Friday, 27 January 2012

Face the facts...

A friend of mine told me yesterday that facebook is his blog. I nodded sagely as if I knew what he was talking about. But then seriously, that shit makes no sense to me. I have a facebook account, I mean its there. I am using it mostly to figure out what my friends are up to and to write messages to them once in a while about this and that. I am subscribed to a billion various versions of running groups on it. There are photos which are occasionally interesting there. I post once in about 3 months. Something that I consider is harmless enough that I don't mind it being viewed by the total melting pot of friends, relatives, acquaintances, students, passersby, people who take the bus from near my house, and so on. But my blog, is, well, this one. Where I talk about my feelings and shit. And rarely post photos. And heck you don't even know my name (sort of). Can't imagine marrying these two... To each his own, I guess!

So, what am I feeling now you ask? Let me avoid the question and tell you a story instead.

YMCA Republic Day Half Marathon

I woke up 3:45 am. I snoozed for a bit. Then got worried about getting late. So I swung out of bed at 3:47. Brushed. Found that we had no bananas (except for one small black nasty looking one), no bread. I ate a nutri grain biscuit (which I hate) with my coffee. I went back upstairs and changed into clothes I had helpfully placed on the chair.

I pulled the car out even as I cursed the fact that I had my period, raging, as it were. I gritted my teeth and told myself that that would be my challenge for the day. My ankle felt tender and funny. Another challenge. It was all piled on all together for Republic day.

As I was driving to IIT to pick up three young people who were all super excited about the race, I spoke to my running partner on the phone, getting some much needed motivation, albeit long distance. "How are you feeling?" he said. "I am 70%", I said, exaggerating, to say the least.

Reaching the venue and parking the car were less troublesome than I had anticipated (pulling the car out was another problem though!). I found all my Chennai Runner buddies in full form and spirits and plastered a smile as I walked over.

I had a job to do after all. I was Krishna's pacer. I had hopefully told him my quirks. I start too fast. I always do. I fade at 18 km, I always do. And I was super frustrated already with my various set of cribs. At least I didn't think of post-Mumbai Marathon recovery as an issue...

Our first 5 miles were great. We hit it in 42-43 - a couple minutes ahead of target. We were soon joined by various people either running with us or over-taking us, making a joke, and moving on. I had vowed to run this race with concentration, especially given that my pacing goes off otherwise, and the concentrating had been helpful in Mumbai. But I couldn't help participating in the event with comments and quips and such like things.

The second 5 miles were off target by a bit. I think it was quite a bit off target actually - maybe 3 minutes - but thanks to the savings in the first 5, I was not overly concerned. But by this time my body was beginning to revolt. I had a Gu in my amphipod but I was avoiding eating it. I still hate Gu a little bit after SCMM - not having forgotten its taste. But I had to have a small bite of it.

I did my three long breaths-three short breaths routine. And the Gu took effect. And I analysed the situation and realised that my period seemed to have receded into the background. Calves felt a bit bad. I could feel several blisters (black socks - don't ask me why). My core felt tight and strong... But mostly, I was mentally pissed.

The last 5k were to be done in 27 mins. I upped my pace a bit. Krishna took off meanwhile, meeting his wife at a water spot seemed to give him extra mojo. Or maybe he was just doing comfortable pace with me. I feel that it would have been comfortable pace for me as well, if not for the various. Anyway, I had him in my sight. And I really concentrated then on, avoiding talking, and eye contact with people.

With 2k to go, I was quite a bit miserable. I had a bit more Gu and sipped water. I checked my watch and realised that we were truly on target. So I clung on. My legs would slow but I pulled them back up. Meanwhile Karthik was run:walking and I was seeing him around and that made me happy. Because it meant he was also on target for a PB and excellent finish.

I upped it a bit and sprinted to the arch when I found it, although I was a bit confused with the fact that my garmin was still quite a bit off (0.7 km) from a half marathon distance. I avoided the temptation to continue running for the sake of the garmin reading as the enthu organisers were yelling out my number and clapping and giving me a finisher medal and the guys who were ahead had also stopped. So it read 1:55:34 when I gave my 'finished' smile. I feel confident of a sub-2 hour finish even with the distance issue.

I don't know if Krishna needed my pacing to get him his PB. I am not sure that I did a great job of it - I haven't trained that much with him yet. But I know that I ran my heart out yesterday. There were few enough women but still I cherish the trophy they gave me for coming in first. Its a sub-2 HM any which way I look at it and that is nothing to be ashamed of.

However, all the endorphins from running and the trophy and all the runner-camaraderie associated with the event later, I still feel it. In the pit of my stomach. A sadness. A cloud. Memories of sad things and people long gone. I breathe deep, I sigh, I tell myself to attack my list of tasks...

How does one say all these things on facebook? This is for my blog readers, not facebook friends. For them I should upload a photo of my trophy, and watch from the sidelines as they tell me various things. To them, I would never admit that at this point of time, I am a little girl who wants to curl up somewhere cozy, or that I am feeling very un-loved and sad. I know this will pass, it has to. But I know I have to go deeper to find the strength for it. I will do it in a day or two... 


Simplethoughts said...

I so agree with you on the facebook thing...we add all aira gaira nathu khaira in the facebook list of friends (friends really??) quite a lot of things cannot be added in facebook...

congrats on ur trophy... hope u feel better soon

Choxbox said...

Hi-five and hug.

- Blog-reader & FB friend.

Choxbox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dipali said...

Chin up, my dear. You know you are an inspiration. Big hugs.