Airtel Delhi Half Marathon 2017

29 Nov 2017 - running

After 2 years, I ran ADHM again this year. This is the one time I nearly dropped because of alarming levels of pollution the week before the event. If Procam does not change the dates of the event in 2018, I don’t see myself running this event again. We got lucky this time with the air clearing up the week leading up to the event.

Delhi has been the best city for my running. This is where I went from C25K to running my first marathon over the course of 2 years. When we moved away, I almost stopped running completely. Bombay was not conducive to running for me. Running in a park with a radius of 200m gets old fast. It takes 25 loops to get to a 5K and the monsoons are a constant threat. I haven’t run more than 400 km this year. I went into the race with little to no training. I was hoping that this would kickstart my training cycle for the next big race.

I met Bulbul at the start line and we started about together. I was in C group given that my last ADHM timing was 2h 11m. Last time I prepped for cold weather forgetting that it warms over the course of the race. This time, I was wearing my trusty shorts and T-shirt, which I wore in Brno and Prague in sub 10C weather. Given my lack of training, I started slow and let people pass me over the course of the race.

I picked up a timing chart for finishing in 3h during the race expo. That was near perfect for me. I started the race with a mask as well. The mask was uncomfortable because I hadn’t trained with it. At around the 7 km mark I gave up on the mask. I banked a few minutes because of the speed in the first 5 km or so. I kept going faster than the plan, but slower than a 2h 45m finish. Until about the halfway mark, I was running with occasional walking breaks to drink water. After the 10.5K mark, I started maintaining the goal pace that was on my chart, which means I slowed down. At around the 16K mark, my back was giving me trouble, so I decided to walk for a bit and then run. I walked most of the way back after that picking up pace only after turning into the stadium. Procam had the aid stations well staffed and there was water and ORSIL till the very end.

As I expected, this has kickstarted my training. It’s a little challenging to go out in the winter to run. And it’s not very motivating when my performance is below where I left it off. But I’ve done this before. I’ve gone from near zero training to fast half marathons. It’s only a matter of consistent training for the next year or so before I break my half marathon best again.