10 things that I learnt from my first ever 10k run

I have been a part of this fitness group on Facebook for over a year. I guess someone added me there. At first, I took it to be just another random fb group until I started getting updates from the group on a daily basis. Somehow, despite being the lazy me that I was, I couldn’t avoid the group posts. Days after days, weeks after weeks, months after months, I would read motivational posts of people talking about their fitness routine, their struggle from fat to fit, and their motivation to all the fellow members for adopting a healthier and happier lifestyle and much more. Soon, it became like a big fitness family in the virtual world connected with people not just from across the country but also around the world.

It was the motivation and inspiration from these fellow group mates that I started slowly and steadily incorporating a walking schedule in my haphazard time table. Gradually, I started jogging too. I ate as much as I should and not more. Never realized when this regular regime turned into a passion. Though I have been away from this adopted regime for a couple of weeks now, I crib and scold myself for not putting behind the lazy me and stepping out in the open. Despite this laziness, I attempted to run a 10k marathon – my first ever this Sunday at Chennai’s Marina Beach.

It is sad to see that such big names were associated with such a horribly mismanaged marathon. Most runners had to make peace with pictures in front of these banners. 

The marathon known as Metro Marathon was an eye opener for a beginner like me in many ways. In this post, I shall elaborate on my learning from this first ever marathon that I ran. To make things clear at the outset, I didn’t run completely rather walked, jogged and ran. As I was doing it after a gap of two weeks almost, it was tough but I completed it.
However, to my utter disappointment, I realized that –
a) The race had been called off in between when all the runners were already out and running;
b) By the time I reached the finish line, it had already been removed and I managed to barely click a picture in front of one of those banners;
c) The medals and t shirts that were due to be presented to the finishers had been cordoned off by the police and only a few managed to jump and grab some of those t shirts and medals;
d) There were no hydration points all through the running track, neither were there any directions or markings about the kilometers that one had completed;
e) Most of us who ran a 10k had ran more than that as the route had been changed last minute and was definitely not measured or tracked by the so-called organizers
The only saving grace amidst all this was that I was not the only one who had been fooled but hundreds of others who had come down from various parts of the city and surrounding areas were left disappointed, dejected and angry. There were many who were frequent marathon runners, but for a beginner like me, it was definitely an experience to ponder over. While I am happy with the fact that I at least finished the entire run, more than 10k (7.61 miles in 1hour 57minutes); there is a sense of disappointment in the way things unfolded at the scene.

Here are my 10 things that I learnt from the first run, and tips for you to keep in mind when you are running a marathon, whether for the first time or otherwise:
1- Check for the organizers of the event. Ensure that they have a good track record of organizing such events in the past.
2- Preferably, register with few known runners or a group. In case, you register alone, try to network with people at the time of collecting the running kit.
3- Prior to Marathon, ensure your strength training and stamina is in line with your plan of action.
4- Keep prepping up for the marathon since the time you register. It could be short runs daily, eating the right food, strength and stamina building etc.
5- Carry your hydration source to the venue irrespective of whether the organisers provide it or not.
6- Wear light clothing that will breathe air in and out.
7- Wear shoes that are meant for running ONLY. Socks too should be of the material that can withstand the weather.
8- Tie your hair properly or use a hairband to keep those locks away from your face.
9- Wear a wristband or carry a small towel in the waist pouch to wipe off the sweat.
10- Do some stretching before as well as after the marathon and eat well post the marathon to supplement the amount of energy that you have spent on running it.

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