Tata Mumbai Marathon 2024 is the first marathon that I would have an official timing and I thought I would be too excited in the end. It was far from it.
Last couple of important runs, I fell sick (Ladhak Full Marathon, Malnad 30km trail run) so this time, I have been super careful as much as possible.
I had to travel on personal work twice within a week before the run(apart from travel to Mumbai from Hyderabad). It did not help me hit myself with good sleep. But I managed to have decent food and Hydration.
Before the race, I was happy not being sick this time and with no muscle pains that needed physio.
During the run:
I found the pacer (Dr. Erika Patel) at the start point itself. I assumed there will be 50 people surrounding her but nothing as such happened, at least by them.
First 3-5 km, it was crowded and I was thinking of why I signed up for this race. It did not make any sense.
5km to 13km, I felt super easy and in a flow.
13km to 24km, I felt like I was putting in effort but I felt I could hold in the same pace until 42.2km.
At 25th km, until here I was running with our pacer shoulder to shoulder. But someone then said this was the first time she was running 25 km without stopping.
I was actually enjoying the run until the 25th km as I felt a sense of comradery of running with a pacer and few others like we were on a meaningful mission(also the fact that it would make me eligible for a couple of Ultras in the future).
That hit me. I was like yeah I never did that either. All of a sudden (maybe my mind played games), I felt like my vision was blurry. So I came to the side and slowed down. It took me a while to realize nothing happened and probably hearing about walking, my mind played on me.
On the 27th, I started hating the race. I wanted to finish within 4:45 hours but my pace started to fall and I knew I could not finish within that time.
After the 29th, and 30th km(Until the 37th km), It did not make any sense to push me so hard as I missed my 4:45 hour mark and whether I would finish in 5 hours or 5:15 hours, it would not have made a lot of difference. All along I knew I would finish my 42.2km but I did not know in what time.
All these 7- 9 km (29 to 37 km between), I knew I could push more, but I did not, I did not see any significance of trying hard.
You can see below that my Heart rate actually went down after 3:20 hours (Usually HR goes up as time progresses). This was because, as mentioned, I did not push myself as I did not see a point. When I looked at the stats. “How I felt” matched with “data”.
At 37th km, I wanted to finish it and let go of the event, I picked up pace again towards the last 5km.
My Finish time came to 5:07 hours.
My first instinct was –
- I did not enjoy this marathon
- I should try doing more trail runs and fewer road races where chasing against time is a focus.
- I won’t do TMM again.
But these feelings too did not stay after I made some reflections of what happened.
- I enjoyed it until 25km because I had a sense of camaraderie. It helped but also did not help post 25km as once I lost the hold of the 4:45 bus just for a couple of minutes. I gave up on pushing myself. I do not regret the timing but now I do
- My goal should have been giving the best all along and not just hitting 4:45 hours (or leaving it completely)
- I probably did not enjoy it because I haven’t done enough speed runs and I may get used to that feeling as I do more
- I do not know at the moment how to work on this in training, but I feel I need to – Work on my mindset during the run(I never missed finishing my long running distance days, but I do not have great experience in handling a high level of HR and push for multiple hours at a given pace)
- These changes showed the difference in my run and I want to double down on these even more – Strength / Sleep / Stretches / Nutrition (Hydration, Veggies). I should be looking at a better body-fat%
- I saw someone posting a 2km run and I was genuinely happy for him and was encouraging him, while I finished a full marathon and was unhappy about it. Then I remembered I was not able to run 300 meters without stopping. I realized my baseline for the happiness factor in running has been changing, but it need not be that way. I was able to appreciate others’ time and commitment and I took mine for granted. I will be changing that going forward.
- Comparison: However I am conscious of this, and this keeps coming back. I saw people there finishing in less than 3 hours (full marathon), 3:30, 4, 4:30 etc. I mean all better timings than me. Subconsciously, I feel inferior.
Then I tell myself “I am playing a single player game, meaning it’s me against myself – or to say – giving my best for that day”(Like in Ladhak I was not able to run, so I walked all 42.2km). I know, it’s easy to say – do not compare. But we are brainwashed with comparisons from childhood. So whenever I am conscious about it. I say the above words for myself.
- This race has been a great learning for me. I feel more than the run, I learnt more about myself. When I went scuba diving and took the first dip, I panicked and came up in a few seconds. When I go on treks, I freeze looking at heights(so I never walk near the edge or look down). In this marathon, I gave up when the feeling got too hard.
With scuba diving, I went two more times,I got my Scuba diver certification. I went on multiple treks to minimize my fear of heights. With marathons, I need a lot more experience to sustain a high level of stress at a certain pace to manage.
So much reflection for a single run huh? 🙂
I knowwwww. What to do.
It is what it is.
Overall, I am glad this run happened.