2011 Delhi half marathon was scheduled on 27th November. My left knee had not yet recovered from consequences of toughest ever half marathon done in Shimla on 25th Sep 2011. But my stubborn pulse did not let me drop out of this marathon.
This was my fourth marathon ever and I had not done running at all after Shimla half marathon. There was an uncertainty about finishing Delhi Half. Moreover I could not even adhere to food intake completely.
I made a strategy to go slow in first 10 kilometers so that I am able to adjust my fitness levels and then catch up speed.
27th Nov was a cold morning in Delhi with thin layers of fog untill 06:00 AM. Marathon started from JN Stadium with thousands of enthusiast runners. First two kilometers of Delhi Marathon are always entertaining with different groups of live bands performing on roadside to cheer runners.
I was pleasantly surprised that in first 3 kilometers I did not even feel that I am running after a gap of more than one month. Moreover my knee also supported a lot. Keeping all this in mind, I made changes in my strategy and increased the pace to move ahead of lot of runners.
My run uptill 10 kilometers went quite well with almost no pain in knee. However as I finished 11 kilometers distance, I felt lot of pressure on knee as well as feet, that was the time when I forcibly reduced the pace and took minor break by walking rather than running for few seconds.
The fear of finishing more than my last record time started hammering me somewhere back in mind. I had kept a target of finishing the run in 1 hours 45 minutes but this was ruled at 11 kilometer distance itself. Now I was fighting to protect my last year record of 2 hours 8 minutes.
Untill 15 kilometers I could not believe that I will be able to finish less than last year record. But as I crossed 15 kilometer mark, a ray of hope encouraged me to run faster to finish at least less than 2 hours.
I took three small breaks at 16, 17 and 18 kilometer mark by walking few steps than running. It helped me relaxing the knee a lot.
As I finished 18 kilometer mark, a zeal to do it better than last year made me run faster. My pace kept on increasing untill end.
I was really happy to read timing of 2 Hours 3 Minutes when I crossed the Finish Line. A learning for lifetime to go one step ahead just with determination to do it better every time.
The experience of this marathon ignited a fire in me to test my physical strength more and more.