Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sooper fun - Sooper Run - Bangalore Midnight Marathon

Sooper is the only word for this run. I decided to run the half marathon [21.097 km] this time [my first one at that]. After finishing 2 marathons [ the 42.195 km ones in Bangalore and Mumbai] in intense pain and agony, my goal here at the bangalore midnight run was to "enjoy" the run and finish the half marathon in 2 hours and 10 mins without any injury or pain.

Weeks before this run, we [chennai runners] trained hard for this one. Usually, i run atleast 3 times a week, for 3 months leading up to the marathon. But this time, i was in the worst fitness state when i started practising in feb/march. I soon realised that if i ever want to get better at running long distance, i need to start on Yoga. Yoga lessons clearly helped and the benefits are so obvious - from the days of heavy breathing at 30 minute mark, i was able to comfortably run for 1:30 at the midnight run.

Running - alone is never fun. The run is always fun, with a gang. Training runs with Chennai Runners have been a lot of fun. The bonding that happens over an intense activity is very difficult to explain. Meeting up at crazy hours and running in pain - this gives a "high" that is understood easily by the "clan"!

I was looking forward to the run at Bangalore since many of my pals were running along. Its an "energising" thing when you recoganise a pal running along - we push each other and help each other to exceed limits. The running course at Bangalore wasn't exactly runner friendly , what with some steep and gradual gradients. It was 5.5 km lap, run 4 times for the half marathon.
Lap 1 was a comfortable one. Did it in 26 mins. It was a comfortable run and i mentally noted down the stretches where i can run hard and where i need to slow down, in the next few laps [ though should've been donw before the race]. Lap 2, i was running along with Balaji [ first timer and was pushing himself to run quick]. Saw a few pals running in the opposite direction and shouted the "go get it's" and kept running.
Completed lap 2 comfortably by the 59 min mark. Lap 3 was the slowest. I was running hard on the flats and down hill section but was reduced to a very slow jog on the uphills. Sometimes near the steepest gradient, i walked a wee bit to the top and started running. Completed lap 3 by 1 hour and 38 mins.

I was not in any pain and i was really enjoying the run, like never before. I was in the zone and wanted to finish the race strong and hard. 200 mts into the run, Abhi told me that another of the chennai runners - Sandy was just ahead. This gave me the motivation to run hard in the last lap. Switched music in my IPOD to Joe Satriani's. I always ran fast and hard to his tunes. Just the perfect song for the fast last lap - Ran the flats hard, paced the uphills and soon had Sandy in sight. I was picking up speed and went past Sandy, about a km from the finish. One of my wishes has been to sprint to the finish line in the half/full marathon - I just did that in this run. Sprinted to the finish line ! Did a 2:15 half marathon. There is some joy in finishing a long run in a painfree way and strong and hard - the high after... is truly HIGH.

Finished behind the target time by 5 mins, but the course was a bit on the tougher side for a better finish. But the end was a happy one - never was in any pain, sprinted to the finish, had some juice left to run more and importantly, lot of pals were around to celebrate. Each of them had a terrific run themselves. Boston had a fantastic run, so did Bajji and Abhinav. Shumit, Hari, Mahesh, Dayal, Vignesh, Aja, Ravi, Collins and Sriram formed a part of one real happy midnight's dream.
P.S. 3 weeks ago, after my runs in Coimbatore and Blore, ran in Chennai after a 3-4 week absence, on a sunday. Finished last! [ One of the fellow runners jokingly remarked that i need to be fast]. For some reason, i took this seriously. At the next run, i didnt want to lose to him. We did a 10k run and i was leading him till 9.8 km but lost out in the last 200 mts. A week before the big run, on a sunday morning, again, led him for most part but he took over. But at the Bangalore run, i didnt want to lose. Probably, losing a lot of times had me crave the little victories. And this time, i did finish ahead. A full 15 min ahead of him. [ If you are reading, no offense meant to you. A very good friend, you have become].
Running with a group, truly is .. FUN and still, you run your own race...


Archu said...

Sooper read too!!!!“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”And hope ur passion for running lives forever.....

Abhinav Vinayakh Shankar said...

The stuff of my dreams. i will finish with a sprint some day and my sub 2.5 half marry dream RIPs.

Capricorn 83 said...

Dude....was rocking da!
i personally enjoyed it man! defnly was nice wth gud practice with team da!

Am game for some more 'axn events' coming up :)

Vignesh Raja

Nano said...

Sooper bro sooper. Keep up the good work. Hope you sprint to the finish of a full marathon next time.

Karthikeyan....KK said...

Archu - Sooper support too!

Abhinav - Some day .. some day!

Capri - Keep this enthu going man! and lets cycle some day :P

Nano - Thanks man!

veenaasays said...

Hi...This is the 1st time I read ur blog and I hats off to u for ur timing in the marathon and ur description. I felt as though I was a part of it. Keep it up and gud luck the next time.....veenaa

Karthikeyan....KK said...

Veena - Thanks for droping by and for the nice words.

Boston said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Boston said...

Sooper da, Odine Odine Odikonde Irundhe! ;-)

Ravi said...

I am glad you beat me ! 2:15 is a good timing. I look forward to our next marathon together !

until then, run is fun !