Training, bonding with great people, having great laughs, tiring workout, pep talks for the last six months all culminated and came together on 24th September 2011, when 10 individuals were ready to run the Akron Marathon. We took a pledge for children who are as deserving as you and me for an education who simply did not have the money for it. We ran for ASHA FOR EDUCATION.
Five thirty in the morning, we were pumped, excited, nervous and rearing to go. The support was phenomenal, team spirit was literally tangible and hearts racing. At seven we were off and for me it was a journey of a life time-The run that has changed me forever.
With all the training I actually almost cruised until mile 10 keeping a constant pace and I felt fit and healthy. Mile 11,12,13 my muscles started to complain and tire.
Mile 15 came and it was getting tough. My body was saying STOPPPPPPPPP, AND WALK, but my mind just did not allow for it. All that I was thinking was “Don’t be a baby, this is only six hours that you have been training for, for the last six months and this is only six hour of your life. Just keep going”.
I was fighting with myself and I had to dig deep into myself to come out of this slump. My mind was taking me back home, to family, to my dogs and I was becoming emotional at times. Any slow or classical music that played on my iPod made it worse and tears rolled down.
I stopped at mile 18 for two minutes and walked because I realized I could walk faster than my jog!. My muscle went on strike and I hit the “wall” (I think). I ate some energy gel and started again at a better pace. I was struggling till mile 21 and would walk every now and then for a minute or so.
At this point I think your body shuts down its pain receptors and even though I was tired I felt like my legs were moving on their own, almost automatically! I think I ran continuously until mile 24 and then had to walk because there were two steep hills at the very end (what vicarious pleasure Akron gets in this, I don’t know). I look in front and all I thought was “really, you gotta be kidding me”. I walked the hills and “sprinted” (fast jog) the rest.
I could see the light at the end of the dark dark tunnel; I could see the finish line. Emotions were at its peak, people were cheering, loud music, jubilation and I looked at the time and I had finished in 4hrs 50 min!!!! I could not believe it. That was my first out of body experience; I just could not believe it.
And then,,,,,,,,,,,,,, reality really really bites! I stopped at the finish line, shook hands with someone and collected my medal and then I just could not move. My muscles cramped up, my legs felt like lead that weighed a ton. I felt pain. I had to stretch it out and it did get better in a couple of hours.
We pledged to ASHA FOR EDUCATION, in return I have “learned” allot from this experience and the last six months has “taught” me more about discipline, hard work and the will I thought I never had than ever before.
After a day, it did sink in and I did feel the “runners high”. Will I do this again, HELL YA!