We completed the Bangalore Ultra on November 11. We provided the feedback about our training program. We also wrote some stories and read all the stories written by the running community about the training program, the Ultra run itself, what worked for them, what did not work for them, what memories will remain etched in their hearts and the inspiration.
The week was a week of relaxation and also of basking in the shining glory of having completed our task and having achieved our goals. The most significant feeling was that it is not some reflected glory but its your own achievement that has been earned through one's own sweat and blood. Ok.. ok.. I know that I am being a bit over dramatic but that was the feelign that prevailed throughout the week.
The intro session for the Auroville training program was scheduled for the coming Sunday, November 18. My neighbour and our driver who ferries us to and from each training session apart from training himself for the half marathon, had left for Japan to learn to speak more Japanese than moshi moshi and sayonara.:). Of course not, he has gone on work. But that sounds boring. Going to Japan to learn to speak Japanese sounds more interesting :)
I was the driver for the next two weeks. I packed my car with Rashmi, my friend Meena and her children adn my two daughters and we all went to Cubbon park. As we had arrived a few minutes early, there were only a few coaches and a half a dozen odd people. But as the seconds were passing by more and more people kept pouring in and phew! I will not be exaggerating if I say that there were more than two hundred people who had registered. And I will not be wrong if I say that at least half the faces were new faces.
The session was full of humour, friendly bantering and congratulating each other on the Ultra run. Subhashini was the star among the women for having come first in the 10K run in her category. Santosh then started with a brief introduction about Runner's High and a short overview of the Auroville marathon training program and how the entire program will be spread and how the sessions will be each week. Even though I had heard it before, it certainly felt new and like I was hearing it for the first time.
The highlight of the session was the novel method adopted by Santosh to introduce the coaches. He introduced the first coach and then he made each of them introduce the next coach. This added an element of freshness and also gave us an opportunity to hear all of them as we usually do not get to hear all of them speaking but only get to know the coaches whom we interact with directly.
Santosh asked the newcomers to run two rounds around the Queen's park. The pain in my left shin and left knee that I had developed during my Ultra run had reduced considerably to the extent of having disappeared. Even though I did not have to run, I ran the two rounds to check if the pain would return back. It did return back with such a short run. We have two guardian angels and miracle workers in the Runner's High community. If Santosh forms the foundation and the coaches are the pillars then these two form the roof or the protective umbrella like cover to the community. They are the physios or the physiotherapists. They patiently hear each and every runner's complaints and give a set of dos and donts and exercises. If followed carefully and diligently, the pains disappear and we emerge stronger. That is how it worked with me also and by next week I was as good as new.
Armed with new confidence and a general sense of well being I was eagerly looking forward to beginning the new training season and a new chapter.