A Run for Some Fun – Trail Note of my WWWP5K
I ran 5K today, along with several other bloggers from the world over! I’m happy, ecstatic rather, and absolutely exhausted!! My legs are sore by now, and my face is still semi-reddish from the sun burn, but I’m loving it!! 🙂
Running is probably the only form of exercise that interests me. Its more free styled than any other form of sport,perhaps that’s why. It can never get boring. You can change route, time, distance, time of the day etc. Running on roads/ trails sets you free, without the enclosed environment of a gym where the personal trainer allows you limited time on treadmill and where on a treadmill, you stare at a fixed point, day after day. Or like my earlier gym, if yours too had the entire wall in front of treadmills covered in mirror, you’d stare at your reflection in the mirror in front of the treadmill and keep checking whether you continued to look unflattering while diligently avoiding (and convincing your mind against) staring at (or sometimes checking out even 😉 ) your fellow ‘gymmers’ on your both sides, through the same full length mirror. At some point within couple of days, you’d be tired looking at yourselves not getting any better and just give up, like I had…but then, somehow, 3-4 years back, I got interested in running. I ran in and around my area, usually early in the mornings, taking in the scenery and enjoying myself thoroughly. I always ran alone, and realised that when I reach an optimum speed (optimum for myself), I’d just forget myself and everything else for that matter. It was a great feeling. I’d like to think that it would have been ‘runners’ high’ – though I never ran long distances. Well, months passed and work and laziness crept in. Waking up that early became a serious issue with me and I just gave up on one of the greatest source of pleasure in my life…
A month ago, when I suddenly remembered my run-happy days, I began to miss terribly, the feeling of power/victory that I’d experience on completing a run, sometimes exceeding my target… and I wanted to get back to running. As usual, I resumed my C25K program with Ullreys’ podcasts – and started with week 3 since I felt that week 1 and 2 had too less running in them to excite me into continuing running. It seems week 3 had less running too by now for me…I must have ran a couple of times last month, that’s all. My motivation to run was then suppressed by my monthly work related deadlines and other random events it seems. I guess, WWWP5K was THE trigger that I was waiting for. I think I read the WP blog on April 2. With so many other participants and fellow runners, I felt this could work as that final push to make me get back to running, so I signed up. Well, you just had to blog about it and put up a pic of yourselves on the blog! Now that was nice. Not only you got to participate in a worldwide event, but also gloat about it!! 🙂
Since I hadn’t run much since long, I ran a couple of times last week, to assess my stamina levels. Using mapmyrun, I discovered that I had done much better than I thought, both the times. That helped me into thinking that 5K at this point was an achievable target. Sunday was to be D-day and I had already mapped my route. I decided at that point that since I was able to do 3.5 – 4 K in 35 mins, I should just let go on the time part for now. Doing 5K within 35-40 mins would have been difficult, since I found myself exhausted after my 4K run. I knew I had to finish 5K because that would be such a psychological milestone and propel me futher. I had decided to wake up at 5 am and go running, hoping that cool weather and deserted roads would make everything easy. Anything later than 7.00 am in Mumbai (Thane) nowadays means hot, humid and sunny – which I had experienced on my earlier 2 runs and wanted to avoid since it would be longer distance and time too.
Due to activity-filled Saturday, I slept late and of course woke up really late despite my setting various alarms in my cell phone. It was 8.00 am!! I did a double take and had this sagging feeling… 8.00 am meant hot weather, and 5K meant more than 40 mins. By the time, I’d return, I reckoned, it’d be so sunny and I’d be so exhausted that I better leave this run for some other day. But then I reminded myself, that it was Sunday and atleast there would be less human activity on the road at this time than any other weekday. Sooner or later, I had to overcome this psychological barrier and why not today…, so I was up and ready in 15 minutes. I drank quite a bit of water before heading out – I dont carry water bottle in hand, nor do I have a strap to tie it to my waist since I feel it’d be uncomfortable.
I began at 8.20 am.As expected, it was sunny. There were people, but most of them were returning from their morning walks/ heading out to grocery stores etc. I was using Ullrey’s week 5 podcast, day 3. I’d decided that I’d run for 20 mins at stretch after the 5 mins brisk walk and complete the rest of the distance doing a cool-down brisk walk. Traffic was definitely less. Summer in Mumbai means lot of road-digging activities to finish repairs in advance of monsoon. So the road stretch was dusty at times and terrain wasn’t exactly smooth. A run here also means company of countless stray dogs. Though many people do complain of hounding on their runs, I always have a handy strategy, when I notice a dog from a distance, I slow down to a jog! Till now, this has been a foolproof (dog-proof) strategy. Anyway, such several dug-out points and dog run-ins later, when I was into 13th minute of my run, I felt terribly thirsty, sweaty and weak from the heat and sun. I felt I should have carried some water and worn a cap. Besides, my face was all heating up. I have oily-reddish skin that reddens, tans and sunburns easily. I realised, I wasn’t wearing any sunscreen either. I didnt want to stop, but moment by moment, it was getting harder not to. So I decided to push myself only upto the next big tree, and then, the next and so on. I actually ran for 21 minutes at a stretch and that was little past 4K mark. The next 5 minutes of podcast were brisk cool – down walk. I knew, I couldnt cover remaining almost 1 K within those 5 mins and I was absolutely exhausted.I decided to walk at my own pace – that wasnt really brisk. So it must’ve taken me more than 12 mins to complete the remaining distance. By the time, I returned home, I checked it was 9.10 am. I checked myself in the mirror, My face was most unbecoming shade of red – though it was from exhaustion, exertion and pride of having crossed that mental barrier of 5K. I have consciously refrained from posting my own pics on this blog and I would stick to it, even with the glory of 5K. I could have taken images of the trail, but it wasnt really a picturesque and I was busy trying to complete my goal!
What can I say about the whole experience…I’m feeling great. Ran a total of 12.75 Kms within these 3 runs. More than I ran for past 7-8 months together. That is saying something! It removed my psychological resistance to resuming running. Yes, I am tired indeed and need a day or two off from running, but this time, I’m gonna resume it soon.