The way you train is the way you run your races.
And my speed training this year, I know has not been consistent. The goal for Delhi was simple. Better the last year’s race by a minute. But run a constant pace tempo. End result. I got my time. 1. 53. Yes a PB. Am I thrilled? No.
Instead of running a flat pace, my pace varied with my mind and my music.My thoughts and my temper.
I have not been able to hold this pace even during my tempos while training. Expecting me to do this on race day, was to expect a miracle. The miracle which usually does happen on race day. But I did not even control the mind enough, to will that to happen.
Rahul, Ashima and I started well and stayed on course till 8 km. After that something snapped and I squandered away all my focus. Rahul went on, holding the pace whereas Ashima’s and my pace slipped. I knew. I could see it. I could feel it. Instead of tightening my belt, I let it continue. The crowd was not motivating. I had to look within, dig deep and pull myself up- but I did not.
At 16km, India Gate showed up and I snapped out of my reverie. So I told Ashima, lets buck up and like a demon possessed I smiled to myself, picked up pace and forged ahead. Unfortunately I lost Ashima there.
My iPod blared-“I’m coming out… So you better get this party started! “And there I was. Cruising.
As it happens towards the second half of the race, all runners have settled into a rhythm and it’s pretty much the same group that you run the race with. There was a runner who has been zig zagging around me for the last 3-4 km. I had been maneuvering myself around him but in my new avatar- I held my hand left hand out- as I overtook him – and said- this is my lane. Do not cross! And I took off!
Already in rhythm, I pushed the turbo button for the last 2, doing my best to bring the average pace down to beat my last year’s time.
And I did it.
ADHM 1.53.54 to beat last years 1.54.57.
It wasn’t hard. I had just not focused enough.
Training like this, has increased the joy in my running. I did enjoy the race. Yes. I still made conversation and laughed a bit The ease with which I held pace surprised me. What shocked me though was that I ran a 1.53 half marathon and I was not thrilled. The ecstatic feeling of last year is not replicated. And that I feel, reflects my growth as a person and a runner, where the method has become more important than the eventual result. Awareness of every thought and every move is making me more alive. I am getting more out of each run. Each race. Each day. Each minute.
44 days to SCMM.
I better wake up else I will be left singing sad songs!