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My marathon-joy (and sorrows)

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  • abhinabha
    I m joining in with the rest of you marathon sufferers and enjoyers to share a little of my own pain and joy from that uplifting August 25th event. Running a
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 31 2:45 PM
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      I'm joining in with the rest of you marathon sufferers and enjoyers
      to share a little of my own pain and joy from that uplifting August
      25th event.

      Running a marathon is always exciting, adventurous and fun (it
      really is!). But running a marathon with all your friends running
      along and watching from the sidelines is truly an added joy and
      delight.

      I was in reasonable shape for the occasion. I'd done my miles (about
      40-50 a week, not quite enough to my taste) and my speedwork, but
      only two long runs of 2 hours each - way too few. Still, since I
      felt good on the long runs I was quite confident that I would be
      able to maintain a good pace during the marathon. I was hoping for a
      time near the 2:40 mark, weather depending. To be honest, I actually
      had no clue what to expect. I just hoped I could somehow find a nice
      group of boys to tag along with for as long as possible.

      As it happened, I discovered (through the proverbial grapevine) that
      as much as six boys were shooting for a time near 2 hours 40
      minutes. They were: Tristan (Melbourne), Dima (San Diego/Moldova),
      Praban (Graz), Luke (Christchurch), Goshanakari (Zurich) and myself
      (Amsterdam). So we could all hook up together!

      On race day conditions were as perfect as could be. When the gun
      (i.e. Rupantar) was fired immediately Gyula (the later and previous
      winner) and Dima (2nd place) took off never to be heard from again
      (Dima surprised everyone including himself with his 2:32 - he had
      played safe by predicting 'only' a 2:40, which proved a smart way to
      downplay any mental pressure he might have had). Soon I found my
      precious group, running with Tristan and Luke, my good friends and
      running partners whenever we meet during Celebrations or Christmas
      Trips. Praban and Goshanakari stayed a little behind.

      It was such atremendous help to run those miles together! It's like
      having two extra pairs of legs to run for you. I believe running in
      a group generates an extra energy which isn't there when one runs
      alone. The laps were flying by as we cruised to a 1:20 half
      marathon - right on pace for 2:40! At that point Praban and
      Goshanakari passed us and went ahead. The smart ones had taken it
      easy in the beginning miles and were going for a negative split
      (running the second half faster than the first). That was the
      incentive for our little group to break down, as Tristan and me sped
      up a little and Luke, who was having problems with his calves and
      feet, fell back.

      So now it was Gyula, Dima in the lead and then two groups of two,
      Tristan and me being the last one. Good old Tristan! Two years ago
      we went through the exact same scenario, where we practically ran
      the entire marathon together, encouraging each other and feeding of
      each other. On lap 7, when the proverbial hammer was pounding in on
      me, Tristan gave me some golden advice: "Abhinabha, remember your
      highest spiritual experience. Just feel that joy and gratitude." I
      had no energy to reply but thanked him inwardly as I recollected one
      of the most beautiful moments of my life. I did feel energized after
      that.

      Then on the second-to-last lap we spotted Goshanakari who was
      struggling. Here I have to be honest and admit that the animal in me
      was coming forward. I spotted my prey. I had to pass him. I figured
      that at this point anything that gave me some energy or focus was
      good, so I focused all my attention on Goshanakari, intent of
      pulling ahead. My hat goes off to Goshanakari, who is a real
      champion runner and a speed demon if ever I saw one. He was having a
      tough day, but still finished in 7th place with 2:46.

      When we indeed passed him I felt some energy coming back and I
      started to speed up a little, thinking of nothing else but the fast
      approaching finish line with 3 more miles to go. Tristan fell behind
      somewhat and now everyone was on his own. I can't help but draw a
      short parallel to the game of life, where we journey together with
      others all the time, but when the finish line approaches at the end
      of our journey's close, we must go and stand unaccompanied before
      the gates of Heaven.

      That last lap! Both an unbearable torture and a relished joy! I had
      to dive deep within and use all my spiritual resources to stay away
      from the discouragement and tiredness of the mind and body and to be
      inspired and urged on by the sheer will power of the soul. I tried
      my best to go beyond the pain and lactid acid with one solitary
      thought: It's all over soon, only a few more miles, just two more,
      one more, only 200 metres to go...

      I finished in 2:43, a personal best and a 4th place overall. I had a
      massage, a swim, a trophy, a nice lunch, and all the while I
      couldn't wipe that blissful smile from my face. Not that I felt any
      urge to.

      The best part was to meet with all the boys right after the run,
      embracing and congratulating each other in our marathon-joy,
      exhausted and exhilirated. Behind all the so-called competition the
      song of oneness was being sung most beautifully and most hauntingly.

      Abhinabha
      <`)
    • ghoshanakari
      Dear Abhinabha, Thank you for sharing with us your marathon experience. As you mentioned I was having a tough day. Actually it went quite well for the first 20
      Message 2 of 2 , Sep 2, 2005
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        Dear Abhinabha,

        Thank you for sharing with us your marathon experience. As you
        mentioned I was having a tough day. Actually it went quite well for
        the first 20 miles but then I think I hit "the wall", my energy was
        gone. This experience I probably shared with a lot of the other
        runners. For the last 3 miles my only goal was not to start walking.

        I still do not feel comfortable with the marathon distance compared
        to the shorter distances where I feel much more at home. Perhaps the
        3 weeks of almost no running (due to sickness and achilles problems)
        during the 8 weeks prior the marathon had more consequences than I
        expected. But whatever shape you are in, the marathon is always a
        difficult distance: you have to combine speed with endurance for more
        than 2 hours.

        I am full of admiration for Gyula and Dima (both have already run a
        marathon under 2:30) who went ahead of everybody right from the start
        and all you heros who passed me. It is very inspiring to hear that a
        lot of runners improved their personal best. I know the deep joy and
        satisfaction you get from a personal best or any other kind of self-
        transcendence. Many thanks to the countless helpers who tirelessly
        served us and whose help made the race possible.

        I am looking forward to the next races!

        Ghoshanakari

        --- In Sri_Chinmoy_Inspiration@yahoogroups.com, abhinabha
        <no_reply@y...> wrote:
        > I'm joining in with the rest of you marathon sufferers and enjoyers
        > to share a little of my own pain and joy from that uplifting August
        > 25th event.
        >
        > Running a marathon is always exciting, adventurous and fun (it
        > really is!). But running a marathon with all your friends running
        > along and watching from the sidelines is truly an added joy and
        > delight.
        >
        > I was in reasonable shape for the occasion. I'd done my miles
        (about
        > 40-50 a week, not quite enough to my taste) and my speedwork, but
        > only two long runs of 2 hours each - way too few. Still, since I
        > felt good on the long runs I was quite confident that I would be
        > able to maintain a good pace during the marathon. I was hoping for
        a
        > time near the 2:40 mark, weather depending. To be honest, I
        actually
        > had no clue what to expect. I just hoped I could somehow find a
        nice
        > group of boys to tag along with for as long as possible.
        >
        > As it happened, I discovered (through the proverbial grapevine)
        that
        > as much as six boys were shooting for a time near 2 hours 40
        > minutes. They were: Tristan (Melbourne), Dima (San Diego/Moldova),
        > Praban (Graz), Luke (Christchurch), Goshanakari (Zurich) and myself
        > (Amsterdam). So we could all hook up together!
        >
        > On race day conditions were as perfect as could be. When the gun
        > (i.e. Rupantar) was fired immediately Gyula (the later and previous
        > winner) and Dima (2nd place) took off never to be heard from again
        > (Dima surprised everyone including himself with his 2:32 - he had
        > played safe by predicting 'only' a 2:40, which proved a smart way
        to
        > downplay any mental pressure he might have had). Soon I found my
        > precious group, running with Tristan and Luke, my good friends and
        > running partners whenever we meet during Celebrations or Christmas
        > Trips. Praban and Goshanakari stayed a little behind.
        >
        > It was such atremendous help to run those miles together! It's like
        > having two extra pairs of legs to run for you. I believe running in
        > a group generates an extra energy which isn't there when one runs
        > alone. The laps were flying by as we cruised to a 1:20 half
        > marathon - right on pace for 2:40! At that point Praban and
        > Goshanakari passed us and went ahead. The smart ones had taken it
        > easy in the beginning miles and were going for a negative split
        > (running the second half faster than the first). That was the
        > incentive for our little group to break down, as Tristan and me
        sped
        > up a little and Luke, who was having problems with his calves and
        > feet, fell back.
        >
        > So now it was Gyula, Dima in the lead and then two groups of two,
        > Tristan and me being the last one. Good old Tristan! Two years ago
        > we went through the exact same scenario, where we practically ran
        > the entire marathon together, encouraging each other and feeding of
        > each other. On lap 7, when the proverbial hammer was pounding in on
        > me, Tristan gave me some golden advice: "Abhinabha, remember your
        > highest spiritual experience. Just feel that joy and gratitude." I
        > had no energy to reply but thanked him inwardly as I recollected
        one
        > of the most beautiful moments of my life. I did feel energized
        after
        > that.
        >
        > Then on the second-to-last lap we spotted Goshanakari who was
        > struggling. Here I have to be honest and admit that the animal in
        me
        > was coming forward. I spotted my prey. I had to pass him. I figured
        > that at this point anything that gave me some energy or focus was
        > good, so I focused all my attention on Goshanakari, intent of
        > pulling ahead. My hat goes off to Goshanakari, who is a real
        > champion runner and a speed demon if ever I saw one. He was having
        a
        > tough day, but still finished in 7th place with 2:46.
        >
        > When we indeed passed him I felt some energy coming back and I
        > started to speed up a little, thinking of nothing else but the fast
        > approaching finish line with 3 more miles to go. Tristan fell
        behind
        > somewhat and now everyone was on his own. I can't help but draw a
        > short parallel to the game of life, where we journey together with
        > others all the time, but when the finish line approaches at the end
        > of our journey's close, we must go and stand unaccompanied before
        > the gates of Heaven.
        >
        > That last lap! Both an unbearable torture and a relished joy! I had
        > to dive deep within and use all my spiritual resources to stay away
        > from the discouragement and tiredness of the mind and body and to
        be
        > inspired and urged on by the sheer will power of the soul. I tried
        > my best to go beyond the pain and lactid acid with one solitary
        > thought: It's all over soon, only a few more miles, just two more,
        > one more, only 200 metres to go...
        >
        > I finished in 2:43, a personal best and a 4th place overall. I had
        a
        > massage, a swim, a trophy, a nice lunch, and all the while I
        > couldn't wipe that blissful smile from my face. Not that I felt any
        > urge to.
        >
        > The best part was to meet with all the boys right after the run,
        > embracing and congratulating each other in our marathon-joy,
        > exhausted and exhilirated. Behind all the so-called competition the
        > song of oneness was being sung most beautifully and most hauntingly.
        >
        > Abhinabha
        > <`)
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