My full marathon journey started in Dec 2012 in Bangalore mid night Marathon.Interesting way to start your marathon journey when rest of country fellow are sleeping.I ran my 4th Marathon day before yesterday (9th Feb 2014) in Auroville (marathon.auroville.com/).My decision to run marathon was based entirely on proving to myself that I could do it.Along the way , I realized numerous other benefits.I have done 100 km trail walk, I lost 10 kg of weight & got into better shape of my life.I made some new friends,met few very interesting & encouraging human being.I found countless hours to reflect on my life,think about my life purpose and learnt some valuable life lessons along the way..Below are 13 lessons or reflections that are shaping my life.
1) Approve yourself – Someone rightly said that you cannot be comfortable without your approval.Your own mind tells you that you aren’t really kind of person that could do 100 km or 42.19 km.Your limitations may just be in your mind.Yesterday , I had cramp & couldn’t run beyond 26 km.I had a strong urge to complete Marathon hence dissolved that inner barrier of pain.Someone on the way advised me to run bare foot so that focus shift from your knee pain to foot.Though , i couldnt run as fast i wanted but i completed my Full marathon in 5 hours 39 min.I THANK my strong urge and an unknown face who encouraged me to take seemingly painful step to avoid more intense pain.
2) If you are taking a different path,prepare for reactions-If you start to change or do something different than you usually do then people may react in different ways. Some may be happy for you. Some may be indifferent. Some may be puzzled or react in negative and discouraging ways.I listen to encouraging voice focusing on what makes me happier vs what makes me look good in other people’s eye.20 years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didnt do because listened to the society.
3) Fuel Properly – Someone rightly said “you have got one Life and one body to live in it-take good care of it”.I have also written another blog – Body fuel as competitive advantage . You cannot compete marathon without fueling your body correctly.
4) Manage your “Low Points” – Someone rightly said that “Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn during a marathon”.Injuries are part of any sports so be prepared for it.No use of cursing or crying.It doesnt take you anywhere.There is an important concept i learnt –Principle of Progressive Resistance.It is based on simple thought that physical & mental muscle must be challenged in order to upgrade & grow & they will progressively work to overcome resistance force when your “will power” is stronger than your mental block.So if try to speed up , run longer and run at difficult terrain ; be prepared for pain.It’s going to hurt – life hurts. There are lows and highs and the highs feel higher when you know what the lowest of lows feel like.
6) Improves your smile Rate and connect to your higher purpose -Find something that makes you happy-really, really happy. Running makes me happy. I do have what i called Blissiplines .Running has certainly contributed to my Blissiplines.
7) Using your Mind as your ally -The mind is a powerful tool. When your body hurts make your mind run your body.When i hit my wall ,i simply didnt want to give-up & made mind as my companion.Remember -This is true in life and in running.
8) Simple things in life are most enjoyable – When i ran auroville marathon, I realized how much i love nature – Wonderful greenery ; smell of mother earth;beautiful colors of the leaves ; pleasant sound of birds;the warm sun on your skin; your running fellow cheering you.Simple Awesome feeling.
9) Consistent Practice will yield consistent result – It brings lot of discipline in you.Though i didnt finish within my anticipated timing but i do have confidence that I would, if i continue to practice consistently.
10) Make great friends – Someone rightly said “You attract what you desire”. Over the journey , I have known some of the very encouraging runners & I am part of group – Team Miles ahead. We do regular practice , regular weekly long run & most importantly lift each other up.Thank you ,Thank you & Thank you to each one of my fellow runners for inspiring me.
11) Enjoy Serene & Silence -Few runners like to run with music on , I prefer to run with nature.I have begun to love quietness.I love listening to my body , to my breath, to sound of my feet.It helps me connect with my self.
12) Last Mile Happiness – I have learnt that there is a special happiness in finishing.Additional 1% brings awesome feeling in you.
13) Encourage More & compete with yourself -We often get lost in participating rat race , living society approved life , & hating ourselves for not being number 1.Its good to be podium finisher but its more important to enjoy journey and love your progress.
Thank you , Thank you & Thank you for reading.
What are some of your learning from your Bliss practice?
Wishing you lot of happiness & great health,
Remember # “If you feel bad at 10 miles, you’re in trouble. If you feel bad at 20 miles, you’re normal. If you don’t feel bad at 26 miles, you’re abnormal.Enjoy you Running”