Airtel Delhi half marathon isn’t just a running event for me. It is where I evaluate my year’s training and figure out the goals for next year. While running today, I knew exactly what I still need to work on and where I want to get by the time the event rolls around next year. It is weird because I thought I had trained pretty well. While the timing is important, I don’t want to make ADHM all about that. The timing isn’t the goal. There will come a run when I won’t achieve my personal best timing because something will go wrong on the final day. That’s ok.
You may train for everything – the right workout wear, the shoes, your periods, the music, the headphones, running gel, hydration etc. But a small thing will pose a challenge on D day and threaten to undo everything. Every single time.
I had a plan for today. My PB last year was 2 hrs 35 mins. I was targetting 2 hrs 30 mins which isn’t a stretch because reduction of 10 mins every year is do-able. Considering all the changes in my life recently, I didn’t want to stress myself about timing. Also, I couldn’t get to 2 hrs 30 mins at IDBI Mumbai half marathon few months back (humid weather) and wasn’t confident.
The plan was :
8.5 km in 1 hour. Do-able
17 km in 2 hours. A stretch because I run 16 km in 2 hours
Balance 4.1 km in 30 mins. Very, very do-able.
This is what happened.
4 km in 31 mins. I wanted to use the loo in the 1st km itself because I had sipped lots of water while waiting. Found a loo 1.5 km into the run and realised I have stained my shorts. I changed tampons while an irritating woman kept knocking on the door. I had no plan B if this tampon overflew too because the other spare one was in T’s car. The 4 km were spent worrying about this and included a 2nd loo break to check if things were doing ok in my panty.
8.5 km in 1 hour done. Whew.
10 km done in 1 hour 9 mins. Probably my fastest. This was very encouraging and I realised that 17+ km was in the bag if I kept up this pace.
In the last hour it hit me that I was going to manage 2.20-2.25. I was pissed at myself for not taking a more aggressive target. I started doing backward calculations and aiming for 2.25. The problem was that I was happy about beating 2.30 and this made me complacent.
The last 2 km were very difficult. Most of the people around me were walking, I didn’t see anyone familiar and none of the pacers were around. I needed an extra push for this stretch. There was 1 runner who was running and I said “Help me finish”. He looked flattered and surprised but we kept up the pace for another km after which I overtook him and sprinted. In the last 500 m, I didn’t care about the timing and just wanted this to end. Which is why I lost a minute and finished in 2.26 hours.
Plan for ADHM 2017:
Target time 2.10-2.15
I will follow a proper training plan and calculate the pace required to get there.
The first half of 2017 will be spent on short runs to get faster. So, will not run any half marathons after SCMM.
The 2nd half of 2017 will be spent on building stamina to run the long distance.
Need to get to a faster 10 km.
Coming up – about the event. What I liked. What I didn’t.