It has been great reading all the KTM run experiences from my running mates in Runner’s High! I have been sitting on mine from day 1 and finally decided I should send it in before my coach tells me, that all it takes is 5 mins to sit and write.
I joined RH in June this year after having seen friends join it, run and enjoy it!! Thanks KG, SSM and SM for all the motivation and inspiration (Those were the bouquets, if I end up injured you will get the brickbats too). I was very skeptical about the whole running thing initially. I could hardly run for 30 to 40 seconds without panting so I wondered if I would be able to actually run the whole distance, and any time soon??
I blogged about my journey, as regularly as I could and now when I look back it was a slow and steady improvement. The improvement was very visible, apparently, because Santhosh said, in the first few weeks, I used to ask him “I walk more than run, is that ok? I can’t talk while I am running, is that ok?” But after a month and a half I was running a lot more than walking and talking more than running!!
I trusted what the chief said on the intro day “When the alarm rings, get your feet off the bed and come for the workout/run. We will take care of the rest.” I did that, for most of the session.
I had been running decent towards the end of the season, slow, but decent. The 10K did not seem like a mountain. And the mock run had increased my confidence levels. It couldn’t get worse than that day. Could it? Well maybe!
Race day morning was fun, loud, alive and a totally different animal. It was motivating yet a teeny weeny bit scary too. SO many people would be running.
What are my goals I asked myself? I decided I wanted to feel happy – during the run, after the run. I wanted to really enjoy the whole thing and everything else could be a side effect of that. I wanted to finish strong and feel good.
The first 2 kms, as all the 10Kers standing towards the rear end know, were crowded! Don’t nod your head the time goalers and front runners. You weren’t there, you guys were already off sprinting err running!! But I remembered all the gyaan given by the coaches about taking the 1st 2 kms easy and getting the breathing into place and another of my coaches had just reinforced the thought before we started running that morning. Thanks for that!!
I sipped water at the 2nd stop and had a banana while I walked away from the station. Met my husband at that stop who then ran off and was to be seen only after the finish line! The 4 to 8 km stretch was in a trance like state. I remember looking at the scenery and seeing people around me running, random thoughts floating across my mind and not once did I think about running. One step ahead of the other was happening automatically. I saw so many RHers on the way and it was nice to say hi and exchange smiles that said Yay-we-know-each-other!! I didn’t feel like walking or stopping. But I did drink some water and another banana and some enerzal too at some stop – vague recollections.
During the 8 to 9 km stretch I felt a little fatigued and who comes up behind me? My dad who I had left behind long back at the 3 km mark. He egged me on further. I decided to walk the 1st 500 mtrs after crossing the 9 km mark so that I could finish strong and that would serve as my walk break.
Who did I see just when I needed them? The RH cheer and support squad! Some of the 21k-ers and the marathon runners were there, shouting out loud. That was awesome and all I needed was that. I started running faster around the 500 m point and then picked up pace, saw the crowd after the little uphill and felt a surge of energy, saw another coach pacing someone and I was smiling. Saw Santhosh coming back after pacing someone and he ran along me saying “Push your legs Simran. Get them moving. Give it your all!” I was like, yeah sure! You are not running 😛 LOL No, that did help.
I ran faster, sprinted actually, while remembering what another coach had said during the 100m relay work out on the last but one Wednesday, “You will thank us for this work out during KTM” Thank you!! That did help 🙂
Sprinted across the last few meters, saw my mom and my son, who was jumping up and down, and all those cheers felt just fabulous!! It all felt great – the run, the cheers, the buzz in the atmosphere, the feeling of a wonderful run. Totally loved it!! I think I am getting addicted to running so the Ultra is next on the cards and who knows what after that 🙂
Cheers to RH and all the runners, mentors, coaches. You all rock and are inspirations in your own ways!!
P.S. – the side effect of a happy run was I did my PB (Personal Best for the uninitiated)