Restart

It is said that your passion will never leave your tail. Wherever you are, whatever you become you will always find time to follow your passion. Whether it is a sport or a hobby it will always occupy a part of your mind, how much ever busy you are. This is a beauty of your passion. The same passion keeps you moving ahead, keeps you on the edge of your life, gives you a hope for living and as goes the saying. Hope is a good thing and good thing never dies. It’s been two year since I have kept my passion of writing and running on the backburner. Primarily due to birth of my lovely son and change in the job. But as both the things have stabilized, the itch in me to start running and writing has got more stronger. And in the last month I have made conscious efforts to don my running shoes and go for run. The first run after a long time, took me back by almost 6 years when I had started running. I could run only 800 meters and it was not at all disappointing. What was extremely satisfying was that, I went out of the house and just ran. The distance did not matter, the time did not matter. All that mattered was that there was sweat dripping down my body and a certain indescribable feeling was taking over me. The ecstasy which you feel after finishing the distance, the unbearable sweet pain which is running through the legs is all worth it.

 

In the last 30 days or the maximum distance I have managed to cover is around 2 kms. But at the end of the 2 kms, it gave me tremendous satisfaction. It reminded me of the time when I used to struggle to cover even 2-3 kms. That was the time when it was extremely frustrating. That was the time when I was in awe of so many fellow runners who used to cover huge distances from 10 kms to 50 kms. But today for me even that distance of 2 kms is a glory since I know there is a restart and greater distance are in store.

10-20-30-40-50-60 at Nike Run Club

10-20-30-40-50-60 at Nike Run club.

One of the most intense and difficult workout was done today at the Nike Run Club. This was totally unexpected. I knew that coach focusses more on the strength build up during this period which is typically after the Mumbai marathon and the rainy season. But this was a very intense and energy sapping series of exercise. The day usually started at 630 am with stretches and running ABC’s. These are the exercises which are done for improving the Gait and the form while running.
10- In this the 10 stands for 10 pushups to start with. The pushups needs to be military push ups or baby pushups if someone is doing it for the first time. People with problems in shoulder joint can do the baby pushups or ladies who are doing the pushups for the first time.Pushup
20- Next in the sequence is mountain climber. This is an extremely important exercise for improving the core stability while running. This needs to be done under coach’s supervision in the start as there is a possibility that it will be done incorrectly. The incorrect posture while doing this could lead to issues in the back or in the groin.mountainclimber
30- The 30 number next in the series are the squats. Squats are one of the most simple but very effective exercises for the legs. It targets hamstring, buttocks and overall posture. Like my coach says, if you want to have buttocks like J Lo you need to do this exercise. This is a major boost for ladies to exercise. sqauts
40- The 40 in the series are for jumping jacks. Jumping jacks are the warm up exercises which also contribute a lot to the flexibility of body. It also helps develop coordination between legs and hands. Jumping jacks
50- Next in the series of the workout is high knee. Ideally on a forward moving path, you bring your knees to your waist size and move forward. This is repeated 50 times. This is an extremely important drill. It is also part of ABC of running. This will help you in those last 7-8 kms when your body just gives away.highknee
60- Lastly the exercise is a 60 sec plank position. By this time you are extremely exhausted after performing the exercises. Plank will help you build your core strength. It will help you give a balance to your body. The last 4-5 kms are the ones when you stoop in your position. This particular exercise will help you in avoiding that. You have to ensure that your body is in parallel to the ground. One of the very important aspect of this exercise is that after you finish this exercise, do not put your waist down. Instead bring your waist up and rest on your knees and hands. This will ensure that there is not unwanted pressure on the waist and also help minimise the injury.plank
This routine of exercise has to be done twice one after the other. In a week you can do this 2 times. This will definitely help in giving a better physique and overall structure to your running form.

Mumbai Marathon 2014 : Poor end to a good start.

The excitement to participate and run in my second full marathon started almost two months back, when I realized I was not upto my training. The excitement soon turned to anxiety and with one month remaining for the marathon turned into a scary situation. The training runs were not completed on Sundays. Every Saturday at Nike Run Club, the speed workouts and the core strength workouts were not very fruitful. With just a month away from the big day, I decided to pull up the socks and ensure the runs were completed to the brink. The last long run was supposed to happen just 3 weeks prior to the big day. A week before the 32 km run it was a 28 km run. Everything went well till 22 km in that run, but then I hit the wall and dragged myself till around 24.5 km and then I just had to quit. I spoke about this to my Coach and he said not to worry and go ahead with the 32 km run the next week. I told him I just screwed up my 28 km run and he said not to worry and go ahead with the run. Not to worry about the timing and concentrate on finishing the run. As per his advice I was able to finish the run. The timing was very poor bi then that was the last thing on my mind.

The rest of the runs every Sunday went fine. I had purposely skipped the Run Powai run race as it was only a 10 k race and on that day I was scheduled to run 15 kms. which was part of my tapering plan for the big day. Slowly the race day came nearer and nearer and with that my anxiety and excitement for the big day increased too. I went to the exp a week prior to the race and collected my bib and the goodie bag for the marathon.photo 4

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photo 1 (1) There I met and saw Milind Soman, India’s top shot Model and a runner himself. He would be running the full marathon completely barefoot a week later. He was at the expo to launch FlyKnit shoes from the Nike Stable. As the big day neared my eating habits and the sleep pattern changed too. I was sleeping a lot, eating more than I usually eat and running far less than I had run in the past few weeks. The night before the marathon was clouded in the usual excitement. i went to the temple as per my routine on Saturday evening. Ate pasta and had dinner at around 930 pm. Somehow my timex ironman GPS watch was not coordinating with me. I had to transfer all my previous runs on to the system and free up all the memory it had taken. Somehow it was not getting detected. Fortunately it worked fine and was able to transfer the runs. I tried to sleep but there was a song stuck in my mind. I had set the alarm for 3:30 AM the next day and wanted to sleep early so that I get good rest. But as expected I finally went to sleep only at 12:00 AM.

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At Bandra worli sea link

At Bandra worli sea link

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I woke up at the buzz of the alarm and did my morning things and was ready to leave the house at 4:15 am. I went to the station and reached the marathon start line well just before the start of the marathon. There were almost 3000 men and women running the full marathon and it took me about 5 minutes to reach the start line. When I crossed the start line, a huge wave of excitement went through my soul. I was very happy to start my second full marathon and was hoping for a good finish. The start was good. I made sure I picked up the water at every water station. The first couple of kms went by pretty quickly and i was going smoothly keeping a pace of 7 mins/km. At around 7 kms I met two runners who were from my locality and we started speaking with each other. We have always seen each other running during the practice runs, but never cared to speak. I guess it was out of laziness or just plain ignorance. After chatting for a while I asked them to move ahead as I was running a lesser pace than theirs. Soon after that I saw the half marathon coming from the opposite direction. The pace at which the first person was running was just stupendous. He was literally flying. This gave another wave of excitement. At this point I was going smoothly at a predefined pace of 7 mins/km. Soon the sun rose and and the skyline changed. Now all the full marathoners were facing the racers who were doing half marathons. I saw quite a few similar faces in the crowed. Waved to them, gave them good luck. By now I had completed 15 kms and as per the plan I had to take my first break. But I was feeling good and there was not much tiredness. I thought I would continue and see how far I can go without stopping. Earlier during many races I had stopped before I actually got tired which actually went against me later. So I pushed myself. Met few friends on the way. I had asked my wife to station herself at around 23 kms. I took my first stop when I saw her waiting for me with Gatorade and dates. That was the time when the elite runners went past me. The way they run is the most beautiful site a runner can experience. It is full of great pace, smooth strides, perfect stride length. Just watching them gives you a great shot of excitement. After taking the gatorade and the dates, i started my onwards journey to the finish line. Some how after that my pace broke and I was finding it difficult to continue at the same pace. Till my first break I was thinking of finishing the marathon in around 5 hrs, but then I started taking more walk breaks. Soon I got taken over by 5:00 hr bus at around 30th km. I tried to keep to their pace, bu they soon went ahead. I was unhappy that I wont be able to finish the marathon in 5 hrs. I was regularly drinking water and gatorade and also eating dates and whatever were offered by the bystanders. Soon the psychological mark of 32 km went. I was feeling slightly dehydrated and trying to push a little, when I felt a sudden small cramp in my calves. That’s a time I got scared and decided to hold back and recover from the cramp. I was taking more walk breaks and taking it slightly slow. Soon 35 kms went by and we came to the party. The party was of 6 kms dream runners who were having a good time with various display of the organisation they were representing. I saw a lot of people cheering up for the full marathoners and admiring them for attempting to finish the distance. This bought joy and pride to my heart. Soon saw the 40 km mark and felt very nice. At around 41 km mark came the two runners whom I had met at 7 km mark and really cheered for me to finish strong. I did manage to run with them for few hundred meters but then asked them to move ahead and finish strong. I finally finished the marathon in 5:27 hrs. My wife and friends were waiting at the finish line to welcome me and it was great moment of joy to see her. After the mandatory high fives and few pics of finish, I went and did some stretches. Also went to the medical room to use the ice pack on my calves and thighs. Went to collect the medal. It was a great moment for me. I had been practising for the marathon for almost 4 months. On the whole it felt very nice to wear the medal though I was disappointed with the timing which was much more than what I had expected.

Important-Dos and Dont’s a week before your Half/Full Marathon

Running a marathon and aspiring to finish is always a big deal for any recreational runner. The months of gruelling training, waking very early in the morning, running those moutainous distance have to stop and you wait for the “R” day with bated breath. There are some things you have to take care of.

Around a week before the marathon:

1) This is the week when you are going to do the least of your training. Your training has almost finished-Make sure you give your body enough rest to reserve the energy for the big run. Keep your mind free from any negative thoughts. Visualise yourself at the start line and then at the finish line with hand and head held high.

2) Carb loading: Consciously eat more Carbs which should include Brown rice, pasta, wheat and protiens. Avoid deep fried foods. Make sure you eat lot of fruits like banana, orange. Also keep yourself well hydrated. Drink atleast 3-4 lts of water per day.

3) Prepare what you are going to wear on the race day. Do not leave this for the day before the race. Shoes, socks, sunglasses, T shirt, cap etc. Make sure you tie the timing chip to the shoes well before the race. Don’t keep anything for the last moment/

4) Make sure you have the same breakfast which you are going to have on race day, afew days before. Be very objective on what you are going to eat for breakfast. Breakfast will be the only meal you will be having before the race. If possible have the breakfast at the same time. 2 days before the race go for a 3-4 km easy jog.

5) Sleep enough- Sleep enough from 3 days prior to race day. Average duration of sleep should be 7-730 hrs/ Stay off your feet as much as you can. Avoid going to places like mall because you end up walking lot without realising it.

6) Refrain from thinking about life’s worries and problems. Keep your mind refreshed and think about how good you are going to feel after completing the race. If you want draft an update to be posted on social networking sites. Feel good about yourself and think that you are going to enjoy the journey to run the marathon on the race day.

7) Sleep early on Saturday if the race is on Sunday. In case you are unable to sleep on Saturday due to anxiet, excitement and find it difficult to get sleep, don’t worry. Sleeping on a day before is not that important. Make sure you had slept well on the Friday and Thursday.

Following the above steps wont give you such a great race that will help you to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but it will give you the much required confidence which will help you in the long run. Most of the things are basic, but it is very important to follow them. Remember that on that day you are going to thump your foot thousands of times on a hard concrete road. And if you follow a training regime and some precautions before the race, it can damage your leg parts.