Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Am off for my marathon....

The adventure continues..... I realised in the afternoon that I had not done by medical insurance and then had to run from pillar to post to arrange it and finally got the physical document late evening. And this was after getting my passport in my hand just yesterday after the prolonged wait.

I ran in the morning today and comfortably did 7.5km, though I did not run yesterday as I wanted to rest my legs. Now I hope to finish off with a short run on Friday morning.

Hope I don't have any more surprises before I get to Singapore.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

13km final long run..

I completed by 13km run in about 1hr 15minutes in the evening today. Could not bear the way India performed after a wonderful start and the run help me forget that! During the next week, I plan to run on Tuesday and Wednesday for about 7.5km each and will follow it up with a light run on Friday in Singapore, just to get a feel of the weather and pulse of the city.

I have finally got my Singapore visa after a lot of effort, and don't have the energy to run behind the Thai visa and will take it on arrival (one of the few countries that allows Visa on arrival for Indians).

If I have a good run at the Singapore marathon, I plan to write a interesting piece on it (incl. my preparation for it and the important part played by the blog) along with some pics clicked on my Camphone and will try and see if I can get it published in a relevant magazine or newspaper. But, all this is subject to me having a great run next Sunday.

Last long run coming up..

As planned I was able to do another two 7.5km runs on Friday and Saturday. Which makes it a total of 30kms during the week. Now I just need to top it off with a 13-15km run on Sunday.

I decided to postpone my Sunday run from morning to evening, as I had a late night on Saturday and needed to catch up on sleep.

The day has been good, very relaxed and the Tibetan incantations (The meditative sound of Buddhist chants) were very helpful. Its something that really works for me. I had picked up the CD on my trip to Nepal at one of the Buddhist monasteries. This is one of the most popular Buddhist chant CD, containing three chant tracks of about 25minutes each. The only thing you need is a good set of speakers and amplifiers to transport you to another world. Its a very good stress buster. I am planing to rip them into MP3 format so that I can load it on my mobile phone. If any of you are interested in the CD, do let me know.

Plus India is finally performing in the third ODI at South Africa, which was very much required. India need to give South Africa a thrashing, compensate for the disappointing performance in the second ODI.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

So far an uneventful week....

......And that is really good. I have had two good runs yesterday and today, did about 7.5km in about 43mins on both the days. My legs are feeling quite alright and things are looking good, am waiting for the Sunday run to get one last confirmation of my preparation.

My struggle for the visa is continuing, but am finally seeing some progress on it and hope to get it done by Tuesday. Hope there are no last minute nasty surprises. Actually I am quite used to things falling in place right at the very end on most occasion, as the deadline approaches, guess that helps build the excitement and you tend to appreciate things. Am I positive or what..

In the meantime, I am trying to stuff myself with multi-vitamins, cod liver oil, lotsa carbs and everything possible to ensure that I am absolutely fit before the run.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

22km run...

I had a good run today, did about 22km in about 2hr 15min. I was feeling good and was ready for a lot more. The only problem being my left foot pain flared up again after the 12km mark, I decided to run with it and at the end of 20km it became quite bearable. I decided not to push as I did not want to aggrevate it and at the end of 22km I get a feeling that its back to normal. But, the real test will be how things feel tomorrow morning. That give me a lot of confidence for the Singapore run, as I now feel reasonably confident of doing the full marathon with or without the left foot injury.

Next week I plan to use my other set of shoes (used ones) to check if the Newport running shoe is giving me adequate cushioning in the front of the foot. If the other set performs better over the next week (including the next Sunday run of about 20km), I will use them for the final run on December 3, 2006. So next week is going to be crunch time.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Had a good run in the morning, did 7.5km and it went off quite smoothly. My left foot behaved itself and now I am quite confident about my Sunday run. I was very nervous during my run yesterday and was hoping really hard that things would get back to normal. The last thing I want stopping me from doing a good time is a silly injury.
I hope to do anything between 20-30km, depending on how things go tomorrow. Don't want to push myself too hard.

I have now completed the extensive paperwork for my Singapore and Bangkok Visas and hope to complete the paperwork by end of next week.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Today was my first rest day after the foot injury. I hope its nothing which will hold me back beyond a couple of days. Today I managed to walk for about 4 kms in the evening (40mins), and am not sure if its healed but will still take a break tommorrow.

I finally got my renewed passport after all the hiccups. Now its the next struggle, for the Singapore visa, I hate the treatment Indian nationals get from most of the developed world (would love to boycott them only if I could), how can they ask a person for his three year tax returns, six months bank account, credit card copy, return tickets.... for a stupid tourist visa. How dare they?? Guess I don't have too much of a choice (than ranting on my blog) then following their stupid, irrational rules, which make absolutely no sense. Bangkok is a lot better, which offers a visa on arrival. Guess developing countries are more fair and rational.....

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I have been doing light runs for the past two days, managed to do 6kms on both the days. The lower part of my foot (near the toe) is feeling a little sore and it aches a little when I run, so I have decided to rest it for the next two days and if things get back to normal, I will follow it up with a 20km run on Sunday (don't want to take any chances by doing anything more than that). It happened due to the pounding my legs received during last Sundays run.

During the next two days I will focus on some leg strengthening and stretching exercises and plan my run. I should finally have my corrected passport in hand, hope they have finally got it right and then will have to do the rest of the paperwork for my travel.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

32km run

I did my 32kms in about 3hr 20min, which is quite good given the fact that I was not feeling too good over the last couple of days. And I could not have done it & that too in a decent time had it not been for another runner who was running on the same trail after my 15km mark and he was doing a 26km run and preparing for the Mumbai marathon. He was running at a brisk pace and I had to work hard to keep up with him and this helped me maintain a good overall pace.

Based on my current level of preparation, I have a feeling that I should definitely be able to do my first under 5hr time and if I am lucky I should be able to it under 4hr 30mins, but 4hr 30min is definitely on for the Mumbai one. I will get a better idea of my finish time depending on how I do my next Sunday 30km run, actually I will try and do the same distance next Sunday. Today's run was a good 5km more than my previous Sunday run and there was no way I could have done anything more than that.

I can feel that I am better prepared this time as the recovery is a lot quicker and better and I have not had big strains other than the regular aches and pains after a really long run. Things are looking up and I just need to keep going.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A day before the big run....

I am looking forward to my biggest run before the marathon, I hope to do something close to 35kms tomorrow and this means a 3.5hr ordeal. The weather has improved considerably over the last three days and this was also the reason for me feeling little feverish. I seem to be back to normal now and am hoping that the weather does not disappoint tomorrow. I hope to start as early as possible to avoid the sun (as far as possible). Am a little tense about tomorrow's run, but I also know that if I can do this successfuly, I will have super confidence for the Singapore marathon.

New development on my stolen (and recovered) mobile phone - I got a letter from the cop station asking to me to present myself at 11am today and this was given a day before. I decided against it as I had a hectic work day and there was no way I could be present there at the scheduled time. In the evening I decided to give them a call and enquire why they needed me. There immediate response was that I should then come on Monday, in the morning. I tried to explain that it would not be possible and it was then that I was told that this was with regards to me claiming the phone from the station. I requested that it be handed over to me without going to the magistrate's court (I almost got a feeling that this was possible!) and I promptly got a response that this was not possible without the court order. The good thing is I don't have to visit the cop station now.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I have been running regularly for the last three days - Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I did 7.5km each on all three days. I have been getting very different readings on my phone for the last three days wrt the distance and speed, the only thing that has been consistent is the reading of steps taken by me - 7000 steps or so.

According to me I am doing 7.5km distance on all three days but have got different readings, but now I have found a way to get a reading which is quite accurate. I need to wear my waist pouch and clip the phone on that pouch, instead of directly on my shorts. Guess that reduces the shake and the readings turn out to be a lot more accurate.

I hope to do about 35km this Sunday, followed by 30km on the following Sunday and finally tapering with 20 on the Sunday before the marathon. And do a weekly distance of about 28kms over 4 runs. Hope I can stick to this. Tomorrow is my break day, as am feeling a little weak (maybe due to the cold) and would like to rest instead of pushing myself and jeopardising my crucial Sunday run of 35km.

I have registered for the Mumbai Marathon which takes place on Jan 21, 2006. There is no news on my passport as yet, guess they have messed up again and I will have to pay them another visit.

I will be posting my review of Nokia 5500 Sport over the weekend as I am yet to figure out all the features. Hope to do it over the weekend.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Its raining in the evening today, So that is a good indicator of the heat and high humidity in the morning. These rains are as unseasonal as it gets. It usually always rains when there is a big cricket match (whatever the season) and today we are having the Champions Trophy final at Brabourn stadium, Bombay. But the good thing is that Singapore would be a little easier than this.

I tried to register for the Bombay Marathon which takes place on January 21, 2006, but somehow the site does not seem to accept payment through any credit card. Will try and do it again tomorrow.

27.65km run...

I started a little later than I had planned and paid the price for it. I was unable to do the 30kms I had planned for the day. The weather was quite hot and humid today, guess the so called Bombay winter has not yet arrived.

I ran for about 2hr 49min for the distance, though I was hoping to run for 3hrs. I also need to change my hydration plan, instead of one bottle of Gatorade and another of water, I need to carry two bottles of Gatorade for these distances, in this weather. The fluids should then be enough for my 3.5hrs run to do about 35kms. That is my plan for next week.

The timing shown by the pedometer today for the long run seemed quite accurate, it did show that I had a speed of 11-12km/hr during the first 30mins or so and after that it settled down around 10km/hr. The only change was that this time I was wearing it on my waist pouch instead of shorts, so will try it again next week to see if the readings are any different.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Have been using the pedometer on my mobile for the last three days, the readings are consistent but they are not accurate. Tomorrow will be the real test when I hope to do 30km, my legs seem to be in great shape but have been having continuous cough for the last two weeks, it just refuses to disappear, hope this does not affect my long run.
I did a distance of 7.5km (and pedometer one of 8.9km)on Friday and 6km on Saturday (which appeared as 6.9km on pedometer), in about 44mins and 33mins respectively.

I badly need to successfully complete the 30km run tomorrow, but the temperature does not seem to be helping my cause, so I will need to start closer to 6am tomorrow. Hope I can execute it.

Will write a detailed review of my Nokia 5500 after my long run tomorrow.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Best Idli place in Bombay (Mumbai)

I recently visited a speciality Idli joint. Its called Udipi Idli House and is located at King's circle (near the flyover) and you can reach them on 3246 0111 for more details. This is the only place in Bombay that serves authentic Idlis - the way they are served in Mangalore(its a rice pancake & is a steamed dish) as it serves idli's with the right mix of rice and urad dal, most place in Bombay serve plain rice idli's. Idli is a very popular south Indian dish of Bombay.

Its a fast food joint which serves a variety of idlis. This includes regular idli, khotto, moudo, in addition to other exotic varieties. The price of all varieties is very reasonable, but the place is usually quite crowded and you might have to stand & eat your dish (plus its a very small joint). They have two other branches which are - Udipi stores, near Matunga, Central railway station and Udipi Shri Krishna Boarding, LBS market Bldg, Matunga station. There is no branch outside Matunga.
Today I went for my run in the morning like any other day the only difference was that this time I had my phone calculating the distance, speed, calories......

I wore the phone on my waist, as instructed, using the clip given by Nokia. It showed that the distance I had run was 8.87kms and the speed was 12km/hr. But according to me I don't think I ran more than 7.5kms, so to verify the distance, I plan to clip it to another holder tomorrow. I get a feeling that the holder given by Nokia is not suitable for calculating the distance while running. Since its basically a pedometer, excessive shake might give wrong calculations. Hope to have better readings tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Was not able to run on Monday and Wednesday due to some hectic traveling (and resultant late nights), but just about managed to run on Tuesday, did about 6kms in 33minutes while in Delhi. The weather in Delhi is a lot better than that of Bombay, I only hope this weather was present 15day earlier.

I now have my Nokia 5500 sports phone with me and will be using it tomorrow for my run. This will be the first time I will have some accurate distance calculations of my runs. Will write more on my experience with it tomorrow. Am really looking forward to it, but before that I need to catch up on some much needed sleep.

Singapore marathon update..

Race kit collection details for overseas Participants
Overseas participants, ie. registered runners who do not reside in Singapore will be able to collect your Race Entry Pack at the Official Hotel of the event, the Marina Mandarin Singapore at the following location and times:
Address: Marina Mandarin,Level 1, Pisces Room, 6 Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square, Singapore 039594
9:00am – 9:00pm on Thurs, 30 November & Friday, 1 December
and 9:00am – 3:00pm on Saturday, 2 December

Overseas participants will also be required to bring along their race entry confirmation slip and a photo ID for verification purposes. Collection of Race Entry Pack during these dates is strictly for runners who reside overseas.