Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Big Run.

This weekend's the TOI Bengaluru Midnight Marathon a much anticipated event since it's going to be my first half-marathon, considering I complete the whole thing in some decent time! In view of that I started preparing for it since the past week or so and my injured left leg hasn't made it optimal so far. I thought rationally and decided that since my left leg is going to get injured again in the marathon anyway, why should I strain it even more in training and risk the chance of completing the event? but, if I become a couch potato for a week it'll mean the end of this run! I won't make it past 5K for sure, so, I needed to keep the legs pumped up, at the same time, avoiding any further impact-related exercises which would harm my left knee any further. What's the only alternative? yup, cycling! The plan was to do around 25km a day in the morning cold. Things have gone slightly off track cause I've managed to cycle 10km one day, 16km the other and today I somehow managed a good 28km in the morning,Chamundi Hill to back. (heh, some consolation). It was difficult today, may be because of the dinner I had yesterday, only chapathi, no carbs etc. The plan is to eat as much carbs as possible this week, but it's only easier said than done when you get bored easily with more than two servings of rice, potatoes are bad for our stomach, high-energy chocolates are expensive and late to kick in and there're no banana shops in the morning when you forget to keep a stock of it at home.
28 minutes was the time it read on my watch, 4 minutes slower than my best time, but a very effective one as I concentrated on using all the muscles in my legs and backside, equally in both the legs, which ended up giving me a backache when I was almost at the summit.
Things are going fine, my impact-free exercise routine seems to be working, my knee is recovering, I'm burning off whatever little fat-pockets I had remaining and my muscles are getting used to being used for hours at a stretch without complaining. Fluids levels are on the level most of the times unlike Nov/Dec 2007 when I used to dehydrate every alternate day and had to top up salts externally to stop myself from going dizzy and disoriented while walking, heart-rate is in the late 40's early 50's beats per minute, so physiologically I'm prepared, mentally I can force myself to be prepared, physically, hmm , not so sure about my left knee to be frank, still a little worried about that. The race is going to be in the middle of the night, and at that time, the only logical way would be forward whether you are able to run or not. It's not like the earlier races I've run, where people could just skip the median, catch an auto and go back to the parking lot in the stadium. This is going to be in the middle of the night, thinking about it, it'll be 1 in the morning, 1 AM when runners are going to start giving up, probably 10k into their runs, due to multiple factors, the darkness, not being able to see the road that far ahead causes an anxiety which can sap you off energy, improper dinner/dinner time, the cold which might cause cramps, the time of the day and how it affects the body in the form of fatigue and sleep etc. Many factors totally.
The cold is now one of my biggest worries. I've observed that I always take time to warm up. It would not be a good idea to turn up to the even in those skimpy running shorts and tee shirt. I'll have to wear something very warm till the time I go join the group to take the start, but then how long will that take? where will I keep the warmers? how long should I warm up? I'm sure it's going to be at least 12 degrees on that night, probably even lesser. may be it wasn't a good idea for the organization to hold a midnight race in the dead of winter.
But then, all these are just thoughts, once I put on my shoes, I'm sure many of those thoughts are going to disappear, leaving very few things to worry about, probably only the cold. being stranded in the middle, probably will never happen, but even if it happens, I'm counting on the race volunteers to help me out with it. Hmm , so a few more days of exercise left. Planning to stop with Friday morning's workout and then keep stretching, warmed up all of Friday and Saturday, eating good food, having a good sleep and using my legs as little as possible.
Interesting indeed, have to wait and see how this one turns out! One thing is for sure though, I will be a little more fitter than at least a few people in the group, so if I'm having these worries, they should be having nightmares about it. So, if they're fine, it's either ignorance or confidence, either way, it helps not to worry about such things, yes? Wish me luck!

p.s. if anything goes wrong, Shazo will be on standby I hope. Stay awake Shazo!

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