Early in July, I finally decided to run a full marathon. With this started the search for the perfect marathon to run, which would suite me from all perspectives. Most important among the things which had to kept in mind was the Indian weather. No matter where you run, there is a very small window in which you can practice, and most of the year here is hot or humid.
After much searching, the target narrowed down to two – The Dubai marathon (Jan 5), or the Singapore marathon (Dec 4). Both were well placed with sufficient time for training, but myself and Vivek finally decided on the Singapore marathon as our first marathon. August 1st was decided as the first of the 18 weeks comprising our training schedule, which we finalized from the much acclaimed programme from Hal Higdon, senior writer with the Runners World magazine, and a great sportsperson.
Since a long time, I had this desire to run a marathon. It was hidden deep down somewhere in my head, and through a combination of events, it rose to the surface. Going the full distance of 42 km was tough for the fisrt attempt. However, what spurred me into action was the news that a half-marathon was going to be held in Noida (India), my very own city!
My close friend, Vivek, was as enthusiastic about this as me, and together we started on a “very short” plan geared for taking us to the completion of the half-marathon, which was supposed to be held on April 10th, 2005. Proper preparation for a half-marathon takes a minimum 2 months, as advised by the experts, but, shortage of time resulted in a 4 weeks plan for us.
Bad news came in early in our preparation, the race was getting cancelled, with the organizers citing unfavourable weather as the reason, though I was more conviced that the organizing body was not capable of handling a big event like this. Sometime later, I heard that the organizers managed to have a low key race, which I did not participate in due to the obvious break in my training plan, and lack of motivation after the disappointment.
So, this first attempt of ours to run a long distance race was unsuccessful. But later on, I realized that it actually was’nt. Because, this was going to be launch pad for future challenges.