 20 days every time. I also had two bad falls in the near darkness of early winter dawns, with accompanying cuts and bruises, putting me off running for several days each time.

I love the good things on my dining table. So, I remember my resolutions concerning avoidance of sweets and eating moderately only after breaking them. All these factors put together forced me to cry off from the three marathon runs I had registered for.

Then I registered for The Wipro Chennai Marathon and it is going to be held tomorrow.

A marathoner must accept and face the inevitability of having to delicately balance contradictory pulls. On the one hand, there is the comfort and the good things of life I find hard to resist. Then there is the goal of running a marathon that I am drawn to. The goal is what carries me forward despite the temptations. The stronger the goals, the better I practice and run.


This picture I clicked in Sohra/Cherapunjee  in July 2015 (I had written a soul satisfying post of my run there, but I lost it due to non-renewal of my blog) of a man carrying a log of wood captures the essence of what I am driving it. The piece of heavy wood is so very delicately balanced on his back. Placing it an inch or two backward or forward on his back would determine whether he would fall flat on his back or face.

I have so far refrained from typecasting myself as a marathon runner and hence haven’t really gone to town on my facebook page or elsewhere, about my running exploits.

Or maybe, I should unabashedly put forth bravely my accomplishments for my friends and the world to see. After all, this is a facet of mine. No harm in showing off what I have legitimately earned. After all, I am the one who ran and completed more than my targeted distance unmindful of the bruises and cuts on my knee from my falls. I would do this for another, so why not for myself?

And I have other facets where I want to create and excel –  one, communicating effectively two, making a mark in my business and three………..

I believe that all of my audacious goals when pursued vigorously lend strength and stamina to each of these. It is a luscious cycle – the pursuit of one goal feeding the others. Marathon is just one of those aspects of me, forming part of a scheme of things.

It is morning and it is time to do a bit of yoga to help me get toned and relaxed for the run tomorrow. So, I will come back later in the day and continue this post, though I am impelled to continue writing.

I am back and it is around 10 pm. Chennai marathon is tomorrow and I am going to run there, starting at 4 am.

I am not ready enough, have not practiced well enough, but this time I am going to run anyway. I will do my best.

My gut feeling which arises even through my nervousness is that I will run my heart out and conquer the distance.

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