What takes you past finish line is not your practice runs, not even the determination of your mind.
After running my first marathon i believe What takes you past finish line is your fellow runner, your group which has bunched near finish line wondering ..." Kahan reh gaya". Waiting for you.. its the spirit of running which waits for you.
What made my day was the smiles and cheers and hugs i got from senior runners of PCR when i crossed the finish line.
But then the narration can not begin from the end it has to start from beginning. Here is the dampner..begining was same as the end- we all started with cheers and smiles all around for the AHM start area.
So i guess its the journey in between start and finish which matters and i had company of Raj and Piyush as we started. Both had run longer and were more regular..sincere runners than I and soon i was to realize that just like life ...in a marathon sincerity to the cause goes long way.
5 30 bus of Shailendra went past me within first 6 kms. I was huffing ..puffing my way and at mid point i was trying to remember .. breathe through mouth and exhale through nose..or was it other way round, Free swings to keep legs fresh . Thoughts of me being more regular..MAF ..why was i so lazy ...were filling me up. Basically i had mind full doubts if i will complete the run.
All you need at times of doubt ..self doubt is a sign ...and during such stage of self doubt i heard " chal sameer..." and i saw two familiar faces from PCR egging me on. That encouragement will forever remain etched in my memory. That was it...i got the much needed sign and pushed on it till 30 km mark where full marathoners separate from rest to go extra 12.
It was uphill climb and i was running behind Ashok whom i had never met before and i saw " TCS fit4life " on his tshirt and said "TCS ko aagey nahin jaane doonga" and overtook him..its different story that he was ahead of me next second and left me like speck of dust as if he was abrath and i was riding a cycle.
Yes I had started my marathon as if i was Abrarth and by the time i finished i was may be the first rolling stone ever discovered.
The key to long distance running and i guess life is to be consistent and no matter what uphill or downhill comes your way be consistent and with steady pace and encouragement of your fellow runner you are bound to finish your run.
I did mine in 5 hours 52 minutes and each and every step i took after my first km is due to the runner next to me, volunteers, school kids who made it possible forme to complete my first marathon.