TCS 10k – May 17, 2015 -- Deepti Karthik Anand

| Friday, June 5, 2015 | |
So many memories gushing past my mind as I sit to write my experience about the TCS 10k. The same race that I was least prepared to run last year(2014).. Felt as though I had forced myself to start running again(after having a baby).. A sport which I hated, dreaded, I enjoyed the least, cos I wasn’t good at it.. A sport which I thought I’d never get back to. But I did.. 

I did a 01:12:22 last year and I was so embarrassed to tell anybody my timing when asked. I decided to join the Reebok Running Squad, since it was only weekends, I thought I could ask my parents to look after my one year old for 2hours in the morning.. The training was fun, I loved it, started getting more confident , but just 2 days a week wasn’t enough.. My dream was to do a 60min. I then joined the Pacemakers making more efforts in arranging for my son to be looked after.Yes, it was my main worry. It was difficult initially for me to cope up with the training, and seeing all of you flying on the tracks I used to feel, gawwd how on earth am I gonna do this??? I had Lavanya and Deepta for company and I enjoyed the interval training and the long runs. Then Ajmera and Pinkathon 10k happened where I did a PB in both races, and I felt confident that I could achieve my target afterall.. I joined the gym, which felt even more difficult for me.. But I had a target in mind and Karthik would spend 2 hours with me making me get stronger, helping me to the fullest to achieve that 60min. One and half months before TCS I trained every single day. And then sir’s target sheet – Deepti : 59 mins.. WHATTTT ??? ok maybe I could push myself a little harder and achieve it afterall. I had managed a 59:58 during the mock run, and Sir knows best. Sooo…… 

Finally the big day.. Was I nervous? No. Did I have butterflies in my stomach? No. I was actually looking forward to the race, eager to test myself and achieve Sirs target now. I dint wanna let Sir down, his intense training, Karthik’s hard work in the gym.. I had so many expectations to live up to now. 

It was 5a.m , and we met in front of the Indoor Stadium for our warm up. I was quite calm, just enjoying the buzz around the stadium, but pretty focused as well.. After the routine warm up Deepta and me headed towards the gates. We both would have loved to run together as we always have during the long runs but unfortunately she was in Gate B and I was in Gate C. We entered our repective gates wishing each other good luck. Suresh subramanium, Lavanya, Sridhar Rao, Dr. Godbole and Gopal da were all in ‘C’. The nike warm up started, and right in front of our gate was Pani Sir standing on the stage doing the warm up. The countdown began, and the gates started opening one by one. My heart was beating fast now. It kept saying 59..59..59.. The race started. Neera was right in front of me pacing the 55min bus, and I said to myself just keep her in sight. I was pretty comfortable, KM 1 - pace 5:15.. wow.. should I slow down?? Would I tire myself toward the end?? I dint know.. I kept going, the crowd was just amazing, I was feeling good. KM 2, 3, 4 was all good. The pace kept dropping from 5:15 to 5:30 to 5:40 but I managed to keep it within 6 all along. My mom was waiting at Manipal Centre to see me run, I passed by her and she waved to me happily. I saw Deepta just ahead of me on Kamraj road and I thought if I could catch up with her we would push each other to the finish. But as I neared her she slowed down. I passed by her telling her to come with me, but I lost her. I Kept pushing myself, checking my watch to make sure I was well below the 6min pace. I entered Cubbon park and the route looked different to me, as we had to turn left in front of the Tennis Court. That wasn’t the route we practiced on. Now I was worried. Im not gonna finish this race in 59mins. I looked up and I could still see Neera in sight. But she was moving faster and farther.. The 1hr bus was just behind me. I dint want to slow down. I was getting tensed, breathless, I slowed down a bit at the 9km mark, walked 10 steps, and started running again. I looked at my watch , I still had time to maybe finish just within an hour. I exited the Cubbon gate to the last 400mts and I could see the finish line in front of me.. I started sprinting but was so exhausted I felt I was just not moving forward. Suddenly Ankita pounced in front of me from nowhere and started pacing me for that finish. My mind was just not working, I blindly followed her till the end, crossed the finish line and looked at my watch. 58:21

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