–By Anjali Saraogi
“The miles that were a daunting challenge became but, a warm up”
I was determined to run a full marathon, but not very confident about it, since I had only run half marathons.I had heard that going from half marathons to full marathons was a big and difficult jump.But during my three months of training, I realized that it was only mind over matter that was important .
My first full marathon, the Bank of America -Chicago Marathon, will perhaps be one of the most memorable and magical experiences of my life.There were over 50,000 participants. It was a perfect day for running, temperature being 12 degrees, not very windy and roads were smooth and broad. The crowd support was magnificent and energy, infectious and intoxicating.This was also my first international marathon.I started off, stuck to the 3.45 pacer, since i was aiming for a Boston Marathon Qualifier(BQ), hence, running at a safe and controlled speed. After 5 km, the vibrant crowds pulled me along and the miles just flew by. I was enjoying and living each moment of my run. A part of me wanted the run to go on and on , but of course, my body wanted it to stop.Before I knew it, I was at the 35 km mark, fatigued and maybe hitting the dreaded ‘Wall.That is when the power of mind came upfront and it struck me that I had encountered the same sinking feeling in my practice run. It was merely my mind that was tired, not my body. All I needed was to motivate myself and think positive.Before I knew it, I had crossed the finish line. All the aches and pains had suddenly disappeared and I had tears in my eyes. It was over.What had seemed as an insurmountable feat to me, I had conquered so easily.Ofcourse, it was easy only in hindsight. But what I realized is:
– I had never thought I could run a full marathon.
– I had never thought I could do a negative split.
– I had never thought that I would enjoy each kilometre of my race so much.
– I had never thought that it would be so easy.
I had underestimated the Power of the Mind and Positive Affirmations.Never limit yourself.
Just train your best and then, ENJOY THE RUN!!!