"Each step forward has a sacred meaning of its own" Sri Chinmoy
2 Mile Race, Joy Day, Mornington - Ireland - June 2017
It was the perfect morning for a 2 mile race - anything longer, it would have been too hot! I had my excuses lined up as usual, achilles very sore after 14k running at Jwalanta's pace from Dublin Sri Chinmoy Centre (where we stayed a couple of night before) out to the docks and back. Despite that and the fact that I'd felt the need to scour the streets of Dublin for a shop selling kinesio tape to strap my right ankle with, I was feeling pretty serious about the 2 miler. Sometime you think, to hell with it, I'm going to run flat out despite my niggles and just see what happens. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it proves to have been a very stupid decision. On this occasion my intuition was pushing me to run.
The course was on a lovely, flat road with no traffic around, at 7am on a Sunday morning on the edge of Mornington. After the customary warm up and "race prayer" read out by Ambarish, our genial host, we set off to run two laps of an out-and-back, with Kaivalya the marshal at the turnaround. From the off, Sadanand (who is in great shape) was way out in front and running his own race. It became a race for second place for the rest of us! I was in a pack with the 4 guys you can see behind me in the photo (Suswara, Prabala, Ashcharjya and Alex) plus Jwalanta who was in fabulous shape for speed-endurance after numerous long runs at tempo pace and a recent marathon where he claims he didn't push but "just enjoyed it". <unerstatement>That's always the sign that your running is going well </understatement>
I knew Suswara was also running well, but he was coming back from a virus and also some not-that-long-ago back trouble. Alex had youth on his side, being the only one of us the right side of 30. Despite all that I felt myself edging ahead of the others as we eased round a curve in the road wondering when we were going to see Kaivalya. Surely it must be half a mile by now! Joy Day races are often measured in a hurry the night before the race, which doesn't inspire confidence, but in this case with Ambarish a professional architect I was assuming it would be spot on. When we finally turned around at Kaivalya's spot (there was no cone so we just imagined one and ran round that) I glanced at my watch and saw something not much over 3 minutes. About right then.
The rest of the "pack" was just behind me, the air was beautifully mild and clear, the sunshine was glorious, the morning tranquil and full of promise. I pushed a bit harder and began to pull away. I was expecting Jwalanta to ease past me at any moment, or maybe Suswara, but the moment never came. I held on to the gap I'd opened up, concentrating on keeping pace with Sadanand who was around 80m ahead of me, but although I managed to keep the gap constant I never showed any sign of closing it. Finally the line came and I eased myself over it, hearing a time of around 12.30 called out. I guess that was pretty accurate as I had pushed pretty hard but maybe had a few seconds of additional effort left that would have come out if I'd had company on the last 100m.
I felt fantastic throughout - the joy of running at full pace in a beautiful place.
Next we headed for the beach to cool down, but I contented myself with jogging on the sand, having swum in the chilly waters the previous afternoon. So far (I'm writing this 7 days later) the reaction has been good and the achilles is actually in better shape now than it was before the run. Clearly the intuition was working well that day :)
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