Goal: (By end June 2015)
I will become an average swimmer this year, and an expert swimmer by next year. Once my running increases the swimming will get integrated into my training- and finally I will have a proper cross training plan in place.
After 2 long months of swimming, I have managed to correct my breathing and kick, that too, only on one side. Arms and coordinated breathing remain a distant dream. As for cross training- with the intense marathon training and my lack of fitness I need the complete rest that I get on other days- no chance of Active rest. With work going on in full swing, as well as exams, I am like a crazy ball! Remember we had those as kids? The ones which you threw against a wall…and they rebound with a vengeance- and you couldn’t predict in which direction …basically – out of control!
Now that the running has picked up, I tried swimming on my off days- and spent that week (the one with the swim+run) in Zombie state! Swimming will now be erratic- I have reconciled to that. Running is my priority.
Goal: (from 2nd July 2015- MRR anniversary half marathon until end of July)
I will simply pick up my training from where I left off post SCMM 2015…and come back stronger this year.
I struggle even with easy paces. Tempos are out of question, with 2 failed attempts. It comes as a rude shock to my brain. Excuses are plenty. Fact is- fitness of body is separate from the aspired fitness of the mind. “I can and I will” work only when the mind and body work in unison… “I want to but I can’t” is more like my current situation. This despondence is new to me- as all these years I have pushed my body when it has been ready. This is the first year when I want to push my body because I am racing Hyderabad at the end of August. Yes, of course, it is only about finishing well…but suddenly I have ambitions.
After a month of bad running, unable to match either target paces or distance, I have come to terms with reality. It is ok. I should let it go. But ask a runner how their morning run affects their day- A good run ensures a great day ahead- upbeat and inspired. Conversely, a bad run…now, that doesn’t bode well.
Goal: (week of 3rd August 2015)
Easy running on Saturday and Sunday, due to social commitments and a down week.
As we ran the second round at the racecourse, at around 7 am on that Saturday morning, the sun peeped out from behind the grey clouds. The entire green bed was glowing with the blush of the rays and the raindrops twinkled. What a moment. It was etched in our minds forever. The lush green grass bathed with white morning light and a soft drizzle. A perfect moment. It was then that I realised how light I felt that morning, running with Rahul and Sandeep. This radiance reflected like moon beams off the Haji Ali shrine, and as a golden glow off the shikhara of the Mahalakshmi temple. Oh, what a shot that would have made! Feeling upbeat I completed that workout as well as the Sunday run, with surprising ease and strong finishes.
The sun shone and the world smiled.
I look forward to another week of easy running to better my fitness, and some good runs to reinstate my confidence. Maybe I was not that bad off, and with some work I could reach some goals.
Goal: (week of 10th August 2015)
No drop in pace or distance for the coming week, no respite from the grueling schedule, no easy ego boosting runs. A hard tempo on Tuesday followed by an intense interval workout on Thursday.
Stress loomed in my head. Like an Ogre. Great and powerful. The failures of the previous weeks ping ponged in my head. Come Tuesday, I armed my self with my little Ipod, steeled my self against the weather and headed out. I was not taking any chances. So with a constant drizzle, the tempo was as smooth as Pachelbel’s canon in D major. Even paced and rhythmic. I did not even need the music.
Full credit to the weather, but some of the lost faith in myself found its way back. All was not lost. The intervals awaiting me in two days seemed a little less intimidating.
The intervals went off well too, and I look forward to a great run tomorrow.
They say nothing teaches a runner more about running than Failed runs and DNFs. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I have yet to experience a DNF but I can well imagine. It means to consolidate everything that you have lost- confidence, training, courage and look up. Then ahead. And walk. Immediately, Amit Sheth comes to mind.He has taught us so much by emerging so strong from all his Comrades races. His resilience makes him the person he is today. Hats off to him!
I have learnt in my own little way…this life lesson…
“GOI” – Get Over It. You are your own worst enemy. Mental toughness is not only about hanging in there it is also about coming back and fighting harder than ever on another day. One bad run does not beget another bad run.