Sunday, November 25, 2012

Auroville Marathon Training : Week 1

November 19 - November 25

The week began with the arrival of the much anticipated weekly schedule mail from Santosh. After the exilariting experience at the intro session, I was waiting impatiently for the email which did not arrive on Sunday. I even sent a couple of sms to Rashmi asking if she had got it and I had not somehow got it for which she patiently replied (did I detect a certain amount of exasperation?) asking me to calm down and that it would arrive within no time.

True to her words it arrived my mail box early in the morning at 6:10 AM on Monday and I lapped it up greedily. By now I had begun to plan my entire week centred around the runs and now I had the added responsibility of having enrolled my daughter as well. After my first 12.5 km Ultra run I began to really appreciate how far I had come and also to believe that I could only go forward and further from here. Juggling my family, daughters and office and the running training session left me with very little time for myself. Added to that I had to take care of my nutrition, hydration and make sure that I sleep early.

The first run of the week was on Tuesday where we have to run the given short distance on our own. As per my schedule I ran two rounds around the storm water drain for 25 mins. Its a distance of 2.4 kms. I had planned to take my daughter for the Wednesday run. the run is from 6.00 am to 7.00 am. But she has to catch her college bus at 6.45. When I had posed this dilemma to Santosh the previous week he had given me the solution and asked me to come to Cubbon park at 5.30 and as coach George would be there at 5.30 itself making the markings on the running routes, he would guide me with the run and the drills. Both Rashmi and Apsara quickly jumped at the suggestion and all got into the excitement of the situation.

We arrived at Cubbon at 5.30 and were searching for George. True to Santosh's word, George was making the markings and we began our warm up with torches in our hands. Once our warm up ended he guided us through the form exercises. Doing the form exercises with the group gives us a lot of time to catch our breath. But doing the tiny group of three hardly gave us time in between. After that I had to do the time trail for which I had to run the distance of 3.2 km or 2 miles. This meant that I had to run four laps of 800 mts each. Both me and my daughter ran our distances along with Rashmi. But I could only run three as it was getting late for my daughter's bus, and I had to abandon the time trail. George advised me to do it the next Tuesday or Wednesday.

The Saturday long run was at Cubbon and we had to run 3 kms. We ran as a group around the park. I noticed that I was running better. Even though I could maintain a slow and steady pace I was not getting breathless and could run without stopping right up to 1 km. After that I was able to maintain a interval of 4 min run and 1 min walk. I was quite pleased with myself and was slowly gaining in confidence. The 'chai' or tea session after the run was full of fun and idle chatter which acts like fodder to the soul just like the run rejuvenates the body and Santosh's thought provoking articles acts as food for the mind.

The Sunday short run was at IIMB or the world renowned management institute. It was a short run of 2 km. It was also the day that we were supposed to form buddy groups. All the runners are divided into buddy groups which are formed on the basis of the distances that we are training for in our target run and the goals we have set out to achieve in that target run. The target run we are training for in the current training program is the Auroville marathon on February 10 and the distance that I am training for is 10 km.

Santosh along with Professor had organised very well. We had a brief introduction session about Runner's High and the various charities and causes it supports not only in terms of monetary support, but also the involvement of Santosh and the coaches and various runners with the various organisations in terms of training the children of those schools and organisations. Even though we had read about it all on the Runner's High website and also heard the accounts of various people, the AV session was a very big eye opener and it gave a deep insight into the kind of work that is being done by the Runner's High community. We had the buddy creation session which is always full of fun and enjoyment. I chose a finish goal with the aim to run the entire 10 km without stopping and walking and was put among beginners and second timers with similar goals. Each group was assigned a coach and we were fortunate to get our very own Runner's High's in-house photographer Raghav. Our photos on facebook are going to look awesome :) !!!

After the AV session we had a brief 'chai' and coffee session and thus ended another week of fun, frolic and running .......

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