Post 1/2 marathon

I am no longer pink; only my hair has a nice red hue to it on the ends. My body is no longer in pain from the marathon. I’m going strong again. Everything has more or less gone back to normal. I’m not running at 6am; I’m staying up late again; work has been insane; I got a promotion as the Education Manager; it’s been a good few weeks.
It’s getting warm again, but the evenings are nice. We’re preparing for our Baroda trip next week. On the bus back from Mumbai I had a great conversation with one of my friends. He seems to think that he’s grown so much in the past few months; I want to take some credit for it. Even if I weren’t as loud as I am, I think some international influence on any person would be enough to change them in a slight way. Spending time with my friends in general makes me think that if one has the means, every person on this earth should spend at least a year in a different country – different means significantly different; going to most places in Europe for an American would not count. I did a year abroad in Florence when I was in college, but I don’t think it’s had the effects that living here has had on me. It’s amazing. The times of being uncomfortable have strengthened me so much. Ritesh said that he’d like to travel, to see other places, to learn and grow. That makes me happy.
The marathon was long. Running isn’t my favorite thing to do. I’m not exactly sure why I decided to run in the first place other than to see if I could do it. It was early to get up and Gayatri and Manoj were amazing and joined me for the start; this was at 6:30am on a Sunday! There was a disappointing amount of women running the 21km. More women joined later for the 10km, 5km, and spirit runs (I’m not sure how long that was). I was surprised that it was relatively cool and a pleasant run. The hard core runners took off and I immediately placed myself somewhere in the middle. The route was not so great, we had to do 3 laps of the course. There were many women who would run fast and then get out of breath and then walk for a few minutes. They would always catch up but then never sustain. This stopped at the second lap. I discovered goo or something like that; it’s a gel electrolyte package; it’s amazing. One packet kept me going the entire race – every lap taking another gooey gulp of the sample pack. A few km into the second lap I met my one lap running buddy. We kept each others pace. She was a slower runner than me but I needed a partner and it was amazing. When the water posts came, we would share a sip of the 1 liter bottles they gave out (why did they think a marathon runner would down a liter of water? – they needed better planning), we would yell at the walkers to stop taking up the entire road, “Side jana,” and be unspoken moral supports for each other. About 2 km after the third lap started I left my running buddy, as she wasn’t keeping pace anymore. It was a little sad to leaver her. I wanted to slow down, but toward the end it was getting difficult and I wanted it to be over. There were marathon workers in blue shirts. They would often clap without paying attention to you, fulfilling their job to “motivate” runners. A few of them were nice, they smiled, I would smile back. The best were the groups of men runners who came out to support us. I needed something nearing the end of the last lap. Everyone was encouraged to run the last few hundred meters. I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t a little upset running in with other women who walked a 5k and receiving the same amount of cheers. It was worth it though to have Gayatri, Manoj and Ritesh waiting there, cameras in hand with water. I couldn’t stop and my rock like legs that felt like 100 pounds each propelled me forward for another few minutes. I felt so good and like I could die a dense ball of dehydrated mass all at once. After a stretch, Gatorade, and two oranges I went to see about a certificate. It might come in the mail, or they might email it; who knows? It was a fun race. I ran for 2 hours and 21 minutes. That’s pretty awesome.

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