Sunday, December 28, 2008

Biking come back..

During December I did another good thing, I gave my bike for a second overhaul. During two previous incidents before the overhaul, I had some dreadful experiences, during one of the rides the chain broke and during another one the back tire frame got damaged. I did not want to take any more changes and went for almost a complete overhaul of the bike, so now everything except the old frame has now been replaced.

It was a pleasure riding the bike for a 20km ride during one of the Sundays. If I remember correctly it was on December 14, It was my first bike ride and run combo. It was quite a experience, as the run felt very different, after the bike ride. This happened because biking requires a different set of muscles (compared to running), and this makes running difficult after a biking trip (this is also one of the main reasons why most tri-athlete find triathlons difficult). I know common sense would make one feel that the run should be easier as the bike ride has not really strained the leg muscles used for running, but that is not the case.

Finally a 50k plus week

This week has been nice and productive, I seem to be peaking at the right time. Have a feeling this time I am going to be lucky with my next race (opposite of what happened during the Bangalore Ultra), even though I have not had enough time to prepare for it.

This week consisted of four runs, first post ultra 4 run week. Managed to run on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, and completed 11k, 12k, 11k and 16.5k respectively. My first 50km week after a long time.

The only thing I need not to keep it on for the next week, hope to do another 50km plus week. I hope to run on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday & Sunday (11k, 11k, 15k & 20k + 5k), taking to a 60k week. If all goes well, I should be able to manage it, especially with the coming Saturday being a holiday. Next Sunday should be quite interesting, I have a big 20k 2hr run followed by a fun 5k run with old school mates, from NCPA to Chowpaty. If any of you are interested to join do post a comment and I will put up the exact start time & place later in the week (its a informal & fun run, dedicated to the city).

I have been having a great time on Twitter over the last few months, it takes blogging to the next level and its highly addictive. Havn't bumped into too many fellow runners, but have met a few who want to take up running/sport/gyming. What makes it special is that its super interactive and people are so helpful, someone or the other will always come up with a solution for any of your problems, once you have spent enough time and developed a good network of followers & people/brands to follow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Post Bangalore Ultra

The same night (on the day of the ultra) I had to travel again and was out the whole week. The first couple of days where a little difficult (which is to be expected), and I had to work hard to walk normally. At the conference I met up with some very interesting people, including one who had done a Ironman in 2002 and another who was a short distance Olympic swimmer. To recover quickly, I did swim on most days (except the first day) and that make the recovery quicker and easier.

I had taken a two week break from running after the Ultra which sort of ensured that everything was back to normal before I started running again. I am still quite worried about the right outer knee pain/injury, which can reoccur when I attempt a really long run. So far I have not done anything more than 12km post Ultra. The only thing I can do is wait for the day of the marathon and find out. If it reoccurs on the day of the Mumbai marathon, I plan visit a doctor and get a complete check up done. My runs so far have been quite good (in December).

The first week of December I ran twice, the second & third week three times each. This week I hope to do four runs. All my runs in December (so far) have been between 10-12km each. This week I ran on Tuesday with 11K run run and hope to do a run on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Since Thursday is a holiday, I hope to do about 15km, followed by a 11k on Saturday and another 15k odd on Sunday.

This Sunday I might have to do another 5k in town after my regular run, as a old graduate school mate is trying to orgainse a informal run (with a small group, as we don't want to get hauled up for not having police permission!!) from NCPA to Chowpatty, to show his solidarity for the city. Hope he is able to manage it, though I am yet to receive a confirmation (on the run) from him. (with details on time & start point, plus number of participants)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Back after a long break..

Its been almost a month since my last post. I have not been active during this period as I have been hooked to twitter, which makes blogging so much easier.

Its been one hell of an eventful month. Lotsa ups and downs, especially on the running front.

I ran my toughest race till date on November 16. The Bangalore ultra turned out to be a lot tougher than what I had bargained for. Thanks to my previous injury, (which had more or less kept be out of action for the last 3-4 weeks before the Ultra), I started having problems with my run after the first 1.5 hours. At the 18km mark I was quite sure that I will not be able to complete the required 75km in 12hour time limit. This meant that I had to run/walk/crawl the next 10hour in great pain (after completing the first 2 hours of the run) knowing fully well that I would not be able to complete the distance in the required time. And this was the toughest part of the race, it was made all the more difficult when lot of runners decided to discontinue after the 50km mark. I still managed to successfully complete 67km in 11hr 37mins. I would have needed about 13hours to complete the race, but this was beyond the timeline, plus it was getting dark.

What was very surprising was the fact that most runners did not do as well as the previous year. I guess training was lacking or they focus was missing. This could have been my lucky race, only if I had remained injury free before the race. I was quite confident of doing the 75km in about 10 1/2hrs and this was the time of the third place finisher. I had prepared a lot better/harder compared to the previous year. This year the weather was lot better, it was cloudy all through and the temperature was pleasant all through the race.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Quick update

Last two weeks have been difficult. I have only managed 4 swims during this period, three 1km and one 2km swim. Manged good time of about 26mins per KM. In addition I managed 2 cycling trips of about 20km each.

I have not been running for the last two weeks, but have tried to walk as much as possible. Plus have been down with a cold and bodyache during this week. So basically everything that could go wrong did, but all this makes thing easier as it just takes the pressure off me. I just need to now go out on Sunday morning at 6.30am and just give it all I have got. Its going to test me fully for my future ultras and multi-stage ultras, as the last few weeks have ensured that I am under prepared for the the Sunday run.

I am looking forward to the run.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Diwali week and recovery plan

I don't think I have had such a holiday filled Diwali ever before. I will not be working five of the seven days this week.

I have had to take a break from running, to give my legs some much required break (well its a forced break, did not really have a choice) and to also get on a course of anti-inflammatory medication during the week. I am taking Voviron 50mg (antibiotic) and combining is with Evion 400mg, vitamin E medication (to ensure that there is no cramping). I am taking this under medication supervision. Self medication can be dangerous. The only reason I am putting this up on my blog is so that I remember what i had taken and when (pl. do not take this medication without consulting your doctor). The course started on Monday night.

I need to keep my legs moving so started the week with a swim today, I did around 1.2km today and managed 1km in about 29minutes. I will keep a track of my distance and time over the next few swims so that I can get a better idea of my standard/default pace. Which means I will have to do a minimum of 1km, will try and do at least 2km on one of the days.

I will be swimming thrice this week, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I will mix it with a cycling trip n Wednesday with a 20km plus trip. If all goes well, I should be back in business on Sunday with a 10km run. The plan is well laid out and hope that things fall in place.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Things going from bad to worse..

Things don't look very promising and I will need to take some corrective action to get things back on track.

Last weeks slide continued, I managed to run on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. I only managed 10.5km run on all three days. The Sunday run was the most difficult, my right leg is definitely not in good shape. Thankfully this is not a injury, its just strain and hammering my leg has received over the past few months. But, that does not make things any easier.

I plan to use the new week, which has tons of holidays to get my right leg back in shape. I can't afford to rest them completely as that will set me back big time and I won't be in the right shape for my Bangalore Ultra on November 16. So next week should see a good amount of cycling and swimming, I just need to find motivation to ensure that I do one of the two on at least four of the five holidays I have next week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Interesting week..

Last week was quite different. My legs were strained, actually my right calf and upper part of the ankle were feeling awful and I knew my body needed rest and by Tuesday I was also struck by a nasty cold. The cold made my body feel drained and tired.

I still managed to run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Managed two 10.5km runs on Friday and Saturday, followed by a 21km run on Sunday, taking the weeks tally to 42km. Things don't look too good with my right leg (Calf and shin). Will be watchful and decide accordingly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Things are improving..

This weekend turned out to be a lot better than what I had expected out of myself. I managed a reasonable 12km run in about 1hr 20mins and followed it up with a 20km run in 2hr15mins. It was a bit of effort and yes my legs are a little strained due to the training. But there seems to be no injury, thank god for small mercies.

Now I only need to stick it out and keep chipping away and aim for a 50+ week for the next 3-4 week, don't think I want to push my body with a really long run. Will attempt it only if my legs feel really good on one of the Sundays, as the last thing i need is a injury before the ultra.

I have got most of the things organised for the Bangalore ultra on November 16, including my tickets for Saturday afternoon, to make it well in time for the Sunday ultra. I don't think I will be able to make much improvement on my 11hr 7 minutes time at the ultra, but am confident that this time my recovery after the ultra marathon is going to be a lot better.

I also have a very strong feeling that given my current training, the biggest benefit is going to come during my Bombay marathon. I stand a good chance of doing a time of under 4hr 20mins.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Tough times..

I was away for quite a few days on work, but managed to put some kilometres into my training. The good thing is that this was around a steep hill on asphalt roads, which meant I could pack more effort with less kilometres. It also meant that my legs took some beating, I had some stiffness around my shins before I left and this sort of aggravated it.

I managed to run on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and did 6km, 9km and 6km respectively. Which does not sound much but the high impact doing downhill and the steep climb ensured that I kept up with my training going. But, when today I had a tough time doing my planned 20km and managed only 12km in about 1hr 25minutes.

I will try my best to get over this stiffness around my shins and manage some good distances over the weekend. Guess these are the after effects of the hard training of last few weeks. I hope I feel much better and legs are back to normal on Sunday, badly need a 35-40km run in October.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Registered for Bangalore Ultra

I finally got down to actually registering for the Bangalore ultra on November 16, 2008. This year they thankfully have a online payment option, which makes things sooo simple.

visit for online registration http://www.thefullerlife.com/index.php?id=568

For offline registration download the form - http://www.thefullerlife.com/index.php?id=206

The rates are Rs.1250 for regular people and Rs.1000 for RFL members (and it costs Rs.1000 a year to become a RFL members). Strange that they don't have a lower rate for last years runners, which is a usual policy at most progressive marathons. Guess they are more keen to build RFL membership.

And yes these are special early bird rates, applicable till October 15, 2008. After this they go up a little. They have also made arrangement to stay at Our Native Village, venue for the Ultra marathon.

13k plus 7.5k, plus more to come

I was not able to run on Tuesday morning as my legs still appeared a little strained from last week. Thought of making up for it on Wednesday, but as luck would have it, I went out to catch a awesome event in town and slept very late. And then it was down to Thursday, which was a holiday. As usual I got up early but could not get out of home before 8.20am, the scheduled time was 7am!

Given the heat, sun and humidity, I knew I would not be able to do the planned 20km, so did the second best thing. I did a 13km run in the morning and followed it up with a 7.5km run in the evening. Now its down to two more weekend runs on Saturday and Sunday while I am traveling, I don't think I will be able to make up for the lost day, but that is not really a problem. Till the time i got the long run today (breaking it up into two parts is as good, as it helps me to train at make quicker recoveries)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

My 30km journey on a Sunday morning...

Its been one of my most eventful runs till date. I started with some really tired legs and the first few kilometers were very difficult, I almost gave up on my planned 30km run. I also made changes to my route, originally i had planed to run till Hali Ali, about 2hrs after start then come back to Shivaji park and then do another 30mins around Shivaji Park, to complete the 3hr runs for doing 30km. After evaluating my condition at the 5km mark, I decided to abandon plan A and shifted to plan B. I now planned to run directly run to Shivaji Park and then run around the park, hoping for a 25km but was reconciled to something like a 20km. This would not only protect me from the sun (the path around the park is shaded) and 30 odd degrees of temperature, but also ensure that I was not stranded in the middle of nowhere especially if my legs simply gave up on me (the fear was very real).

That was not to be, by the time I touched the 10km, things started to change, I was getting into a good rhythm and the fatigue in my legs was starting to disappear (I also had a slight twitch in my right outer thigh a few kilometers back and even that did not appear again) and I got a feeling that the 30km was still possible unless something unexpected came up. And then next 20km were sheer bliss and I put in some 15laps around the park. It was an amazing experience moving from one extreme to the other. Actually my legs were feeling better after than the run than when I started.

What makes the run even more special is that this was my third consecutive run, I did a 11km on Friday followed by a 10km on Saturday. I needed to make this run, to give me confidence for my ultra (78km run).

Next weekend I will be traveling again, which means there will be no long run over the weekend. But luckily for me Thursday is a holiday and I can easily put in a 20km plus run for the week. I hope to run on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, doing a 50km plus week (since the Saturday and Sunday runs will be in a around a hill, I will be able to bring some variety to my run and climbing steep slopes will do me a lot of good). I also hope to run on Monday and Tuesday, which will sort of make up for the missed Sunday long run, as i will be able to put in four consecutive runs of around 10km each.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Last two weeks...

Its been over 12days since my last post. So will do a quick recap of last week. I again managed to do 4 runs during the week, on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, with 13k, 13k, 11k and 23.5k. The Sunday run was very difficult as I just was not feeling good during my run & legs were feeling tired, which meant i had to walk in between twice to get through the distance. I sort of got into some rhythm after the 17km mark but did not have enough time to do a 30k given that I was already running late for a breakfast meeting in town.I took a good 2hr 40min to do this distance. I started at 7.50am instead of the planned 7am run, its still so difficult to get myself out of the house on a Sunday morning. But, now that the weather is deteriorating I end up suffering bigtime for delays.

This week has been very hectic and given the schedules its been difficult taking time out for early morning runs. I managed a run on Wednesday, finally a good 13k smooth run and am now trying to follow it up with three consecutive runs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I had a decent run on Friday and managed a 11k. I hope to follow it up with another similar run today and top it off with a good 30k run tomorrow. I badly need a good long run and the three consecutive runs will do me a world of good if I can manage it well. It will also tell me about my level of preparation for the Ultra in November.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Awesome weekend...

I could not have had it any better. I did a 20km run today in 2hrs, after doing a 17km run yesterday, could not have done any better. This takes my weeks mileage to 61km, the best (yet)weekly mileage for the year. What makes it really special is that fact that I was planning it to be a low mileage week, as I am away from Bombay.

The main reason for this has been the wonderful weather in Baroda. Its rained in the evening on both the days, which has kept the temperature at reasonable levels, plus the fact that I had 6.30am and 6am starts on the two days. And yes it was quite humid by Baroda standards, which is usually quite dry.

I plan to take a break on Tuesday (my scheduled day of running), to celebrate this. But, will try and make up for the miles towards the weekend. I hope to do a 30km run next Sunday.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weekend getaway and big questions...

So for things have been going better than expected with my runs, am trying to have a well deserved weekend break to unwind and to get recharged.

I managed a 13km and 11km run on Tuesday and Thursday and followed it up with a super 17km run today in Baroda. I had originally planned two 10km runs on Saturday and Sunday. I was feeling very good and the weather was a lot better than Bombay and I decided to do more. It was also easier for me to have a early start today (6.30am), lot easier to get out of bed in a new city. I hope to go for my run tomorrow at 6am and hope to do atleast another 15km tomorrow.

I also caught two very interesting and inspiring movies, Rock On and A Wednesday. The former tells you to live and fulfill your dreams (plus its never too late to pursue it) and the latter tries to shake the common man and system out of their slumber while dealing with terrorism (though I don't agree with the means used in the story, but we definitely need a awakening to be more demanding of ourselves and our government & its bodies). The serial blasts which have taken place in Delhi today, just reinforces how helpless the common man is in the hands of terrorists. Wondering what answer the common man can give to these endless serial blasts, and being insensitive and moving on with normal life is just not the answer....

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Dri-fit shoes??

I recently realized the discomfort one goes through (other than dehydration & exhaustion!!) while running in humid weather. All my recent runs which last more than an hour, have been in shoes which are completely wet (its almost as if I am wearing shoes which have been soaked in water) on the inside. Its the same feeling while I am running in the rains. The reason why this happens is that perspiration from my singlet and shorts (both of them are dri-fit), drips through my legs, to my socks (again dri-fit) and finally into my shoes. And once it enters the shoe there is no place for it to go.

Are there any shoes which suck out the fluids from inside to the outside and keep the inside of the shoe dry? (well as dry as it can get in the given conditions). Or, how does one stop the body sweat from entering the shoes (something like sweat band for ankles)? Any suggestions??

End of a tough week

Its been one hell of a tough week. I have not missed my runs for a long long time, its very difficult when your legs feel perfectly fine but your body (in this case the severe bout of cold, which made breathing difficult) just does not allow you to run.

After a lot of struggle I have managed 6km, 12km & 15.5km runs on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday, taking the weeks tally to 33.5km. Am yet to recover from the cold and cough. Today's run was smooth but after the first the one hour mark, I needed to walk a while to get my breathing back to normal. Given the traffic conditions in Bombay, its not a good idea to breath through the mouth. It took me 1hr 46mins to complete this hard run of 15.5km. The extremely hot and humid weather just decided to make things more difficult (it had rained the previous night), even though I had a early start of 7.20am.

Looking forward to a much better next week. I hope to run on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. I am off for a long weekend, badly need the break to recharge my batteries, and look forward to some interesting runs in a new city. On mileage terms the week will not be very big, as there is no way I can take three hours off to complete a 30km run over this weekend.

Last two weeks, high and low combo

I had a fab run last Sunday, managed a good 25k run to complete the targeted 60km for the week. Did the run in about 2hr 40mins. I had managed three other runs during the week of 11km, 11km and 13km each on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

I was traveling on Monday and Tuesday, so had planned a short run on Tuesday of about 6km followed by a 13km on Wednesday morning when I returned. But this is when things started to go wrong, I was down with a very bad cold on Tuesday. I was just about able to complete my 6km run on Tuesday morning in Maharani Baug area of Delhi, which was a welcome break from my regular runs. After that its been 4 days of a lot of rest and sleep (10hrs each day) and cold medication for 2 days to bring things to bearable level (my first shot at cold medication after many years, I usually prefer to just wait it out).

All this meant I was only able to run on Saturday and this was a sort of a comeback run, getting my lungs to act normally & legs back to normal. It was a hard fought 12km and it took me 1hr 30mins, as it included a walk and run routine, as the chest congestion (from the cold) is still there. But, the only way to start feeling normal again was to start running. Plus a break from running simply messes up my training and build up of long runs. I hope I can complete the week with a good long run today, but will not try and attempt something fancy.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

59km week, the best so far for the season

I managed to do the planned 20km run today and achieved the weeks target of 60k.

The natural variables were all in place (exactly how I had hoped for it to be) and the weather could not have been better, but I did my best to make it as extremely challenging for myself! I was out the whole of Saturday mall hopping and the day ended well past mid-night. This meant I barely managed 5hours of sleep and started with some really tired legs. Thankfully after the first 14kms, I settled into a great rhythm and could have gone on for another 10km.

I hope to do another 60km distance next week.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Alarming polution levels in Bombay

Like they say pictures speak a thousand words. I shot these pictures at Haji Ali, while doing the freedom run on August 15.

How to get out of bed for a early morning run?

I have been trying to figure this out for the last five years. Its always been an effort for me to get out of bed early, esp. on a holiday, for my run. Yes, there are some days when I am highly motivated & I can manage it, but on most other days its a very big effort. Everything else has becomes a habit/routine, but not this thing. I am a early morning person and am at my productive best in the mornings, but I still have not been able to figure of why its so difficult, other than the two core facts that I love my sleep (I can sleep anywhere and at any time, especially in a moving vehicle or while waiting for something/someone. This is a big plus under normal conditions, as I can easily nap any time and be really fresh for something important, plus I don't waste time doing nothing!!) and the second is that fact that I am extremely lazy (so doing something that I don't enjoy is a big effort). Another special trait - if I have had a hard week with limited sleep and I want to make up for it on a Sunday, I can easily get up in the morning, have my breakfast and go back to sleep (can't sleep long hours on a empty stomach).

Now the solution, this has been arrived at after years of research. I have tried everything from changing into my running gear as soon as I get up, to immediately brushing my teeth on waking up, to doing stretches after getting up, to switching on the TV or loud music,...... the list goes on, but I always manage to laze around for a long while or actually get knocked off to sleep even in a sitting position. Today I got up and immediately went for a shower, this made all the usual issues/problems just disappear (the reason I have never tried having a shower in the morning before a run, is the fact that I need to have one after the run and it did not make sense to have two showers in quick succession). So, from now on I plan to have a shower before my run on all holidays, so that I can have a early start and beat the sun (the rains are almost over and sunny days are back!)

Week so far..

I have managed three runs so far in the week, did a 10.5k, 13k and 15.5k, on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Had to shuffle my days as had a tight schedule this week and the best way to find time was to run on two of my holidays (Tuesday and Saturday), the only regret being the late start on Tuesday which did not give me enough time for clocking more miles. So its been a 39km week so far and it seems highly unlikely that I will be able to do my targeted 60km for the week.

But, I will have to wait till tomorrow to find out as I still have sometime to catch up, with a bit of luck I might just be able to make it happen. Things I need to make that happen, early start - 7am (today for the first time after many months I managed a 7.20am start on a holiday!!), cloud cover, lot of continuous rain esp. in the second half of the run, 8 hours of sleep and need some really fresh legs when I start my run to last the half marathon distance (esp. after today's 15k)!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Its been a good week, completed another 11km run today after the 21.5km on Friday. Taking my weeks tally to 43km with 3 runs. Next week should be a lot bigger, as I have two holidays to work with, on Tuesday and Saturday. So if all goes well I might have a 60km week. I hope to do 4 runs, Tues, Wed, Friday and Sunday.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Bangalore Ultra marathon 2008 registration

Bangalore ultra takes place on November 16, 2008, at Heseagatta (40km off Bangalore city). Its a 13km loop in the area around what was Lake Heseragatta. View directions to the venue from Bangalore on Google Earth http://blorerun.googlegroups.com/web/OurNativeVillage_TI.kml?gda=oElxnEoAAABbbrl3Xt4S_I8Q-4Pqr_ueG9mg4RdVZC1Bune7jF4P3aEfD8gizBqda3A8nb_OSkeB5hZJE018p2t5eJYDY_GanIi1syVLgFXllRLk-d1u5Q
Stay is being arranged at a resort which also happens to be the start and end point for the http://www.ournativevillage.com/

Registration process starts from August 25, 2008. Visit http://www.thefullerlife.com/index.php?id=178 for more details on the registration process or mail bangaloreultra@thefullerlife.com or on +91 -80- 4112 3851. Fees for registration are yet to be finalised.

The Bangalore Ultra Marathon is an initiative of Runners for Life, a running community, based in Bangalore.

Running all year round...

I have always been asked this question, how do I am manage to run all year round and still not get bored of it (at any point in-between). The answer is quite simple, first things first I enjoy running (without it, its impossible). But, to make is a self sustaining activity, you need a lot many more things.

Even after about 6 years of regular running, getting out of bed early in the morning is a very big effort, it is not easy. (which is evident from my Freedom run starting at 9am instead of the planned 7am). Plus on a holiday its even more difficult, as I don't really have a deadline which I have to beat (which is very much there on a working day). But, once I hit the road it is a lot of fun, relaxing and nothing like what it was to get me out of bed. I have to run in the mornings, don't really have much of a choice, the stray dogs and traffic make running in the evenings impossible (as I run on the highway). So running very early in the morning or very late in the night, I can beat the traffic but the stray dogs are at their very best and I have to be extremely alert, to avoid being chased by them.

The biggest thing which works for me is that I try to bring variety, add some fun elements, throw in some adventure and also reward myself. I plan and do a midnight run or a 4am half marathon or do a freedom run or run on a route I have never run before and yes run on totally unknown routes in other cities when I am travelling (Hotel Gyms just do not make any sense), all of these things at regular intervals and in small dozes make running more fun.

I love coffee and am also aware that too much of it is not good for me, so I try not consume any coffee during the week except on the days that I run, when I unwind with some strong coffee at my favourite coffee shop (and this does not necessarily need to be immediately after the run, I can also store these rewards and use it the next day).

Shopping for gear (shoes, singlets, energy drink, shorts, socks, energy bars........), at regular intervals I go out to shop for new things which would aid or make my runs more fun. There is no high like shopping for sports gear, it lasts a lot longer than shopping for regular clothes.

You need to have races to run and participate at different times of the year, running regularly becomes a lot easier. So you train for them, once you have zeroed in on a race. Its a lot easier to break it up week by week and to continue running.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Freedom Half marathon

Its been a good week, I managed to run on Tuesday and did a comfortable 11km run. But the highlight of the week was the half marathon which I had planned some weeks back, to celebrate Independence day. I started at 9.00am in the morning instead of the planned time of 7.00am, as I was not able to sleep early the previous night. This also meant that I had to abandon my swim plans, as I would not be able to reach the pool in time (as the morning session closes around 11am or so)

Once I started my run, things started to fall in place and I completed about 21.5km in 2hr 20mins (its about 10mins off my personal best during training and about 8mins of that took place in the first 11km but after that I got into a good rhythm and things were smoother.)

Thanks to the middle drizzle which kept me company during the second half of the run, I did not need much water and managed with about 1liter of water. It was a wonderful watching people dressed in colours of the Indian tricolour (flag). I also stopped midway during my run when a flag hoisting ceremony was talking place at one of the buildings on the way (and the national anthem was playing). I would usually have not stopped if it was a training run (and that would not have been disrespectful), but since this was a run to celebrate the independence day, it seemed the best thing to do.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Good week so far

Its been a good week so far. Managed all my planned runs, plus something extra. I did 11km runs on Tuesday and Thursday, followed by 10.5km run on Saturday (plus a 0.5km swim after the run).
Its been raining all week, so the weather has been quite good. Hope it continues like this for a few more days. I hope to have another good run tomorrow, and try and do about 15km or so, using it like a practice run for my half marathon on next Friday.

I am planing to do a half marathon on August 15 (am calling if Freedom Run!!) and if I am still feeling good after that I might also go for a swim. I think it will be one of the few August 15 (India's independence day) when it might actually rain, keeping my fingers crossed.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Painkillers and magic sprays/gels

I developed a backache yesterday afternoon (thankfully it had nothing to do with running), while doing some cleaning and rearrangement at home. This is the second time I have had this backache, the first was when I was trying to lift a box which was about 20kgs plus. On both occasions it was the technique which was faulty and not the work or weight. Yesterday, I kept my legs straight and bent from my waist while doing work and rearranging things, instead of bending my knees and doing it.

I usually try to avoid using painkillers and magic spray as they don't really cure much and give one false sense of relief. Its especially dangerous to use these when one is training, as they tend to hide pain/injury and one tends to push the body, when it actually needs rest. So I rested the whole of Saturday, with little bit of stretching and then waited till Sunday morning to decide on my ability to undertake the run (had it been a running related injury, I would have taken an additional day of rest). I also believe that one should not take any painkillers/sprays during a race or before a race as a precautionary measure (it somehow feels like cheating). The only time I have ever used sprays was during my first Ultra, not sure if they were very useful as they provide only temporary relief & when it wears off, the pain/cramp/injury becomes unmanageable.

Three consecutive runs...

Its been three consecutive runs this week (wanted to use back to back, but I guess its not applicable with 3 in a row). Managed to run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. After the two 11km runs, I topped off the week with a 12km run today. Did not want to push myself too much, thought it was a little tempting. I did the 12km run in about 1hr 17mins.

It was a hard, bright day. It had drizzled in the morning, but when I started my run at 9am it was sunny, with no cloud in sight and 90% humidity. Thankfully I was feeling good and things went off well.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Eventful week..

Its been a week with a lot of ups and downs and so I am not sure what is in store for me tomorrow.

I had a dreadful run on Tuesday, I managed only 5km. I had a delayed start (I need to get to work in time to complete my shower, etc well before 9am), then had to come back home after the first 100meters as I forgot to take my handphone and then after the first kilometer of my run, things were just not feeling right, calves and outer part of the shins were feeling stiff and it started to get worse as I continued to run. Then I realised that the problem occurred because the previous day I decided to sprint in the evening for some 100 meters with my work shoes, as I was getting late to get somewhere. Moral of the story, an endurance runner can neither sprint nor walk, he can only run!

So I decided to rest my legs for a couple of days and skipped the planned run on Thursday. I decided to make up for by running on Friday and Saturday. Both these runs went off quite smoothly and the Tuesday nightmare was over. I am managed a comfortable 11km on both the days.

I only wish things ended there. I was in for some more surprises. I decided to do some good deads for the day on Saturday, which included cleaning and remodeling of my living space. So I ended up abusing my back, by putting it through some intense activity, without any warm up or without taking proper care. So I am now down with a sore back. The only thing felt for me to do is to take as much care as possible and hope that things get back to normal by tomorrow morning.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

First 50km week of 2008

It feels great after having finally done my first 50km week of the year. Managed four runs during the week, 11km, 13km, 11km and 15km runs on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

I did Sundays 15km in about 1hr 35mins, in some amazing weather. It was raining during the entire duration of the run, which made things very easy and enjoyable. Actually its been raining all through the week, which has been a welcome relief (its not rained for almost a month, and Bombay was suffering water shortage, drought in Maharashtra and massive load-shedding in areas around Bombay). I personally love running in the rains, it makes running so much easier. Though it can be dangerous - greater chances of impact injuries, slipping, rashes, plus there are pot holes and manholes to manage (so its better not to experiment, and stick to the tried and tested routes). Will write a more detailed run on running and rains later.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A 45km week...

As planned I managed four runs during the week. I ran on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, doing 11km each on first three days and 12km on Sunday, taking the weeks tally to 45km. I could have done more on Sunday, but had to catch Dark Night in the morning (super flick, its got the best script ever for a super hero film. It had more than a slick action and digital special effects).

Next week I hope to do 50km during the week. And in a phased manner take it to 80km in two months time. Which means that September would require about 3 weekly runs of 13km each and Sunday run of 20-25km, totaling to about 65km a week. So that I have about 4-5 weeks in October with 80km each (doing about three to four weekday runs to 13km each and do a 30-35km on Sunday) and take November easy so that I am ready for my Bangalore ultra on November 16, 2004. I only hope I don't have to travel much in November, as that will make things more difficult.

I was recently contacted by a runner who wanted to participate in the Bombay marathon. He had ever run more than a few kilometers, but had gymd reasonably regularly till recently. I initially suggested that he take up the half marathon in Jan 2009. But, he wanted to do the full marathon in 2009, this again was very doable as he has about 6 months to go. So I suggest he aim for a time around of around 5.5 hours. And after that things went haywire. He mentioned that he wanted to be one of the top Indian finishers in the full marathon. I know most of us would have brushed this off as a random wild thought, but when he told me, I knew he meant it (don't ask me how, but I knew it). And this got me really worried. As a responsible runner I did my best to explain to him the pitfalls of attempting it (and explained to him the most obvious outcome, a permanent injury which will make it impossible for him to ever run again and tried to get him to postpone his goal to 2010). Distance running is about patience, determination and continuous training, and results don't come overnight. I hope he reconsiders his decision and takes up a more realistic and practical goal.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Catching up over the weekend

The long weekend is almost over, which makes it two great weekends in a row. I also made up for the lost time by doing two runs in 16hrs. I did a 11km run today in about 1hr 10mins with my new pair. It took my weekly mileage to 29km.

The weather today was hot and humid which made the run difficult, but the fact that I was wearing my new pair made up for it. The shoe seems to be behaving well and is living upto my expectations. I look forward to doing about three runs next week.

I also hope to become more regular with my blog, as I have been quite erratic with posts.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Eventful day..

Its been a great day, although it had a slow and lazy start. But after that its been a totally different day, when I went shopping.

I picked up some much needed cycling gear, cycling gloves and a foot pump. The sad thing was the store selling these biking accessories and gear (Hypercity, Malad), does not keep anything specific to road cycle. They only stock Raleigh gear (a UK company having a manufacturing base in China), which is almost 'dumping' stuff in India at some really attractive prices. So the gear and accessories they stock are also produced by Raleigh (which seems to only produce mountain bikes). I wanted to pick up spare tubes, seat covers, etc, could not find anything for my road bike.

But the highlight of my shopping expedition was purchase of a pair of Reebok Road running plus shoes (one of the few specialty road running shoes in India!). I have had a couple of bad experiences when I have purchased Reebok running shoes, as the cushioning technology they use does not seem to suit me. But these specialty running shoes have the extra cushioning to help my cause and I got them at a very special price (thanks to a sea (almost every clothing brand and accessory) of 'sale' and discounts doing the rounds in the city, to boost consumption, which has taken a huge beating after the recent news of Inflation - which at the consumer level is at 16%). I personally believe that in times of high inflation its better to spend more, as savings do not really help your cause.

Now I am fully stocked up on my running, swimming (not sure if I have mentioned, I now have another set of complete swimming gear which I picked up recently) and cycling gear. The only thing left is to train on these three disciplines.

I completed the day by doing a 7km run in about 42minutes. Thank god I went for the run today, as I found the new pair of road running shoes, while I was returning after my run and coffee break.

Lazy couple of weeks

Its been a lazy couple of weeks, though I have been running regularly, esp. last week. I managed 4 runs last week of 13km, 11km, 10km and 11km, on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

I also managed a short holiday last week, from Thursday evening to Sunday in Baroda. The weekend runs took place in Baroda and I had a great time running in a park, which had a 1km and 2km loop and it was a welcome break running on asphalt instead of concrete. The weekend break did me a whole lot of good, was completely distressing, lots of eating, cafes and watching movies (Jaane Tu was a highlight, it should be the biggest hit of this year, a very well made flick using a regular love story).

This week has not been so good for running, as I guess I strained by thighs a little. So taking it a little easy, more strengthening required for thighs now! I managed a good 11km run on Wednesday and will do another run on Sunday (I skipped my Saturday run, as I wanted to take it easy and go shopping, inshort I was feeling extremely lazy).

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

13K run in extreme weather

It really was extremely. I completed by 10.5km run today in about 1hr 10mins and did the balance distance in about 16minutes, after a short breakfast pitstop. Most of the pictures (below) have been shot at King circle and Dadar TT area in Bombay

Taken at Dadar TT, Outside Damodar Sweet shop

More pics from Dadar TT

BEST bus going up Tilak Bridge at Dadar

Road leading to King Circle flyover

Stranded taxis at King Circle flyover

Knee length water & higher in most part of King Circle area.

It was really deep.....

Massive traffic Jam before King Circle railway station, due to water logging

Road divider were submerged.

Water coming out of storm drains (knocking off 'warning' signboards)

More stranded BEST buses at King Circle area.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Rhythm is coming back...

Its been another good week, three good run of 10.5km, 10.5km and 13km each on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. All three 10.5km distances were done in 1hr 06/07mins. Which clearly tells me that my running rhythm is coming back. In the next few weeks I hope to increase from 3 to 4 runs a week and to step up my Sunday long run to something like 20km in a phased manner.

I have been watching a DVD called Evolution Running, given to me by a fellow runner. It was sort of a extension of the Chi running book I was reading last week. But its just that the drills and other things suggested by them are a little difficult for me to follow, but thankfully I have been doing most of the things right. Just need to get more regular and be patient.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Another week down..

I could not manage the planned run on Saturday. I did not really have a choice as I barely slept on Friday night, managed only 3 hours as I was having a blast on Friday night. The Sunday run was a late run, but managed the 10.5km run in about 1hr 9minutes.

Over all the week had some two very good runs and the weekend was a lot of fun. Looking forward to more such eventful weekends.

Am looking forward to tomorrow's morning run. Next week is going to have a bit of traveling so I hope I can stick to my running schedules. And yes, am waiting for the rains to return, am missing them big time.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Late start to the week

I had a very good run today, did a very peaceful 11km run in about 1hr 10mins. Not sure if it was a freak case or benefits of chi running kicking in. I have completed about 5 chapters of the book, but the main benefit/essence of the book was picked up by me in the first chapter and after that the book has just rambled on without actually taking the book to a higher level with each successive chapter. The big thing I picked up was that one needed to relax arms and limbs completely and to just let the body move (more glide) on its own, with complete control over ones breathing & driving the body from Chi (the center of the body). I hope I can actually make it happen with each of my forthcoming runs.

I hope to do two more runs this week, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday. And if I am lucky and can get out early maybe even do a swim on Sunday. I am yet to do two activities back to back, bike and run or do a run and swim. Will this Sunday be the first one?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

a mixed week

Start to the week was dreadful, I suffered a bad bout of stomach infection and needed to take some antibiotics (my first for stomach) to get rid of it. The second half of the week was a lot better, thankfully did not have to take too many days off from running and also from work.

This gave me a lot of time to think about Triathlons. I was giving some deep thought to the different types of Tri's in the market and I should aim to do first. The ultimate is Ironman - 3.8km swim, 180km cycling & 42km run. Half Tri (medium distance), which is basically half of everything in Ironman. Olympic tri with 1.5km swim, 40km biking, 10km run. I was originally planning to take up Olympic tri in 2009, which given even my current ability seems a little too easy (I should be able to manage it with as little as 2months preparation time). So I might actually have to find a Medium distance Tri or actually directly get down to doing a Ironman as my first tri, directly in 2010.

I did a mid-night run on Thursday (after a long time), managed 6kms in 36minutes. I also when for a swim on Saturday evening as I was feeling extremely lazy to do a morning run. This was not the usual with mechanical laps, more leisurely, relaxed swimming for about 30mins. Sunday I was back to doing my usual runs, managed a 11km run in about 1hr 12mins.

I need to pick some pace, distance and improve my frequency of runs, I have been doing the 11km runs for too long now.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Chi running and more

I finally got down to reading my first book on running. Actually there aren't any books on endurance/ultra/distance running, and definitely none in any Indian book store (which is quite understandable as there is no running culture). I have just about read the first chapter, but realise that this book is actually written for me, its in sync with my running habits & the way I approach running. I am quite sure that I will enjoy reading the book and will gain a lot from it. I have to thank a fellow runner whom I met recently during one of my runs for this book.

I would recommend this book who is looking at taking up running seriously. You can pick it up from Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/ChiRunning-Danny-Dreyer/dp/074325144X

Yesterday was very interesting, I cycling for about 22km in the morning, my first biking ride/trip in ten years. I could not have chosen a worse time to do it. I had rained the whole day on Friday night and the road was slippery, mucky and there was a lot of traffic on a Saturday morning. The 22km bike ride took 1hr 25mins to complete. It was one of the toughest things I have done in a long time, I have never been so alert ever in my life. Stray dogs where at their worst, guess the rain had really upset them and I was chased (well the dog was charging at me with a lot of aggression), one of them for quite some distance. Lessons learnt - never to go on a biking trip on the highway on anything but a Sunday, to start by 7am in the morning and to never bike when its raining or when roads are wet. I had hoped to have done the cycling trip in about 40-45mins, so may entire schedule for the day went haywire.

I was hoping to go for a swim after the cycling trip. The only problem is that the pool is about 25-30km from my house, so need to plan for it well in advance. The cycling trip took a lot out of me, I was completely covered in muck (my entire back was covered with it). I needed some super cleansing and disinfection to feel clean again... and I gave up my plans to go for a swim.

In the afternoon, I happened to catch a new flick "21" - a movie about a bunch of MIT kids (led by their Math prof), crack Black Jack in Las Vegas using their intelligence, math skills, training and memory (counting) to beat the house. This movie was a huge stress buster and got me ready for my swim in the evening. I did about 1.25kms (50laps of my pool) in about 35mins very comfortably. By this time the weather change of the last few days had already had its impact and I was suffering a horrible throat infections. By some weird logic I was hoping that the swim would cure my throat infection.

The throat infection and the strenuous exercise routine of Saturday was starting to take its toll on me and I decided to skip my planned Sunday morning run. I always believe in listening to my body and not push it when its not really ready. I decided to rest and ensure that I slept till late on Sunday morning and in the afternoon. But by afternoon I was again itching to go out for a short run as it was getting difficult to resist running in the rain. Its been raining the whole of Saturday and Sunday but I had not had a single run in the rain (this year). I finally got out of my house in the evening (3km one way) for a short run to the coffee shop and to get down to reading Chi-Running.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Great week in the making

Its been a great week so far and in all likelihood it should stay the same way. I successfully managed two weekday runs with reasonable ease. I ran on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to work. I did the two 10.5km runs in about 1hr 7mins 30sec and 1hr 6mins respectively. Today's run was the smoothest (for the last 2 months) as I was able to manage it comfortably without having to walk in between, the rhythm seems to be coming back (hope I have not spoken too early). Though the in between waking does not really affect timing, it does take the sense of fulfillment out of the run.

It rained in the evening on both the days when I ran, which ensured that the run was in very humid weather. These are pre monsoon showers, the monsoons is due sometime mid June. But its a welcome relief from the high temperatures of the last few months.

I am looking forward to my first biking trip, plan to do a 20km run. I hope it does not rain tomorrow, last thing I need is a slippery road when I am riding a bike after a long long time. I have my riding gear in place, so it should not be much of a problem. After cycling, I hope to go for a swim to try and get things going and finally end the week with a run tomm., with a 13km run.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Its been a regular week. Managed the regular 2 runs during the week. The first was on Tuesday, did a 10.5km run in about 1hr 10mins. This was the first time when my backpack troubled me, the weight was straining my upper back (so I need to add another element to my list of things to strengthen).

This Sunday run was one of the toughest in a long time, could not manage anything more than a 7.5km run. I started really late 9.30am, which is this weather is not the best thing to do, plus the fact that I have not been logging enough weekly mileage, ensure that I had to give up well before the planned distance of 11km.

So I badly need to increase my frequency of runs, what better than to start off on Monday morning itself. I only wish I can sleep early, which will be possible only if the IPL final is a one sided affair!

And yes, my bicycle is looking wonderful after a complete overhaul (well everything except for the original frame seems to have been replaced!). Not sure when I will start riding again, I can't see myself riding it in the traffic, so I will need to get up very early in the morning to ride it. Maybe get up early on a Sunday morning, cycle 20km and then do a 10km run. Seems like a good idea.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Biking - pedal power, a new begining..

A friend of mine recently spoke about wanting to cycle from Bombay to Matheran, a 100km ride. This got me thinking and I realised that I also had a bike with, which has lying unattended for over 2 years. So I immediately decided to give it a complete overhaul and then eventually get down to using it regularly, and maybe some day even do a trip to Matheran.

Since i am hoping to do a Triathlon sometime next year, I need to start cycling sooner or later. Doing a cycle in a gym is not really the solution, need some time on the road. Plus it give me that extra time before I buy a decent modern bike (maybe a Trek) to replace my 18year old bike (Atlas Concorde Pro). I also hope to get some protective gear in place during the next few weeks before I start biking on the Highway.

Finally found my new running shoe

Its been three runs since my last post. I did a one on last Sunday, managed the 10.5km run in 1hr 10mins, given the heat and my fitness levels that was a decent effort.

I followed it up with a 5.5km run on Tuesday while I was in Delhi, in about 29minutes. This was one of my most pleasurable runs in many months. The weather was amazing, it had rained in the night and the temperature at 7am in the morning was a very comfortable 23degrees with medium humidity. I am waiting for the rains to hit Bombay, badly need a break from this muggy weather. The only disturbing part was the jarring and impact my legs suffered during the short run, which was a clear indicator for me to immediately replace my shoes (I have been trying to find a new pair of my favourite/current shoe for the last few weeks, but have been unsuccessful).

On Saturday I set out to discover my new running shoe, after two unsuccessful attempts, I finally manage to finalise it. I bought a Allegra Cushion running shoe of Adidas. Its quite similar to my Adidas Nova Cushion shoe. The new shoe felt quite good, as I was trying to break into them yesterday.

I started out on my Sunday morning run at 9am, which made the run difficult. I should ideally have started at 7am but could not get myself out of the bed, as I have been having continuous late nights over the last three days. The run felt good, though I was a little sluggish, as I have still not got into a rhythm. The new shoes behaved well and everything went of smoothly (no shoe bites, injuries....).

I am now looking forward to some good weekday runs with my new shoes. Feeling a lot more positive about picking up some momentum on my weekly mileage.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

one run this week...

I managed only one run during the week, it was on Tuesday, i did a 11km run in about 1hr 8mins. It was one of my better runs and the best time I have had for sometime.

Was planning another weekday run but skipped it as my legs are still not ready for three 10+km runs a week, so will need to be patient about it. But am feeling ready and good about my Sunday morning run.

I have been doing a bit of thinking about my schedule for the next couple of years. I hope to do the following - Bangalore Ultra in Nov 08, Bombay marathon in Jan 09, an olympic triathlon sometime in the first half of 2009 (it will have to be some place in south east asia, need to find/discover that). This should get me ready for a MDS in March 2010 and an Ironman Triathlon in the same year.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Not really an eventful week. Last Sunday I went for a half hour swim instead of the usual run. It was a welcome change from the routine.

During the week I managed one weekday run to work. The weather has been very humid during the week, but thankfully its not really sunny. I did the 13km run in about 1hr 34mins (which includes about 8mins to pick up my breakfast).

I have not been able to run over the weekend. I had consciously taken a break on Saturday as I had to catchup on some work over the weekend. I could not manage the planned Sunday run as I strained my lower back, which I had to rest. After some 14hrs of sleep my back has recovered quite well. I hope to make up for this skip by doing two weekday runs in the coming week.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Active week....

Since my last post on Saturday, I have done four runs. The Sunday one was a 10.5km done in 1hr 7mins, followed by another 11k run on Thursday (which was a holiday) in 1hr 11mins, a 3km run on Friday night and a 7.5km run today in about 47mins.

All of this has strained my legs (no injuries!), just need some rest. So plan to skip my Sunday morning run. Hope to make up for it by going for a swim on Sunday morning, which will not only be a break from running but also help me rebuild my endurance levels.

Since the time I have started running with the backpack plus pouch, I have had complete strangers giving me a good cheer, each time (atleast 2-3 per run), which is so welcome. Today was the best one, I for the first time met a serious runner in Bombay (outside of people I have meet at Mumbai marathon) who runs all year around (trust me in a city like Bombay with an almost zero running culture, its easier to find a UFO), most others are either casual runners or the Mumbai marathon prep runners.

I have still not got my rhythm back, guess it will take a few weeks and I will need to be patient. Plus the weather is a lot hotter now (atleast 30-32degree Celsius) during mornings, I have put on a couple of kilos, the weight I carry has increased (the waist pouch was 500gms and now its gone up to 2-2.5kgs, with 1.5l of water, 500ml gatorate, extra clothes & reading material for my coffee break), plus its more humid. I will get it right pretty quickly...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Human Race - August 31, 2008

The Human Race is slated to be the largest/biggest race ever. No this is not a ultra marathon, its more than that. Its a 10km run, which will be run (at the same time) by over one million runners in 28 different cities of the world.
The cities are -
Europe - Amsterdam, Istambul, Johannesburg, London, Madrid, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Rome, Warsaw
Americas - Bogota, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Lima, Mexico city, Quito, Sao Paulo, Vancouver
Asia Pacific - Melbourne, Seoul, Singapore, Taipei, Tokyo
United States - Austin, Chicago, LA, New York

Its sad that Bombay or New Delhi has not been included in the list. Had Bombay been there, I would have definately participated in it. Not sure what is the reason for the organiser (Nike), not having included a single city form China or India (if you exclude Taipei), two of the most populus cities. It would have been wonderful to have been a part of this initiative (even thought its a pure commercial exercise) and have asked my friends at CMP India to ensure that Bombay is a part of it next time around, should there be something like this again.

This is slated to be one of the biggest marketing initiatives (both the scale, resources and monetary investment) done by any organisation.

The beneficiaries of this initiative (Other than ofcourse the organiser - Nike) are WWF (World Wildlife Fund), Lance Armstrong foundation and ninemillion.org.

For more details and registration visit www.nikeplus.com

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Weekday run after a long time

I finally managed my first weekday run (on a working day) in a long time. Managed to do a 13.5Km run in 1hr 31mins. Which included few minutes of walking at regular intervals and a break to pickup my breakfast, not bad at all.

Am feeling a lot better today after the run and hope to do my next run on Sunday. Next week I plan to do two weekday runs, basically run from home to work. With my ultra backpack things are a lot easier as I can also carry my work clothes in them (not everything but things that I need specifically on a particular day). Plus this weekend I hope to get my water pouch for the ultra backpack, which is going to make running a lot easier, as I will not have to remove the pack off my back each time I need water, I just sip water using the extended pipe which is attached to my 1.5liter water pouch.

I hope to use the water pack for the Sunday run, as I would get it on Saturday. One regularly needs these extra to keep adding that extra excitment to running. I also need to buy a new pair of running shoes, I am waiting for my regular vendor to arrange the Adidias Nova pair from me as its been out of stock for sometime (hope to get it soon).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Yet to get started...

Am yet to get really started. Things were really looking good at the end of last sunday, but mid-week I was struck by a bad bout of bad throat infection. So this meant the only time I could actually run was on Sunday and managed a 10.5km run. I took about 1hr 11mins to complete the run.

Its been a hectic and tough week on multiple front. But am sure I will bounce back next week with some good runs.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Refreshing weekend runs

Its been fun a weekend, truly relaxed and laid back, something which I badly needed as last couple of months have been very hectic. I did some good runs this week, did a 55minute run on Saturday, followed by two runs on Sunday of 65mins and 17mins (morning and evening). My legs seem to be holding up quite well, but I have not done a 12km Plus run for many weeks now (that will be the real test). Saturday run was difficult as my lungs are not really used to doing even a 10km run, so I have had to mix it up with short walks. This will get sorted out once I start running atleast 3 times a week. Waiting to do a 20km run very soon. I have also managed early starts this weekend, started at 7.45 on both days. Given the weather conditions I don't really have much of a choice, but have managed to do this without sacrificing on sleep.

So after a long time I managed to do 20km plus mileage in one week. Hope to carry the good work to the next week. Look forward to doing some week day runs, will hopefully manage 3 runs during the week.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

A roller coaster ride

This week has been quite a bit of a Roller coaster ride. The first half of the week was quite normal, but mid week I was suddenly hit by a viral infection (severe throat and body ache, accompanied by mild fever). I was not able to rest sufficiently on Thursday as I had a action packed work day on Friday. But, after that I was able to take complete rest from Friday evening to Saturday evening (tons of sleep, with food breaks & snatches of India's disappointing performance in the second test against South Africa).

By Saturday evening I was almost back to normal. To confirm the same, I decided to go for a short 3km run and a well deserved cup of coffee at my favorite coffee shop, to celebrate my recovery. The run was almost effortless and the blues of the viral were blown away. I needed this run before I attempted my Sunday morning run.

Sunday morning I started early, at 7.45 which has been the quickest start time for a long time. With temperatures going up, even a half an hour delay makes a huge difference. I managed to complete the 11km run in about 1hr 05minutes, which is quite close to my regular pace, thought this was a mixed with walk and run. Which clearly means that the lower frequency of runs (now restricted to 1 or 2 runs a week) have resulted in my losing my running rhythm (without really the finish times).

But the highlight has been the super quick recovery from illness and I have only endurance sport (distance running) to thank. The quality of rest is now so much better, which helps the body bounce back in double quick time. Its almost as if the illness is like a 50km run and you need about a day to recover and get back to normal. I would never have imagined myself running so soon after recovering from an illness.

So along with the known benefits of regular running, like a 40% reduction in chances of a heart attack, weight reduction, better energy levels & stamina, there is a new one - super quick recovery from illness, esp. flu. (and this would also extend to bigger things like surgeries).

Sunday, March 30, 2008

No more whining...

I have been told that I have become a whiner (whining about my injury) on my blog. So no more injury talk - the next update will be when I recover completely from it.

Now the good news, I have made a healthy beginning today. Did a laboured 10.5k run in the morning and after that did a lot of walking late afternoon while traveling and catching up on different things, would have managed 6kms + during the evening (about 2kms odd stretches each time).

Did the 10.5k run in about 1hr 07min, which was mixed with run and walk. The weather is now quite humid and hot, so that adds an extra burden to the effort. Looking forward to a promising week ahead. I hope to get more opportunities to update my blog (regularly)....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Back to back runs..

I finally managed to do two back to back 11k and 10.5k runs on Saturday and Sunday over the long holiday weekend. The three day holiday weekend was a welcome break after a long time. It took a lot of effort to do the sunday run as injury is still very much there. But, i still managed to complete both the runs in almost the same time.

I have also resolved (finally) about working to cure my injury, I will start the strengthening regime from Monday (everyday for the next few weeks) and will go to a specialist doctor if that does not yield the desired results.

I am yet to decide on the races I plan to take up next. The way things are going, I think the Bangalore ultra should be the next run in December this year, followed by the Mumbai marathon in Jan 2009 and finally if I can get my preparations started in full swing (after complete recovery from injury), do the MDS in Sahara in April 2009 (big hope, but time is too short) or April 2010 (this looks more likely). So the only thing coming between me and my decision is a niggling injury. And this will also be my first attempt at raising corporate sponsorship for the run. Currently am trying to find out if any Indian (resident) nationals have successfully completed the MDS.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Prescription glasses and more...

I have been neglecting the blog for the last couple of weeks, which was due to a combination of factors - lack of running and a hectic work schedule.

I managed to run once last week (on saturday), did a 10k run which was again hard and tough. Could not run the next day (sunday), as I was not in any shape to do back to back runs. This week was a lot better, I managed to do a 5k run on one of my travel trips. Its somehow easier to do a weekday run in some other city. I followed it up with a 12k run today in good time of 1hr 13mins, guess my body was properly warmed up thanks to some continuous standing and running about at a trade exposition on the previous day. Hoping to run atleast twice next week, need to get back in action. And yes my leg strengthening has not yet started, not sure what I am waiting for!

Oh yes, I now have prescription glasses for myopia. Haven't managed to do any long runs with them as I have still not got used to them, as its just been a little over a week since I started wearing them. I did do the 5km run this week wearing them and it was quite inconvenient (need something to keep them in place). Might actually consider using daily disposal lenses for my long runs, if I can't get used to glasses. Plus its difficult to run in the sun without sun glasses.

Monday, March 03, 2008

No change...

The break continues, managed to run only once this week. Did a 11km run and did it in about 1hr 10mins. This was not so smooth, so am still not back to normal. I managed to get some very good tips on leg strengthening from a Physiotherapist friend, so now the only thing left is putting it to practice. Going forward that should help me in a big way. And yes this was my first run with the runners backpack, which was another new variable.

I had also visited the eye doc during the week, a long overdue trip (as I need glasses for longer distances). All the checking resulted in a two day headache, so need to get my glasses in place real quick. Only if I can find my favourite pair..... Will need to get a pair which are good for running, should I need to replace my sun glasses (going forward). Am actually looking forward to my new look.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Quick update..

Last week was quite hectic and eventful. Managed to do two runs during the week of 4km and 5km each respectively on Thursday and Friday around Ulsoor lake in Bangalore. Its a very nice place to run, as you get a decent mud track and its good enough for a (upto) 1hr run.

The Sunday run was super special, I managed to do a painfree 12.5km run from Home to Shivaji Park, the first one in about 5 weeks. I could have continued running but did not want to push myself, as this was my first long run (after a long time).

But the thing which really made it special was when one of the Autorickshaw (Tuk Tuk) drivers came up me and asked me why I was late for my run. I have been running on this route on Sundays for the last 5 years, so it would not be really surpising for them to have noticed it (but it definately made me feel special)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Chugging along

Its was both interesting as well as a hectic week, especially with the traveling thrown in. Thankfully this travel was refreshing, thanks to some super fine weather and fresh air. I also managed to do two uphill runs on Wednesday and Thursday. Managed 3km and 4km runs respectively.

I followed it up with a run today, did a 7.5km run. I wish I could have done more, but am yet to get back to normal, which appears quite far away. So till such time I will keep chugging along and manage with run&walk routine anytime I am doing more than 7km runs (as I need to make the most of what is possible).

I also managed to pick up a wonderful Puma ultra runners backpack during my recent travels. Its fits me perfectly and can store quite a lot of things. Sadly I have not been able to use it during any of my runs, as I am not doing any 13km+ distances. This again will have to wait till I am able to restart my runs to work.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Complete break..

After a long time I have had a complete break from running (esp. the Sunday run), actually its also been a complete break from any sort of exercise. Lots of work to catchup on, so everything else has been put on hold. Actually the break will do me a lot of good. Next two weeks is going to be a lot of travel, but I hope to catchup on some running during next week, though these runs will be shorter (5km runs).

The weather in Bombay continues to be very pleasant. The minimum temperature is around 8degree Celsius and the maximum temperature is around 24degrees, both are 8degrees below the normal temperature during time of the year. The biggest surprise has been the day temperature, which never dips so low, it never really goes below 28degrees. Great weather to run (actually its better for just lazing), and its likely to continue like this for the next week or so (though the temperature is likely to go up gradually). Its a very rare sight to find so many people wearing woolens during the day in Bombay.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Running with an injury...

I decided (and managed to) to run on both Saturday and Sunday, managed to do about 10kms on Saturday (I ran to BKC from my house) and did about 8km on Sunday. My Saturday run was more eventful as I started at 11am in the morning, thanks to the wonderful weather continuing in Bombay. My injury continued, and the pain started after the first 6kms on Saturday run, the Sunday one was harder as it started 3kms. The pain does not seem to disappear anytime soon (I seem to be talking about it on almost every other post, but don't seem to have done anything to cure it. So far its been all talk and no action). The reason I seem to be dragging my feet (literally as well), is because I have time on my side, my next marathon/ultra is still far away (well its not even been decided).

Got to know about some ultra/multi-stage ultra which are taking place in India, there was one ultra in Himalayas (around Sandakphu) a 100mile run over 5 odd days (took place Oct/Nov 2007) and there is one coming up in Rajasthan. I am yet to find out more about them, will post as soon as I get more inputs.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Super Bombay weather

Did about 11kms today in a little under 1hr 3minutes. It was quite smooth, though had to put in some effort after the first 5kms. The best part of the run was the weather, this is the best weather I have seen in the last few years, this Saturday was the coldest day in the last 40 years and was the main reason for making the run effortless. And I started at 9.00am for my run. And on Saturday I did the second 3km run after coffee at 12noon, absolutely unimaginable in Bombay. Global warming seems to have some positive impact for Bombay.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

A new begining after Mumbai marathon.

The start has been very good after the Standard Chartered Mumbai marathon 2008. After a few days of rest, I am back to running. Went for a swim on Friday and followed it up with a relaxed 6km run today. Hope to continue swimming once a week, if I can manage my schedules better. The run was quite enjoyable and I don't seem to have picked up any new injury after the Mumbai marathon. The old injury flares up when there is lot of strain (over longer distances) and this needs to be cured permanently. Other than that I seem to be quite normal and fine, which is a welcome relief, can't dream of missing my Sunday morning coffee after the run (it just does not taste the same without the run!!).

Am looking for my first long run after the Mumbai marathon tomorrow.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Hard fought 5hr 23 at Mumbai marathon 2008

Todays Mumbai marathon was very hard for me and that is an understatement. The injury and the lack of training post Bangalore Ultra (did only two 10plus KM runs in the last one month).

The weather was just perfect (well by Bombay standards), it was more pleasant than what its been for the previous 4 editions. The arrangements made by Procam was better than ever before. Right from pre-race arrangements on raceday, during the race (water stations at regular intervals, thought there were too few toilets) and post race (speed with which timing certificates where distributed, medal and arrangements to sit and refreshments). The arrangements were just perfect to do a personal best.

With a lot of effort I managed to reach the 21km mark in 2hr10mins and after that it was all downhill, the next 21km took about 3hrs 15mins. But, given my condition, this was a fabulous effort and yet again I have someone to thank, I happened to meet a fellow runner Anand from Hyderabad, who gave me company till the end and we both combined very well and put in a mind blowing effort for the last 6kms, even though both of us very in really bad shape. Plus my friend from Pedder Road, who came to give me a chilled bottle of Gatorade at the 33km mark, which helped make the effort possible. Even thought the time achieved was disappointing, this was the most enjoyable and hard fought Mumbai Marathon, as I was able to manage it despite the fact that it was almost impossible for me to raise my right leg (thanks to the old nagging injury, which badly flared up at the 25km mark). The effort required for the last 15kms, was more daunting than what i had to put in for the 78km ultra.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mumbai marathon organisers, Procam disappoints again..

Despite repeated protests for two consecutive years, Procam does not seem to have learned anything. They continue to pander to the tunes of TV broadcasters and commercial interests (read sponsors), at the cost of passionate runners & the marathon itself. Just having some paid elite athletes is not going to take the Mumbai marathon too far, you need to build a running culture to seed the industry. They are again starting the full marathon at 7.40am instead of 6.30am, as its not bright enough to to do live TV broadcast. So you actually have the half marathon before the full one, which is nonsensical especially given the humidity and temperatures in Bombay.

The Singapore marathon starts way before sunrise, which makes the marathon so much better and easier. Quote from the Singapore marathon official website - "the flag off for the Full Marathon will be at 5.30am. Organisers said this was in response to feedback from runners that an earlier start will help them cope better with the heat and humidity". Both the marathons have the same sponsor, but the organisers are different.

The Athens marathon has an early start for slow runners. Why can't Bombay learn from such international marathons. Also, the organisers need to actually run and participate in marathons across the world. If that is too much, can they set up an advisory panel of reputed Mumbai runners, who can help them implement suggestions with help from runners without compromising commercial interests.

Mainstream media thankfully has been bold enough to highlight the fact that the number of participants in the full marathon is half of what it was in 2007 (isn't that really alarming?? We have only 1350 full marathon runners this year. What do we need for the organisers to sit up and take notice? A boycott of the marathon by Mumbai based runners??). And the only reason this got highlighted was the fact that finally we have some competition (both in TV and mainstream newspaper space) in media. I had highlighted this fact last year as well, that the number of full marathon participants in 2007 was lower than 2006, but could not support that with credible numbers.

I finally have my race bib with me, its 1196 and am waiting for Sunday morning. I happened to meet some of my fellow runners from GTM (Great Tibetan Marathon) for lunch today and hope to catch up with many more tomorrow morning.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Traffic spike

I have been wondering for the past few days about why there has been a sudden spike in traffic to my blog over the last few weeks. I could not find an answer, as I had not done anything different, maybe frequency of my posts had gone up marginally. But, today while watching a TV talk show program which discussed blogging, I realised it must be through search.

So I Googled "Mumbai marathon blog" and viola my blog appeared no.4, this along with the upcoming marathon, resulted in a spike in traffic. I need to start incorporating labels (keywords) to help improve my ranking on search results.

Sunday without a run

This was one of the first Sundays without a run, for a long long time. Its so much a part of my routine that I was missing it big time, plus my Sunday coffee. So I decided to do atleast half the routine, and used the time to catch up on some reading and plan my next Sunday marathon. I have two plans to approach my run, Plan A - If my legs are normal at the start of the run, I would be aiming to beat my personal best of Mumbai Marathon (2007) of 4hr 22min and if I am lucky even do a Sub 4hr (I still want it and would give it a shot). Plan B - If my legs are not alright at start, I would aim to do a Sub 5hr marathon. I need to be practical as well!!

Just one more week to go before the Mumbai marathon. So its going to be one interesting wait.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Back to back swims

I followed up yesterday's 1.3km swim with another one today. Did the same distance in about 38minutes. Todays swim was also effortless. I have always loved water and when I am the only person in the pool, it makes things really special - feels like a private pool. Love the winters for swimming as the water is nice and cold, plus it keeps most people away.

I don't plan to run before the marathon, might do one more swim before the marathon. I also plan to revert to my earlier shoe, as I have a feeling that the new Reebok Road running shoe is not suiting me, the cushioning technology is different and maybe not as good as my Adidas Nova.

Temperatures are starting to rise in Bombay, so I also picked up a new pair of sun glasses. Jan 20, Mumbai marathon is going to be hard, so want to have as many things to help me as possible. I will be wearing my baseball cap, sun glasses, waist pouch with a bottle of gatorate & another one in my hand (hope to get the third one from a friend who is coming to see me at the 32km mark). In addition I will carry 4 powergel energy gels, one Granola bar and will have a sugary energy drink (Edge) after the race. The only thing I need now is to be injury free at the start of the race (will keep my fingers crossed for it and will hope for some divine intervention!!).

Friday, January 11, 2008

Finally feeling better...

No luck as yet on the running front, legs are still in the same sore state. But, I had my first high after the Ultra, did my longest swim till date. I swam for 1.3km (that is about 55laps of my 25meter pool) continuously which is a personal best. My previous best was about 500mts. The best part of the swim, it was effortless, I could have just gone on and on. For the first time (today) in my life I felt that it was easier for me to swim than actually run.

All the training for the Ultra seems to be working for me in different ways. So maybe a Triathlon is not too far away!

Now the only thing I need is some divine intervention to ensure that I have am injury free by next Sunday, and after that I will have some chance at doing a decent time in the Mumbai marathon.

Today was a welcome break after some really hard days.... Looking forward to some more such positive days before the marathon.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

No luck yet...

Managed to for a run today, after India put up a disappointing effort in the second test match. I managed to run only 5kms as my legs were struggling to return to normal. The overall result was good as well as bad. The bad part is obvious, the good thing was that this time it was not the old injury.

I plan to work on my legs during the coming week and try and do as many runs as possible till next Sunday. After that I plan to rest completely so that I have completely fresh pair of legs on the following Sunday for the marathon.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Back to running

It was nice to be running again, after a weeks rest and medication. It was a tough run and it felt as if I was running after a very long time. Did a distance of 11kms in about 1hr10min, it was a tough laboured run.

I did face some aches and pains during the run, as my body was getting used to running again, but the big test will be tomorrows run. If it goes well, I am back in business, else its going to be another big struggle preparing for the Bombay marathon. I badly need some good runs under my belt, before the marathon, else sub 4 is going to be one distant dream. I hope to supplement tomorrows run with a swim. I haven't been able to manage the planned swims due to hectic work related schedules.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Super new year gift

I could not have asked for a better New year gift. A special thank you to Bob (who shot this picture) and his wife, who covered the event. For more visit http://bvzphoto.com/~bob/bangalore_ultra/index_8.html for more picture of the Bangalore Ultra marathon December 16, 2007

Its 2008 ...

Had a very nice pleasant start to the new year. Some early dinner with friends, some super lavazza coffee (accompanied by an eventful power shut down in that part of the town - guess it was due to power surge thanks to new year celebrations) and followed some amazing red wine.

The only thing which I will miss is a super soothing long run tomorrow morning. I guess I will have to wait for another 4-5days to restart running. But I hope to use the time to do lotsa free hand and muscle building exercises, which would finally culminate in some swimming.

Hoping to celebrate the new year with a sub 4 hr marathon, my long cherrished wish. The only thing I need is an uneventful first 20km on Januray 20 and my mind will take care of the rest.

I also hope to blog more regularly in the new year... The start has been good. Hope to keep it up.