In Running

Back on the Running Circuit

Last Sunday, a bunch of 13 Chennai runners got together to run a 30 kms route. It saw the highest turnout in quite a while. The change in route seemed to have done the trick. Instead of running inside the city, the highway along the sea coast from Toll Gate at Uthandi till Mahabalipuram was chosen.

I’m joining the running circuit after more than a year’ hiatus. I do short runs near my home but that’s really few and far in between.

I woke up at an ungodly 3:15 am, backed by a reminder call from Ram Vishwanathan, the man responsible for keeping the running spirit on in the group.

At 4:15, a bunch of us car-pooled together to reach the start destination. We met up at the Toll booth and proceeded onto Shahid’s sprawling beach house where we parked our vehicles, stretched, warmed up and started the run.

Most of the folks in the group are regular runners and clearly in better shape than a few of us getting into the groove. We all chose our own pace. We decided that we will regroup at the German Bakery at Mahabalipuram at around.

Hari, CEO of AddedV (in the picture above) is one of the better runners in the group but he slowed down and gave me company all along the route. Running is more of a mental game than a physical one and encouragement goes a long way.

We ran for about 12 kms before fatigue started to hit me. My legs were fine but I started to feel the strain on my lungs. Didn’t want to push it, especially since I’m running after a long break. 12 kms isn’t great but it felt good to get back into the groove. We took a auto till about 4 kilometers before Mahabs. From there on, we half ran, half walked to the venue.

So near, yet so far. The last few kilometers is the most gruesome. You are drained out, muscles and joints aching, the sun has started to hit you…. clearly not the best part of the run. Even though we entered Mahabalipuram, finding the German Bakery inside the small town proved to be more adventurous.

After asking a dozen folks and visiting many Iyengar bakeries, we finally home in on our rendezvous and find the better runners relaxing and snacking on sandwiches and hash browns. It’s a real fun group and the team spirit greatly alleviates the boredom usually associated with running. We spent the next one hour eating some more and having more fun at each other’s expense before catching a van and heading back to base.

The trouble with running after a long time is the body ache that persists the next few days. And oh, not to mention the appetite. I develop this huge craving for rice and invariably end up having at least four to five meals that day.

I’ve been inspired to get on a daily running schedule. I realised I’m not cut out for very long distance running. No 30 km runs for me. I enjoy best when its about 10 kms. Starting this week, I’m starting a daily running schedule of 5 kms and slowly building it to 10 kms. Will also maintain a log to keep track on progress. Feels good to get back.