in the days and weeks leading up to my first full marathon, i was admittedly nervous. this had to mean something. it had to mean that i was prepared, mentally and physically. i even injured my hip two weeks before and only worked in 10km runs (at most) during the weekend. and i had to run it alone.
i woke up at 3.30 last sunday morning. in under 25 minutes flat i had brushed my teeth, drunk my coffee, gotten dressed, slapped on sunscreen, wondered where i would chafe and realized i didn’t have vaseline on me, prepared a packet of salt for emergency purposes, strapped on my pouch, wore my shoes and was out the door. i had a Rose apple for breakfast and a half bottle of Pocari sweat.
and then before i knew it, three billion people around me began to run. i had my iPod on for the entire race. i fell in with the 5:15 pacers naturally, and then i stopped for a toilet break at the 10k mark, and then they were gone. i soon found them again at the park, but by the time 24k rolled around, my knees had begun to complain. loudly. and it was at this point i began to thank the founders of Deep Heat. i didn’t care how much analgesic i slapped on to my appendages, but i did because it reacted with sweat and it burned like hell for a good 2 or 3 km so much so that i didn’t even feel the joint pain anymore. at one point i think i felt a little insane, somewhere around 33km. this was where the most analgesic-slapping went on. not just me, everyone else, too. all the sub-sixers.
31-36 was a hellish path. i’d never walked so slow in my life. everything burned, and i lacked human companionship despite the 3 billion people around me. everyone seem ensconced in their own pain and completely unwilling to chit chat. is it just tired marathoners, or the people here in general that don’t like to talk? or was it me? i didn’t care, so i texted my friends who were waiting near the finish something like “KMN”. the pain had begun searing through my back, my quads, my adductors. i was ready to collapse.
If you can’t run, walk. if you can’t walk, crawl. But no matter what, do whatever you have to do to keep moving forward.
two minutes later, i read – blurrily – “GO BOO GO. WE R WAITING 4 U”. so i did. when i began to move up Benjamin Sheares bridge the pain had gone. i didn’t know then if it really had disappeared or if i was just too tired to feel it.
so i ran. and i ran til the finish, where i found my mother and father and friends waiting for me, happily. and then i was done.
honestly, my marathon should have been just that. i should have just run and run ’til the finish, ’til i was done.
but it’s not that easy.
which is why i’m doing it again in six months.
Good enough never is.
oh, and watch for chafing at the groin and underarm area. and if you’re a guy, you might want to slap on vaseline on your nipples. a lot of vaseline.