Wednesday, 27 May 2009

First Athletic Victory?

Author's note: This post is almost a week late, but what the heck. It's not as if I have much of an audience waiting for posts.

Circa 2001.

I'm in 12th std and our annual inter-house sports meet is going on. I find myself participating in two events: the triple jump and the 400 m run. Not because I'm good at either, but because no one else in my house (which was called the Eklavya house, and invariably none in the house were good at sports) was ready to participate. Nobody wanted to go for the triple jump, because getting the footing right was not easy. The 400 m was considered more of a long distance run and nobody wanted to do it.

The 400 m run, was 2 rounds of our school ground. Ancient wisdom and folklore dictated that, the 1st round must be run at a slow jogging pace, whereas the second round should be all-out. At the race, I followed this strategy. And of course, it was stupid! Two of my competitors, zoomed away at the start, while I jogged along chuckling to myself that they will soon slow down. When I hit around the 150 m mark, they had finished the 1st round. "Surely they must be tired. Falter they shall ... any time now", I said to myself. But unfortunately and apparently they weren't. When I ended my 1st round, they were so far ahead, that it broke my spirit and I didn't even sprint in the final round. At the end of it I was disappointed, but also relieved that I didn't get lapped.

Needless to say I didn't win a thing in any of our annual sports meet -- don't make me recount my triple-jump disasters.

Last Week, May 2009.

Our company organized a bunch of fitness events and called it, for a lack of a better name, "The Gym Challenge". There were 5 events: 5k on the treadmill, 10k on the elliptical, 15k on the cycle, Iron man (maximum time), Pushups (maximum in 1 min). I decided to go for the treadmill, elliptical ,and cycling events -- all were time trials.

My best 5k till the time of the event was 24:39 at NGV, but given that I had been doing quite a bit of speed training for the Sunfeast 10k, I hoped to better it. My plan was to do a negative split: run the first 2.5 K at a 5:00/KM pace and the rest at a 4:36/KM pace. For cycling and the elliptical, I didn't have any strategy as I was just doing them to spread out the risk.

On the day of the race, although not a very important event, I had a bit of nervous energy going for me -- I was focussed. I warmed up for 5 minutes and finally got on the treadmill and set the pace to the planned 5:00/KM. At the end of 2 K, I was feeling good, so I said what the heck and increased the pace to 4:36/KM there itself. I managed to sustain that pace till the 4.6 K mark, after which I upped the pace to 4:17/KM.

At the end the clock read 23:44 -- a new PB, albeit on the treadmill.

The results were announced at the end of the day and lo behold, I was 1st! The person coming 2nd was more than a minute away, and 3rd was around 2 minutes away. I also came 1st in cycling and 3rd in the elliptical event.

Glazed in athletic glory, I stood proud.