Something happened on the 15 km run today

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The plan was to run from Gurgaon to Delhi today on MG road for my 2nd last long run for the half marathon training. Migs suggested the Artemis day breaker half marathon event which happened today but I wasn’t too keen. Running on Golf course extension road doesn’t excite me. But I changed my mind last night. Running at an event will be a better option since I will wake up on time and get the run done. Running alone would require a lot more will power.

The run started at 5.45-6 am and I finished 8.5 km in 60 mins. This is pretty good pace for me and I realised that I could finish 15 km in less than 2 hours. I had planned a comfortable 2 hours for the run because am training for distance and not for pace. I need to go longer and not faster. You cannot and should not target both in the same run. I kept telling myself to slow down because I wanted to run at a decent pace in the balance 6.5 km as well. But then I thought that am going to slow down anyway, maybe I shouldn’t push myself to slow down. I should also mention that at 2 km mark, my headphones turned off because I hadn’t charged them. So this was my first long run without music.

I reached 10 km in 1 hour 11 mins. One of my fastest 10 km runs. I realised that if I push myself, the 15 km could be completed in 1 hour 45 mins. This would be a reduction of 15 mins over my usual time. To give a perspective, us, runners rejoice even at a reduction of a few seconds in our usual timing and every minute counts. 15 mins is huge. At 12 km, I realised that I need to push myself harder to reach the target time of 1 hr 45 mins. Basis the current pace, I was going to complete in 1 hr 48 mins. I had to cut down 3 mins.

In the last 1 km, I wanted to give up. I wondered if a minute here and there really mattered. But my mind wouldn’t let me stop. At every step, it asked me to keep going and to go fast. I have never had a voice in my head pushing me like this. I could literally hear it “800 m more. Ok, now 700 m. Don’t stop. Almost there. You can see the finish line now. 500 m more. JUST 500 m”. I sprinted in the last 500 m and finished in 1 hour 44 mins 50 seconds.

Yes, those 10 seconds matter. I worked hard to cut down those 10 seconds. Those 10 seconds are a result of my mind pushing me and my body responding to it. Those 10 seconds are hard work and will power and the realisation that I may not have control over other aspects of my life but this, I do control. I may or may not win anywhere else but HERE am a winner.

This has been my fastest 15 km run ever and the best pace in a long run. I am going to run strong at ADHM and SCMM and beat last year’s timing. I have been training well for the last 6 months and the results are showing.

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