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.