Monday - June 8th
When I woke up felt my legs ached a bit. Was debating whether to give it a pass - as I have 2 long runs coming up the next 2 days.
Anyway, dragged myself out of the home and started at my gentle pace. Once I started running did not think of the mild pain.. it went away I guess. It was just my mind fooling me. Then when I had 2 kms to go raised my pace a bit. I think I can identify 2 paces - a slow pace where I breathe through my nose effortlessly, and a slightly faster pace - where I really run - and breathe through the mouth. I feel I have one more gear left.
Listening to Once a runner audio book. It is about a bunch of cross country athletes in a South Eastern University of Florida, and our protagonist - Cassidy - is in trouble. He had represented other athletes against a rather stupid circular from their Athletic director - to cut hairs and wear collared shirts. And the athletic department has suspended him to bring fear and discipline in others. He is to face the board today, but before that goes for a run with his friend - and the author philosophises about running - beautiful piece.
Tuesday - June 9th
Night I had to put Volini on my knees. They were not feeling normal. When I woke up knees did not have the odd feeling. Had the nagging fear - will I get pain on my knees and I have to break my run midway?
I was searching for WWDC podcasts, but none were there. I continued Cassidy's story and he is thrown out of college. He goes to the woods and lives alone and becomes a monk runner - runs twice a day.. almost a full marathon each day.
Todays run is 9.7 KMs, had to run at a fast pace after 1.6KMs. I picked up pace, and each lap I ran faster than the previous one - like a Formula 1 car that picks up speed as its fuel load lightens up. Ended up with amazing timing - almost 6.30 on average - pretty impressive.
Right knee is acting up a bit - gotto give it a massage in the night, and perhaps buy the knee braces. This running business is expensive.
Wednesday - June 10th
Woke up at 4:20AM in anticipation. Thought I will do Sudarshan Kriya, but dozed off. Searched for any good podcasts, I only got 2 hours left in the audio book. Did not find any interesting podcasts, so decided to run with the book.
It was a gentle good run - 8.4kms - did not push too hard at any point.
In the story Cassidy practises real hard and even manages to run a mile within 4 minutes. His friend Denton keeps Cassidy filled with books, training and keeps him sane. He is trying to enrol Cassidy in an athletic meet, but the College board removed Cassidy's name from him. Denton talks to the Chancellor - and says Cassidy can bring glory as he has improved a lot, but the Chancellor talks of discipline etc. and even threatens Denton openly on his academic career coming to an end if he keeps supporting Cassidy.
I picked up a mild pain in the right leg muscle below the knee on the back. Tomorrow is cross-training day ( I call it rest day ) - if I give it enough rest it will be alright.
Thursday - June 11th
Cross-training day. Did Suriya Namaskar and Sudarshan Kriya.
Friday - June 12th
I had a 8am meeting in Worli. That means had to leave home by 7am. That means I have to complete my run by 6:15am max. That means I have to wake up by 5:00am. Thats what I did and ran 6.4kms.
It had rained the night before, and it was dark and there are little pools of water here and there. The Mumbai rain season is just beginning. Legs felt heavy and was wondering how I will do the long run tomorrow. Also I did not have my morning dose of filter coffee - so was in a terrible mood at the beginning. But like in all runs - after a few steps the dark mood drifted away.
Cassidy trains real hard. Denton his friend and trainer makes him work really hard. Does interval training where he gets him fully tired. Then makes him repeat it - and here is where Cassidy discovers something inside him. After this he sleeps for 17 hours straight after this.
And he is going to race in the College Track once again. The worlds faster runner - a bloke from NewZealand - is to participate and Cassidy is enlisted as Faaz - with Denton doing some shady stuff - as a Finnish runner. And Cassidy had stopped shaving and grows a beard - so he won't be recognised. Can't wait for tomorrow's run to see how this story ends.
Saturday - June 13th
Today is the longest run of the week.13kms.
Legs feel real tired. I started the run with lot of doubts - could I finish today's run and the Marathon?? It was drizzling a bit and had to watch where I put my foot as I might slip on the slopes.
I tuned into the audio book - and Cassidy walks the track before the race night thinking what he will do at every step. And the race night. It is all explained in detail. After the race starts, somehow the word spreads and everyone comes to know the bearded runner is not Faaz - the finish runner - but their own hero - Cassidy - who has been expelled - and the crowd starts chanting. Cassidy's now ex-girl friend - Andrea - stands up and sees his face - and suddenly realises what this runner is all about and she too starts chanting - much to the chagrin of her new boyfriend.
I cry here. Thankfully my spectacles is all wet and no one would have known. I was rooting for Cassidy too.
The Newzealand Runner is ahead but at the final stretch Cassidy beats him to win the race and that too in 3.52 minutes. His fastest ever and he not only breaks the 4 minute barrier, he also beats the worlds fastest runner. The Athletic director eats humble pie.
The story ends with him leaving the medal on the field and walking away.
The story got over quickly. I still have 5 more kms to go and it was getting tough. My legs have become very tired and the last 2 kms I had to really push hard to complete.
Tomorrow thankfully is a rest day - and from Monday Week 3 starts. And next week the long run is 16km. It is cruel - after a gruelling week - on Saturday - when my poor legs are the most tired is when I do the longest run of the week. This is how athletes build strength I guess. This is how they learn to run the last 10 or 15 kms of the 42km Marathon - when they are all done and tired, they dig into their deepest reserves to complete the race.
"Trial of Miles. Miles of Trials" - Once a runner.
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