Of wins and losses !

It meant a year of practice. In the thick of Mumbai’s summer time. In the middle of monsoon shower time. Waking up at hours that invite the best of slumber and watching food intake like a hawk hunting for prey. . . Running. In groups. Alone. Sunday. Monday. Wednesday. Friday. Week on week. Month on month.

Striders armed with a group of dedicated coaches, and a ‘crazy bunch’ of fellow runners that inspires this commitment with a commitment that makes my commitment seem like a piece of cake. Speaking of cakes, that was avoided too. Sigh.

With all of the above, and last years 2 hours and 14 minutes finish, plus some 30 + KM runs that were done this year, the 21 KM was all and truly under the belt. Or so was the thought.

No story goes without a twist.

The day before D-day, the body quivered to a strange ‘shivering’ that blossomed into a full fledged fever. If you had to talk about Murphy and timing at any forum, this will fit the bill. Purrfect !! There was no choice but to rest the fever through.

The D-day arrived. The first five kilometers were a breeze. On time ! And then, the fever just returned with a vengeance that befits an untamed stallion running amok. Only now, embellished with cramps on the shin and calf.

Every step a pain, a searing headache to compliment the body pain and a soaring temperature within that seemed to keep pace with global warming, this marathon was well on course to become an unmentionable washout!

A new goal emerged. To finish. Medical help. Walking. Limping. Running. Meandering along. With fleeting thoughts of how ever distant the finish line seemed and if I would finish at all. Truly well meaning friends had suggested, ‘dropping out is better than dropping down’. Somehow, both options weren’t alluring.

That’s the sordid part of the story. Perhaps sounding like a ‘heroic’ spin to a rather pedestrian timing. Which today was 2 hours and 45 minutes or so, by which time, the body was fairly disoriented and feeble. But satisfied that finish line had indeed been crossed. Yes. I finished.

Yes. That’s the sordid part of the tale.

If that seemed like a huge solo effort, well, there cant be a falsehood further from the truth. The crowds that cheered on. The children that distributed bananas and sweets. The men and women that kept waving with some variation of a ‘you can do it’ chant. Not to forget the Striders teams of coaches that were ever present. While running buddies kept pushing.

Speaking of them, a certain lady who is part of our crazy bunch deserves more credit than what this paragraph gives. Running alongside for the last 8 KMs or so, sacrificing her pace and timing with words that will resonate for a long time and serve as proof for ‘true spirit of sport and friendship’….“ Am not letting you run alone in this shape”!

Several friends finished well and truly ahead. There is a true delight to see their timings. Its such a fulfilling feeling to see that all of us finished. Many on their own. Others as groups and yet others like me with SOME help !

Thank you everybody for all the support and cheer right through the preparation. The family was festive and supportive! Several bloggers texted. Others called. Friends cheered on, many times using ISD calls ! Sending supplements and such else, woven with wishes and prayers !

If wishes were horses, things could have been different with the body today. But then, wishes are never horses and the running has to be done by every person who chooses to. The low feeling that clouds me will go away. Eventually.

And I know of only one way that this feeling can slowly evaporate : Practice starts Monday next.

11 thoughts on “Of wins and losses !

  1. Kudos to you, Kavi!! I think this is a memorable run for you. Although unpleasant, it is something to remember for a lifetime.

  2. Neha says:

    I SO wanted to be there to cheer for you, but couldn’t make it as I was working through night and couldn’t get up! rather I got up with an sms from my professor who texted me saying he ran the half marathon!

    I am for sure gonna run the next year..practice starts soon too! I wish i could this year too, but well, there is always a next year and 2012 it is 🙂

    hope you are feeling well now..get well soon and kicking 🙂

  3. Vikram Singh says:

    Sad to know the timing didn’t match your best. But there is more than a silver lining here. Long after other, better timing, runs are forgotten this run will be remain fresh in your memory. Life’s triumphs are seldom obvious at the time you are achieving them. So, congratulations on a race well run.

  4. cyber gipsy says:

    I would have enjoyed reading this blog, and its usual laces of humour, had it not been for the fever you’ve just had ! It’s dangerous ! During a fever, of any kind, oxygen supply does choked. Your friends’ advice, ‘ dropping off is better than dropping down’ is not out of place. But then, you had the passion that won the day, and it was mind over organic matter.
    I still suggest , do not take those riks here after, although, one doesn’t wish you fever at inappropriate times, in future !

  5. Kavi,

    Excellent! I am back to your blog after long time and it was worth to read it. I have been suffering with a knee injury and it has stopped me from running. But still I try occasionally. I have run 10K with groups. I can understand each and every line of your narration. So, honestly you are a great person with plenty of determination. Well done!

  6. aativas says:

    Very refreshing (though painful for you) experience.

  7. Scribbler says:

    YAY !!

    I so wished I could have been there if not to run but to witness the running spirit !!!

    Congrats 🙂

  8. Aparna says:

    I am truly awed.
    The fact that you ran in spite of not being well. That you decided not to give up. And that your timing was only 30 minutes less than your previous time.
    Congratulations. This is simply amazing.

  9. radha says:

    Good show. It is the spirit that matters, not the timing.

  10. Jeevan says:

    Loved your spirit that carries u even u r well tired to give away the sport. That’s great support caused by u r buddies and the lady u mentioned about. Congrats kavi! Hope your endurance and struggle would never loss to win the toss and used for good cause.


  11. man, have never been to this place..

    that 1000 pillar corridor looks psychedelic !


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