A week had passed since my last 2 miler and in the intervening days I'd found time for a couple of jogs (24 mins each) a a one-hour walk/run session to Cunningham Park and back which included around 8 x 2 minutes of jogging. No problems, so I decided to go for a second 2 mile race when the Saturday came around. Uddipan gave me a sports massage and pronounced the calf OK for the race, though he did implore me to get a weekly massage if I could afford it as the muscle, while not torn or knotted, was lumpy and bumpy. Is it the cycling? Is it my age? Is it both? Who knows, but at least I was able to run another 2 miler with all the other disciples on the Jamaica loop I've been racing on for around 22 years now.
After a little warm up and stretching on the kerb we gathered on a sunny but very cold morning for the race prayer - "My God-running legs have made my life very precious, My God-running heart has made me very gracious". One of those couplets of Sri Chinmoys that you can't really interpret or explain but you get an immediate feeling from it. Certainly after so much meditation over the preceding week I felt tuned in to to where that prayer poem was coming from.
From the start I went out with very short strides and a "brisk" effort - not racing but definitely not jogging either. Sunlit pavements and roads unwound beneath my feet, the only sound the panting and the footfalls of the other runners, then the wail of Kodanda's flute or electric guitar echoing to us from the school grounds. I came round the half way point in 7.15 and was happy with the pace - still I felt able to push a bit harder and while I kept the strides short I did up the effort level enough to finish in 14.05. Afterwards the calf felt stiff but not damaged - of course I'll need to wait until I next run to see if I overdid it or not! Well, after months of no running I've at least been out there and felt part of 2 races, a great feeling and one I hope to repeat a few times this year!
That's a shot of the winner, Shamalya, picking up his prize :)
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