Friday, December 21, 2012

Auroville Marathon Training : Week 5

December 17 to December 23

Sambandh Run
@ Mallehswaram
on December 16
After being in training and running long distances (by my standards) like 7 km and 8 km and with good pace and longer strides than what I have been used to so far, I had started developing pain in my left knee by the second week itself. The pain was so severe that I could not climb stairs and even to this day I cannot bend my knees. I can no longer sit in the Indian lotus position. Also, after the long run on Saturday and the recovery run on Sunday, when I go to the office on Monday, sitting at my desk  for a prolonged period of time used to stiffen my body in that posture with the legs feeling like two blocks of lead.

I spoke to our coaches and physios about this and they gave me a set of exercises that I can do even when I am sitting at my desk in the office and also advised me to ice my knees 3 to 4 times on the days of the run. I have been following their advice regularly and the icing really helps. It helps to reduce the stiffness of the knees and the recovery is hastened. The stretches that we are advised to do after the run and the foot drills also help in the recovery process and I have noticed that the days that I skip these are the days when the stiffness is more and the days that I follow the routine are the days when I feel much more relaxed and agile.
Apsara and Tanvi
@ Sambandh Run

On the flip side, I have started noticing that my lungs have started working better. I might have left more than 50% of my lungs unused during my couch potato days. But now I am beginning to realise that slowly the lungs are opening up and their efficiency is increasing. The other improvement that I have noticed is that my muscles might be getting strengthened as I am able to run longer distances before I have to slow down and walk a bit to catch my breath and give my muscles a short rest. Running also leaves a tremendous impact psychologically. The mind feels refreshed and the heart feels a sense of having done something. I suppose that this sense of well being felt is known as the Runner’s High. In the end I suppose it is different strokes for different folks. Each individual’s experiences are different.

The week 5 again began with the arrival of Santosh’s mail. It was very exciting to see what he had lined up for us for Saturday and Sunday.  Monday was the day of rest and I completed my Tuesday short run of 30 mins around the storm water drain. The Tuesday runs have become very important to improve my endurance and stamina as it is followed by the Intense Wednesday workout which develops our strength.

Sambandh Run to create
awareness of the needs of
children with special needs
On Wednesday, my daughter and I reached Cubbon park at 5.30 and did our warm up runs. The rest of the folks started arriving early as there was a 10 minute session of Pranaayaam that was scheduled before the run. But we two were not able to attend the pranaayaam as we had to finish our runs and she had to catch a bus to her college by 6.45. Coach Srini hwlped us to do our drills and after the drills we both completed our 8 laps of strides and stretches and left.

The Wednesdays are very tough as I have to go to the office after the run. I developed severe pain in the knee. I did continuous icing and also did the foot drills at home. The pain was most when I climbed stairs and even on Thursday the stiffness of the thighs and the knees continued. Despite continuous icing, it was only on Friday that the pain in the knee reduced but did not disappear completely.

Saturday was the long run. This week it happened at Decathlon, Sarjapur Road. This time we had to run 10Km. It was a different route that we had to take. The weather was perfect. Chilly Bangalore winter morning with thick fog.   The temperature was 12.5 deg C when we started from home. I usually start running with a jacket and a cap to protect myself from the chill as I have low tolerance for chill and winds and catch a cold very easily. After I am nicely warmed up, I remove my jacket and tie it around my waist. But as we were running in the open with no houses, buildings or trees to act as screens and shelter us against the cold breeze. After I was warmed up and removed my jacket, I regretted each time I ran through open space.

The trail was very soft mud with patches of tarred roads and the run was easy. My had a slight niggling pain in my knee and the right shin. There were a few ups where the running was tough and I had to walk. I completed the distance in 92 mins which is consistent with my time trail of 9.13 mins / km. I was in enormous pain after I came home. My knees hurt a lot and I iced my knees twice. I tried to massage my legs using the foam roller, but it was very difficult and painful. I could not continue the foam roller exercise.

IIMB on a cold foggy morning.
Pic courtesy Apsara Ashok
On Sunday, we had the run at IIMB. It was a short run for the recovery after the long run. We started with a short warm up and then did the foot drills. The morning was chills and there was a mist. Since the foot drills are in the open football field, it was all the more cold. But we had a lot of fun dong the drills as there are some comics among our midst who make each and everything that we do fun. After that we continued with our run of 3 kms. It was fun to run along side coach Ajay and we chatted about my school and the work that we do. We had core training where coach Chandra and coach Srini V. made us do specific exercises to strengthen our glute muscles. Finally we had a cool down session with pranayam and a couple of yoga asanas.

It was one more week of fun and frolick at training Its so much fun to run with friends that I find it least difficult to wake up at unearthly hours. Sharing a cup of tea with friends is also the most calming experience that there is on earth. The mindless babbling that I subjugate all my friends to and the continues blabbering during the car rides and finally sharing of my experiences with anyone who listens to me and who have been patiently reading through my blogs, all this support that I have been getting by family, friends and colleagues had really made this an enriching experience and a very enjoyable journey where the goal finally does not matter at all.

1 comment:

  1. Well put Asha..I am slowly getting into this addiction of Running...Decathlon run was the best thing I have done. Slowly absorbing the wide magical.