14 th September , Sunday , 2014 Satara half marathon
This time the format of this write up is little bit stupid ( so that it remains little bit complex ) as I am hooked to this new drive of reading graphic novels ( with the speed of 2 to 3 a week whenever possible ) where the creators have attempted complex narratives ……
Few lines from The blog of “ me “
I am fortunate as I am part of BNP green runners group.
The group is constantly reinventing, becoming more serious and committed towards running.
Few lines from blog of “ not me “
So when the satara group is formed , it is beginning of a long and dedicated programme which is based on disciplined and commitment.
Last 4 months have been dedicated to hill training , hill runs , joining more serious training programmes of our dear coaches Dan and Melwyn, three to four times in a week running schedules comprising of speed work outs , tempo runs , core building exercises and invariably followed by Sunday long runs.
The enthusiasm is contagious. Some of us have already done 100 rounds of Gandhi tekdi and with 75 odd times kanheri hills runs.
Targets like sub 2 or sub 2:15 or worst case 2:25 are decided .
The dream ( good or bad : does it matter ??……)…….. of the lethargic
It is year 2016 . I am looking at this new proposal .BNP authority have decided to put cap on runners. It seems on all Sundays there are more runners in BNP than the tourists. The cap of 250 runners is now more or less a reality.
Due to this now there is preselection criteria for all the BNP green members . sub 2:10 certificate of satara for platinum membership , sub 2:20 for gold and sub 2:35 for silver for BNP membership which becomes your passport to the running inside BNP.
The person taking the interview ( PTI ) :
The person giving the interview ( PGI ) :
PTI : so you were fully prepared
PGI : yes more or less
PTI : and really excited ?
PGI : yes
PTI : so how was it ?
PGI : great , really enjoyed it .
PTI : enjoyed it? You mean you had great….
PGI : fun !
PTI : fun ??? during the run ??
PGI : yes you may add a bit like that ….. but before the run and after the run was all fun .
PTI : fun …run….fun…..in that order ??
PGI : yes I was assuming you were asking about the satara road trip and post run party.
PTI : road trip and party ?? but all that was just secondary na ??? the very reason you went to satara was “to run” and not to party ! .
The morning :
We are up by 3:45am . we are three of us and we have to be ready so that we are in hotel lobby by 5:00 am.
The sleep was not very sound. I was awake at 2:30 am and after that sleep was intermittent.i have some of the best company. Shetty is near to 2:00 hours material and the great mahdevji samjiskar is a smiling company who is aiming for one of the top position in his category.
The warm up : we have a huge group of BNP green runners and have a reasonably good session of warm up exercises thanks to central coordination by dr sachin , alpeshbhai the great and sonal for last few exercises.
The nature’s call is easier due to cut standees type of open arrangements. It reminds you of semi open ones in rural india. The placements of the same could have been better thought of as they are too near to the enclosed facilities meant for “ the better gender.”
for many they are some kind of wash basins so it creates early morning comedy .
at start line there is live aerial shooting with the help of a quad copter- remote operated camera.
The marathon is on and all the runners start their continuous ( for most of the part ) upward incline run .
We are crossing one of the biggest chowk of satara where multi roads meet .
I have music for my company and I have a new compilation of songs with file name as satara marathon . with every marathon I end up having some medals ( which now I do not know what to do .)along with a new music folder.
Avani taps me from behind …..” keep running….all the best “ and zooms past.
Now onwards fort Ajinkyatara is intermittently visible as it ‘s view keeps getting blocked due to the buildings.
Soon we are moving past rayat shikshan santha’s education complex on our left. The stone buildings of the education complex gives a kind of reassuring feelings as my memory is full of fergusson college, wadia college ,deccan college , Government engineering college , pune.
So I have a long nostalgia inducing stare at the complex while running.
Now I am passing by “ rajwada “
An impressive stone wada kind of building and the owners/residents of the house are out at this hour and are cheering all the runners in brown sahib English.
We are soon out of the residential area and approaching the kas road. I have decided to run ( even at a very slow pace…some of the purists may not classify that as moving forward ) on the ghat. Except 1 minute short ( but brisk walk break ) at every 15 minutes …I will not walk on this ghat is my mantra. Initial road is wet but as we move ahead the road becomes dry . from around 3.5 km onwards till almost 11 km …I am almost in the intermittent company of shashiji ,shanky, dilipbhai and hiren.
Shanky has a ready tab on who is where ?
Shashi ji is going strong. The walking speed of shanky as well as shashiji is faster than my slow run/jog.
Its lush green all around. In front one can see chain of runners at different curves and yes there are runners even at the highest curve which is visible . at some height I look back at satara town which is just waking up. There are small fog clouds which have descended and are lovingly embracing some of the houses or house clusters.
Its perfect picture postcard ….kind of visual.
Nivant is visible and looks nearer but road to nivant is long as there are few more curves.
Finally I move pass the water fall before nivant . instantly I decide to come back here post run for a nice time in this inviting waters ( later I have my 15 minutes of fun …..reminding me of our road trips in Meghalaya where we used to stop and get drenched at every water fall on the way )
Post nivant I run some distance with hiren. He has already discovered not so subtle aspect of satara hill run and I request him to continue non stop till half way mark and than later change his strategy so he can have more walk breaks or take the run more easy.
Beyond 8 km marks the known elites are seen returning. some ultra fast have already crossed me ( I have missed them ) as there is a direct conflict of two kind of personalities…..they are clear and focused and I remain observant , inherently slow …trying stupidly to imbibe the surroundings.
The determined are engrossed in themselves and are tuned to their targets.
Some are concerned about laid backs and slow runners like me.
Some are happy to see who all are behind. For them this is also kind of motivation as it rekindles their spirit of competitiveness which has been part of their education years ( schools till their graduation) .
Kaushikbhai , supriya try to encourage me to run faster in those couple of seconds of crossing…which involves recognizing , acknowledging , saying hi , and wishing !!! .
The half way mark is crossed . the climate is excellent . there is no tiredness or fatigue of any kind. I decide to run at steady pace .
While crossing nivant I wish once again for the bigger hall for the post run party. The hall will make our party/event an exclusive one. Yesterday evening while doing the pre -arrangement with hotel guys… who after initial promise had backed out by offering the normal restaurant near the reception as an alternative arrangement. ( later post waterfall bath when I reach nivant I first thank hotel guys for keeping up their promise )
During the run one can read the captions/slogans related to running. “pain is temporary, pride is forever” “ run this kilometer for your dad”
So at regular intervals there are captions/slogans but what comes towards last lap is kind of anti climax…..”stop reading this and start running”
Down ward run is fun . the soft sun is out . being the slow runner I have most of the road to myself as most of the crowd has gone ahead. Unlike last time ( where I had increased my pace by taking giant big strides ) I stick to the same pace.
Nitinji ( nitin panchal ) is ahead of me and I can see him at turning points.
Around 5.5 km there is a pleasant picture post card Kodak moment. the great motivational duo of mother and daughter ….deepa and misri are returning back . at downward inclines deepa has some trouble in controlling and adjusting the stroller but on her face its all bliss and happiness. Daughters are daughters ……father without daughter is somewhat lost in his life….usually a daughter completes a man……..in my mind the face of misri gets juxtaposed with faces of riva and tvisha ( elder and younger ones )and I move on with smile on my face .
Slowly I begin to realize that “my take it easy” has become too easy as doing better than last time is now next to impossible and even sub 3 is now forgone case.
I decide to slightly increase the speed and decide to drop last two walk breaks…..but at the same time do not want cramps…..
But now the fun of running has gone ….it is now stop watch , remaining time …asking running rate ( asking pace ) vis a vis actual ones.
And yes I am bit like the run chasing and loosing Indian cricket team.
Now I am constantly doing calculation if I do 6 ka pace ( as if it is going to happen )than I will need so many minutes and 7 ka pace than so much time etc….
All I am observing is my stop watch , kilometer mark ……and thinking of various mathematical solutions.
As I enter reenter the residential zone dilipbhai taps me from behind and zooms ahead….very soon he is out of sight as he is constantly increasing his pace.
At one of the live music station the sight of nitinji and a lady ( name ? did not ask ) from Mumbai… dancing ( while running )on the music brings smile on my face and I move one .
Soon we are running together and talking . She tells me that her legs are going strong but her breathing and heart rate is not cooperating….so she has few meter of strong run and sudden drop down. For almost half a km we are together and she decides to slow down. I am moving at my constant pace and now I am almost with nitinji
Sun is out….its getting little hotter. The feeling now is “ let’s finish this” and there is little joy in running. At the main chowk I increase my pace but some how not able to sprint. At the main gate I meet kaushikbhai , kaushal , shetty who are trying to encourage the late comers.
Kaushikbhai looks at me and I have a feeling that his expression is telling me ….” Yaar tu kabhi sudherega …..why can’t you be little more serious and improve your timings “
By the time I cross the last timing mat it is beyond 3 hrs ….the slow run rate has been the killer, by cricket analogy the match is lost. Unlike every one who all have come to satara with specific mission to do better ( backed by solid efforts of 100 days and determination ) I have come to satara for one more stroll.
(When later I check my last years record following is compared
2013 : 5 Km: 47:27, 10.4 Km: 1:35:49, 21.1Km : 2:58:58
2014 : 5 Km: 45:30 , 10.5 Km : 1:32:43 , 21.1Km : 3:03:05 )
So last time with cramps I was within 3 hrs and this time with no cramps it is beyond 3 hrs.
Post run I collect my medal and food packet …there are boiled eggs on the counter which many of the runner miss and later I can see the deprived faces trying to find what is missing in their food packet.
With varun I join mulund group which is doing post run stretching exercises. They are in a shade and most of the exercises are against the wall. The coach is real task master who even comes to me and varun and tries to push our legs or back to the required position. Most of his exercises are new and look innovative. Varun is already drained out and we leave the session at the point where we feel “ yaar bahot ho gaya “
On way back to hotel …..one feels happy to be part of BNP family when you witness sonal joining sree in her last 500 metres so that she can complete her run along with a friend.
Post script :
so what is next year’s resolve…..run more???
Or fun more ????
The conversation :
P 1 : person 1 : he has remained as a consistent runner.
P2 : person 2 : consistent ? or consistently slow ???Now a days most of runners of his time are beyond bathing… getting ready and even half way through their lunch by the time he completes his full marathon.
P 1 : But he always has company.
P 2 : company ??? oh of new runners ???he is more like aamir khan of rang de basanti who is always there for new comers
P1 : who remains in same class ( where in his old friends move on )
P2 : he is still looking here and there while running ….observing useless things on the run ….rather than working hard on his run …..
P1 : even bores every one with long write ups post runs.
P2 : this time he has lost his sense of writing …..kuchh ut patang style mein likha hai
Various reports on bus journey to satara ( borivli BNP to satara and back )
Report by the surprised one :Some of them have described it as a school picnic. full of fun- frolic and masti !!! For some it has come as a surprise as they had virtually no expectation . for some bus journey is a bus journey …like you travel from dadar to pune by shivneri ac bus.
But non stop engagement/entertainment/motivation of 8 to 10 hours ( both ways considered )is beyond imagination
Report by the motivated runner : oh all those talks on running…..celebrities like sunilji and sangeetaji ……so simple and so humble ….but what kind of achievements and motivating talks….the Bangalore stadium run and its inherent challenge as load comes on one leg. To sangeetaji’s comment : “ as both of us are into this serious running our social calls are now a days with special requests …..please keep your function ( including marriages ) on so and so date otherwise we may not be able to attend “
Listening to mahesh guruji and kaushikbhai is sheer delight….both try to make running simple and achievable…..
Varun describing Mahesh guruji’s trademark smile…..tu kya kar raha hai…..tu kar sakta hai….aey bhai to kahe naheen karta hai?…….all conveyed with a smile…..
Abhayji’s rediscovering life after the “joy of running “……CIO discovering the perfect equilibrium at the same time sunil agarwal comparing the life of corporate world as some kind of hard hitting reality vis a vis the oasis of BNP green runners community.
Suvendu getting kaushik virus and strongly recommending every one to get affected by same virus again and again….and see your running graph !!
Report by the foody and party animal :
Dhamal …..masti…..the home cooked breakfast sharing at lonavala …just imagine 40 plus people opening their breakfast items…..mera to itni variety dekhkar hi pet bhar gaya…..but still I hogged and ate.
The costliest dal khichadi was equally tasty and we all had mouth full of khichadi.
The gujju thali under rajasthani management was pure paise vasool.
The big nirvana post run hyderation party is the special one …..especially at one table where few of the guys were in the company of antiquity and Smirnoff …..there was a constant flow of party jokes, shayaris……the party at this table was not over till the time last drop was not over…… last time there was jugalbandi of dilipbhai and dr kiran shinde….this time a new trio of shanky , kaushal and hiren chipped in non stop ….so it was fun frolic and masti ………
The report by a music premi
What a session …….dilipbhai and kashmira were as usual star singing couple.
Sonal , varun , sidhi , suvendu, rupal, nitinji (please pardon if somebody’s name is missed out )…every ones vocal cords were stretched to the fullest.
Kaushal and hiren were at their best ……singing full songs which made the whole singing divine…….agar proper nachna bhi ho jata to sone pe suhaga ho jata…..for that there is always a next time…….