Saturday, 17 November 2012

Long Run Long Overdue

I think I am back in business now. I ran my last race on Aug 26th. It was a tough (for me) full marathon. The flyovers, the hills, tough tough tough. Enjoyable for sure, as there were lots of my friends around, my family was there at the finish and all that. I had decided to chill after it.

I chilled way too much! I was traveling for a fair bit after I returned from the Hyderabad race. I went to Bangalore for a day. Then I went to the Netherlands. En route to Amsterdam, I lost my passport in the Dubai airport. It was a horrid 10 hours before the kindly Dubai police tracked it down for me. I spent another hellish 12 hours trying to rest in a lounge chair.

Then I got myself into Germany, Dusseldorf to be precise. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to manage without German in the train stations of what looked like a super industrial Elizabeth, New Jersey type German city. I took 4 trains to reach Maastricht, in The Netherlands.

I did spend an idyllic few days in that place, conferencing with various Chemical Engineering big-wigs and biking around the city in my spare time. I ran a bit, desultorily, but it was cold (for me), and I couldn't figure out the nice routes easily so I ditched that and enjoyed biking instead.

The pain in my feet started soon after I returned and just wouldn't go away. I cut down mileage, started on strength training, iced it, to no avail. The doctor dismissed it as "metatarsalitis" and gave me some anti-inflammatory tabs and lots of free gyaan, which I was loathe to listen to once he told me he "runs on the treadmill everyday"

My husband yelled at me if I even started talking about running. I was miserable but I hung on. I devised a special circuit training routine in this time period that is an amalgam of a boot camp workout I found online, a Runner's World article I read (RW purchased during that awful Dubai airport debacle!), and just whats possible on my terrace.

Last week finally the pain seems to have subsided. I am still reluctant to say its fully gone. I am still doubtful about its cause (suspect running around Dubai airport wearing work shoes for 24 hours straight). But for now, I am back in training for the upcoming Mumbai Marathon on 20th Jan, 2013.

In our training long runs, we start off together - about 4-5 of us. It usually separates into two groups subsequently. I have run most of my recent ones with Ramesh alongside me, at least up to 20k. Its all good for two rounds of our campus, of 10k each. We take a break at the car at 10k & 20k, eat something, drink something, are somewhat together, at least in pairs.

After that we each have to dig deep inside. Its all lonely time. The last 5-10k that we crank out feels the worst and the best. We each have different pain points then. My thoughts are focussed on distance and I give up on the pace at that stage. I try very hard to think about my feet, how they are landing. I try to veer the mind away from my responsibilities for the day - the grading, cooking, house stuff, class preparation....

The last 45 mins - 1 hour of a long run is the hardest thing ever. Once we finish we joke around again. They all make fun of me and make me out to be more of a hero than ever. It doesn't 'go to my head' don't worry as I remember how I was suffering just a few minutes earlier. We make plans for the next session of 'torture' and shake hands and rush back home to our families....

Yes, I am looking forward to that, call me a masochist if you will. I don't have any particular goals for this marathon (#3). I want to make sure my timing chip works this time. I want to crank out some solid 30k long runs this season (weather is good as well so it will be great!). I want to keep up the strength work and focus on core more (I think its responding, slowly, but surely)...


Orcaella brevirostris said...

" I don't have any particular goals for this marathon (#3). "

Apart from running with Cousin Milind?

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

Dolph- you are most unreliable. I am sending him a friend request on FB RIGHT NOW. Seriously. I am tired of depending on you.