Posted by Anantha | Posted in Distance Running , Ultra Marathon | Posted on Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Ever since I registered For 75 Kms in Bangalore Ultra, I would say, my months of practice was always accompanied by loads of skepticism about completing the race, about getting injured due to the extra mileage I was putting in to the practice, about the adequate hydration on the race day and myriads of such thoughts.
When I had attempted 50 Kms in 2012, It was easy to push my mind and body, as I could always say, it's just 8 Kms more than a Full Marathon. I did not have such 'easy' formula for 75 Kms. What do you say to your tired legs and unwilling mind - just 33 Kms more than a Full Marathon distance..? Naah. Once the race route was published by the event organizers, which was of 25 Kms lap, I decided it to take one lap at a time. Not easy as it may sound, but I had no other choice!
The Race Day:
I was jittery at the start line at, trying to brush aside the negative thoughts by stretching and cheering the co-runners. When the whistle blew, I started slower than my average running pace.
1st Lap (0-25 Kms):
Quite comfortably finished it. Was hydrating well in aid stations. The company of bustling fellow runners made the distance easier to cover.
2nd Lap (26-50 Kms):
This is when most of the runners hit the wall and every one starts fighting their own personal battles. The smiles on the faces evade, cheers to the fellow runners become faint. Though I thought I had the right intake of water+salts, I had the crystals of salt formed on my face. Sweat and color of urine are good indicators for any long distance runner. I stopped taking Enerzal and other salt supplements at the aid stations and had more water in subsequent aid stations. The Sun was harsh and few blisters on the toes decreased my speed.
3rd Lap (51-75 Kms):
After finishing 50 Kms, I rested for 10-15 mins. Had boiled Sweet Potato and Eggs which I had carried in my bag (that was kept at baggage counter). The tough part was to resume running, the easy part was, that was my final lap :) Around 60th Km mark, the blister on the small toe of left foot bursted. I could feel my socks getting wet. The burning sensation was severe. I started limping. The problem with such altered posture is, it impairs the whole balance and my ankle and shin also started paining. One of the volunteers handed over the band-aid and surgical tape. I wrapped it around my hurting toe and started walking! The finish time of 10 hours seemed very distant. All I wanted at that point was to cross the finish line.
At the finish line:
After walking for almost 10 last Kms and being on the running trail for close to 12 Hrs, I was there at the finish line!! With a sense of accomplishment and a big smile on the face :)
- I should have had few practice runs in the afternoon that would have made my body more prepared for the run in hot Sun
- I should have run the entire distance at least once before the event!
- My running shoes were best suited for tarmac or hard surfaces. It wasn't for trail run.
Things to cheer about:
- No major cramps and dehydration problems mean, my diet before and during the race was just adequate to push me to the finish line
- Apart from the usual exhaustion of the muscles, No runners' injuries
- I never gave up!