Disappointing half marathon

I am very annoyed with myself. Very. I could have met or crossed my personal best timing in today’s half marathon (IDBI Mumbai half marathon – Oval Maidan-Gateway of India-Marine Drive-Charni road-Oval Maidan) but missed it by a whisker. Not because I couldn’t have run faster but because I didn’t remember the personal best timing. I should get it tattooed somewhere but it’s going to change every year and that can get expensive.

Let me start from the beginning. I have been training for the Hyderabad half marathon (which I may or may not run. Will know for sure on Wednesday) and registered for the IDBI MHM as well. My last long run was 17 km in Gurgaon 3 weeks back which I completed in 2 hours. That gave me the confidence that I can complete a half marathon in 2 hrs 30 mins. 2.30 is the timing I had targeted for ADHM. If I did run any of these half marathons in Mumbai or Hyderabad in 2.30, I would have to target a lower timing and start training accordingly September onwards for ADHM. So far, so good.

When I started the run today I was very confident that 2.30 is going to happen. I just have to ensure 17 km in 2 hours. After that, it would be a cakewalk. I may even get a sub 2.30. N (a runner from Delhi who has recently moved to Mumbai and is a twitter/instagram friend) and I started running the half marathon together at 6 am but he crossed me in a few hundred meters. I wanted to start slow. 4 km is generally my warm up distance, after which I get into the groove. The first 10 km were a breeze and I was happy with the pace. Things started going wrong 11/12 km onwards. I couldn’t pick up the pace and 17 km in 2 hours looked impossible. I decided to focus on getting to 16 km and then figuring out what needs to be done. At 14 km I wanted to stop. This was too hard. My calves were on fire. My feet felt sensitive and I was afraid of the recurrence of a past injury. Why was this happening? 17 km 3 weeks back were effortless. Where had I gone wrong? 10 km last Sunday was not tiring at all. I started focussing on each 100 meters. I looked at my watch every 100 m and decided to run at a normal pace instead of running too fast and then having to walk. Sadly, I had to walk any way. From 7 km/hr average pace, the pace came down to 7.25 km/hr.

After 17 km, 2.30 was possible if I pushed myself but my body refused to respond. The extra holiday weight was slowing me down as well. I hated the jiggle of my waist. I started counting every km and pushed myself. 4 km more. 3 km. 2 km. I finished the half marathon in 2 hrs 36 mins 33 seconds. In my head, the personal best was 2 hrs 34 mins at SCMM. At 2 hrs 34 mins, I stopped trying. The timing didn’t matter anymore. I was disappointed. If I can’t beat the Mumbai timing in Mumbai itself, my training has been a waste. 7 months of running and I couldn’t get to the same timing. What hope did I have for ADHM? How would I ever get to sub 2.30 and further?

After breakfast, I opened the runtastic app and checked details of the past runs. My timing at SCMM was 2 hrs 39 mins and at ADHM 2 hrs 35 mins. I missed my personal best by 1 minute. I could have reached there, had I remembered. I would have cut down 1-2 mins easily.

Also, everyone seems to have had a bad run because of the high humidity levels, potholes on roads (maybe Mumbaikers are used to them, am a Delhi snob who likes her road smooth like butter), many U turns on the route and access to half of the road at many places which led to jostling for space to run. While the Delhi runners (2 of the ones I know) didn’t have a great run, I overheard Mumbai runners complaining as well. I guess it wasn’t my fault or the lack of training which is good to know.

Any way, I need to eat something and drop dead now. Ciao. Have a great Sunday. I plan to do nothing – to the best of my ability though don’t bet on it.

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