Cast of characters: (in order of appearance)
Me: The one with the fickle mind
Mind: He Who Must Not Be Named
The Coach: The great and powerful
Rohan: A strapping young lad, training for his Half Ironman, hence in peak form, who can easily fly, leaving me to eat his dust. My training buddy since the last 4 years.
On a hot and humid October morn,
Rohan and I took off, twas barely dawn.
The plan was long intervals at the race course,
2, 4, 2k,with minute rests it was.
At the race course, in between round 1 and 2, taking a planned water break.
Me: Not bad, the first round bang on pace, I can actually think of doing a fast SCMM 2016…hmmm…I will kill the last round!
Mind: well done, let’s see how you sustain this pace speed with 2 continous rounds, you speed demon.
Me: (feeling rather smug): you watch!
Me: (after 3/4th of the first round) I wish I was here in my second round, with only 500m to go. Now there is 2.5 left! It’s killing me.
Me: maybe I should slow down
Mind: check your garmin, you’re already slow.
Me: oh no! You’re right. Ok-ok- getting my act together. Only 2k more and then I can rest for a whole minute.
Mind: good then, stick to your pace.
Mind: (in his mind): let’s see how you do that
Me: (2.25k done, 1.75 to go): oh god! How much longer? I can’t!
Me: no no- I will do it. I have to only complete this round. I need to push myself in these speed workouts. Cannot give up when it gets tough. I have to get going! Once I get through this I will be a winner.
Mind: very good, I’m impressed Parul. You’ve actually learnt to put up a fight. With me and with yourself. Quite a growing up compared to last year!
Me: keep going parul, keep going!
Mind: 3.5km done with this humidity, and so fast. How much longer can you pull? Maybe you should slow down.
Me: yes maybe I should, actually you know what, I won’t! I have to rest in 300m anyways. I will push.
Mind: (slightly uncomfortable): I didn’t see that one coming. But can you?
Me: yes. Yes, I can. (Thanks President Obama!)
Me: ok- last round…I’m going to kill it!
Mind: yes, yes you must
Me: (at 200m) : go parul go
Mind: well done
Me: but I’m tired
Mind: yes you are, but you have to do it! Imagine how good you will feel. It’s the last round anyways.
Me: yes- you’re right, as always, I will. This is the only tough workout this week. Sunday is only an easy 25.
Mind: good good. Pick up the pace then…you are slow!
Me: rohan, don’t leave me until the last 500m
Rohan: (suddenly realising that I need help): yes Baa(I cringe!) I won’t. I’m with you.
Mind: how? You’re slow! You’re tired! You’re holding him back!
Me: (resignedly): yes
Rohan: c’mon Baa, stop slacking. You’re doing well.
I check my Garmin, with half a round to go and I realize in horror we were far from killing it. We are really slow!
Me: Baba! Pick up! What are you doing?
Rohan: Chalo, lets go. Imagine Baa, that you are at the finish line of SCMM going for a PB. Now c’mon, fly!
And with the ease of a Ferrari, he soundlessly shifts into cruise control and sped off, leaving me high and dry. Holding the visual of the race, I run marginally faster than before.
Mind: wow, you’re actually trying!
Me: I’ve got to run faster, I’ve got to!
And I finish this round at target pace, not faster, not slower, just right.
Rohan: Good one baa!
As I filled in my excel file, expecting accolades from the coach, for having braved the weather( it was October!) and I did manage to hold my pace in 2 out of the 3 laps, all I got was indifference.
Coach: What’s the big deal, you did what was expected of you. Now had you killed the last round…then I would have been impressed!
So that’s that.
Just enough is not good enough.
Each workout has a purpose.
Every run, every day, each action needs complete focus and effort.
Act 2 to follow. Thank you for reading. It was rather long! 🙂