A little personal and a little political

26.2 thoughts from my marathon

756843-1019-0049s_smallFinishing Long Beach Marathon was more than a thrilling experience. I am sure it was run a zillion times before, and I only barely made it just before the time expired, but it is still one of a kind for me. Sharing below some of the thoughts that went through my head before, during and after the marathon

  1. Marathon is similar to life – it is much harder to do it lonely

  2. I found out during the race that the most underrated thing is, “group energy”. Before the race I thought I could run may be around 15 miles. But just running with thousands of people, and thousands more cheering doubled my energy. My speed was faster than any of my training sessions. Obviously, the perfect, cool, cloudy weather also helped a lot.

  3. The night before the race, my daughter asked, నాన్నా నువ్వు win అవ్వుతావా? (Dad, are you going to win?) – I said yes. Because the minute I crossed the “Start” line, I successfully attempted it. That’s a win. I wanted to tell her, trying is more important than winning. I guess this line has to wait for a different day.

  4. I was just happy to cross the Start line. Crossing the Finish line was a bonus.

  5. Since I thought I wasn’t going to finish, I only wished for strength to gracefully and happily quit the race when the moment comes.

  6. If you asked “how long is a marathon?”, don’t feel bad. Several people asked me this before, and the answer is 42 kilometers (26.2 miles). Here is the origin of marathon. It is very interesting. Above question is definitely not a stupid question. In fact they say, no question is stupid. Even this one – “how much weight did you loose by running the marathon?”. I told her, if at all, I probably gained a little.

  7. I found out my eyes are as dry as the Death Valley in the mid summer, during the worst drought year for California (cutting onion is an exception). The moment I saw the Finish line from 2 miles away, I felt a lump in my throat and weeping in my heart with gratitude, but not a single drop in my eye.

  8. I felt gratitude because so many people came out on to the streets, just to encourage and push us a little further. Those strangers stood there for several hours, cheering for us. Even the traffic Police were encouraging us. Gotta love the folks of Long Beach. I can never say thanks to all of you, but I will go to the next marathon to cheer for other runners.

    • When I was around 13 mile mark, I remembered one girl cheering from the other side on the road saying, “don’t worry, soon you will be on this side”. A couple of hours and about 10 miles later I was there, with much lesser energy, dragging my feet. She said, “finish it off, and then one day you can sit in a chair and proudly say, I ran a marathon that day”.

    • Another girl made me dance for a Spicy Girls song – “If you gonna be my lover…”. And another girl said “I can’t run the marathon, but I will run with you till the end of this street”. Every time my head dropped a little, there was someone who made me smile. And I was smiling all the way.

  9. So many organizers, so many volunteers, so many photographers, so many vendors, so much crowd, so much technology, so many people handing out free water, vitamin drinks, bananas, gels, oranges, coconut juice, donuts (yup) etc. It was a surreal experience.

  10. During the race they fed me so good, now I know it is possible to over-hydrate during the marathon

  11. The number of times I thought of quitting is one less than the number of times I thought, “keep going”.

  12. For me the training was harder than the actual race. Because I had so many thoughts in my head during the training, it felt I was carrying a boulder on my shoulders. As you know, you can’t move too long with a boulder on the shoulders.

  13. Most important things of training are 1) not to get hurt and 2) plenty of rest. Well, I managed just those two very well, but that’s a different story.

  14. Never wear anything for the first time during your race. Shoes or socks or whatever.

  15. One guy was spraying legs during the race. He said it cools down the muscles, and make us run faster. My foot was already on fire, so I risked it. I think it helped me a lot, because my foot stayed cool for a long time. He said he would show up at the end zone. I didn’t see him afterwards.

  16. Other product that helped me was KT Tape. It was like a duct tape, but it looked a little better. I had an Achilles tendinitis problem, one of the things that I thought could abruptly end my race. I put it where I generally get the pain. Actually it worked so good, that I didn’t feel any pain with my Achilles, but the pain shifted to surrounding areas. I guess I needed more tape.

  17. For me completing the marathon is an act of integrity – matching my physical age with my mental age.

  18. They tell you shoes are very important for running.You know what are more important – proper underwear

  19. Everyone was happy that I finished the marathon. My wife, sister, daughter and my mom all had a little different reactions. While waiting for me, watching the older and out of shape guys crossing the finish line, my wife thought I probably finished the race before she even got there. My sister said, “I knew you could do it”. My mom, after all the praise said “why do people run marathons?”. Watching me limping with soreness from the race, my daughter wondered if I became “old”.

  20. Only thing I saw a little disheartening was, some folks from the organizing team telling the runners to move to the side walk so that they can start opening up the roads for the traffic. They said we were behind the schedule. I didn’t feel bad because I knew I was going to make it. But some of the fellow racers felt discouraged.

  21. I thank the people who held the sign boards “Run faster, I just farted here”, “Forward is pace”. And mostly I thank two guys who almost yelled at me “it’s enough, get up and start running” just when I sat down for few seconds to catch some breath (I completed the race with just 2 minutes to spare)

  22. If you are climbing a tall ladder, or walking a rope, the usual advise is, “whatever you do, don’t look down”. But if you are at an event like a marathon, “Whatever you do, don’t look at others’ legs, especially women’s”.

  23. Encouragement was everywhere. I took some from the fellow runners too. Right around the 2 mile mark I saw one girl turning back. I was like… “well, I am not the last one in the race”. Then there was a guy, really huge moving slow and steady. I thought “this guy is not going to make it”. Later he passed by me, and I never saw him again. Another guy, in his 70s, moving slow and steady. I knew he would make it, as he was wearing a triathlon t-shirt.

  24. Then there was a guy, who was in his 50s, big frame, and looked really out of shape. He was running with a limp. I saw him around the 3 mile mark, and I was scared for him that he would break his leg or something. I was watching for almost the entire race, wondering when he would stop. Finally he stopped at 18 mile mark, looked like he couldn’t move. He said, “everything happens around 18 mile mark” with a smile. I almost said it out “big fellow, you are my inspiration, and I am not going to give up today”. After I crossed the finish line, I was looking for him. Sure enough, he made it too, not before the time expired, but I saw them giving him the medal. I was really happy. There was another girl who ran with me during my toughest part (17 – 23 mile). Then she fell behind. I saw her finish too in a similar fashion.

  25. This defies physics. In a marathon, the distance between each mile increases as we keep going. For example, the distance between mile 17 and 18 is much longer than the distance between mile 1 and 2.

  26. I wore the t-shirt for a reason. It was to say, listen to NRI Samay, and please donate. It is a great radio station bringing you amazing stories

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8 comments on “26.2 thoughts from my marathon

  1. valiantvattikuti
    October 15, 2014

    Awesome anna “I am just happy to cross the Start line. Crossing the Finish line was a bonus.” my fav .. keep inspiring !!

  2. ప్రవీణ
    October 15, 2014

    wonderfully written. Every point in your post reminded me journey is important than the destination and you cherished the journey so reached the destination first. Congrats. Keep rocking.

    • atluris
      October 15, 2014

      I didn’t think about it, but yes, I enjoyed every bit of it 🙂

  3. Rohny
    October 15, 2014

    Congratulations on completing your marathon. I liked the way you put your marathon experience in words, though its difficult to do so. Very well written. My favorites from the list 1, 3 & 4.

  4. Asif
    October 16, 2014

    You and your daughters conversation was a good point. Winning is not everything. I enjoyed reading the blog and experiences. Do not be an audience, run at least a mile every year until you become old. You may inspire someone.

    Thanks for sharing
    Asif

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This entry was posted on October 14, 2014 by in English, Personal, U.S..
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