The Mumbai Half 2013

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The Mumbai Half Marathon

I am beginning not to recognize myself. The girl who started out running for nothing more than fitness has morphed into someone who is just in love with running.

A week ago I ran a half marathon that I was terrified to tackle. It sounded like a good idea back in August and I managed to stay with my training through my 10k (6.2 miles) in December.  You know, the one that made us famous {sort of!}.

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The Chennai 10k in December

The weeks between mid-December and mid-January were hit and miss. I didn’t train while in Paris and Amsterdam, but we did walk an awful lot each day. I got a few runs in in early January, but nothing above 5 miles. I was ready to repeat my way too common “register and then fail to complete” race cycle. Last June I finally did complete my first half marathon in Seattle, but I was lucky enough to have Angelia {my cross-continental running buddy} by my side through the entire trek.  This time I knew I’d be alone. I had friends running, but they are faster than I am and I hate the feeling I’m holding someone back.  However, I couldn’t accept a DNS (did not start) so easily this time.  I picked up my bib and race packet the week before, but still remained undecided until Saturday afternoon-about twelve hours before the race began. Just before Saturday evening I made the decision to run the race. I had something stirring inside of me-something that I knew would not allow me to not succeed at the race. I took the kids to a birthday party, met friends for dinner, and came back to pack up my race supplies late Saturday night. Definitely less than ideal preparation, but by this time I knew I just wanted to finish and my time was less important than just doing it {thanks, Nike!}. I set my alarm for 4:00 am (it was a 5:40 start!) and hoped Stella would choose to sleep a bit more than usual. She didn’t sleep much more, but I was anxious to get up and get going anyway.  At 3:45 I got up and started the coffee. I choked down a bagel and peanut butter, some water, and filled my Camelback with Gatorade.  That’s the thing about running in Mumbai…you can’t really predict how well the races will be organized and what {if anything} will be offered at the fueling stations. So I chose to come prepared-in addition to the Gatorade I threw in some Advil, a couple of Gu gels, and my iPod.  I met friends downstairs and we set off for the starting line.

The starting line was packed.  Of course, being India, people kept pushing forward to go…I’m not really sure where…but we let them by anyway.  Before long it was time to start! I began running with a friend, but I knew she was holding back to stay with me so by 5k she moved on and I put in my music. Paul had made me a playlist which was nice-I didn’t know what was coming next and it kept me somewhat entertained as the miles passed.  Mentally I divided the race into two 10ks.  The first 10k went by {relatively} quickly and before I knew it I was onto the second part of the race.

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Running the Sea Link was my favorite part of the race!

The crowds were good. Along the street were lots of people cheering and handing out water and snacks. It wasn’t exactly Rock and Roll Seattle, but it was still nice. I was especially happy seeing many young Indian girls lining the streets watching the race.  I began to feel tired around 15k {9 miles} and I took a gel.  I knew if I could get to 18k the end would be in sight. I crossed the finish line at 2:50-not fast, but 10 minutes better than my half marathon time in June.

I was glowing. Running has brought so much to my life and I wanted to bottle up the gratefulness I felt as I crossed the finish line. I searched for my friends, but being that it is the Mumbai Marathon there TONS of people everywhere and things were not exactly orderly.  I found the line to get my medal and collected a goody bag with an apple and some crackers. I could say that this is when the real race began…I spent the next hour trying to find my friends and the hour after that trying to reach our friend’s car! I can tell you the last thing you want to do after running 13 miles is walk for another two hours. I kept dreaming of stripping off my shoes and socks!  Finally, we made it home and things were full force typical Sunday morning at our house. The kids were building forts, Paul was doing work, and I was barely noticed when I walked in the door. After a few minutes the kids began asking if I’d won the race {I try to show them my medal to distract them from that question, but it never works}, Paul made room for me to lay down on the bed, and Stella attempted to give me a Swedish massage by crawling all over me.

We met friends for lunch at Sanchos.  The margaritas were so good! Then Stella and I took a sweet nap. Before I knew it, Sunday evening was upon us and I had to get ready for the work week.

I was sore on Monday and Tuesday, but by Wednesday I felt pretty good.  I plan on getting back to running tomorrow with 3 miles at the Hyatt.

Up next is an obstacle course/7k Mud Run in two weeks and the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon. I’m already starting my training for Seattle…I am determined to break 2:30!

For the first time since becoming a runner I am feeling a shift inside of me.  I am wistfully thinking of last week’s half and wishing it was the night before again. I want to repeat the race and the amazing feeling at the end {miles 10-12 not so much}. Tonight, as I was taking off my nail polish, I saw my first purplish-black toe nail and I couldn’t be prouder.

I always think that running adds color to my world. It’s cheesy, but that thought always comes to me as I finish a run. Tonight running brought me a little extra purple and black and those are my favorite colors yet.

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I ran this race on behalf of Mumbai Mobile Creches and donated $6,000 rupees to their organization. There’s not a better reason to run here in Mumbai!

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