So, I have signed up for a new race this year. THE ADVENTURE BEGINS.
I, being a soldier by profession, have lived in the mountains a lot, more often than not in high altitude parts of the country. I have always admired the pristine beauty of the mountains, the flora and fauna, the sunrises and the sunsets, the ever lurking dangers round the road bend or in the valley, the simple souls living in the nature, their culture and customs, their warmth and affection for the guests and much more. But moving in the mountains, whether hiking or running, is one thing which I loved the most. So, this race, when it popped up in my radar got me curious.
This race is called La Ultra – The High. It is held in the high altitude desert of Himalayas, Leh. For last six years runners from different countries are coming to run one of the ‘world’s toughest ultra‘. Well, these runners have been chosen by the race director personally, Dr Rajat Chauhan, on the basis of their past records. Or he presents some races for qualifying to participate in the main race. La Ultra – The High has three race categories – 111 km in 24 hours, 222 km in 48 hours and 333 hours in 72 hours.
After running the Bhatti Lakes Ultra last year, I tried my luck by applying for this race. I have been rejected once before as I did not have any experience of running an ultra then. I got selected to run the 111 km distance race on 11 August 2016; that is around 5 months from now. When I got the e-mail, I was happy as I can be but I also knew it is a daunting challenge looming in future for me.
I have been running around lately but of a different kind. I have been playing field hockey for a couple of months now. So, there is a lot of sprinting happening. The mechanics of an ultra is totally different, but is surprisingly easier on the body than in hockey. On receiving the invitation, I got down to business by taking out a print out of the race route and making my training plan. However, I had hurt myself while playing hockey on my knee. Actually, the blade of opponent’s stick hit my patella. So, I am hoping the pain and swelling goes away real soon.
As you can see, I made a plan a bit different than the last one for Bhatti Lakes Ultra. I have included a days rest in the middle of the week and subsequently two days of back to back running, with one day being the weekly long run. Seeing the deterioration of my body towards the end of the last race, I planned to make my long runs harder by doing B – 2 – B. However, my weekly mileage is never crossing 90km anywhere in the whole programme because I can’t sustain mega mileage, physically. I mean, then I need more sleep to recover and with a wife and a kid, it becomes close to impossible.
Also, I don’t plan to run in the evenings to maintain some balance in my running and family life. I don’t want to be overly tired when I reach home. But I have included some walking and weight training sessions. The uphill climb till Khardungla and downhill thereon is going to be taxing on the legs especially quadriceps and glutes. Weight training session is to strengthen them, plus to strengthen the upper body.
I have already started documenting my training in form of videos, which I will upload monthly as Vlog. Hope you all will like it. I hope to capture my race too and combine the Vlogs to make a documentary of sorts. So, I am trying my hand on it nowadays and learning about it.
So, that’s it for now. Oh yes, one last thing. This time I am going to concentrate a lot on my diet by eating clean, green, whole and natural foods. Gotta shed this lard off the body to get quicker on the mountains!
As the call sign of the race goes, “Failing is not a crime, lack of effort is!“. So, I will try hard to prepare for the race; rest the mountains will take care of me.
Till then, stay fit and keep running.
What are your racing plans of the year?
Do you like watching Vlogs more than reading blog posts?
I going to use just my GoPro to document the whole journey. Any suggestions to make it interesting?