Injuries had troubled me in recent past because of which I have not raced since April, 2013 (LRG Night Marathon-10K). When most of runners around me were achieving their PBs under perfect running conditions in December 2013, I kept a reign on my speed and paced ADHM for 2:45 finish. I was feeling frustrated because of injury. So after ADHM, I tried everything that could help in healing my injury. Alternate hot/cold compression, pressing inner portion of my index and longest fingers (this really help in alleviating achilles pain-all thanks to Shiba Mehra for telling this technique), soaking my legs in warm water with rock salt mixed in it, icing and foam rolling religiously. I was not running much but concentrated on strengthening exercises. Three exercises that need special mention are as follows:
- Holding Glute Bridge (keeping hips squeezed)
- Wall Squats:Normal wall squat as well as wall squat with foam roller held between my knees.
- Planks:I was holding planks for more than 5 minutes during those days.
Finally, reached a stage where I could think of registering for a race. Faridabad Marathon (actually a 10K) was happening in February. It was a chip timed event so registered for it.
On race day, after reaching event venue, I realized that I probably made a wrong decision. Race was scheduled to start at 8:00 am but with presence of state’s CM and other leaders, it became more of a political event. Runners standing in the holding area were feeling stranded as race could start anytime. But alas! orations by local leaders kept on delaying that moment. That sounded like eternity. After an hour of political rendition finally race was flagged off.
One good thing about most of the ill-managed races in India is that they attract fastest of runners with whom amateurs like me can run. Runners sped like rocket. I went with the flow in first few minutes but later realized that I am going too fast so slowed down a bit. I also wanted to take a leak as standing in holding area on a cold February morning for an hour had made things worst. Race course was through a residential area and there were not many avenues. Some how after taking a decent lead from big crowd of runners found a place to attend to nature’s call. Ah!! That brought a different energy in me. Now I was almost flying, overtook few more runners and finally joined a pack that was running at a pace that was in my comfort zone. Those guys had a very smooth stride- nice leg lift, beautiful hip extension, soft forefoot landing. A treat for eyes to watch. I believe my form would have improved looking at theirs. Everything was going smooth till the time 10K route merged with that of 3K and 5k (another faux pas in that event). Now I was wading in a sea of runners, moving in zig zag patterns to find my way. Finally crossed the finish line and was lucky enough to get some water (runners who come after some time struggled to do that). I hydrated myself and started stretching when one of the spectator asked me my timings. I was totally unaware about that as I was running without timing device trusting that chip will divulge these details after the run. Anyhow I asked him time at that moment. It was 9:54 am. Later I checked out from friend’s running app’s log that the race gun time was 9:15 am. That gave me an idea that my timing would be on lower side of 40 minutes.
Race results were out. Alas! my result was not there. Later I followed up with the technical partner providing timing support and got my timing. It was 00:38:12- my personal best for 10K.
Overall it was poorly organized event but given a chance, I would not mind participating in such ill-managed races as long I get a chance to run in company of fast runners (with whom I can keep pace ;) )