Vinod Kurup

Hospitalist/programmer in search of the meaning of life

The Wall Is Not a Myth

I ran the Marine Corps Marathon yesterday and can now confirm that Hitting the Wall is a real phenomenon. I finished about 5 minutes faster than I did in Chicago (2000), but I was really hoping to break 4:30. Everything was going great through the halfway point (2:11:48 - 10:04 mpm) when a few doubts started to creep into my head. I’m only halfway? I gotta do this again? Somehow I was able to make it through to mile 17 at 2:55:30 (10:19 mpm) before things really fell apart. I remember it clearly yesterday and it seemed to be an instant replay from Chicago. I started thinking about how much further I had to go and how tired I already was. Then I think, well, maybe I need to rest up so I can finish strong, huh? Maybe I should walk through the next water break - that won’t be such a bad thing, right? And then the next thing I know, I’m walking more than I’m running. Once I start walking, I’m done. The key is not to think about how much further you have to go, but rather to take it one step at a time, but that’s obviously easier said than done. The marathon is not a rational thing - if you think about it and you let your rational mind make decisions for you, you’ll never accomplish your goal.

I’m still quite happy with finishing. I’m sore all over, but in that satisfying kinda way. I was able to take the train home yesterday and even made it to work today. And unlike 2000, I’m motivated to keep running, although I’m going to stay away from marathoning for a while. My left brain isn’t ready for it.

Comments from old site

Metaphor of life

Hi Vinu, Congratulations on the race. I fully agree with everything you said. You know what I thought about the Marathon that I ran in Chicago… it is really a metaphor of life… just like you said taking things step by step. I saw an advertisement of the Boston Marathon I think that went something like this… there is nothing you can’t learn about yourself that you can’t learn in 26.2 miles. I was really amazed at the diversity of people who were runnng. There were people who really looked out of shape running at a significantly faster pace that I could imagine they could run. I remember a guy dressed up in a clown suit passing me up and the two guys that ran with me most of the way. One of the guys said “we can’t let a clown pass us” to which the other replied “oh yes we can.” I do agree that the marathon takes a lot out of you both mentally and physically. My knees still ache a bit when I run. I don’t know though, it can certainly be addictive. I look forward to seeing you to talk about our marathon experiences.

Dileep Nair 2003-11-07 19:01:46

Love the clown story

It’s funny - Harish and I had the same “metaphor for life” conversation when we were running together in Indianapolis last weekend.

Vinod Kurup 2003-11-16 22:37:53