My pacing debut

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It’s almost 2.5 years of running for me. So far, it has been fantastic – finishing, getting PBs, going places and running. Running in delhi and elsewhere means making fiends with many awesome runners whom we meet during races and sunday runs. I am fortunate enough to be friends with some superstar athletes in the country. They have always inspired me and motivated me to do better the next time.

There are many kind of runners during a race; the fast ones, the champions, the regulars running to cross that finish line, the ones running for fun, the newbies, and so on. I have to mention one special kind of runners – called ‘pacers’ who run along with runners during a race and help them finish a run within a specific target. To me, they are like the superstars of running – the accomplished runners who can run at any pace; slow or fast.

I am not a ‘run with a pacer’ kind of runner. But, i have always known pacers have helped many achieve milestones and PBs. Over the last 12 months or so, i believe i have worked on my endurance and when i was comfortable with my full marathon, i know i can change up my pace whenever i want. That was then i knew i am ready for pacing. I longed for an opportunity to pace in some race and then came the Women 10k 2017.

So, i had my pacing debut on March 5, 2017. Though pacing is cool, it is not an easy job. i was assigned the 70 min bus. it means i have to run with a pace of 6:55 min/km to 7 min/km, which is always difficult for me.

Usually, my slow recovery runs are under a pace 6:30 and long Sunday runs are under the pave 6:00. So, it was indeed challenging for me to run at a pace of 7:00 or anything close to 7:00 which i tried during a pilot run 5 days before the race day. I had my doubts if i would be too fast during the race day and fail in my pacing debut.

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My flag and the pacer tee…

Came race day… Seeing my 70 min flag, so many runners came to me and told me they are going to board my bus for a PB – gave me an added pressure.

So, the run starts. I started running with the people around me, almost at a pace 7:00 mostly because it was too crowded and there was not much space to run faster. When the crowd cleared up and i had a temptation to go fast, i started a conversation with the runners. It helped me have the rhythm and run slower consistently. I even managed to push some people up to the faster bus. Couple of times during the run, i went back and picked up few passengers.

Most people running at the pace of 7 are slow runners or new runners. They tend to stop and walk during the race (i used to do that at the beginning). I really enjoyed the part where i motivated some of the ‘walkers’ to run… at least a slow run.

During the last km, i made few people sprint to the finish line, myself finished @ 69:35 min and then went back and dragged few people to the finish line. It was a good feeling – completing my first pacing duty.

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Completing my pacer duty.

Many runners who finished within 70 min came after the run to click selfies with me and to thank me. Few had their personal bests that day. What more can i ask for!!!

So, bring on more pacing challenges… HM or an FM… i am ready to take on any!!!

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2016: My crazy year of running…

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Sums up my last running season…

Years from now, when i look back down the road, i might find 2016 as the year i went crazy… crazy about running…

My 2016 new year resolution was ‘make a difference, do something crazy’… i did lot of crazy stuff… The craziest was deciding to run HM/FM in 6 different cities…

Starting with Hyderabad in August, then off to Bangalore in October, Cochin and Delhi in November, and finally then two full marathons in Jan ’17 in Chennai and Mumbai (back-to-back)… The last bit was the real crazy – back to back FMs… in a way, i screwed up the Mumbai by draining all energy in Chennai even though i bettered by timing…

Well, i don’t care any of that now… I have completed all my goals of 2016 running season… And rewarded well too… Won bronze in age category in Bangalore, won the whole HM run in Chennai, PB in Delhi (HM), 4th in FM in Chennai (there was a prize for 4th position too :)) and ended with a PB in Mumbai… so, the money spent on registration, travel, gear, and accessories… all forgotten…

More than the material and monetary rewards, it is that feeling… that feeling of accomplishment you get when you cross the finish line – i had many of that last year… and i am happy…

As i type this, i am drawing up my plan for next year… yes, more cities to conquer… more roads to explore… season 2017, i am coming… stronger and more determined…

As long as there are games, it is not over!

After a heart break from the football world cup last year, i had decided not to invest so much emotions in any sporting event…. the ones i myself is not involved with…

Tries to keep calm during ManU’s failures early in the season… Indian cricket team’s pathetic performances during the test series and all….

But being a sports person myself, i found i cant stay not to be angry and emotional anymore… I had stopped watching games thinking i might jinx the team… Recently i have started watching all the games again…. But when the team loses…. It might be just a game on just any day… for a person who loves sports, a failure is failure… it affects…

So, when my cricket team was playing in the CWC…. i never missed a single game… couple of matches in week-days in office, managed to watch in my phone app…. yes, i was passionate…

So, it was hard when the team got knocked out…. knocked out in semies, nothing to be ashamed of, but we are no longer in the tournament… somebody else is playing in the finals…. that is heart breaking….

But, well…. its not the end of the road…. sun will rise again and again everyday…. tournaments will come… we can win more….

As Sir Alex Ferguson said:

As long as there are games, it is not over!