Last Sunday I participated in my first 10K run, the Sunfeast World 10K run. The event was in itself pretty eventful but that didnt mean the my friends and I wouldnt add our version of seasoning and adventure in the mix.
I had been looking forward for the run for almost 2 months now and this is how the event unfolded…
The Day Before:
My last run was regular 2K run that I do on weekdays.Â To be fit and charged up for the 10K, I did my last regular run on tuesday and concentrated on rest and carbing up.Â Oddly on the penultimate day I got really nervous about the run.Â My mind was racing looking for minute signs of pain or strain in different parts of my body.Â I lost my appetite and that eventually led to me losing a lot of sleep too.Â All this for an event I believed that I was well prepared for.
I remember once telling a friend that I get really nervous about an exam or a test when I either have prepared for everything or nothing.
Stage fright was the last thing on my mind during my preparation days and now all of a sudden I was scared about anything and everything.Â I had the race day morning all well planned and went to bed making sure I had everything I needed.
Morning Of The Race:
The race was scheduled to start at 8:10 am.Â My plan was to be at the stadium by about 7:30 am and do a good warm up routine before giving it all in the race.Â About 5 other friends I knew were running with me but our holding area would be different so I was already expecting to run the distance mostly by myself.
I reached my friend’s place by about 7 am.Â By the time my other friends made it there and decided on the mode of transportation the time was already 7:45am!Â It was 8am when we reached near the stadium and I wasnt very happy with the delay :DÂ At this point I just wanted to start the race.
The holding area was a section of the huge stadium.Â As I entered I got the first view of the people running with me.Â Approximately 6000 people where there and the atmosphere was simply electric.
Before we knew it, the gates were opened and people were jogging towards the start line… The gunshot marked the start and slowly waves of people were running out of the stadium… It took me about 2 minutes to even reach the start line and then started my first 10K run :)
The First Few Kilometers(0-2Km):
As I crossed the start line I was amazed at the number of people cheering us on.Â I decided to take the moment to savor the awesome moment.Â It was the first time in about 5 that I was inside this stadium and it felt great.
As we headed out to the streets, the presence of tv cameras and photographers became obvious.Â There were a lot of people outside the stadium with mobile phone taking candid photos of the runners.Â I gave a couple of thumbs up to a few cheering people and glanced at the beautiful buildings that surrounded us.
Before the start with all the tension of making the race in time, I was feeling thirsty.Â My mouth was dry and as soon as the race started I was keeping at eye out for water.Â Fortunately within the first 500 meters there wasÂ a water point and I managed to keep my throat moist.
My next worry was an acute pain in my ankle.Â I was very worried about this as I had never felt something like this before.Â I was worried that I might have tied my shoes a bit too tight or hurt the ankle by mis stepping along the way.Â Fortunately again the pain slowly subsided.Â Before long I was upto my regular running speed.
To The Half Way Point:
From the 2Km mark to the 5Km mark I was the most comfortable.Â The cheering was on in full flow but the photographers were missing in most of this section.Â I took regular sips from the water bottle to keep my self hydrated.
This section had the first signs of people slowing down and walking.Â As I kept a constant pace it was pretty straight forward to overtake people in the bucket loads.Â Leaving people behind was tasting good until I reminded myself that I might have to take a short walking break so that I can push towards the end.
The Testing Time (5-7Km):
Before this run I had easily finished 5Km runs, so my confidence upto the 5Km mark was very good.Â After this point I was venturing into the unknown.
The first signs of pain was from the side of my stomach.Â I have a constant worry about having a stomach upset and so I told myself that a little water will take care of that.Â The pain subsided about 200 meters laterÂ but all of a sudden the right extreme of my ribs started hurting.Â The pain was simply unbearable and I had to slow down to a walk.
After walking for a few minutes the pain toned down a little and I moved to a slow jog, as soon as I started the pain shot up again… At this time I was worried if I could even finish the run.Â This was the first time I had felt that part of my body hurt and that left me a little confused as to what I should do.Â I decided to switch to a brisk walk for a little while.
Surprisingly I was still pretty fast even on a walk, I kept pace easily with the runners next to me.Â At the 7 km mark I told myself that the end is near and this is just the home stretch.
Running past Vidhana Soudha (8-9.5 Km):
The next section of the run was something I was looking forward to all evening.Â It was the final stage but it also involved running past possibly the most beautiful building in Bangalore.Â I have done the strech hundreds of times on my bike, and each time I reach the end in few seconds.Â This time though it was going to be a long run to the other end.
As I entered the stretch I decided to give one last push and run nonstop to the finish line.Â In the last section a lot of people I had gone past had overtaken me.Â I also knew that on the other side of the road was the finish line.
This section I ran next to an elderly gentleman, just looking at him I got charged up again.Â The man had a nice consistent pace and was doing a good job.Â Running with him I managed to cover most of the distance.
The pain hadnt entirely subsided but the cheers were stronger now.Â People kept reminding that the end was near.Â Crossing the 9Km mark was such an awesome feeling.Â I was going to finish my first 10K run.
Finish Line (10K):
I made a mistake in a judgement call and started running at a good pace much before I should have.Â With 300m still to go I ran out of steam and switched to fast walking.
The moment of the event for me was seeing the finish line for the first time.Â The feeling was so amazing that the adrenaline shot up and I actually started sprinting towards the finish.Â I think I did that last 100m in a very impressive time.Â For me it was almost like a 100m dash, I must have overtaken atleast 50 people in that final stretch alone :)
As I was sprinting I saw a photographer aiming his camera at me, all I want is that photo of me almost running for my life :)
This event was hands down the most toughest exercise I had ever done.Â My body knew it and it took me a few minutes to regain my breath and a little strength.Â After that it was all the euphoria of finishing the race.
I stood at the finish line waiting for my friends and watching exhausted runners cross the line.Â It was one experience I wont forget in a hurry.
Ironically I remember sitting for a few minutes and then telling my friend “I could have done a couple of Kilometers more” :PÂ Maybe I could have but it wouldnt have been easy :D
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