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KetaN SalamoN NadaR

I change for a Change and I dont change for that change

Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon 2016

26 Jan 2016 21:57:00

Long distance running has always excited me. On 17th January 2016 I did one such long distance running in Mumbai. That run was Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon(SCMM) 2016. I participated in the event for Full Marathon a distance of 42.195 km or 26.2 mile.

This is my 3rd Full Marathon attempt. My first was in SCMM 2014 (5:54), 2nd was in Bengaluru Marathon 2014 (6:36). All the previous events are special but in this one I got my Personal best timing. Timing in this year SCMM 2016 is 5:47.

Timing Certificate
SCMM 2016 Certificate

Garmin Data

Mumbai Marathon is the mecca of Marathons in India. I always get excited to run in Mumbai. Being the place where I have spent my majority of life till date.

I had registered for this Marathon some 5 months back. But I didn't give much importance to any specific training plan thinking about Marathon. Every disciplined runner trains hard for at least 4 to 5 months for a Marathon. I was quite careless in this case. May be that is the reason the timing is not so awesome if you compare to other runners. But it is always said finishing a Marathon itself is a big achievement. Keeping that in mind I give a pat on my back.

I never told about my registration to anyone even to my family or friends. I had registered for SCMM for year 2015 but I was not able to participate due to work related issue and lack of training. For the same reason I thought I would refrain myself from telling anyone until I confirm my participation.

In the mean while running 10k bug for everyday bit me. And I was happy running 10k everyday. I was so excited to run 10ks everyday that I didn't care much about Marathon training. I was under the impression that I can carry on with 10k streak for many days. After successfully running 10km X 141 days (26th July 2015 to 13 December 2015) I had to stop the streak due to unbearable pain in my legs and right calf.

I was in a position where I cannot even do my 10km running streak and I cannot even think of participating in SCMM. I was in the feeling of "Between the devil and the deep sea" . It was a painful moment that I couldn't even run for 2km after the pain in my legs. I was thinking the best option was to not even think of running for few months from now. That was the suggestion given to me by many of my friends and relatives.

But destiny had something else in store for me. While casually discussing something else with my friend Vikas on 2nd January I told him I have registered for SCMM 2016 and I am not participating due to my leg pain. He was shocked to hear that I had registered for that and I didn't tell him till now. It was quite normal for him to be in shock. Later he suggested why shouldn't I give it a try by doing some practice in coming 15 days. I was thinking he has gone crazy. But later he was serious and discussed all possibilities about the coming 15 days. He himself thought by his own logic and gave a crude Marathon training plan for 15 days. I was quite stunned by his way of putting down the distances one after the other without even thinking weather I will be able to do it. Later he told without even trying how can one assume he will not be able to do it. The miraculous training plan which I partially did is below.

Miracle Training Plan
15 day plan

We both decided I will travel to Mumbai only if I am able to do one 25km or more run. And the same happened on one sunday before SCMM. I did a 24 km. On the very same day I booked my tickets and started the countdown for the race day.

I reached Mumbai 2 days before so that I can peacefully take 2 days rest and attempt the fm on sunday.

Event EXPO : I went to expo on saturday with my family and enjoyed the expo atmosphere. Visited many stalls but didnt purchase any except a book. Collected my bib and verified. Met few Bangalore runners like Thomas,Santhosh. Met Michelle Kakade , Roshni Rai , Dinesh Languagi . Took photos with everyone and wherever possible. May be this was the way to calm my nerves of the coming journey the next day.

With Mom and wife
Mom and Wife

With Roshni Rai
Roshini Rai

With Dinesh Launguani
Dinesh Launguani

With Michelle Kakade
Michelle Kakade

The goosebumps were already on me and the excitement to run the day next had gripped me from all over. It is perfectly said the excitement of anything is good and it is even bad. In my case it was for good as I was enjoying the moment. There was always back in my mind if some unwanted stuffs happen during the run. Because just one month back I was down with severe injury in my leg. But I calmed myself by only thinking positive whenever some negative thoughts tried to take over the mind.

I intimated my relatives that I will be participating in the run and expected some support during the run. Even I had mentioned about the tentative place and time where I will be reaching. If they happen to come and cheer they can come during that time at that place.

Running Gear
Running Gear

Race Day : Woke up exactly 10 minutes before my alarm which was kept at 3am. Wow now that was a perfect wake up alarm. If I would have been so much excited and anxious in my other works then I would have been somewhere else. Got fresh and visited loo at least 3 times. Nervousness and excitement has started to play its games. Nevertheless I was trying to keep calm. Because 42.2 km was not a small distance to cover and the cutoff time was 6 hrs 30 mins.

My brother dropped me near CST by 5 am. I walked to the holding area. Finished my stretches and while walking in Azad Maidan I met Team Miles Ahead friends Nikul,Ganesh,Asif,Ujwal. I met Kalpesh and Manish from BA Run Machine group. It was all fun to meet fellow runners before the race.

I was always told by my friends that any long distance running is a mind game. If you can train your mind that the race will be fine and run it with slight confidence then you will be able to succeed. So I thought I will play with the mind by changing my watch setting from km to mile. 42.2 km might be too huge to accomplish but 26.2 mile may sound little less. So when I look at my watch I will only calculate the remaining distance which is smaller in terms of number. I played fm and started to listen to music so that my mind will be occupied in music and RJ blabber. I had wore knee cap so that I wont worry much about leg pain if it comes.

The race started exactly at 5:40 and I crossed the start mat by 5:43. As my category was D I had to walk for 2 to 3 minutes to reach the start mat from the start time. Mentally I had set the target to finish the FM before 6hrs. So I thought If I can follow 5:45 hr bus then even if I get slow in later stage of the run I can comfortable finish by 6hrs. Start of the run was smooth and there were lot of runners who were running ahead and behind me. If someone is running ahead of me is fine but if someone running behind me then I need to be cautious of not stopping or pausing abruptly which may let other collide over me and we both may trip over each other. I maintained a decent pace till 6 miles. I was on par with the 5:30 hour bus. I was excited and maintained the same pace till 10 miles. Then my pace slowed down automatically. Just started to run above the sealink and it was awesome to run the stretch of 3 to 4 miles on the sealink. Many people were stopping in between to take photos. But I was in no mood to stop. I reached St.Michael church where my uncle family was cheering me. At the same time I even saw the elite runners pass by. They were just flying on the course. With almost the same pace I ran till the 20th mile. In between my family were constantly meeting me at every possible points for cheering me. After 20th mile I was in a state where my pace drastically dropped due to the heat and tiredness. At the perfect moment my mind had taken over. I kept telling myself only 6 miles which is almost 10km. Whenever I felt like walking I slowed my pace and then increased the pace. I was tired and thirsty. The more I drink water or electral or eat banana the more I felt thirsty and hungry. People of Mumbai are awesome to every extent. Not even a single moment I felt I was alone or no one is there to feed the thirsty or hungry me. At amost every mile there were kids,teenagers,young,old people cheering and feeding you all sorts of food and drinks. It was because of this selfless attitude of Mumbaikars during the race which makes many of the runners finish the race or even get their PB. Last 6 miles were quite memorable as at this moment I felt that overcoming pain by talking to self is possible. The only thing which mattered during the last 6 mile was just to finish the race. May be I was reaching the state of meditation that I was not thinking about anything else but running and finishing the run. Even during this time I had switched off fm player so that I can be in constant touch with my inner self which required no external motivation at that moment but the inner motivation and that can only be provided by talking to self about positive things.

During Action
Running 1

Running 2

Running 3

Finish : I was in the last leg of the race. Only 1 mile left to finish. I was happy from within that I am nearing the end. I got a call from my uncle enquiring about me. I told I will be reaching finish withing couple of minutes. He was excited and called all my family members at the end line. Sailesh,Andrew,Sharon,Lynette,Michael uncle,Gladys aunty reached finish line and ran with me for 100 meters and took photo of mine finishing the race. I was over the moon that I was able to finish the marathon in Mumbai. My family congratulated me on the finish. I went inside Azad maidan to collect my finisher medal but I was not able to walk. Gladys aunty and Andrew held me from both side and was walking with me as I was in severe pain. The medal counter was in other part of Azad maidan. I gave my bib to my uncle and requested him to collect medal and refreshment on my behalf. I was not able to walk. I went inside the Volini massage and lied on the mat. In the mean while my Mom and wife came and congratulated me. Every one sat together and started to massage me. Lynette and sharon were over my back giving me massage and sailesh was giving massage to my legs and Gladys aunty to my hands. Every one of my family was with one or the other part of my body to give me massage.

Garmin Watch

Standing Tall with Medal
SCMM Medal

With Rateesh

Thank you Message : I would like to thank my family members Michael Uncle, Mom, Gladys Aunty, My wife, Sailesh My hero brother, My Uncles sweet little kids Andrew, Lynette and Sharon for the wonderful support. If they wouldnt have supported then I wouldnt have been able to run . Vikas has to be thanked for instilling the confidence in me that I can do it. Manish,Kalpesh,Satish,Ganesh for giving last minute tips and motivation about running. Thank you everyone for motivating me and supporting me. Thank you Mumbaikars without your support it would have been tough .

With Support Gladys Aunty and Andrew
Gladys and Andrew

With Mom
With Mom

With Wife
With Wife

With My Family
SCMM Group

Learning : Stay positive and enjoy the journey. You never know when you can pull a miracle. Coming after an injury and running a Marathon is nothing but a miracle for me. Always believe that you are never alone in this world to face challenges. If you have decided to face challenge you will get people to motivate you and share your journey along.

Moral : It was a fantastic journey run in SCMM 2016.

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Deepa Kulkarni Says:
27 Jan 2016 at 05:13:53
Reading this article itself is of great pleasure sir:)

CLAPSSSSSS:) great job:)
Pravin Says:
28 Jan 2016 at 14:24:02
Spectacular .. There is so much of planning , thinking and emotions ; and your narration gives an elegant inside look of what you felt ..Frankly, I got goosebumps by reading your blog. Thanks for sharing it with us.With your permission, am sharing your page with some of my running enthusiastic friends .Truely inspiring. Congratulations buddy..So proud of you .. Cheers
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