In my mind, there are some occasions in our lives when requiring to reaccount some great experience, excessive words might be unnecessary if not redundancy.
On Sunday Nov. 7th, 2010, 45,344 runners participated NYC annual ritual – marathon race, and I am one of them. Surely, many of us have our own reasons or own motives to endure the challenges and cross the finish line from Gebre Gebremariam, the winner of this year men's group to Edison Pena who was among 33 Chilean miners trapped 69 days underground as well as so many other men and women in this race, yet we seem sharing one common ground: taking risks and making efforts to reach a goal in our lives.
In case someone doesn't know, the financial incentive to win this year's marathon is merely a “packet change” if it is measured with the street's yardstick. The first place was paid $130,000 and second and third place got $65,000 and $45,000, respectively. So you can tell, people in this were not just for money to take home rather something else. This would explain why a event that started with 123 runners in 1970 has expended to the largest marathon in the world 40 years later. I can only suspect that we were doing it because we know it was worth it to arise from the pain, boredom and difficulty and in the end to prove ourselves to someone whom we care and love.
I don't know how others feel or think about his or her victory afterward. For me, I feel good about myself to finish the race within 4 hours boundary, a 38 minutes improvement than that last year's finishing time. In addition, I feel being rewarded and enriched with such a thrilling experience as millions of speculators who, for one day, put aside their political, economical, racial and other differences which often divide us daily, across five boros, were rooting for us and partying together on a golden crispy November day in a wonderful city where I'd call home outside my native one.
Now, let get down to the business:
Postmortem Review/Analysis in questionnaires and answers format
Do you think that you have completed what you set out to do in first place?
Yes and no, the tangible mission has completed as planned, but for the intangible ones, the juries are still not out, yet.
Anything that you think you did better this time ?
Yes, both finishing time and control of pace were improved.
Is there any regret and something that otherwise you should have done ?
Yes, I should have been more aggressive in the first ten miles in terms of speed.
What was the most difficulty part to prepare the run?
The most difficulty part was to maintain steady mental attitude and physical commitment to run 35 plus miles per week on yearly basis. It has been very challenging to kept doing it while work schedules, vacations, weathers and love life interfered/assaulted from all directions.
What was the most effective method to handle the pain during the training and the race ?
Knowing mentally that every other runner on the road suffers the similar pain if not more than you do and imagining there would be some nice reward at the end waiting for you such as a beautiful and sexy girl, or a delicious meal made by mom .. whatever that suit for your mood. :)) Human imagination is a gold mine that may never be depleted, and squander it if you must.
What kind of nutritional food should eat and pack before race and during the race ?
Eat small portion of complex carbohydrate that you'd like before the run and carry some energy gel packs with you, so you can restore energy level immediately when you feel drained. Try not eat pastas or bagels provided by race organizers at the site, there are ... well, no comment.
What was the most frustrating thing experienced ?
On Verrazano bridge, I found myself hurtling right and left on the lanes, looking for little extra elbow room. Frustration gripped my body as I negotiated my way around thousands of runners. At that moment, I almost wanted to abandon my civil manner to muscle my way through although I kept calm.
Somehow the organizers should find a better way to restrict the total number of participants released for each wave.
What was the most interesting thing seeing on the route ?
It was absolutely amusing to see those bare-feet runners surpassing me with “wicked” smiles. I even didn't want to think about how my feet would touch the changing terrain and textures of pavements. This year it appeared that the numbers of bare-feet runners were on the rise.
What were the most heart warming moments on the day ?
The moments to hear and see friends, neighbors, classmates, and subordinates called out your name and waved their hands at you in the cheering crowds along the route; the resonating sounds and exaggerating gestures buoyed up my spirits, making me think “Thanks guys, appreciated !”
Is there any negative effect because of the run ?
Yes, there is a downside. Now, so many people saw me wearing running short and jersey, so my well-kept image is somehow being tarnished. For example, last Monday, at the end of morning briefing, one female employee said to me in her straight face “By the way, boss, you looked very “sexy” in your running short.” people started howling, One guy suggested to me “take off your Borrelli shirt and show your six packs, make them droll.” for a moment, the whole conference room was a riot scene. To control the belly laughing gang, I warned them with pretended stern face “Hey, hey, hey, your guys knock it off! Don't forget who'd write your reviews.” That was hysterical. I have to agree with them that it must be weird to see someone you know so well day in day out suddenly wearing spits on the face in his running short, laboring breath to push forward. That is definitely not a pretty sight. :(
Final thought and observation:
I think that our wisdom and fulfillment may not be accumulated or obtained simply by living our years through the same circle of eating, sleeping, working each day. Instead, we may be able to accomplish them by stepping out out comforting zone once a while to explore the world, experiencing the excitement of triumphs, feeling the pains of heartbreaking, tasting the failures and disappointments, traveling to some places we' never been before, reaching some short and long term goals, loving someone dearly, most of all, enjoying those simple moments that come along .. . So some years later as we sink into our rocking chair next to the fireplace to trace back our lives, the smiles surfacing on our faces would be aglow as warm as the fire under the mantel. We can say out aloud “What a wonder life! Veni, vidi, vici”