The last time I ran a timed 10 k event was in the year 2015. It was my fastest and the most exciting run with a timing of 00:47:23, it was indeed painful to sustain that speed. It took a toll on my body and I spent few days to recover from the hard efforts.
I did not have any plans to run the #TCSW10k this year since I just came out of my long enduring #424242running campaign as part of the SahayaLRTS's initiative towards road safety, followed by a full month of complete shutdown and bracing myself for the 12 hrs stadium run in Chennai. Running a short distance event was not listed in my 2017 plan. I was keeping myself adequately fit due to my regular and fun filled fitness and exercise sessions with my KaysFIT Academy members.
About two weeks back, I received an invitation to deliver the "The Next 48 hrs" session at the #tcsw10k expo, and I was excited and happy about it. I was totally soaked in the preparation for the talk since the time the invitation arrived. The more I prepared, the more I wanted to run... Nevertheless, the big day came too soon, and here's what I planned to speak. I put myself as a 10 k runner who would go through every bit of planning meticulously to prepare for the race. I wore my running coach hat to provide the best advise to my clients. With them, I wanted to travel back in time, over 16 weeks, starting from the foundation of the run, planning for the nutrition, rest, recovery and tapering. I also created my bullet list to talk about how to “prime the body before the race day” to give the possible best performance.
I wanted to give the best experience for my audience like in a short & sweet 10 k race. I summed up my best personal learning both from the things that worked well and the things that did not.
Unfortunately, I felt extremely odd that I wasn’t going to run this marathon...
Hence, instead of running the race to my best efforts, I had decided to give my best preparation for the talk at the expo. I wanted to fare well in delivering that and that was my race.
At the race expo
On Friday, when I entered the expo hall at the Koramangala Indoor Stadium, I felt something was missing. I hadn’t registered for the event and for a change, I was only theoretically prepared well.
When the time arrived, I delivered my session. It was well received by the runners who attended the session and the organizers alike. I also received a wink from my little daughter and a big thumbs-up from my wife who was sitting in the front and recording.
The Next 48 hrs - session
|With Mr. Venkat, an inspiring person who runs YouTooCanRun.com|
I collected the bib which had no name and with a starting lineup stamped as 'F' pen.
Few of my friends asked me whether I had any target finish time in mind. My mind was wandering for an answer. I did not plan for this race. I wasn’t doing any speed training. I told myself to settle down any time closer to my 2015 10k time or even few minutes slower due to the 'F' starting lineup. I wasn’t sure if I could run the race better than the last time since I haven’t trained specifically for a short distance race.
On Sunday morning, I reached the Coffee Day junction just around 4:50 AM. I completed a 10-min warm-up behind the Coffee Day and rushed to the porta-potty before the start. After 10 minutes of waiting in the queue, I walked out with great relief, victoriously. The time was 5:10 AM. I started clinging to the crowd and crawling towards the ‘F’ pen, inching towards the stands, 2 levels up.
|Runners queuing up to enter the 'F' pen due to an unexpected water logged stands entrance, 5 minutes to start|
|View from the 'F' pen - Pens ahead of us were already ready to start the race|
With thousands of runners filling the streets on a chilly morning, running was getting fun. Going through the crowded streets and getting past the runners was like playing a complex maze game. I ran faster whenever I saw space ahead of me, hopped to the right and left whenever I came close to other runners, slowed down when I did not have any space to move and accelerated whenever I could. I ran on broken banners littered on the road and ran through the ankle deep water-logged sections. The only thing missing was the presence of hurdles to completely call the race a steeplechase. I was on a constant roll.
I finished with a memorable personal best of 00:45:34, 24th place out of 881 in my age (40-45 years) category
Pace split: 4:43, 4:23, 4:57, 4:33, 4:45, 4:32, 4:35, 4:10, 4:32, 4:08
At the finish line, I treasured the medal with no pressure.
“If you expect nothing, you're apt to be surprised. You'll get it"
- Malcolm Forbes
|Somewhere inside the Cubbon Park - sprinting|
|Extremely dangerous stretch for runners entering the stands post race to collect medals + breakfast|