Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon
24th March 2013

So before I start let me back track a little here for you… 3 months back I registered for Rock n Roll Half Marathon. I’d been a globetrotter but never a half marathon runner so as expected a question came into my mind ‘What Next?’. And the stupid answer was to post about it on facebook.. finally few more friends registered for the race.. So me, Prashant and Shishir finally kicked off our practice after that.. Shishir attempted 1/2 marahton last year and I knew he is full of energy.. So after few days of registration we met at the trail in Plano and started our practice.. I still remember the 1st few practice were like 3mi: I’m tired, 4mi: That’s enough…

My stride rate was really bad, Prashant was doing good and Shishir was really good… Eventually we started meeting almost every weekend and as usual after partying on Friday night, I tried to hammer next Saturday morning but eventually ended up in slow distances.. But as John Bingham defined miracle- “The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.” and I tried hard to run and run..

After a month Abhijit also started running with us.. He also attempted rock n roll last year.. Finally we started doing some more practice and started running around 6-7 miles… and last month we went to White Rock Lake Dallas and ran for 9 miles… This was my last long run before the race..

And Yes the idea to start The Swashbucklers came while doing the running practice.. I thought why don’t have our own One Degree of Separation portal where I can redefine craziness and post about my friends and the activities they are into…

Coming back to 24th March.. Frankly I was nervous as I wanted to finish 1/2 marathon within 2hrs 30min.. and for last 2 weeks I’d no practice… Woke up at 5.15 AM and had some cereals and reached at State Park.. Weather was like 45F, wind was like 25-30mi/hr and everyone at State Park was like What? What??

Reached at Young St and Lamar Street and the crowd was full of excitement. So we were finally 5 Swashbucklers starting together- Me (Akhil), Prashant, Shishir, Abhijit and Ajay.. The race started at 8AM and the crowd was all excited to rock n roll.. First 30 minutes were really bad because of the wind chill.. Shishir and Abhijit already took the lead and me, Prashant and Ajay were running side by side and suddenly I realized that I need to Pee.. lol.. After that there was no one I met until the end of the race.. 10 mile were not bad with the average pace of around 10.30.. Everyone around was full of energy and I was getting motivated to increase my pace. Volunteer were not bad as they tried to cheer up with unique and funny quotes.. As the longest run so far for me was 9mi and eventually after 10mile my legs started hurting me and I was really waiting to see the Finish Line. I was asking myself ‘Can I give more?’ and the answer was ‘Yes’. Yes I can do it… Even being motivated during the last 3 miles the pace was gradually going down. But people around me were running and volunteers were Cheering and I was like Let’s do it. Last 3 miles took 11:43 and the kick was challenging but I was satisfied that I’m about to finish it.

The overall experience is indelible and I’m really happy that I achieved something today. In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say, ‘I have finished and gained a new experience’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that. And yes I achieved my 1st half marathon today and looking forward for few more races this year. As someone told that the will to win means nothing without the will to prepare and special appreciation to everyone with whom I jump started the practice this year. Believe me or not but every mile I ran is a lifetime experience to me.

Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body.. But rather to skid in sideways, rocking 13.1, totally tired, shouting “Holy Shit… What a Marathon!!”

Blogger: Akhil Jain
Finish Time: 02:24:54
One Degree of Separation: http://www.theswashbucklers.net/?page_id=423
Running Course: http://runkeeper.com/user/akhiljain/activity/160044911
Live Race Results: http://running.competitor.com/cgiresults?eId=32
Local Check-in: foursquare

Swashbucklers Pic (Missing Ajay) – http://instagram.com/p/XQO0BgAVtw/