Friday 9 April 2010

Comrades Ultra Marathon Training II

What do you get when you mix a 140km schedule of running in the week gone by, a meeting with the HP Secretary Youth Services and Sports and the Director of Sports to lock down the 2nd Shimla Running And Living Half Marathon on 26th Sept 2010, with a 25 km run in the elevation of Shimla on Monday? Rest Right?
Yes I did rest post yakking with Madhu and Vijay and Rajni - my poor hosts in Shimla with no choice, but to grin and bear it :-) Had a great dinner and some cognac and went to sleep at 1030pm. Awoke at 230am - and no it was not because of a nightmare or because of dehydration with the cognac or a headache because of the sudden change in altitude. It was because of my alarm - I had to continue the training for my Comrades 89k Ultra. It doesn't get easy just because of what I had done last week.
I set off for my run at 3am in the cover of darkness and the moon, armed with a water bottle, some almonds, raisins, a kit kat and Adidas MiCoach to guide me in the dark on my pace, heart rate and other good stuff. My driver was going to start at 830am and collect me from wherever he located me, and put me into the nearest ICU and call the burial services to do the needful.
The first hour was peaceful, even the dogs were asleep.Exited past Tutikandi at around 4am, I was doing well, going mostly downhill and training for the tough downhill 89km Comrades run, the quads were not yet complaining with the running they had been subjected to. I think they are now applying for a transfer to a body that possesses a saner mind.
I finished my half marathon in 2 hours 15mins which was great considering I was planning to see if I cd target 56km in 7 hours during this training run, and with a bit of luck, 6:30 hrs.
The sky started turning grey from black at around 520am and soon I had crossed Kaithleeghat -upto where I had run a week earlier on my previous visit to Shimla. Then on to Kiarighat, Vakanaghat and Kandaghat. Cd I stop here? What am I trying to prove> No one is watching - said the little man in my head. But I wasn't tired and popped a couple of raisins and an almond every km, and continued. It was beautiful as the stars slowly faded and a few golden streks lit the sky, and gradually the half moon faded away as the sun came out brighter.
The cars, trucks and buses were passing me more frequently so the exhaust fumes started getting to me, Stopped at a Dhaba for another bottle of water and for a packet of lays to get me my salt fix - I sweat like a pig so I cd do with it.
The uphills were more comfortable than I thought and I managed to run up many, as I walked up a few, teh straights were few, and the downhills many and steep. Good training for me as I passed the marathon distance in around 4: 45 hrs and was on the phone with my driver to meet me at a pre determined spot at Solan. 56km in 6 hrs 25mins. I was delighted- then walked and stretched on the highway as my sweaty face was getting darkened further with the exhaust fumes.
Relaxed in the car on the drive back and rested on Wed, drove to Jaipur and back on Thu to lock down our 5k and 10k prep for the 18th of April and also checked out a tough half marathon route - from Amer to Jaigarh to Nahargarh and back - a fantastic and historical run, if it comes through.
Almost dropped off with sleep driving back but a coke revived me and I was back at the wheel, just in time for an IPL match. You can tell that divorce is looming when I am living so dangerously. And then I got up at 415 today to start a 5am run of around 28km with Randeep, Sushant, Ravi and Arvind. Thank goodness there seem to be other mad people, or as we were joking to ourselves early this morning - we are actually homeless and therefore keen to show up to do strange things like run, at these strange hours.
Unfortunately the power cord for my MiCoach has been misplaced, perhaps in Shimla, so I have not been able to download my data or use the device today, but I have emailed the Adidas agency to see if they cd help. One of the suggestions I had made earlier to them was to have a small pouch to house the 3 cables and 3 components for us poor itinerant souls or soles, rather. Lets see what happens.
Planning another 3-4hr run tomorrow morning also starting at 5am.
Please say yes
At least I'll know that there are many more mad folks