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  • Writer's pictureLt Cdr Bijay Nair (R)

Tiger ” Kabhi Kabhi” Zinda Hai

As I crossed the finish line , I couldn’t believe it showed 53.58 ……what 53.58 for a 10k that too me ….Bijay Nair . Mind was like “ bhai phir se dekh distance kitna dikha raha hai “ . I rechecked it was 10.02 kms . No I didn’t shed the tears of joy ….., no there was no Raakhee waiting saying “Mera Karan Arjun toh nahi aaya , but Bijay aa gaya “ instead was beaming with happiness , this too happened , that too with me .

 A dream timing for me , I clearly remember around the beginning of this season I was struggling for a sub 60 finish .

The feeling was like that of the first kiss …..wherein you close your eyes and let that moment happen .

To me to be  running among the first 100 odd runners throughout the first 10k was a victory in itself …. this was a privilege in itself. Powai Run is my home run and has been running from the inaugural edition. We field one of the largest contingent in the coprporate section , this time was a all time highest number 180 .

I strongly echo the llines “ Race days are the progressive culmination of your kickarse training “- Koitohbola

It was somewhere in the beginning of the year 2017 , my brother Murali overheard a discussion about me during a night race , where mentioning about my weight and mocking my timings . Though like always I chided it off , but yes it did remain at the back of my mind .

I have been running from last 10 years to beat thyroid and stabilize my weight . Have run 01 - 12 hrs, 10FMs , more than 70 plus HMs and many 10kms . But I enjoyed my run and never cared about what others felt . Being a person from Fauj background and also a compliance and quality guy . I believe that the life is all about continual improvement, so your training too has to be in that purview .

I planned my training from then on i.e March 2017 , it yielded result but I was not happy with the end product . In 2017 , took up the 100 days challenge and let me tell you , it added mileages and gave a new lookout to the way I run ( I seriously don’t recommend 100days , since it involves a lot ) . Around the same time in Matheran 25kms run ,  spirit of the horse “Romeo Boy” in the ravines engulfed me , I don’t know what happened but ran that race in 2.58 hrs a gud time as per my standard  and considering the terrain . I followed it up by BNP a week later and was glad that I could cut 25 mins from the previous edition .

And then I decided to run less , I took the help of dear friend Viv Menon , who believed in the adage run less, Run good . Thus began phase 2 of my running exploit . So my Plan was charted for 3 months plus till TMM with quality runs . A speed day on Tuesday , a tempo on Thursday and a long run on Sunday . I run as early as 5.45 in this winter darkness . Many a time solo and many a times with my buddies at GoS . Muscle would cry at times …..but show has to go on .

Trust me if you have to improve as a runner , train smartly . Sooner , I started holding the tempo of 5.30 till 5kms , then 6kms and till 10kms too . As i stood at the start line of Navy Run , I knew it was my day and ran a PB of 2.09 (viv had not approved of this ) . I knew it was not one off and for Tiger Hill challenge run , clocked a 2.11 in the hilly terrain of lonavala .

Every year when we line up for powai run , I take the responsibility as pacer . Powai run has podium in corporate category for each corporate . My office team has some awesome runners and I knew if I clock a 55 I can even win a podium .

So on Friday two days before the run  , I tried a tempo 8Km and cud hold 5.44 Pace , I knew if I run smartly on race day I will get close to my dream time of 55 mins . But to my surprise , I was running good and at times I was below sub 5 too . Around 3.5kms , I saw a young runner lying on the road , went to him offered help and requested him to withdraw and called for volunteers . I knew I was losing time , but cant loose values . I strongly believe , race and PBs will happen , but human life is more important . Some day , some race I may be lying on the road.

May be he too blessed me , I ran faster and at 5kms was around 26mins . But saala , dil bhi naa kutti cheez hai . Mind started calculating since my target was 55 , mind was playing saying take it easy you have 29 mins in second half . I ran for the second half and many fellow runners were cheering , I ran strong , very strong to cross the line . The tomtom flashed 53.58 . I rechecked the distance it was 10.02 .

Oh God…… I did a 54.02 official timing  . It was hard to believe , but was not impossible . As a runner you sometime becomes greedy , my mind was conversing with me , why the fcuk you stopped for that boy , you would have done in 52. Some seconds .

My heart was like fcuk the timing , don’t be greedy , for thy the best timings is yet to come ……keep training hard .

Trust me I still am a runner who loves to smile , socialize and enjoy my runs , when I look back I felt like patting myself and saying  “Arey NairSaab Tumharee Andar ka Tiger abhi bhi “Kabhi Kabhi” Zinda Hai “

As the corporate winning list was announced , I was on cloud 9 . Hey Bhagwaannnnnnn……kya mein bhi  podium waala hun . A second place with 54.02 and I was pitting against youngsters less that 35 age .

Be like a wine …….badte umarr ke saath Nasheela Bano……. aur Neki Karo dariya mein daal doh …..cherish this PB , forget and move on to train hard ……………….

2016                                                          vs                                          2017/2018

10kms  PB 65 Mins                                                                                10kms 54.02 Mins

21 Kms   PB   2.14                                                                                 21kms PB 2.09

25kms PB  3.17 Kms                                                                              25kms PB 2.53 Mins

42kms  5.59                                                                                            42kms PB 5.04 Mins

(TMM 2018 is yet to happen ) 

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