Thursday, 21 January 2016

I had a good race, thank you very much!

SCMM 2016 was the first time I formally trained for a half marathon, and the progress was remarkable: I moved from 2 hours 47 mins last SCMM to 2 hours 33 mins this year!
With my training funded by Conscience Keeper (It helps that my birthday falls nicely in place with the SCMM training - easy to get sponsorship), the guidance from my coaches Athreya and Dharmendra from Drava, companionship from my training partner Latha, and lots of tolerance from my friends and family while I trained - I have a lot to be grateful for.
I am satisfied that I managed to give my best to the run - I didn't pause even for water, or walked - and finished strong. D's advice of "being okay about being uncomfortable during the race" went a long way in pushing me through. Also, I couldn't bear the thought of facing Athreya - who has tolerated so many of my misdemeanours - with a poor race timing.
The route was fun this time, with a to and fro on the Worli-Bandra sealink. Not only did it feel great to be running on the sealink, but it also offered a flat terrain for atleast 6-7 kms. Upto 14 kms I was doing good pace, and though the inclines after that were a bit tedious, I could still manage a steady pace. After the 18th km, I started feeling tired, but I remembered the 1600m speed runs around Kanteerava Stadium during training, and pushed myself to increase my pace.
While I owe a lot to training, there is huge room for improvement in my own effort. I would give myself a 6/10. Since it was the first time, I also would give myself some margin to err.
I was also fortunate to have Latha as my training partner. Apart from being such a positive influence, she also introduced me to GKVK where we did a couple of long runs that really helped me.
Going forward, I will be preparing for TCS 10K in the coming months. The focus will be on two things:
- Losing weight (the strategy is to walk on non run days + strength training + yeah, having rice only few days a week)
- Aiming for 60 minutes at TCS 10k (by continuing with my speed and tempo runs)
But for this week - and only this week - I will walk around with a smug smile and show off.

Snapshots from #SCMM 2016

At the SCMM Expo. SCMM is the biggest race in India - and the crowds (both running, and cheering) completely justify the tag!

Fueling up the day before at Pizza by the Bay. Loved my carb high for the day.
Marine Drive was swarming with runners the evening before the run. Even our taxi driver who took us there was excited, and promised to come to cheer us.
3 am alarms went off in every room at the hotel opposite CST where we were staying. The hotel even offered us breakfast. Lata and I left at 4 am to catch our train to Worli. We were expecting only runners in the train, but instead we found regular commuters at that ungodly hour, ready to start their day. 
Runners at the Currey Road station
The long queue to the bus shuttle
Latha and I with our finisher medals. What a relief!
Celebrating with my cheering squad - sister P and my school friends - at Leopold