Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Sunday Dud.

Absolutely nothing today.

Late last night, Lihas got some bad news about his grandfather; he sent me a text saying he would not be running today.

In the morning, my sister, who is visiting from Pune talked to me about the futility of doing a long run alone. With my demotivation for the day complete, I just went for a long walk with her and planned to spend the day lazing around.

Tomorrow is an off day in any case. Tuesday should pan out well... fingers crossed.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Saturday's leisurely run & serious achievements.

Today's run began on quite a nice note. The day hadn't broken when we started. There was a nice cloud cover. It seemed to be cool. The slight breeze that was there was at our backs, pushing us forward. We knew this was going to be a good day and a nice run.

Yet, the heat and humidity of the past couple of weeks has unknowingly begun to take a toll on the body. Running from Mansi to APMC Vasna had us sweating streams. Rehydration was necessary which we did at Shyamal 4 Rasta. Fortunately, one gets water in pouches in Ahmedabad which is a big relief as we do not need to carry our own water. Thereafter, we compulsorily rehydrated ourselves every about 1.5 kms. At the Solar Road flyover, Lihas was not feeling too well and he decided to take an auto upto the Akhbaarnagar Underpass. I continued to run and Lihas rejoined me just after the Pragatinagar BRTS stop. We ran down the underpass and on the way up, overtook a couple of cyclists. It's a favorite with Lihas and I; overtake cyclists on the ascent and see their egos bruised as they unsuccessfully struggle to reclaim their position as the faster ones. Continuing to run, we went up to Bhavsar Hostel where we turned back. Since we had started the run by going up to APMC, we did not want to extend the run up to RTO Circle. Additionally, the humidity was sapping energy out of us by the minute.

On the way back, we continued running at our own leisurely pace. As we went down Akhbarnagar Underpass, a cyclist overtook us. About 30 feet ahead of us, he gave us a huge Thumbs Up sign. These are our unsung heroes - those who encourage us and raise our flagging spirits without a word, without doing anything overwhelming and without expecting anything in return.

Lihas and I smiled at each other - a nod and both of us picked up pace, running till the crossroads just after the Pragatinagar BRTS stop. There a kid on a bicycle, who must have been about 5-6 years of age, challenged Lihas to a race. The race lasted all of 2oo meters, the kid won and to drive home the point, cycled away at the same speed till we could not see him.

Our pace continued till we reached our next (regular) rehydration point opposite the Valinath Chowk BRTS stop. We then went back to our own leisurely pace again till we turned right between the University and Andhjan Mandal BRTS stops to go to Vastrapur Lake. From the turn to Vastrapur Lake, we decided to sprint. Lihas is the one usually dragging me as we start, goading me to pick up pace. Towards the end of the run, I have more energy reserves left and I am the one pushing Lihas to go faster. We finished the run at Vastrapur Lake and the timing read 1:59:43. Quite some pace for roughly a 23 km run!

But in terms of achievements, I think we achieved a lot in this run. As we chatted while we ran, we were able to discuss threadbare, each of the training modules we had developed for ourselves, and which one was the most apt to be adopted by both of us. Both of us feel the need to include cross-training in our regimen, something difficult for me because I have not done anything else besides running. Yet, since I agree with Lihas that in order to achieve the timings we plan and hope to achieve at Athens, a bit of cross-training will go a long way, that is something we have decided to take up sooner rather than later.

As we cooled down with a walk around Vastrapur Lake, we both have been concentrating on tomorrow's big run. We plan to do about 35 kms tomorrow and it is a 'where your feet take you' run. So not route decided in advance. What we know is that we will start at Mansi 4 Rasta. What we know is we will not stop till have felt 35 kms of road under our feet. What we know is it is going to be hot, humid, tiring and thoroughly enjoyable.

So here's to tomorrow, to a long run and to enjoying ourselves.

Procrastination was not kept for tomorrow.

This first blog rounds up all the things I was supposed to have done a long, long time ago, but kept on postponing it. As mentioned, this is my first blog ever, and I hope to improve with time.

Today being a day off from running, all other things have started to be put into place.

The complete concentration for now is on Athens; it is going to be a historic run, and all the stops are being pulled out to ensure that the timing at the event will prove to be personal best, that all the efforts taken so far will hit paydirt.

But there are quite a few things to be done before the run on 31st October, 2010. The most important thing, was setting up a blog where descriptions of the trials and tribulations, blood and sweat and everything else that goes into testing the physical limits of the body can be recorded regularly. (This blog will begin with common, layman's terms without any technical words. This blog will be, plain and simple, an athelete's blog, for everyone to understand and hopefully, get motivated to indulge in some simple physical exercise which is also fun. As days go by, however, some technical terms will definitely find their way in, but that will be dealt with later.)

A few appointments need to be taken to streamline the other aspects; Lihas, my buddy, and also my running buddy for Athens and I need to discuss and put into practice the 'best practices' we have developed for distance running.

A lot of other things to do. While procrastination was not kept for tomorrow, these other things will happen over the next few days.

Most of the things that were needed to be done have been done. Tomorrow, Saturday, is a leisurely run. Lihas and I shall be setting a pace of about 5:45 - 6:00 minutes per kilometer. At this pace, we can chat while we run, so a lot of those discussions as mentioned earlier will take place tomorrow. The idea is to do 22-25 kms tomorrow, to give the legs a shake and to hint to the leg muscles what is in store for them on Sunday - the day of the big run.

For the past few weeks, Lihas and I, both have been feeling the monotony of the present route setting in. We might discuss and decide on how to change the route. Any changes are possible only on Saturdays when the run is not that serious in the sense that we do not need to concentrate on any aspect of running. Saturday is also a day when the mind and body is allowed a timeout; so if a run needs to be aborted much before the goal set is achieved, Saturday is the day it is allowed. But tomorrow is a Saturday when this will not hold true. We will be doing 22-25 kms tomorrow, and on the route that has been planned.

The interview with Ahmedabad Mirror last Sunday has set the ball rolling - and we're all the more motivated at this time to push the envelope further.