I wrote this blog / email on 22.2.2008. Some numbers raise their head even when you don't know what they mean.
(Disclaimer: This is not Sports & Exercise Medicine doctor writing but a crazy runner... a damn crazy runner. Please do not try this at home, kids please keep a watch on your parents)
It's been a while since I "RAN".
I got up at 3:45 am on Thursday (21st) morning and was just craving for RUNNING. I just had way to much going on in my head to sleep. I decided to test drive the HPCosmos treadmill at the Sports & Exercise Medicine department at Manipal Hospital, that costs as much as Honda Accord. Wanted to check out for myself if it was as good as the Accord.
I had only run 4-5 times since the Bangalore ultra marathon, of which Tuesday (19th) and Wednesday (20th) were two of them. I have the Rajasthan desert run coming up, where the plan is to run a marathon or more every day for 5 consecutive days. So, needed some training.
One thing I learnt the real hard way was, that training is "over-rated". The only time I had a chance to come first in a marathon, was ruined by a 62 year old running mate. Last time he had run was 6 months before that, as he was nursing an "achilles tendenitis". I was running with him for first 21 km, and then decided he was too slow for me and I carried on. The guy caught up with me at 40 km mark and kicked my butt / ass / arse (take your pick) really bad. I did that particular marathon in 2 hrs 58 min and he did that in 2 hrs 54 min (his personal best). What really got this chap through was his experience of having run more than 200 marathons and rest (experience and recovery).
Back to the treadmill run. Now, the catch was, the department opens at 6 am. I was in my running gear by 4 am and was raring to go.
I finally reached the department by 6:30 am along with my water bottle and 2 Power bars. The plan was to ... hmmm ... RUN I guess. Basically, had nothing planned. Initial running speed was 14 kmph and I was trying to do a quick 5km, which grew to 10 km but then decided to slow down so I could comfortably do more, if I felt like. It was a bit of a struggle for first 40ish minutes, but at sharp 7:13 am, Kieran asked me how I felt. I said, "no legs". He thought I was dying that I couldn't feel my legs. In "Every Second Counts", Lance Armstrong uses a phrase "no chain" when he is going very quick but feels very comfortable. So for me it was "no legs".
At this stage I was cruising at 12-13 kmph. It might seem very slow but I had never run more than 30 min in total on treadmill, all put together, in my life. And I hate treadmills!
By now the plan was to do 20 km, which turned to 30 km. In this time, I had attended to 2 patient's conditions and 1 department issue and also applied some tape on my left bleeding nipple. I had 3 water stops. At times I had increased the speed to 17 kmph but most of the times it was 11 kmph.
After having got to 30 km, it just made no sense to stop there, as only 12 km more would complete the marathon distance. The best part was, I got the sms I was waiting for at around 30 km mark! I couldn't wait, sitting doing nothing. I just felt awesome.
By 40th km, Pariksha (nutritionist) had come, and I asked her to check out my Heart Rate. So, I picked up the speed again to 17-18 kmph and my heart rate touched 200 bpm. According to the formulas given on "Internet" for "Maximum Heart Rate", I had just turned 20 years. I could have reduced it to 15 yrs, but Pariksha advised me to take it easy.
After having turned 20, I had reached the 42.2 km in 3 hrs 40 min. I could have carried on for another 30ish km, but decided to stop. Slow for a marathon, but ok for a run after such a long time.
All systems are ready to go for the Rajasthan desert run and some surprise runs planned over next 2 months. It's cool to find "surprise" & "planned" in the same line.
Keep smiling & miling.
(It's awesome not to have Blackberry any more, so if you don't get a reply in 24-48 hrs, pls email again)
Dr Rajat Chauhan
Consultant & Head
Sports and Exercise Medicine