Thursday, November 1, 2012

Process Runner : Week 4

Oct 15 - Oct 21:

The fourth week again began with the arrival of the much awaited and anticipated mail on Sunday afternoon from Santosh with the details of the week's running schedule and program. It is always exiting to know the venue of the Saturday and Sunday runs because he keeps changing the venues to keep it interesting and challenging for us and to avoid making the running experience monotonous. Also, it gives us the experience of running on different trails.
Santosh's  mails also contain a lot of information on breathing, recovery, nutrition and hydration and various other tips that are helpful to us in our running. He also sends some inspirational articles and videos and some articles either written by him or from any other source that are relevant to that week's running.

Monday was the day of rest and on Tuesday I had to run 25 minutes and then two 100 mts strides (sprint) with 1 minute walk in between. I could not keep the 3 minutes run and the 1 minute walk intervals. Even though I started with the 3 minute run, after the first loop around the storm water drain, the running started decreasing to 2.5 min, 2 min, 1.5 and then 1 min. The walks started becoming slower and increasing in duration. I ran with Rashmi and quite late at around 6.30 PM.

The Wednesday Cubbon park run was a slightly more difficult run, We had to run 4 km around the park and I struggled to keep up with my fellow runners. I tried walking faster and tried to keep the last of the runners in sight. After one loop around the park we had to run up a small rock right in the middle of the park to gain some experience of hill running. Coach Kanishka was near the rock giving encouragement to all the runners. I ran up the hill with fellow runner Raji who kept encouraging me to run faster. I had to do 2 runs up the rock but unknowing I did 4 runs. After that we had to run three more loops around the jogger's trail. I was exhausted and I was walking more and running less. I kept taking a very long time for each lop and after my second loop which I walked most of the distance, coach Srini coud not see my plight any more and asked me to stop and do the stretches.

The Saturday run was scheduled to take place at the Kanakpura trail. Through the week Pani kept saying that he might not be able to make it to the run as he was working very late everyday. But finally he could not our enthusiasm and excitement and finally made it to the run. Pani, Rashmi, Aseem and I set out early at 5.30 so that we could reach the destination well within time. Again, Kanakpura trail is a long way from our area and it was a good 1 hour drive.

The run commenced at sharp 5.30 am and the long drive was all worth it as the trail is beautiful. We had
 run up to the 3.5 km point and turn back. I started very well and ran a good distance before slowing down and begginning to walk. At the end of the 2 km mark there is a beautiful lake and the entire trail is lined on both the sides with beautiful trees. The villagers have got used to the runners by now. I lost my fellow runners right after the 2 km mark when I started slowing down. Then I met Shubha who is coach George;s wife. We decided to run together. We had a good conversation and discussedabout a lot of things. As we neared the 3.5 mark, we saw a lot of villegers standing near the turning. We decided to avoid them as we didnt know what they were there for. We turned around a few paces ahead. imediately the villagers started cheering us and calling out 'mosa' 'mosa' 'illi tirug bekittu' which means 'cheating, cheating, you were supposed to turn around here' in Kannada. had a good laugh and were laughing about it for quite a long time.

As we were approaching the 5 km water stop, Shubha developed pain in her calf muscles. We met Kaiwan who was manning the aid station and he congratulated us on our pace and said that we were doing very well. Shubha told me that she would walk the rest of the distance. I came back to the beautiful lake and spent a few moments admiring the beauty and the serenity of the place. Even though the trail had a lot of killer ups and downs I was able to run up a few. But the rest, I had to walk them up. But still I tried to maintain a fast pace even during the walk. Al in all, the beauty of the place kept me going and I was able to complete the run in 1 hr and 40 minutes and arrived at the starting to a lot of loud cheering by the fellow runners.

That day, the elite senior runners of the group along with Santosh were doing the 50 km run and it was really very inspiring to see them run.They had started their run at 5.30 itself and finished their run at 10.30. The sheer beauty of seeing a person run those distances and the passion with which they do it is something very commendable. The run ended with very tasty sandwiches that Rashmi had got for all of us and hot steaming coffee and tea from my thermos flask that I had started taking along with me for each run.

The Sunday run was again at Cubbon Park and we had to run 5 km. One round around the park which is 4 kms and 3 rounds around the jogging track. After the Kanakpura run I was totally exhausted and could not run very well. Karthik who is the 8 yr old son of fellow runner Manjunath Rao kept me company throughout the run.His constant chatter and his description of his exploits on the cricket field was very delightful to hear and we both ran together. He kept chasing the pigeons every time we passed them and their flight together made a wondrous sight to behold. Coach Srini joined me during the last 1.5 km of the run and encouraged me to run by timing myself and strictly adhering to the intervals. He told me about maintaining a rhythm, breathing in rhythm, keeping to the timing of 3 minutes run and 1 minute walk and to gradually reduce the length of walks and increase the length of runs.

All in all a very beautiful week of running and discovering ....

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