Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Run for the joy of running"

(Auroville Marathon : Feb 8, 2014. My first trail HM)

Auroville Marathon tag line is "Run for the joy of running". And this is what I did today. And naturally achieved my new personal best today - HM in 1:51 @5:15 pace.

Wave start for HM. I started with the first wave at 6:15. The Sun was peeking lazily, countdown started and we were off at the exact time. Sea of runners on a cement path initially and I slowly and steadily moved to the front. Then the trail showed up. Weather was nice and chilly, with a mist hanging to the trees. Around the 3km mark was a beautiful sight with the mist wafting and crossing just in front of me as if lovingly saying - "Please go ahead". A wonderful feeling and it showed in my pace being 5:05 at that time.

Amazing variety - uneven trails, muddy, sandy, stony, narrow trails, sharp turns, sun in the front and sometimes in the back, cold draft wind and suddenly warm draft, running over cow-gates, jumping over little walls designed to keep animals out, running on cement slabs, sharp u-turns. Legs constantly adjusting and nimble, eyes constantly scanning the trail not out of anxiety but out of curiosity and fascination and the body agile and dancing through the bushes, a lovely feeling of aliveness. "The joy of running".

Suddenly I find a lot of runners and was wondering where they heck they came from. And it dawned that they are the 10k runners who were routed through a shorter trail that joined with the HM later.

It was nice to see a distance marker every km, it was always a mystery as to where the next one would be , how many turns later.

Went through forest, living quarters area, city centre, pony centre, gardens, so many variations. A nice game of hide and seek with the sun, it came left, right, behind and in front. The wonderful variations of trail, scenery, sun kept me alive and in the moment while the legs rhythmically danced the way through.

Fantastic volunteers, cheering, smiling at every aid station that was every 3km. Was wonderful to see waste cups only in the dustbin, and not messing up the environment.

And the sea of humanity showed up and were cheering and I sprinted into the finish line with the HM clock showing 1:51. Surge of joy. My new PB! Also my fastest 10k in 52:01 and my fastest km at 4:55 today.

Stretched well and then had a tummy breakfast of Pongal/Vada with lovely tea. Two helpings and multiple cups of tea- heavenly.

"Run for the joy of running" - Thank you Auroville.

Happy photo after the run!
Auroville Picture Moment!

Catch the shadow run - Attempt #2

(Mar 26, 2014: 10.39 km run in 56 mins at 05:21 pace)

Squiggles in the neighbourhood around the park for 3 km and then an easterly straight run towards the fresh warm sun. Eyes on the sun, arms outstretched, deep breaths, sucking up cosmic energy - Feels great. Love the Sun in front. Sweat drops sliding slowly, glistening in the warm radiance, caressing the face. Simple pleasures.

As I turn back, the shadow teases me from the front. "Catch me it says". And I continue to chase. Armin van Buuren music fills me, arms and legs in a flowing rhythm with the music and 10km happens. Time runs out, I stop in the park. Shoes off, barefoot walk, stretches and back home with shoes in hand.

A lovely morning! Have a great day, my dear friends.

Trying to catch my shadow.

(Mar 25, 2014 : 11.02km run in 59mins at 5:22 pace)

A pacy run after resting on Monday - Great way to start the week! Love the morning Sun in front, the warm sun rays give me energy and my fastest km happened then - 4:54.
"I am fast when I can catch my shadow" - My new goal!

Smiley moon & the welcoming Sun

(Mar 27, 2014 : Morning run of 12.21kms in 1:08 at 5:33 pace)

A beautiful crescent smiley moon today with a lone bright star just below said "Good morning". My dog ack'ed with a big woof and off we went on a morning walk. Walk done, stretches and then commenced the run. Do not know why, right leg was slightly wooden. Steady pace for the first 5 kms (5:22-5:26 pace) scrawling the neighbourhood and then turned east to my morning date with the Sun. And there he was, waiting for me as I crossed the road. Bright & yellow, fiery yet soft, filling me. And he hid as I turned ran along the lake. Another fleeting glimpse as I entered the tech park area and 400 metres later, right in front. Bathing me fully in a radiant glow, warming me and softening my stiff leg.

A young kid of 3 years playing ball with his mom. Another tiny fellow in school dress running fast pulling the reel tape from a broken cassette. A dog basking in the sun. Two young girls playing badminton on the road. A young couple returning back after a jog. 8 km done. U-turn and sun warms my back. Soothing. Hide and seek with the sun for another one km. And then back to the park for a walk and cool down.

12+kms done, my third 10 in a row. Consistent pace between 5:22-5:32, perhaps due to a slightly stiff leg? My first 5-Tibetians today. Felt nice after doing it. Have a great day!