Marathon for Sri Chinmoy
With the anniversary of Sri Chinmoy's first marathon approaching, word went out that there would be a commemorative marathon in New York, and the invite was sent out to all the corners of the world to take part - obviously few would travel to NY for this in late February, with our global gathering due in early April, so the idea was that anyone wanting to be a part of this celebratory race would run in their home town and let the New Yorkers know. I hadn't run over 15 miles in nearly 4 years, but with hard half marathons and a 15 mile training run behind me I thought I'd go for it!
The day of the race was a working Saturday for me, so I roses early - at 3am - and after my usual meditation I was ouot the door at 4am ready to get the marathon done before work, then work a full day in Run and Become, then head up to the Midlands to see Kokila's mum. Mmm, quite a long day in prospect! Anyhow, armed with headtorch and a hefty camelbak with nearly 2 litres of nuun, plus my MP3 player, I headed into the early morning at a slow jog. There were a few ravers on the way home, but once I reached the park it was all stillness, and I hardly saw a soul of the Taff Trail. I got into a rhythm, listening to Sri Chinmoy's songs and poems, and the miles rolled by. I was surprised at how slow I was going, but after three rather pedestrian miles I eased into a better pace and as the trail unwound I found myself heading into twilight close to Castell Coch. Birdsong blended with my spiritual music. Pontypridd marked the 14 mile mark, time to turn around, and I had passed the half way mark of 13.1 in 2 hours flat. Not race pace, but OK for darkness with a backpack!
The second half was actually faster and even more joyful than the first - the sky lightened, more birds woke up to sing, I got to see the lovely views I had missed in the darkness coming out of town as I ran back in. The pace quickened all the way to Maindy, where I arrived that the pool with 25.8 under my belt. The last 0.4 were done alongside the cycletrack and I came up to the door of the sports centre at 26.2 miles in 3.54. OK, not a great time for me but it felt great to have been part of this global event with friends in so many different countries running the same distance on the same day.
The day at work went surprisingly easily - it wasn't until later in the week after a long fell run that tiredness really hit me and I had to take a few rest days!
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