Enough is enough I said to myself before I started to write down my experience with 2014 Chennai Dream Runners Half marathon. After waiting for weeks and getting constant update on social media that my friends are being tagged in various albums I could not found a single picture of myself what a pity when everyone was clicking with those super sharp DSLRs and smart phones.
Like last year we travelled to Chennai in Shatabdi Express on Saturday starting early morning from Bangalore. The train journey was fun there were many familiar faces along with few faces of our group. Some from the last year opted out this year but at the end it was almost same number of people. Had a good sleep on train this time and could not participate in ‘Gupshap’. The journey to hotel this year was very smooth compared to last year as we had a local Chennaite with us. We got down from the bus right in front of our hotel in Adiyar.
Had a big tasty south Indian veg-lunch at Sangeetha; the walk from the hotel was little long as we got used to the hot & humid Chennai. I tried my best to skip sleeping in the afternoon, evening we had long chat over tea/coffee at Anand Bhavan about running and various upcoming events like how and when we are going to participate on those. Suddenly it started to rain like cat and dog which was refreshing and brought down the temperature little bit but shooted humidity to higher level. Dinner was a low key affair for us who opted to come back to Anand Bhavan. Some of our friends had the dinner at hotel and was not so delighted with their service.
There was the Iran Argentina group match for World Cup and I wanted to watch it so I kept myself glued to the TV till half-time. A great defense and tactical match from Iran where they blocked Argentina from scoring anything till the last minute.
I got up around 3:45 as we were supposed to assemble at hotel lobby at 4:15 ; I had one banana, one Parx chocolate some dates and some water. Remembering last year I tried to drink water previous day to hydrate my body and kept my food simple. The moment came out of the AC room realized this morning is going to be a tough one. We jogged from hotel to the start line which was around 1.6KM, by the time we reached the starting pointed many of us were socked in sweat. Personally dressed very light in a super thin sleeveless vest to keep myself cool.
Started the run with fellow runners from my running group and by the time we crossed 2KM mark we were completley sweating. But the good part the sky was dark and we were doing around 5 minute a KM for first 8 or 9 KM. In that course me & my running buddy crossed few others from our running group who normally runs faster than us. It was a good and bad sign - definitely I did not had a target , its either a sign of running fast now and having a physical problem in the later part or the weather is playing its part and we are coping better than others.
Around 9 KM when we were running along the beach my running buddy slowed down a bit and I continued with the pace that I was comfortable and stopped looking at GARMIN. Around 18th KM meet with all the slow runners / walkers from 10K race and had to navigate them as I passed. Around 19th KM near Adiyar bridge found the local Chennaite from our group running very strong and crossed me. That motivated me to follow him and I kept reminding myself how a 2KM feels like in our practice runs and tried to make my strides longer. I did my best to finish strong and gave my best in last 500 meters or so.
As I was relatively faster this time there was not so much queue for post run breakfast I drank many cold bottle of water which were easily available that time. My roommate did a wonderful run of 10K and cut-down his previous best record by 4 min to complete the same in 42 minutes and was celebrating the same. Called Pamela to let her know I was fine and all went OK.
After 10/15 minutes or so when we as a group started to ensemble someone reported one of from our group is having health issue and need medical assistant. I went and was with him during the whole time he was dehydrated and collapsed after finishing the race & while waiting in breakfast queue. Any way he had a bad time with dehydration which caused his BP to go down and needed drip. Oh! tell you when you are in medical tent of a race you see the whole race and post-race celebration with a different lens.
Met with LilyDi and SameerDaa for lunch at their home, wow what a yummy food it was with so many courses of fish.
As usual train ride back to Bangalore was less eventful and many had a nap after a hard race day.
I did a personal best this time which I realized little late, for me being able to run and enjoy the same was more important than the time. But I think these few things really helped me in getting there.
- Train enough and train hard for race, as race has so many unknown.
- Taper down your training .
- Rest enough even it means watching TV or reading a book if you do not get proper sleep in hotel bed.
- Try your best to keep mind away from ‘target’, ‘pace’ and ‘timing’ just enjoy the run as much as you can unless your are professional runner.
- Dress accordingly avoid experiment.
- Hydrate enough but do not overdo it like I did last year where I was barely running the last 5KMs. So I kept a water bottle with myself 6KM onwards and had small gulp on regular intervals. But I did not stopped in many water station as I like to have water when I want. Some cannot run with a bottle in their hand so it is better to stop at water station and drink , find out what works for you.
- Do not try to eat too much or too fancy on previous day.
- If you have friends or relatives to meetup keep it post-race.
And here are those 1000+ of pictures which I checked meticulously to find myself in vain :(
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.808014375885248.1073741831.548956021791086&type=1 https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/drhm2014 https://www.facebook.com/Runsters/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.601614176603452.1073741872.286230918141781&type=1