Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bangalore Ultra 2007

This is dedicated to all those who asked for it. Thank you people. I am touched that you care.
Now, there is a simple reason why I had not written about my ultra experience so far. I was embarrassed by it. And I don’t usually like talking about bad days.

The ultra began on time, one of RFL’s few races to start bang on time last year (mostly due to latecomers, rather than due to the organizers themselves) at 6 am on 16th Dec 07, like it had been planned for almost a year.

I had decided that I shall run at whatever pace was comfortable and stick to it for all 4 laps. Each lap was 13 km. Apparently some of the ill-wishers of RFL had gotten some of the local police to mess with them, as a result of which the race route got altered to a course which was only half the original course – 6.5 km up and then down for the most part.

I had Hari for company for most of the 3 laps and then he discovered some secret reserve on the last lap and sprinted off. He made his last lap in a little over an hour or less, I guess. I did even paced 1 hr 15 min laps for almost each of the 1st 3 laps. My time at the end of 3 laps was 4 hrs and a few mins.

I had experienced a mysterious pulled muscle in my lower abdomen which extends all the way to the groin at the beginning of the week (p.s. This still persists at the time of writing this post on Jan 24th 2008!) which had begun bothering my stride with the result that I was running with some stunted stride. Less than halfway thru the 4th lap, I had a pulled hamstring. I did a few stretches to relieve it, but nothing much improved. I also mentally reassured myself that I was then in unknown territory anyways since I had never run more than a marathon. So whatever I did was a bonus.

My fluid intake seemed to have gone for a toss and with the level of discomfort I was feeling, I decided to force myself to puke and felt better immediately after. A1 gave me a check to seeif I could carry on since I was bent over by the running track and told me he knew how I must be feeling, when I said I will finish crawling if need be. These dudes (A1 and A2) actually stayed up all night so that we could have a great race. Hats of to them.

I managed to walk for about 2 km, but trust me, with a pulled hamstring, just because you can’t run does not mean that you can walk with ease. It is just painful all through. After trudging through 2 miles for what seemed like a humiliating 2 hours or more, I realized I had even gone past the 6 hr mark which I had thought was like the worst I could have done. I didn’t even pick up my cert and medal, etc.

Notes to myself: Never run with an injury if timing matters so much to you
I had driven to the venue early in the morning after waking at 3 am or so and returned quickly after lunch to ensure I didn’t die. I slept for the next 12 hours.

The organization which had ensured hot showers and ice, etc made sure one didn’t go home upset at all. In fact, if I had not run 52 km, only the last lap in pain, I would have felt like I was on any other vacation.

Update: This was a retro post in that I posted it in Jan 2008 and then changed its date back to Dec 16th, 2007.



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