My full marathon training plan has a timed half marathon and I registered for this one. I was supposed to run last year but couldn’t because I was exhausted. Last year at this time, running a half marathon was a huge deal and I prepared for months for it. I haven’t run in Dwarka and don’t know when I will get the opportunity again so this half marathon was a way to get familiar with that part of the city.
My friend T registered for 10 km. He is training for ADHM and recently ran his first 10 km. Before the run, he wished me saying “Hope you finish in 2.5 hours”. That is my target time for this year’s ADHM and am not there yet. I told him 2 hrs 40 mins would be more like it and made that my target.
ADHM 2014 : 2 hrs 48 mins
Dwarka half marathon : 2 hrs 38 mins 39 sec
Target time for ADHM 2015 : 2 hrs 30 mins
I have already cut down 8 mins and need to work on reducing further 8-9 minutes.
The great part about running in a timed half marathon is that you don’t need 4 km to warm up or get into it. You start running as soon as you cross the start line. The weather was pleasant…. not as great as I would like to be but not bad. I have run in worse weather. Dwarka is nothing great… the roads are flanked by trees and flats but there is nothing to see while you run. I know, I know, it wasn’t a sightseeing trip but still. Atleast Mumbai had a patch where you crossed the sea though Dwarka’s roads are much better. I tried to run at a normal pace till 10 km otherwise I end up going very fast due to the peer pressure. After 10.55 km, I picked up speed and sprinted till almost 16 km. Last year at ADHM, I found it very difficult to pick up the pace after 10 km because the fast runners were way ahead and I was left with people who had started walking. The same thing happened this time except I kept crossing everyone else. Their walking didn’t affect my effort or my run which is so fabulous. The last 4 km were very boring. My GPS was giving bullshit information about the distance and I had to rely on road markers. I pushed myself to walk less because I had a timing target. During the last 300 meters, I gave up. A few seconds were not going to impact my timing but then I saw 2 photographers near the finish line. There was no way they were going to photograph me walking… no way in hell and I sprinted as fast I could.
All in all, it was a decent run but not so great that I would want to go to Dwarka again. There were enough volunteers and I didn’t face any eve teasing though getting oggled at when you wear tiny shorts in Delhi is to be expected. Not acceptable, but expected. There were enough hydration points and timing mats.
I felt so much stronger during this run. This was my fastest half marathon and I knew what timing I was going to hit. Last Sunday, I completed 21 km in 2 hrs 47 mins. Because of the full marathon training, I don’t fear the 21 km distance anymore. When you start running, there is a certain distance you can run anyday any time without training. Earlier, that was 10 km and now am wondering if it is 21 km. Can I just wake up, wear my shoes and run a 21 km whenever I want to?
I need to mention the police too. There were cops standing in the middle of the road ensuring traffic does not bother runners. Can you believe that? I have seen that happen only in Central Delhi. Super impressed.