Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Process Runner : Week 3

Oct 8 - Oct 14:

Once again, the week begins on Sunday afternoon with the arrival of the mail from Santosh. The previous week Santosh had sent us the runner's Log which I started filling diligently after each day of running. This will keep me informed about my progress after each session and also coach's comments about ways to improve and their thoughts.

Tuesday Rashmi and I teamed up to run around the storm water drain. This time the duration was increased to 25 minutes. So, I had to do three rounds and a distance of 3.6 km as each loop around the storm water drain is 1.2 km. I ran at a slightly reduced pace and so was able to run a little longer distance before I had to stop to catch my breath and walk. I was tiring out quickly and couldn't run well. We ran in the evening at around 6.00 pm which is very late as we have less than twelve hours to recover for the next day's Wednesday quality workout.

The next day Wednesday was the train workout. Pani, Rashmi and I set out once again at 5.30 am with all enthusiasm for the train workout. The conversation during the car drive centred around how tough the train workout is and what are the best ways to tackle it. I got tips to remain calm and not to get into a competitive mode. Srini was the coach for the day and he explained the concept and encouraged me to run well. I found it very difficult to sprint at such high speeds and the recovery for the next run was very difficult. Srini kept encouraging me to keep running and not give up. But the lungs felt like they are going to burst and the heart kept pumping more and more. The encouragement from fellow runners Anu and Shubhashini and coach Srini was what kept me to try harder and not give up. Mainly due to the voices of encouragement that kept egging me to go on I was able to run the six loops.

The Wednesday workouts are killer workouts and we feel the effects after we come home. Firstly we are always ravenously hungry. Even though I cannot eat too much at each meal, the frequency of eating has increased. The stomach rings the alarm every three hours and has to be filled with some nutritious food. Apart from that the muscles make their presence felt. For the first time I knew each and every muscle in my legs which were screaming thank you for having awakened them from deep slumber for the first time. The hardest part of a Wednesday is that I have to come home , get ready and head straight to the office. At the office after sitting at the desk for two to three hours, when I get up to go to the water cooler, the legs feel like lead and as though they have got set and the ows! and ohs! from me have evoked quite a few jokes from my colleagues. The key I have realised is to take a short walk every half an hour to prevent this from happening. Finally at night, the tierd muscles make their presence felt the most and ache and cry. But its all the good pain and an highly enjoyable experience.

The Saturday run was at Cubbon park again and this time my distance was 7 km. So in a matter of three weeks I had come to the point of running 7 kms. Due to the short duration of our training program which was only 7 weeks, our ramp up was very steep. We had to take the loop around the park which is about 4 kms and then come back to do three loops on the joggers track. which is another 3 kms. We Bangaloreans are very fortunate to have two beautiful parks right at the heart of the city, Lalbaug and Cubbon Park which are a haven to runners and walkers alike to pursue their fitness regimens. Cubbon park is beautiful in the mornings and there are many other walkers and joggers apart from our Runner's High

 I found it very difficult to run on that day also and I walked most of the distance. My buddy group runners all raced ahead of me and I struggled to keep up with the group. As I did not know the route, I focused on keeping the last of the runners in sight. I returned back to the main running area and then had to run three loops inside the jogging track. I was very slow and was walking quite a good distance in the first two loops. Each loop took me at least 15 to 17 minutes to complete. During the third lop, Seema came and joined me. I decided to run at her pace and we struck up a lively conversation which helped me to run at a good pace. I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had completed the third loop in just 11 minutes. Then and there both Seema and I decided that we run well and better when we run together and decided to run together from now on during every training session.
The Sunday training session was scheduled at the world renowned Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. I were very exited to be entering such a hallowed seat of knowledge and innovation. Pani, Rashmi and I left early as it is quite a long drive to Bannerghatta road from our area and I felt quite at awe  as we drove past the security guards and the gates and into the campus. The pure and pristine atmosphere inside the tall gates, the well maintained campus and the neatly maintained gardens and trimmed lawns evoked a new sense of respect and wonder in me. The contrast between what exists outside the high walls of IIMB and what is present inside is unmistakable. The chaotic and pollution filled roads outside and the beautiful atmosphere inside is proof of what India is and what it can be with a little bit more political will and strong leadership.

But, I am digressing and coming back to running, it was the recovery run of 3 kms and we had to do a loop of 1.5 kms up to the hostel and back. I started with my buddy group but they raced way ahead of me. I struggled to keep sight of the last of the runners as I was walking after less than 1 minute of running. After I had lost sight of them completely and we were nearing the last 1 km, I decided to catch up and ran fast and even sprinted twice. The recovery time after each sprint was excruciating but it helped me to catch up with Seema and I was able to finish the run along with my buddy group to loud cheering and welcoming by our fellow runners.

Thus ended my third week of running with a great deal of satisfaction and a deep feeling of  fulfilment. 

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