Tuesday, November 27, 2007

a 59km week.

This week was not as exciting as the last few weeks. I managed three 13km weekday runs on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, followed by a 20km on Sunday. I wanted to do a another 70km during the week, but could not make that happen due to strain of the last few weeks. I need to take a break for a few days but rest my legs and get them back into action soon, esp. the right calf. This week is going to be a bit of challenge, as I don't think I will be able to do the 3 weekday runs.

The good thing is that I have done combination Saturday & Sunday runs, for the last few weeks, which should help me for the ultra.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

64km week

Given the fact that i did 71km last week, makes this weeks 64km extra special. Its a sign that my legs are able to manage the additional punishment successfully. I hope I can manage another week with 65-70km.

This week I managed three 13km runs on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and followed it with a 25km run this Sunday. So it feels good having done two back to back runs of 13km and 25km over the weekend. The Saturday 13km was the quickest one, I managed it in 1hr 18mins 42seconds (what better way to celebrate ones Birthday!), I usually manage a 1hr 20min run.(it actual distance must be closer to 13.5km but since I am not sure i will take it as 13km). Today was a tough one as I had a late night on Saturday, so I ended up starting my run at around 9am, which is very late. The only one I have to thank is the weather for allowing me to do the 2hr 30mins run.

I have finally managed to send my registration form for the Bangalore ultra. The last date for sending entries is Nov 31, 2007. So almost everything seems to be in place now. I also registered for the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, the registrations began on November 15, 2007 and will continue till December 10, 2007.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Three runs in four days & a 71km week

The final run of the week was tough. I had a slightly stiff right calf in the morning before start of the run, and I was skeptical about how much I would be able to do today. Things were not good during the first 45minutes of the run but after that things started to improve and eventually I was able to do about 21kms in 2hr 6mins, with a little huff and a puff. Yesterday's run was a lot easier, although the weather on both days was more or less similar. The only problem with yesterdays run was that I was chased by a stray dog on two occasions, even though I had started pretty late in the day - 8am. I did not initially realise why they were hostile, but afterwards realised that they had gone through a lot of pain the previous night (with diwali fire crackers - which tend to be very noisy) and this had irritated them a lot and brought out their aggressive side. I was the innocent victim and it was quite scary.

With this 21km, I have managed 37.5km over the last two days, which is quite close to the 40km target I had set for myself. And the week's total has again hit another all time high of 71km.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Long weekend continues...

I did better than expected today. Did a 16.5km run in 1hr 41mins, which was more than what I had hoped to have done. The weather today was a lot bearable, significantly better than what Bombay has seen for the last one week. Hope tomorrow it behaves the same way.

So my week's tally is now gone unto 50Kms, (Monday 7.5km, Wednesday 13km, Thursday 13km, Sat 16.5), I hope to do a 20km plus run tomorrow, If I can do a 25km run it would be a dream 75km week, something I badly need for my preparation. Hoping for the best. This is the best opportunity for me to do a high mileage week.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Is Red Bull and Gatorade bad for health???

I have had a lot of people ask me if drinking Red Bull and Gatorade is good for health. Some of them have read some research pieces which state that energy drinks like Red Bull and Electrol drinks like Gatorade, are not good for health.

My answer to them has been a yes and a no. But before I start, the most important thing to note is that these are not social drinks, these are for endurance athletes or in some cases for dehydration patients. You are not suppose to have this when you hit a party or hang out with friends.

Let me give my example to explain this point, the only time I have a energy drink is when I have done a long run, its the way I reward myself once a week. Energy drink is not something I have at social occasions, its better to have a soft drink which has empty calories than a energy drink (soft drinks/sodas are avoidable as well, but they are a lesser evil, its always better to settle for some fresh fruit juice or lime juice!). The problem does not occur with the first glass of energy drink (read Red Bull, Edge....), its when you hit the second and third drink. These are very high sugar drinks, which only a endurance athlete can stomach and burn, not meant for everybody (once in a while is ok, but should not be habitual). Its really sad to see F1 drivers drinking a energy drink before the start of a race, absolutely avoidable. I would not recommend having it during your exercise routine, its not a hydration drink (remember!!), the only time you can afford to have it is after a workout, when a good sugar burst makes you feel a better.

Another very disturbing trend is when I see people mixing Red Bull and Vodka. That is a complete no no, its a deadly combination. Alcohol is a depressant and Red Bull gives you a sugar boost, so the drink pulls you in different direction and is completely avoidable. Most people do not even realise what they are doing to their bodies, when they have this combination. There are enough research articles to support this point of view.

Now coming to Gatorade or similar hydration drinks, these are not really substitutes for water or softdrinks, they have salts which in excess can cause imbalance in your body's water retention (it gets more complicated if you have problems with your blood pressure). These are again meant for athletes and are good after facing some really hot and muggy climate. And are again meant to be had in moderation. Soft drinks which give you empty calories (and which damage your enamel) do not result in any imbalance even if you have 1.5liters at one go, but a similar quantity of Gatorade (without loss of fluids) can result in a big imbalance in body water & salt levels.

Enjoying the long weekend....

This long Diwali weekend, is something I was really looking forward to and badly needed. Just not having to do anything, catching up on sleep and basically having a well deserved break is very welcome. This has also meant that now I finally have some time to catch up on my blog, online social networks, catching up with friends and family and everything else which was a little neglected. And yes catching up on telly as well.

Hard fought runs..

Did manage the 13km run yesterday in about 1hr 26mins, which included having to walk for about half a kilometer, just to recover from the heat. I had to take this break inbetween inspite of having carried a Gatorade bottle, that should be a good indicator of the heat & humidity (I was drenched in about 25mins). Just waiting for the weather to improve (significantly), as I have two runs coming up over the weekend. Hope to do atleast 40km over the two days, if the weather allows me to do that!!

It a big change, having to fight weather instead of injuries. But, I don't really have a choice, have to log my miles and ensure that I put in decent preparation for the Ultra on December 16, 2007. The weather in Bangalore is going to be lot better than Bombay, the average temperature high is 26degree C (79F) & a low of 16degree C (60F)(on December 16, 2007). Bombay currently has a max temperature of 34degree C, so I am going to have a 8degree C, drop for the Ultra.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Time to pickup the pace

As I had predicted the mileage last week has been low. I managed a 13Km run on Tuesday, followed by a 7.5km run on Thursday and another 7.5km run on Sunday (the Sunday run was quite hard as I was doing it at a hill station, with steep slopes), totaling 28km. The Thursday and Sunday runs were in two different cities, where the weather was very pleasant and I could easily have done twice that distance only if I had more time on my hands.

This week has been better, Monday I did a 7.5km run (followup to the Sunday run) and did a 10km run yesterday. Yesterday was very tough as the weather in Bombay has been quite horrible (and that is an understatement), so I was not able to do my planned 13kms. I hope to do a 13km today, even if the weather continues to be hot and muggy.

Next four days should be a lot easier to catchup on some running, as its the long diwali weekend. For me its going to be three days as I need to catchup with some meetings during the first half of the day today.