I did many runs after the TCS and completed the SCMM 2015 HM in 1:59:05. That was the time I decided to practice under proper guidance and to ensure that I continue this passion injury free. I was introduced to Pani Sir and the PM Family by my dear friend the Dancing Feet Bare Feet Bobby. As the saying goes in hindi “Andha maangey ek aankh aur bhagwaan usko dedey dono aankh”. I asked for a good coach and I got a good running family too.
Till my first day at PaceMakers I used to do some stretches which I found on the net. So all that I was introduced to during the Tuesday & Thursday workout were all firsts for me. I had never heard the term Tabata and for a mumbaikar Tabata sounded rhyming with batata but my first Tabata was an experience in itself and boy it did open up a new world for me. New terms like Burpees, Jumping Squats, Planks etc were introduced to my dictionary.
The workouts were so nicely arranged and spread out. I was so very happy to see the organizing of the workouts with an email coming from Sir by Sunday evening latest by Monday and then the Google Sheet uploaded in our closed group and then ofcourse the actual workout and then we updating our timing.
Pani Sir an epitome of discipline, hard work and dedication leads by example. Each workout changed my belief in self on things that I had never done or dreamt of doing can be done and that too starting so late in age.
Tabata exposed my inability to do push ups, the crunches and the burpees. As I write I still cannot claim that I can do all the various types of pushups or the crunches but yes I can say that I will not hesitate to attempt atleast 5 of each. That’s the gain from the workouts that I had in PaceMakers.
The intervals increased in severity gradually and that helped for beginners like me to get used to it and do not succumb to the same. The interval runs were a different experience with the formation of team and then the camaraderie amongst the team member to ensure that we do not slip on the time set by Sir for us. Constantly egging each other and at times slowing down the pace to make sure we finish the interval as a team. Each member of the team leading and pacing the pack during the intervals helped me to make sure that I do not let my team down. This workout gave me the confidence and responsibility of what a Pacer carries on his/her shoulder. I am so very grateful to my previous interval team namely Prashant Rao, Giri, Dilip Kumar, Pratyush, Peeyush, Ranjini, Suman Srinivas and Chandru for pushing me at times and making me comfortable to this new concept of Interval Runs.
The Uphills tested my endurance and stamina and gave me a new perspective on how to run the gradual or steep climbs. It sure tested me to the core but it did made me stronger.
All of this put together in 3 months took my confidence to a different level and was feeling strong mentally and physically.
Then came the challenge put by Sir on getting maximum number of Finisher Tee for the PaceMakers and this meant to complete the distance of TCS under 50 and that too by being in the first 850.
Tightened the belt and started focusing on the Sub 50 target.
In the mean time coming under the roof of PaceMakers helped me spread the buzz word that Running/Walking/Jogging is a great path to fitter you. Was able to spread this virus into my office colleagues and to some of my friends in my apartment complex. Had been actively sharing some new learning from PaceMakers with them.
Informed about this challenge to my friends which sort of motivated some of them to think beyond mere completing the TCS 10K.
The weekend of the TCS run dawned and maybe it was my bad or was it my over enthusiasm or was it just any other incident I fell ill and was running a temperature topped with a duty for my visiting in Laws who had come down to attend a marriage all put together made sure that I will not be in a position to run the race.
But a commitment to self, to Sir , to PaceMakers , to my friends who looked up to me and most important for my kids and my wife who had seen my transition “I HAD TO RUN”.
Did I have any excuse not to run….
I decided that atleast let me run at the most I may not do a sub 50 but I will not be a DNF. So my back fully coated with VOLINI entered the stadium. The atmosphere was electrifying but more that that the PaceMakers bunch was infectious. The energy, the enthusiasm and the teams egging each other to go out and give their best was worth being in the stadium on May 17th. Loaded with the infectious energy from the PaceMakers made it to the start line and ran my 2nd TCS Open 10K with all my heart. The goal and aim had been tonned down from Sub 50 to finishing the race without collapsing. Maintained a good pace till the first 3.5 KM and then body was slowly giving up. At one stage I had almost decided to stop but the whole reason for me being there on the TCS route on May 17th dawned upon me and I continued. Was carrying bottle of Enerzal just in case if I needed it but had to give it to a senior citizen who was attending to a runner who had collapsed.
Was not tracking my run as I had no intention of timing my run that day. When I came out of the Cubbon Park gate and the Finish Arch came into my visual range I could see the clock showing 55:00 something and I was a mere 200 meters away from the finish. I gathered all my energy as I was going to beat my previous TCS timing of 57:47.
Here I would say all the workouts, the stretches and the teams positive energy during the 3.5 months with PaceMaker came in handy and I ran towards the finish line. I was not sure of the timing but was sure that I had beaten my previous TCS time if not hands down but by a decent margin.
I then grabbed my quota of water and ran back to try and pace up some of my friends who were running their first TCS. I ended up pacing atleast 5 runners for the last 200 meters.
All the pain and anxiousness due to my fever vanished when I got the SMS saying my TCS 2015 Open 10K time was 55:06 which meant I had bettered by previous time by 2:41 mins and this is my PB even if it meant I was not getting my finishers tee.
I was not to write this blog but today decided to write as today during the tempo run workout I managed to clock the 10K inside Kanteerva in 51:44 mins. I will continue to chase the TCS route and try and conquer it under 50 mins. Thanks to Pani Sir for turning me into a confident runner you are a COACH personified and thanks to my ever energetic PaceMaker family.