Saturday, October 11, 2008

Portland Marathon 2008

Here I am with a brand new experience...........This time in Portland

Journey to Portland :-
2nd Oct :
For us all the runs are a family thing so we decided to drive to Portland on Oct 2nd. We started to drive thinking we will stop at Lake Shasta and enjoy the lake water, kids can enjoy jet skiing with us. But when we reached there, we could not believe our eyes. Lake was almost all dried up........... disappointing but we stayed at a nice Lodge surrounded by woods. Infact kids got to enjoy the deers for company in the evening. We watched the vice presidential debate between Sarah palin and Joe Biden. Meanwhile, Shaurya's cough was getting worse and that got me worried most.

3rd Oct :
We started driving again to cover remaining 400 miles. It was a pretty scenic drive. We stopped at Ashland to re-fill gas...... I liked the little town but all the time I was asking Bobby how these people manage their life .... source of income etc. It was raining most of the time. We took couple of stops at rest areas. Thanks to Shilpa Babhi who suggested to get an electric kettle, I was making chai and maggie for kids at the rest areas. That was pretty exciting. All we missed were garma garm pakoras.... We finally reached portland at 5:30 pm.

Now I have only one thing in mind. Keep my legs straight, relax........ Rejuvinate the energy for the race...... and started calling other asha people. I felt good that I was not alone.
4th Oct:

Could not sleep well because Shaurya was coughing all the time, Woke up late and missed breakfast. Any way time to go to Expo to pick up my bib, met Asha people - Reshu, Kiron, Navneet and many others..... Sorry I don't remember all the names. I liked the Nike clothing and I was feeling tempted .... Then we just walked in the downtown and had fusion asian food - Sushi and miso soup were good.

After that we went back to hotel because now I really wanted to rest plus i was getting little nerveous.

In the evening we gather for formal Team asha Carbo Load. It was nice but menu was very restricted plus in carbo load carb was very less............ dont know about the table but they messed up with my food.

Meanwhile Coach Tony was giving us all the tips and preparing us for finale D day.

Me and Reshu decide to run together.....
Oct 5th, The race day.
I woke up at 4:00 am, brush shower got ready and I started doing my stretches. I had breakfast and was using restroom frequently so that I dont have to use while running...... my heartbeat was fast.. bobby was supporting me and cheering me "Honey you can do it. Its all about finishing" so I give my final kisses to my sleeping beauties Palak and Shaurya and ofcourse Bobby (Without his support this journey would have never started. I am all set, got a cab and I am close to Downtown. All the ASHA people were meeting at Hotel Fifty. Took my final pic with whole team and started taking the final steps towards the start line.......... meanwhile where ever I could see the green house I was not losing any opportunity to use it. :)

Me and Reshu now in wave 4:30 at 07:04 am. we cross the start line.......... race had begun now and no looking back...... I will see this line 26.2 miles later. That day 7500 people participated the race.

Mile 10k
At the start of the race, I was going pretty fast. It took me 59 min and my pace was 9:33. I was happy. I was between wave 4:15 nad 4:30 at mile 4. It started raining and god knows what happened to my right knee. Maybe it was the fast start. My knee started hurting badly....... I could not run and I am feeling really bad about all this. I worked so hard for this so I massage the knee a couple of time and in between I lost Reshu's company and now I am on my own........ but I did not stop........... there were 100es of question coming. Will I be able to finish the race? Is this pain going to get worse? Should I quit ? and on and on.

Then I am thinking about my kids waiting for me @ mile 11 so I have to be there plus it is raining and my son had light fever plus cough so I cant let them stand in the rain so I have to run to reach them fast.
With my right knee in pain, I almost decide to quit. I saw Bobby and my kidoos searching for me between mile 12 & 13..... swear to god I was in tears for real then Palak saw me " Go mumma go" Shauray "mumma go " I give the a big hug got my fuel belt and for a sec I compeletly forgot my pain............ then I thought what was that " now i am talking to my self "Kiran it is Mind game. Stay positive. Think about good things". I started singing, enjoying the course.......... that really helped me a lot. I finished my half in 02:16.

Mile 14, 15, 16
Still going strong, but slowed down a little bit keeping my knee in mind.

Mile 17 ,18, 19
Rain is still going on, no sign of it stopping. It is very humid and now we have to climb the first hill over the bridge St. John's Bridge.

That was a big bummer. No way I could run this so I started walking ..... then Shailesh saw me and asked me how am I doing........ I request him to keep company to the finish line. So this sweet guy stuck with me. Thanks Shiva. That was pretty good......... now we are a Team, we are running and walking together............ we are going stronger...........

Mile 20, 21, 22
Feeling good atleast now we counting in 20ies......... now nobody can stop us, its all down hill,

there was tons of cheerleaders playing music, giving gummie bears jelly beans............ looking at the people and enjoying them we did't realise how we finished the 22 miles.

Mile 23, 24 , 25
Knee pain is there on and off, raining hard, drinking lot of water and running and running and thinking how Coach Char Martina and Padma can run 100es of miles........... thinking about coaches, 25 miles bhi khatam ho gaye (finished 25 miles).

Miles 26.2 (04:56:00)
Intresting, there was beer instead of water... that was pretty funky....... for a sec I thought to sip but then I thought what if I get lost and go the wrong way (I am not carrying my GPS anyway) :) .....

Now I could see 26 mile marker and i am sprinting remaining .2 miles but they are never ending......... my eyes were searching for my families there was 1000s of spectator left and right cheering ......... then i saw finish line........... I took final step and finished the race.... they took my name as I finished........ now I earned my medal, got aluminium foil blanket, got a rose, a tree took pics......... got my official T shirt..........started having some liquid...... and went ahead to Asha tent where I meet my family.

It's all worth it when medal shines in your neck and everybody is asking your experience...........


Akshay Guleria said...

Very nice. Keep it up.

Portland looks very cool. must have been a great experience.

Praveen said...

Congrats Kiran. Jo cheez aasani se milti hai - uska itna mazaa nahi hota hai. Well done against all odds. Now looking forward to hear about THE ULTRA !!