"Each step forward has a sacred meaning of its own"   Sri Chinmoy

August Celebrations 2 mile race -  Virtual - August 28th, 2020

We did all we could to re-create our New York celebrations at home. Not only did we have dial-in group meditations but we ran virtual versions of the Self-Transcendence Marathon and our traditional end-of-celebrations 2 miler. In "real life" this race sees a few fresh pairs of legs up against the fatigued post-marathon people and it was the same in this virtual run. I had made the effort to get out there and try and to run the fatigue out of my legs, but everything still felt a bit heavy and stiff just one week to the day since our marathon.

Kokila decided to join me for this one - she's had knee issues and hasn't wanted to risk racing, but she felt the time was right to get out there and put in  a race effort to see how it went. We jogged slowly up to the Horizon 38 business park, a flat, square course of around 0.9km, and had the same silence/aphorism pre-start that we would have had if we'd been outside Jamaica High School doing the race for real.

Once started the racing was real enough and the post-marathon stiffness and tiredness were no less intense for the races being virtual. I'd clocked a sub-12 minute 2 miler a couple of months before in perfect conditions on my superb course at Bitton, but this was never going to be that fast. I had about 14 sides of the square course to run - 3.5 laps - to hit my 2 miles and as it was all being measured on a Garmin I could take the bends wide, use the road or the pavement depending on what felt fastest and still feel that everty step counted. I went off at a mad pace that steadied out at around 6:08 after half a mile. I didn't expect to maintain that and it did slip a little coming into the third circuit when I saw 6:12 on the screen but was still happy to be heading for under 12:30. The stiffness soon dissipated but the feeling of heaviness in my legs and general post-marathon depletion was still hanging around.

There was only one direction of the four sides of the "square" where I felt a tough headwind, the rest of the time it was either a tailwind or pretty neutral, and with it being a weekend there was no slowing down for trucks and vans. As the last full lap ended and I started on the partial lap to the finish I was able to pick up the pace again and finish totally wasted on 12:16. Kokila surprised herself with something under 22 which meant we'd both had a good run. We were both wondering if we'd still be doing this next April - or will 2021 see us back in the USA? The future seems pretty obscure right now, it's anybody's guess.

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