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My RNR Seattle Marathon experience

When I signed up for Seattle rock-n-roll couple of months back, my only goal was to make sure that I do a mid year marathon to keep myself in shape for the sacramento marathon that I intend to run this year end… However, after my relay, when I really started doing my training runs, I thought that I could do a 3:25 type marathon if I pushed myself. However, I ended up doing a 3:53 marathon… Obviously, there are reasons… Most reasons were psychological than physical…I did 3:53:37… Much slower than I wanted it to be..:)… The highlight of the marathon was that I met Shoba and her relatives Ramesh/Mala and Aakaash at mile 16 and 22… It was very vital to keep my momentum going at the critical portions of the race…

Anyway, many take aways from the marathon itself:

1) As my friend Soochoo had predicted, the first time marathons (rnr seattle is the biggest marathon in northwest US by far) are typically not planned very well. It showed up in the critical aspects of this marathon. The freeway leading to the starting point got really clogged. After 45 minutes of slow down in the freeway, I finally decided to run about 2 miles to get to the starting point. I started 15 minutes after the race start. I heard from the paper that some people started as late as 1 hr after start time…. With 25000 runners (15,000 half-marathoners and ~6000 full marathoners, the race committee didnt think it through)….

2) That said about the starting point, the course as such was very well organized and had enough drinks/banana/ aid-stations etc., With the rock-bands playing all along and with a lot of crowd along the way, it was a pretty good race atmosphere

3) Never count on weather… I chose Seattle in hopes of a good weather. But, as luck would have it, I started at temp of 59F and it went to 75 F at finish line… The sun was shining all along without any cloud covers. A big no-no for me. In retrospective, San Diego could’ve been an ideal race for me… But then, last year, it was apparently very hot in San Diego….

4) I started out with a lot of frustration for having run 2 miles and in missing the pacer groups whom I had hoped to follow. With the weather being warm, I just lost my interest in running… As I started out, I decided to throw my timing goal and do a conservative effort. As time went by, I did slow down, to a point where I thought I was willing to either quit half way or do a 4:30 type marathon… Since I had slowed down in the middle, I had enough energy left during the last 6 miles… So, I finished strong…;). .. There were more hills than I had expected. No major ones, the maximum being 2 hills of about 250-300 feet at mile 16/17… But, in general, it was rolling hills all the way along, with a hill of about 100 feet at the 25th mile…

5) I thought the run-less, run-faster program was kind of aggressive. I used to train 40-50 miles for the sacramento marathon. I cut it down to 3 days of running (1 interval, 1 tempo and 1 long run with 2 days of intense cross-training (biking), averaging not more than 33 miles in any given week). I saw big benefits in my speed. I could hold 7:55 type pace for a 21 miler ( my longest run before the marathon). Obviously, that didn’t translate in my marathon performance. But, on the positive side, I did not get any cramps throughout. I recovered very quickly. The day of the marathon, I was already playing with my friend’s kid in the evening, running around… I felt strong… I think, the 3 days of running puts a lot of focus on running performance every time I went out to run, which could be good/bad..:) … It also gave enough time to recover after each run. I will definitely try it for my next marathon too… May be, I will add in a slow recovery run apart from the 3 aggressive days…

That, in nutshell is what happened. Checkout my finish line video in the following link. My bib-number is 5048.

http://www.rnrseattle.com

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Posted by on July 1, 2009 in General, Running

 

Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon

This being the inaugural Marathon, the organizers wanted people to literally run wherever possible. Now that I have your attention, let me explain….

Friday, 12:00PM:
On our way to the Qwest Event Center, where the expo for registration was being held,our car stopped due to a traffic jam,very close to Qwest Field. If I were Spiderman, I could have just jumped from the ramp …it was that close. After one hour, staring at the car in the front, stomachs growling,late for lunch at a friend’s house, Suresh was getting frustrated.Our man, the marathoner, decided it was fruitless to wait in the car, handed the wheel over to me , and jogged to the Expo, picked up his bib and ran back to the car, with just one cliff bar in his hand to show that he attended the Expo. Well, we did save the parking fee of 5$. Miles Ran to get registered: 1

Saturday,5:45AM:
After having learnt our lesson the previous day, we decided to leave early and started from the house, with the sun shining bright. Definitely not something that we hoped for, but what is life without hope? So, hoping that the day can end up being cloudy, we left.

Saturday,6:15AM:
We were close to the exit on the freeway, when faced the jam again….Suresh wanted to run with the pacers group and so, our man got down and started running towards the starting point. We could see him running down the ramp pretty fast, atleast to my eyes it was fast. Miles Ran , just to get to the starting point : 2

7:20AM:
I came home and checked the update for the live results , which said he crossed the starting point at 7:16 , which was 16 minutes later than intended. It confirmed that he missed the Pacers and was on his own.
25000 runners trying to start around the same time is not a joke.

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8:30AM:
On our way to meet Suresh , we passed the runners crossing the I-90 bridge around the 10th mile, shouting with enthusiasm from the car, while searching for Suresh. Lo and Behold !! there he was , running strong . Just to spot him in that crowd gave me a super high and both me and my cousin were elated .

9:00AM:
We reached the 16th mile , found a nice spot on a bridge and started cheering. When the 3:45 pacers group passed, and still no sign of Suresh, I got worried though I knew he missed the 3:30 group and started 16 minutes late. There I was, standing with a frown on my face,waiting eagerly to see Suresh, praying to God, when Ramesh( my cousin’s hubby) pointed at Suresh and our man passed us pumping his fist in the air…Yes, he does like to pose for photos even in the midst of a grueling marathon 😉 .

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10:15 AM:
We were still waiting at the same bridge, to greet Suresh at the 22nd mile. This was the best part, as the course was a loop at this point and so, we could get to cheer the runners at two points , without having to drive. I could see that quite a few runners were fatigued and were walking with cramps etc and the sun was not helping either. By now, I knew that Suresh had decided to run at a slower pace and so was not worried. My heart beat fast and all of us breathed a sigh of relief on seeing Suresh still strong with the fists still pumping..I love this guy’s energy.

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We scrambled back to the car and drove to the finishing point .Mala and I got down to walk over to the finish line , squeezing between people to get to the barrier and watched Suresh sprinting to the final, finishing with a time of 3:53:37…Did I say how much I like this guy’s perseverance. I know, a bit mushy, huh?

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Miles Ran : 26.6 ( 0.4 just to get through the crowd of runners at the beginning ).

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Though Suresh was disappointed that he slowed down compared to his usual pace because of the sun , a hilly course and the mental block of running extra 2 miles to get to the start, missing the pacers etc….I was very happy that he was not injured and that I got to cheer him at intervals. I try in almost every marathon to meet him at some designated point and invariably miss him. This was the first Marathon where I did, thanks to Mala and Ramesh.

Suresh, with your determination and perseverance,for you to beat your PR of 3:33 and qualify for Boston will be a cake walk…I know what you are thinking.. 🙂 “Easier said than done” and that too from a non runner. 🙂 All I can say is “I AM MIGHTY PROUD OF YOU”.

 
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Posted by on June 30, 2009 in General, Running

 

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Whining through Vineyards – Napa Valley Marathon Experience


After my big-sur(ge) last year, I got a renewed enthusiasm for running. Apart from the 2 months following big-sur run, during which I logged in onlyabout 15-20 miles, I averaged a decent mileage throughout the year. Though I didnt fulfil my dream of running 2 marathons last year, I ended the year with a total mileage of 1130 peaking at 188 miles last December (courtesy: Shoba was in India in December..:))… I did complete the san jose rock-n-roll 1/2 marathon in october. I decided to run a marathon early this year since I had logged a lot of miles during the end of last year. I had the choice of picking between big-sur and napa-valley. I chose to pick napa-valley since the course was simpler and I thought I could better my time doing it…;)

I was very happy with my training this time. I logged in a lot of 15+ milers and two 10 milers per week during the peak training which made my long runs easier and faster. I tried the san-francisco half marathon to get a morale boost and it most definitely did. I did 1:48:20 (official) though I had to convince everyone that I started atleast 1.5-2 minutes before I crossed the start line and there was no chip timing. So, I think I did something in 1:46ish range which, in my dictionary is an unbelievable run for me. This is where I guess, I got my cockiness to do fast runs. After the half-marathon run, I tried to do all my training runs at around 8min/mile pace. I even did my 20 mile long run in 2:49… Anyway, I was all set, both physically and mentally for the marathon day.


Shoba and I booked a room in an Inn in calistoga. The other option was to stay in Napa and get a shuttle at 5:00AM in the morning to calistoga (starting point). But, I hate to get up early and I figured that staying closer to the start line is the way to go. We arrived in Napa to pick up the BIBson Saturday. I attended a session where a bunch of elite runners talked about the course and how to “conquer” it. One of the runners was Dean Karnazes, whom, as I’ve mentioned before is the crazy ultra marathon dude. He ran overnight from san-francisco to napa enroute to calistoga so that he could run the marathon and then run back to san-francisco, totalling about 189 miles over 2 days… He recommended running a negative split, in napa. Thefirst half of napa-marathon has a lot of rolling hills, not steep ones, but a lot of small ones, much like the second half of big-sur. But, once u hit the 16mile point, it is downhill all the way except for a couple of hills at mile 20. So, Dean’s point was to run a slow first-half and to run a faster during second half. Then came Dick Beardsley who is also a well known elite marathoner (olympian/boston marathon winner etc.,). He kind of disagreed with Dean. He said that everyone slows down during the end. So, he didnt believe in negative splits. Instead, he said that running the first half faster and trying to maintain the momentum as much as you can to end is the way to go… The other runners did offer some valuable inputs. The important one being, there was no chip-timing on this run. So, being near the start line is vital if you want to shave off those 1 or 2 minutes at start. Another one, which gave me a queasy feeling was that, the race was going to start at 7:00AM at which point, the temperature was supposed to be 38F and then quickly raises to 60-65 by 10:00AM. For whatever reason, I run comfortably in really cold climates. When it gets hotter, I lose momentum… So, I was a little worried. We did drive through the silverado trail from napa to calistoga (reverse of marathon course). It helped me realise how good/bad the hilly and flatter part of the course was.

Everything went as planned the night before. I went to a pasta feed organized by a bunch of inns. Dick Beardsley showed up here too and offered someinspiring stories about one of his marathon where he did 2:09. I talked to couple of runners, one, a beginner doing her first marathon and the otherdoing her second marathon. I tried to sleep early to get up early. But, the biological clock doesnt adjust so quickly. Anyway, I had a reasonably good sleep. Got up at 4:45AM and got ready… As usual, I was a little nervous about, let me just say “restroom fiascos”… But, everything cleared up and was all happy scene by 6:00AM. Shoba and I drove upto starting point by 6:20 or so. Initially, we were planning to wait inside the car since it was quite cold outside. Later, we decided against it, for better, since the actual start point was a good 5 minutes walk. Shoba joined me for the first time to the starting point. Something that she has never done during any of my previous runs. She could feel the energy. People, young and old justgeared up to face the challenge. A photographer took a picture of us, which was pretty good. I stood in line for the porta potties while shoba bid farewell…


The race was supposed to start at 7:00 with a national anthem by a veteran named John Keston. But, I guess he didnt show up. So, people were a little puzzled and looking forward for the “go” signal. Suddenly, the race started, rather uneventfully. I like the adrenaline rush from the national anthem. But, i missed it. Anyway, I started my run briskly. I wasnt breathing hard and was feeling good. I checked my time at 2 mile marker and it showed00:15 something. So, I knew I was going a little faster. But, I didnt mind much. I started winding through the rolling hills. For some reason, I wasnt running on the right side of the road and missed some mile markers. At some point during my run, when I thought I should be around 5 to 6 mile mark, I saw the 7 mile mark much to my surprise. I overheard someone saying that they were doing a 7:42 pace. I was surprised and a little shocked. I looked at my watch and it showed 0:55… I realised that I was speeding. But, I wasnt breathing hard. I had learnt the hard lesson from my first marathon that, hitting the road too fast too soon will knock you later. I intentionally tried to control my speed. Still, I noticed that I did 10 miles in 1:20… At this point, I was worried and intentionally try to slow down a little. In the meanwhile, I saw Dean Karnazes running along without company. So, I decided to join him for a little chat. Getting one on one time with one of the world class ultramarathoner while running in a marathon was one of the highlights of this marathon. He was very cordial. Soon, more people started crowding him asking more and more questions and I started movingpast him. At the 13 mile marker, my clock showed 1:46. At this point, I happily concluded that I was genuinely doing high pace and I could continue with that pace for ever. Retrospectively, one of the biggest mistakes.


Mano had told me that he would wait at 18 mile marker. My mind started wandering, let me meet him by 2:20 and then I can do 22 in 3:00 and possibly 26 by 3:35 or so. When I was in my high clouds, there was a downhill somewhere at mile 16 where I started getting signs of cramps. I slowed down a bit, but it didnt help. I was just looking for mile 18. Atlast, when I reached mile 18, I noticed that Mano wasnt there. A big “Halwa” awaited on his behalf and it was disappointing… When I was doing the 19 mile hill, I saw a bunch of folks offering beer for runners… It was pretty cool and refreshed my mind with a smile. I thought of having the beer, but then, decided against it… By this time, my cramps started worsening. My attempt to relieve it by stretching made it even worse. Anything I tried on my legs apart from the running movement resulted in more pain. My mind wandered in all directions. I even considered quitting my run. But then, I was still doing a good time. I reached 21 miles in 3:03. So, it was about doing 5 miles inless than an hour. In normal days, I do it in 42-43 minutes. Given that it was the last 5 miles of a marathon. I was sure I could pull it off in around 50 minutes. With my cramps and excruciating pain with every step, I kept continuing. It was a simple algorithm. Run my normal strides. When therewas pain, slow down and if pain continues, walk for a few seconds before starting to run again. It was also getting warmer. So, I felt the need to drink more water. I gulped a lot of GU gels too to keep my energy level going. Mile 22 at 3:15, Mile 23 at 3:26, Mile 24 at 3:35, Mile 25 at 3:46 and Mile 26.2 at 3:56…. I didnt care about the by standers, I didnt care about the scenary, I didnt care about anything but following my steps onto thefinish line. As I finished, I couldnt even spot Shoba. May be my brain wasnt completely active or that shoba was wearing her stylish cap…:)..I finished it well under my goal of 4:00 hrs. As with every run (I should probably exclude big-sur..:)), I felt that, if I had paced a little better, I could have hit 3:45-3:50 timing comfortably. Oh well, there is always something to look forward to and that is the excitement of life… I was totally exhausted after the race not just with pain and cramps, but a nauseating feeling that lasted for half an hour. Shoba didnt have any clue about my state at the beginning. But later, she started getting worried. She drove me all the way from Napa to San jose via fremont-udupi-palace where we had lunch.


As usual, there was a lot of take aways from this marathon. Nothin new, but just reinstating the basics. The important realisation about running is the mental kick that I get from battling the tradeoff between mind and body. Personally, when running, my mind usually sways between two extremes of optimism and pessimism. The balancing act is an art and is the most fun and the fun doesnt start till mile 20 and above. No wonder people call it thewall. A wall bridging mind and body, indeed… Again, pacing is an art. In this race, there were no pace teams to follow. But, running with a pace group could be highly helpful. When I was tired, I gulped myself with a lot of water, GU gel, fruit sorbet and orange slices at the aid stations, which I think was a bad mistake. It gave me a severe nausea at the end of the race. Another important take way was to not overspeed in downhills. Usually, my quads get beaten up when running hilly courses, especially downhill. For 2 days now, I still feel soarness in my quads which indicates that I did a lot of pounding during the early part of the race. For the positives, putting in a lot of long distance mileage in the training really helps overall performance. For example, three 6 milers is not equal to two 3 milers and a 12 miler. It most definitely is not. I ran atleast 5 19/20-mile runs and atleast a dozen or more of 10+ mile runs during the past few months which greatly improved my endurance and speed. I think I should try out some 22-23 mile runs in my future marathons to simulate myself with a run that gets closer to the 26.2 mile point as possible. For beginners, I think it is not recommended. But, as the time goal increases, it is probably a good idea to do 22+ mile runs during the peak training runs. I am hoping to do the sacramento marathon during December this year. I think I will end up doing the 199 mile relay race next month and may be a couple of half marathons before marching my way to the marathon this year end. I do realise that I am getting more and more closer to my peak potential… Only time will tell how much I can push further.


I think, it is good to do an all out effort to achieve the best possible outcome. But, sometimes, it is better not to do that. It is a strange “good” feeling to know that the best is yet to come… That, in nutshell, is how I feel about this marathon…

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2008 in Running

 

Big Sur Experience

Everyone of us have goals that we strive to achieve. While striving to achieve goals is one thing, very few get to see it end up in fruition. I was very fortunate to see that happening to me during this Big Sur marathon. While the natural instinct would be to equate hard work to good reward, reality isnt always rewarding and things arent always predictable. There is certainly a factor called “luck” in it. To top it, one has to have people around them who believe in them and assume that they will be able to succeed, by default. For me, Shoba was that person. She is one person who never doubts if I will succeed and believes, by default, that I will succeed. My sincere thanks to all my friends (Sri, Saumya, Mano, Meera, Karthi, Shankar and many others) who believe in me… Special thanks to karthi who surprised me with flowers, though only half the plant belongs to me..:)

Well, as with every marathon, this marathon effort started with denial. I didnt want to run a marathon. I was quite clear that I wanted to do a series of half-marathons before attempting a full marathon. As inspiring and as pushing as he can be, Mano started his campaign about Big Sur in November. He convinced me that my hill training will anyway help me in doing a half-marathon. And, I fell into his trap…:(… I started running with him and decided to run Big Sur. Before I knew it, it was end of January and I hadnt run any long distance run and the fear of not performing well crept into me. I was convinced that my goal was not to just complete the marathon, but beat my previous time by a sizable margin. As I explained in my earlier blog, I prepared myself really well.

I was quite confident till last week when the fear of “what-ifs” started getting to me. What if I am not fully hydrated on the day of the marathon? What if suddenly get cramped badly half way into the run? All sorts of fears… The sum of all fears is to be fully prepared. Because then, you run out of options to complain…:)..I started carbo loading (overloading) and it resulted in indigestion. I was getting more worried… As always, time was ticking and there was nothing I can do to stop it.. Sriks and I started on Saturday noon and arrived in Monterey. Thanks to Sri, with him around, one will never have time to worry about anything… He is such a morale booster and a cheerful person to have when you need support, both mentally and “physically” (I will let Sri describe that…I will limit myself by saying that we shared the same bed that night…Let me also say that Mano was missed…:))… We attended an “inspiring” speech session by Susan Love. She was just amazing. She has run over 47000 miles and has topped in a lot of races. She gave a really inspirational speech. We also had the chance of meeting running elites like Jeff Galloway and Dean Karnazes. We got their autographs. It was a great feeling to have our Bibs signed by Dean. This guy has the world record of running 350 miles non-stop and for running 50 marathons in 50 consecutive days… He is just amazing and yet looked very humble…

We had our final carb loading in India Clay Oven at Monterey. Not a great place to eat. But, all we needed was rice, dal and vegetables. We slept at 8:45 in the night (when I say slept, I mean lights went off at 8:45 in our room..again, I wudnt get into the details…:)). By the way, we stayed in downtown travelodge which is an ideal place to be close to the action (monterey conf. center and bus pickup). I didnt have a good sleep. But, I was rested well enough that I woke up at 2:37AM to find myself happy that I had another 20 more minutes to sleep.. We woke up at 3:00 and got ready by 3:40. Though the shuttle pick up place was just a few minutes away from our stay, the queue extended for about 0.2 miles… However, it took us only 15 minutes in the line to get into the bus. The shuttle started at 4:15 and it takes about 1 hour to get to Big Sur. This is one of those marathons where you kind of start at the farther end and come back running to the start place. Given the timing and the number of people to be transported, there must have been atleast 120-140 shuttles which will do just 1 trip to the start point. The organization was quite amazing. Anyway, we landed in Big Sur at around 5:15AM. Having had bad experiences with porta potties, my first instinct when I got out of the shuttle was to search for porta potties. There was atleast 30-40 porta potties. Wow!! it was a pleasant surprise and at this point, I had nothing to complain about for any poor performance in running. Throughout, this marathon was organized very professionally and had the best bunch of volunteers. They had sun-block lotion, vaseline, trash covers for wind breakers and food!, all at the start point!!

I had a clear strategy for this run. Run the 26.2 miles as fast as possible and yet have the least injuries..:)…Seriously, I just wanted to run at a pace where I dont gasp for breath and sustain it as much as possible and push it to the end. I knew I could do around 9:10 per mile pace for 20 miles. But, the course for big sur is hilly and I knew that it was going to have an impact. When the gun fired, I started my watch… I was doing 9 minutes pace and was sustaining it comfortably for the first 10 miles till hurricane point where I slowed down intentionally to make sure that I dont get too tired running uphill. The climate was excellent (~50-60 F) and the crowd was fun. I was feeling great because I like running in cooler climates and given that I trained on steeper hills, I wasnt worried about the inclinations. When I started nearing hurricane point, it seemed less difficult than what I expected it to be. At the half-way point, I saw that I was clocking at 2:03 which is roughly about 9:30 per mile. I programmed my mind to wait for 20 miles since I have run that 2 times during training. I thought that I can worry about the last 6 miles when it comes to it… Mile 16 and Mile 19 had some hills which slowed me down. I tried to catch up by running a little faster in downhill sessions. I soon realised at the 21 mile mark that I started getting signs of cramps when I ran downhill. Knowing my limits, I tried to run uniformly without surging down the hills and I was feeling better. 22nd mile hill was a little tough but I managed to not stop till I reached the aid station in the down hill. The aid stations were fantastic. The initial ones had just water and gatorade. At the 12 and 18 mile mark, there was Gu gel, banana, orange, water, gatorade and vaseline. At all aid stations after 13, they had banana, orange slice, water and gatorade which was quite good. I heard from Sri that they even had medical aids after mile 16. To top that, they had a lot of volunteers at each station and they were great. There were piano players, guitar and harp players along the way to entertain runners. To top all of this, we were running along the pacific coast, which is one of the most scenic place in earth.

At mile 23, I think I reached the runner’s high. I suddenly felt a strange sense of happiness which almost made me cry. I have wondered about why people cry over achievements. I always thought that they were somewhat made up. But, to see hours and hours of hard work and training translate to a positive result sure gives a chill. At that point, I could have stopped running and walk to the end line and still would have been happier. It is a feeling that can only be felt and I felt it… Mile 25 was the infamous D-minor hill at D-major time. It looked pretty steep, though it might have just been my mind at the 25 mile point… Anyway, I crossed the hill and was started running towards the end line. I spotted Mano near mile 26. Took my hats off and waved at him…He took his camera and adjusted and then put it aside as if I didnt exist..:)… I didnt give up… I started waving more. He saw me then… I saw Shoba jumping up and down, Saumya, Keena and Meera all cheering up for me. I gave all my remaining energy into sprinting through the last 0.2 mile… And then, it was done…Yes, I completed my run in 4:12:10 which is a personal best for me. To sum it all up, it was a great moment… One of the rarest moments in my life that I will cherish for ever… Now, the question is, What next?

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2007 in Running

 

Big Sur(ge) Ahead…

Well, I decided to not write a whole lot about my running this time till I complete my Big Sur marathon. But, given the magnitude of the effort I have put in, I wanted to pat myself on the back on what I have done so far instead of focussing just on the end result, which is the actual marathon itself.

Having completed my first marathon last year, as everybody else, I thought I should run another marathon, at a better pace…. I wasnt quite convinced with my timing on my first marathon since I felt that, if I had paced myself right, I wouldnt have ended up having as many cramps as I did during the last 6 miles of the marathon, which killed my time by around 20-30 minutes… I thought I should try the sacramento marathon just a month later and dismissed it since it was just an impulsive thing to do…

When Mano told me about Big Sur marathon in late November, I wasnt up for it. First of all, it was a slightly challenging marathon, given the hills and elevation. Secondly, I preferred a flatter course to improve my marathon time. I also thought that I should better my half marathon speed really well before attempting another full marathon. I told him that I would run with him in Ranchos hills since it would help increase my pace for the half marathons. We did some hill running during December and by January, I was convinced that I should take up Big Sur… Runner’s world magazine says that, if a runner had a choice of running only one marathon in his life time, it would be Big Sur and I thought that I shouldnt pass on that oppurtunity even if I cannot run it at my best pace…

My training base was solid this time. But, I didnt do any long runs (> 10 miles) till end of January. So, it was a little sluggish from that angle. However, I joined a Gym called Club One and I was regularly doing cross training. So, that was an addition to my running schedule. Also, I was doing interval training once a week which greatly helped my pace.

On Feb 1, I decided that I was going to dedicate the next couple of months for the marathon. No excuses….My objective was to run atleast 3-4 16 milers and 2 20 milers before marathon over the course of 2 months. I started training 6 days a week of which 4 days were running, 2 days were cross training and 1 day of rest. I ran a 14.5 miler the first week-end of february and then increased it to 16.2 and 16.5 miles the weeks following that. Then, I did an 18.5 followed by 10.5. In March, I did an 18.5, 19 and a 20 miler with the last week as a break since I went to Antigua. Just last week, I did a 20 miler again. I was quite impressed with myself about sticking to my schedule.

This year, as of April 11, I have run 400+ miles and cycled close to 200 miles, totalling ~600 miles of activity excluding the weight training that I did during my cross training days. When I look back at it, I am impressed with myself. My pace as of last week for the 20 miler was around 9 minutes and 12 seconds. I ran my 20 miles in roughly 3 hours excluding 4-5 minutes of break time in between during my 13 and 16.5 mile stops. If I had to run a marathon today, I think I should be able to do it in 4:00-4:15 hrs. But, given that Big Sur has a hilly terrain, I should discount another 10-15 minutes. My target for Big Sur is to be between 4:15 and 4:30 if everything goes my way and I dont get any sickening cramps.

I am well on my way to taper. Last time, I considered taper as my time of rest. But, after some reading, I think it is a big mistake. The books advice you to reduce the mileage to 75% and then 50% but yet running those miles at the same pace as how you would run during regular training weeks. With the marathon on April 29, I am hoping to complete this month with 500 miles of running, my half way mark for the year’s target of 1000 miles ! It may not be time to light up the cigar, but it sure is time to buy one and smell it…:)

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2007 in Running

 

pictures- Marathon




 
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Posted by on November 1, 2006 in From AM-KICKING blog, Running