Sunday was the day of the second Bangalore Ultra Marathon.
Had to get up at 3AM in order to reach Cubbon Park at 4:30AM for the buses to take us to ‘Our Native Village’ resort in Hesaraghatta. We reached early at 6AM and were waiting for the day to begin.
The 37.5, 50, 75, 100KM runners started off at 6:30AM, and everyone were cheering them on. There was
one person Santhosh who was running from 6PM on the previous day doing a target of 24 hours or 200KM. Phew.
On a random whim, I decided to tweet during the marathon.
6:59 AM: Waiting for the 25K run to start at 730, it sucks to wait for an hour after the 50+ K #ultra runners
7:30 AM: Start!
I decide to run without music for the first 20 min.
After a while, I started listening to a talk by David Heinemeier Hansson on ‘The Great Surplus’ which is a really good talk that I recommend any dev should listen to. After that was over, I didn’t have the mental processing energy to listen to more podcasts, so I switched to listening to music.
I think the majority of runners here were either listening to music or running in groups.
Life Lesson learned: Do whatever it takes to keep your motivation high.
9:00 AM: Finished first loop of 12.5 km in exactly 1.5 hours. Not sure if I can complete within my target time of 3 hours.
9:25 AM: Body begs to stop. Mind says hell no.
Life Lesson learned: It’s all in the mind.
9:37 AM: Starting to feel that good pain in the knees.
Life Lesson learned: You need to cross a certain threshold of activity before you start feeling positive and energized. Activity precedes motivation.
9:52 AM: Reached 3/4th mark. 2 hours 23 minutes. There are a few people retired hurt on the mats and doctor is treating them… Getting some electral.
Life Lesson learned: I strangely found tweeting through the marathon actually helped me being more positive. It had the same effect as journaling. In this case, I got to vent my pain and frustration. After that, I felt lighter, felt like I had a fresh start and felt the need to do something more/better that is worth tweeting about.
9:55 AM: This is one beautiful location. Green everywhere.
Life Lesson learned: The right environment matters.
10:04 AM: 50+km runners whizzing by. How do they do that.
Life Lesson learned: There will always be people better than you but you shouldn’t get bogged down. As Bob Parsons says “Pay attention to your competitors, but pay more attention to what you’re doing. When you look at your competitors, remember that everything looks perfect at a distance. Even the planet Earth, if you get far enough into space, looks like a peaceful place.”
10:40 AM: 2km to go. Signs of cramps.
Life Lesson learned: As Bob Parsons says “When you’re ready to quit, you’re closer than you think. There’s an old Chinese saying that I just love, and I believe it is so true. It goes like this: ‘The temptation to quit will be greatest just before you are about to succeed.'”
10:55 AM: Finished. 25 km in 3 hours 24 minutes. More than I wished. But ran better than expected. So happy.
11:04 AM: Nothing like pushing yourself beyond what you think you can. Amazing what the human mind and body can do.
Life Lesson learned: Life is more meaningful and fun when you have big hairy audacious goals.
The best part was that my timing had improved significantly from last time where I finished in 3 hr 52 min – an improvement of nearly half an hour! I usually berate myself on not performing well, but this was something even I was happy about especially because I finished strongly and not limping to the finish line as I had experienced in previous marathons.
Life Lesson learned: (Again) As Bob Parsons says: “Measure everything of significance. I swear this is true. Anything that is measured and watched, improves.”
Life Lesson learned: It’s tough. Are you?
You’re running on guts. On fumes. Your muscles twitch. You throw up. You’re delirious. But you keep running because there’s no way out of this hell you’re in, because there’s no way you’re not crossing the finish line. It’s a misery that non-runners don’t understand.