I did a half marathon (21 km of running) at Kaveri Trail Marathon again this year.
After four months of practice, we arrived on Saturday in all the various hotels as close as possible to the Ranganthittu Bird Sanctuary which is where our running trail starts.
Saturday night, we had a suer-fun dinner with many Runners High folks in the same hotel. It reminded me again on how many good friends and inspiring people I have met through running.
Woke up at 4am, got my gear in place like clockwork – a cap, a fuel belt with water and badam pieces, fully charged phone with earphones, nike shoes. Ready.
We reached the trail at around 6:15am and unfortunately missed the full marathoners being flagged off.
6:45am was when the half marathoners were to start. Set.
I started off my run at a good pace for me. I did the first 8km at a 7:30 min/km pace which I was happy with. I was having a steady stride and enjoying the beautiful trail.
I reached the midway mark, turned around and continued. I stopped at the 17km mark water point and was doing a 8:20 min/km stride. Roughly 17 km in 2:30 hours. Not bad for me.
And then the problems began.
The sun suddenly started blazing and the heat and the killer “last 4 km” got to me. I struggled slowly, probably covering 10+ min/km. It was those intense pains, trying to push your body beyond what is reasonable.
I finished in 3 hr 11 min. I was happy that I finished and had a mostly-good run but at the same time I was disappointed that I wasn’t close to my last year’s pace of 2 hr 49 min, but it was inevitable due to my weight gain this year.
That brings me to another aspect of my running. I am quite disappointed that I haven’t been able to improve upon my running in the past 3 years, mainly because my weight holds me back. I am tired of getting too hungry and nauseous (because of gas) by the time the race gets over and end up puking.
So I’ve decided to hang up my boots and will probably get back to running half marathons only after I gain some reasonable fitness and lose significant weight.
Losing weight is a challenge of a different kind where a brute force determination won’t work like in running. So let’s see how that goes.
I'm never going to run this again.
-- Grete Waitz after winning her first of nine New York City marathons