“Runner’s high” does not even begin to describe how I feel, this sunny Monday morning in Mumbai, one of my most favourite cities on earth.
I imagined that I would indeed feel delighted if I managed to finish my first ever full marathon – and there were moments of doubt, trust me. Severe moments of doubt, verging on panic, in the days leading up to Sunday’s marathon.
But nothing prepared me for this feeling of total, ridiculous, utter happiness. I’m sure I have an idiotic grin on my face, and I feel so elated and – yes – so proud of my old self.
Yesterday, running the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon was every bit as amazing as running the half here last year – only twice as much fun. Twice as much effort too, and I was pretty bushed in the last few kilometres, let me tell you. Kept thinking I was going to throw up, but I’ll spare you any more details. (I didn’t throw up, don’t worry).
The crowds were as fabulous as last year.
The arrangements were fantastic.
The volunteers were amazing. (Thank you to the lovely young lady who, at a water station with 10km to go, said “Keep it up Ma’am, you look fresh and ready to run another 30km”)
Nothing, nothing, nothing to criticise.
So many runners were so lovely en route, saying kind and encouraging things.
Some friendly souls recognised me from my blog.
One young man from Delhi told me to speed up, since he’s used to seeing me run faster than I was doing right then.
And as I was slowing down in the final 200 metres (seriously, what a time to feel tired!) a man told me to buck up, “Come on, RUN. You’ll look so much better running than walking in that finish line photo.”
As I crossed that wonderful finish line I burst into tears – heck, I’m crying now as I write those words, remembering the huge surge of emotion…
When I ran my first ever half marathon in October 2014, I also cried with happiness, but this full marathon…well…it was SUCH a feeling of achievement and accomplishment. I sobbed away for ages, tears of pure happiness.
Beyond the tick on the bucket list, beyond knowing I’d pushed myself when I thought I wasn’t up to the mark – beyond all of these – there was a feeling of joy and delight. And so I sobbed away.
THE most amazing day.
Loved every second of it – well, no, actually, let’s be honest. I didn’t at all enjoy that feeling of “Oh no, please God, don’t let me throw up” during the last few kilometres, but other than that, it was fab fab fab.
Thank you Mumbai. You were magnificent 🙂