One of my plans with this blog was to document my journey towards my first full marathon.
However, I soon found out that rigorous training can lead to one feeling completely, and I mean *completely* exhausted by the end of the day. It is now only after a month of serious training that my body seems to have adjusted to the higher levels of energy required to get through the long days.
And hence, even though belated, here’s a start to what I hope will be a regular feature: the weekly running review, in which I try and capture how I’m progressing.
8th Nov (Sunday) – Long run. According to the training calendar that I’ve signed up for on RunKeeper, I was supposed to be taking it easy: 12.9 kms. This, owing to the fact that there had been a significant increase in mileage in the last couple of weeks. In fact, I had run two successive half marathons (21.1kms) on the previous two Sundays.
However, I’ve now started running in a group and I really do enjoy my long runs. And so, I decided to make it a hat-trick of half-marathons! This was one of my faster HMs and I almost clocked my Personal Best (PB). I ran a little slow at the start because I was running with a few new runners in the group who weren’t sure about the route that we had to take. Later, I ran with another lady who is preparing for the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon. I went at a slightly easy pace so that I could run alongside her, but honestly, I was pretty glad I wasn’t pushing myself too much because it still was pretty humid.
- Distance: 21.85 kms
- Time: 2:23:26
- Avg. Pace: 6:44 min/km
9th Nov (Monday) – This was supposed to be a rest day. But the lure of a good breakfast was too much to let us stay asleep!
Unfortunately, no good breakfast places we know of open before 7:30. So, a couple of friends and I went to the lakes for a brisk 5 km walk. Of course, this was followed by a sumptuous breakfast, the details of which I shall keep to myself. 😛
- Distance: 5.38 km
- Time: 56:12
- Avg. Pace: 10:27 min/km
10th Nov (Tuesday) – Interval training day. The break-up was 2 minutes of quick running (10% faster than race day pace) followed by 60 second break. This was to be repeated 8 times. I was pretty satisfied by this, my second attempt at interval training.
- Distance: 4.94 km
- Time: 30:45
- Avg. Pace: 6:13 min/km
11th Nov (Wednesday) – Diwali run! I was pretty surprised and enthused by the people in our group who had turned up even on Diwali morning for a run. Since we had pretty much decided that we wouldn’t be running the next day (to avoid all the pollution caused by firecrackers), we decided to do our ‘trick run’ on Wednesday itself. ‘Trick run’ is our trainer’s lingo for ‘cadence counting’. I was supposed to do a 82 count run (164 cadence). I think my running form needs correction, since although I was running at a higher cadence, my pace wasn’t particularly impressive.
- Distance: 8.31 km
- Time: 54:57
- Avg. Pace: 6:37 min/km
12th Nov (Thursday) – Rest day.
13th Nov (Friday) – Boot camp. Started with a short warm-up run and proceeded to get our backsides kicked, as per usual.
“What the hell, it helps in the long run, right? And that’s all that counts. Quit complaining!”
- Distance: 3.48 km
- Time: 23:03
- Avg. Pace: 6:37 min/km
14th Nov (Saturday) – Foam Rolling Recap. I had never imagined a foam roller could be so painful or so pain relieving at the same time. Trust me, there’s nothing like the kind of pain one feels when using the foam roller, especially if you’ve got shin splints the way I do. But yes, the trigger release that happens afterwards is worth all the pain. Onlookers will remain sceptical about the use of this innocent looking equipment, but I can vouch for all the knotted muscles that it has helped me loosen up. Recovery from long runs is way sooner when you use these.
15th Nov (Sunday) – Long run. As per my RunKeeper training schedule, I was supposed to run 22.53 km. But when the mind has already made the decision to run a round figure, the 25 km mark was the obvious decision to make. We started early, at 4:30 AM and this required some adjustment to the pre-run eating pattern. To add to this challenge, there was no bread or bananas in the house. Silly me, for not having checked the previous evening. I improvised and finished half an energy bar and couple of almonds and walnuts.
The run went very well. I only occasionally pushed myself for a faster pace. Also, I realised once again how much of a mind game long-distance running actually is. In the previous weeks, when I was targetting a 21 km run, I would start feeling cramps and/or fatigue after the 17-18 km mark. Today, since I was looking at a bigger target, I didn’t even stop to realise and 21 km went by without any complaints. It was only around the 22 km mark that I started struggling.
I paused at two points during the run, at the 14 km mark and at the 22 km mark, to do a runner’s stretch. I wish I had taken a couple of extra seconds and stretched more, since it did actually help. At the 21.1 km mark, I realised I had finished the half marathon distance at a PB of 2 hours 7 minutes, a clear 10 minutes (!!) better than my previous PB of 2 hours 17 minutes at the Mumbai Marathon earlier this year.
Also, the last time I ran a 25 km run was at the Tata Steel Kolkata event last year, which I had finished in 2:59:29. Today, I had obviously improved and hit a PB here too! I think I can push myself for a better pace next Sunday, when I plan on running 25 km again.
- Distance: 25.01 km
- Time: 2:37:10
- Avg. Pace: 6:17 min/km