Category Archives: Marathon

Half Marathon is a “Pain Killer”

Half Marathon is really a “Pain Killer”. And put a comma in between those 2 words.

Who is marathon for?
Marathon is for kids, youth, adults, old. But add ‘Kenyan’ before each word.

I ran half marathon in TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2013. That’s big thing. One can’t run 21.1 kms without proper practice. I did practice… tying and untying shoe laces. 26 minutes a day for 6 straight weeks. Ok, Ok, I am just kidding. I practiced wearing socks too.

This post is about Marathon eve and Marathon morning.

Some random guys running Amsterdam Marathon. Pic Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/agvphoto/4027009443

Some random guys running Amsterdam Marathon.
Pic Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/agvphoto/4027009443

Plan to reach the venue:
I live in Eindhoven, almost 120 kms from Amsterdam and 6896 kms from India. Koen, who I work for, told me that he would give me a ride to Amsterdam from Eindhoven. He lives in Eindhoven too. And it’s 9863 kms from Cambodia.

He too was running (8K marathon), along with his girl friend Lorraine. She lives in Eindhoven too. And it’s 3658 kms from… ok, you already have read the bible of Eindhoven. Not anymore.

We made a plan – I go ring the door bell of Koen’s house at 7:30 in the morning and we leave for Amsterdam by car. He owns a Netherlands car only. Not a Kenyan car.

Marathon eve:
I planned to sleep early to get enough rest before the marathon next day. I went to bed at 10 p.m. and kept alarm for 3:30 a.m… to accommodate 160 minutes of snoozing.

I had a nice dream: A Kenyan couple is going to have a baby; the lady is in the maternity ward, screaming in pain; the doctor says, “Come on, push, pushhh”; a cute baby comes out; but the next second, the baby disappears; everybody is shocked and starts looking for the baby; they all see the baby 100 feet away, running out of the hospital; and the doctor says, “The baby is perfectly alright”. Yes, I think that the Kenyan babies, after they are born, don’t start crawling. Rather they start running.

Marathon morning:
I got ready by 7:15 a.m. and gave a call to Koen – “Hey Koen, what’s your house number once again?”
“It’s 179.”
“Ok, I’ll be there in 5 minutes. See you soon.”
“Ok, C ya”.

I memorized his house number – “179 179 179 179 179 197 197 197”. I reached his apartment in 5 minutes. I found both the numbers outside – 179, 197. I wasn’t sure which one to press. I thought to myself, “Ok, let me take a chance. Let me press a number and if it’s wrong number, I could tell the resident of that house that I am milk delivery boy.” I dialed 197 and started looking for the call button. I didn’t find one. So, I had no other way but to call Koen. I gave a call to him, “Hey Koen, where is the call button?”

“Do you see a phone symbol in green color?”
“Yeah”
“That’s the one”
“Ok, and hey, your house number is 971, right?”
“No, waitttttt, don’ttttttttt press the call button. My house number is 179.”
“Ok, one suggestion.”
“What?”
“At times like this, don’t extend tttttttt, ok? I would’ve wasted a milk packet.”
“You are weird. Come to 6th floor, ok?”
“Ok.”

I reached the 6th floor in 26 seconds. His house door was kept open for me. I was about to enter.
“Heyyy Bala.”
“Hey Koen, I have a suggestion for you.”
“What? Another suggestion? That too in 28 seconds?”
“Yeah, next month, shift to some other house, whose number is 333 or 555 or something like that, Ok?”
“You weird guy.”
“And live in a street named KKK street or QQQ street, Ok?”
“Ok, Ok, Ok, come on in.”
“That’s what I said too. KKK”.
“Ahhh!! Commmme on in.”

When I entered into his house, I smelled whiskey all over. I thought that like Indian tradition of lighting aggarbathis for smell, Dutch open few bottles of whiskeys.

“Bala, what would you like to drink? I have whiskey and water at the moment.”
“Ah yeah, I was right. I smelled whiskey. I would’ve smelled water too. But it doesn’t have any odor, you know?”
“Yeah, I know. What would you like to drink? Whiskey?”
“What? Are you kidding? How can we drink alcohol before marathon? Let’s cancel the marathon plan and drink.”
“Haha, nice one. So, you will take water, I guess.”
“Yeah, a glass of water, please.”
He gave me a glass of water to drink. I asked the important question one should ask, “Hey bladder, can you hold for the next 90 minutes?”
“Do you know that Lorraine lives in the same apartment. I can see her house through the window,” Koen said.

He opened the window to show her home. Her house was just 100 to 200 feet away. On the other side, light was glowing in only one of the houses. I guessed that it was Lorraine’s home. Unless she had wrongly entered into house number 186 instead of 168.

“Look there. That’s Lorraine’s home,” Koen said.
“Yeah, I can see.”
“Hey babe, are you ready?” Koen asked Lorraine.
“Yes, darling. I’ll be there in 5 minutes. But close the window quickly. I am smelling whiskey.”
“Hahahahah,” I started laughing.
“Why are you laughing?” Koen asked me.
“Hahaha. Not only you and me – Lorraine, too, can’t smell water.”

P.S: More to come in this series.

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