Sunday, July 31, 2011

Attempted 4 hour Run

As a part of training for the Mumbai Marathon I am trying to build stamina for running for longer durations of time since it will probably take me over 6 hours to finish the run. In that context, I attempted a 4 hour run yesterday morning.

I started the run at 530 am in the Hitech City area (I had parked my car close to Quality Inn hotel on the road that connects the Old Mumbai Highway to Hitech City) and ran for around 90 mins in that area – InOrbit; Shilparamam, a little beyond Shilparamam and back. Returned to my car; refilled my water bottle and then headed towards the Outer Ring Road.

I was able to run comfortably for the first 2 ½ hours but by the end of the third hour, the exhaustion was increasing exponentially. On the ORR, I was able to go a little beyond the place where they have made arrangements for the toll booth – there is a nice curving down-hill slope. I had wanted to continue onward till around 8.15 am but then my body was screaming in protest.

So, I turned around at 8 am but was so tired that I walked back most of the way. Tried short bursts of running but could not manage more than 2 or 3 short bursts of around 4 minutes each.

There was some kind of army training going on and I saw a lot of jawans in full battle attire – bulletproof vest, helmet, gun, etc – doing a long run. Passed several of them coming from the opposite direction and watching them run gave me goose pimples. (If you really want the truth, it was more than just goose pimples…. I actually started to cry).

Talking about crying, I generally break down once each time I run a half marathon event – the trigger could be some song that the live bands play or some onlooker cheering me specifically…… does this happen to others or am I this completely useless emotional wimp?

Anyways, left the ORR and walked back to my car; in between I had to actually sit down twice to regain some strength. Reached my car at 9.30 and drove back home.

While the total time spent on the road was indeed 4 hours, I barely managed to run a little more than 3 hours and I am sure that the total distance covered would not have been more than 25 kms. Tried using the gmap-pedometer to measure the distance but somehow it does not like the idea of people running on the ORR and refuses to plot the distance on the ORR.

The body has recovered pretty well though the ankles and the lower calf muscles are in pretty bad shape. There is also a lot of soreness on the outer side of my left knee – something that has been bothering me for the past few months.

Happily, my new Asics shoes are proving to be pretty good (thanks a lot to the HR shoe clinic!) and the pain in the right hip is completely gone.

Will try to stay regular on shorter distances for the next few weeks and then try another long one.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Mumbai Marathon Announced

Registrations for Mumbai Marathon begin on July 20th....those who wish to participate keep an eye on the website and register ASAP. With the run being a part of the global circuit, it is getting more and more difficult to register


Looks like my quest for the right shoe has finally come to an end. From my completely worn out Reeboks to Asics that gave me a pain in the right hip joint to Reeboks again (that gave me blisters on my left arch) I am back to another model of Asics that hopefully will not let me down. The earlier Asics had an arch support for my almost flat feet but after running for so many years on neutral shoes, I was just not able to adjust to the arch support. (See my earlier blog titled ‘Give Up’ for more details).

I attended a shoe clinic that was organized by the Hyderabad Runners and experts helped me identify my problems. I discovered that my left foot under-pronates while my right foot over-pronates while I run. I was amazed when I looked at the wear of my old shoes – I really need to work on my running style and correct the way my feet strike the ground.

At the shoe clinic, people from Asics (Reliance Footwear) were also there and agreed to take back my sparingly used Asics for the right shoe – one with a neutral arch. I was amazed by this; I never had imagined that I would be able to return something that I had purchased more than 3 months earlier. All the credit goes to the Hyderabad Runners Group; without them, the shop would not have entertained me at all. Thanks a lot HR.

Tried my new Asics today; ran around the lake in just a shade over an hour. The shoes were comfortable though at the end I could feel a slight hint of fatigue in my right hip. Maybe it is still sore from the past and needs more time to completely heal. However, I really don’t have too much time at hand – weekends are whizzing by and I am nowhere close to my long runs….. the max that I have done so far is about 20 kms. Need to quickly increase my distances and I request my hips, calf muscles, heels, etc, etc to please cooperate.

Hyderabad Runners

The last couple of weeks have been very eventful as far as my running/training for the big one is concerned. While trawling the web for information about the Mumbai Marathon, I stumbled upon this egroup called Hyderabad Runners. In one stroke, I had access to a group of some wonderful, wonderful people who have one thing in common – running.

The group is very active – both on the net as well as on the track and with stories and quotes and articles and running events hitting you in quick succession, you can’t help but put on your running shoes and follow them.

I have found it very helpful if there are people around you who are doing things that inspire you – getting up at 4.30 am on a Saturday or someone who started running at 10 pm and by midnight had finished a distance of 20 miles…and having such people right there in your city is wonderful. One of the group members has run the Boston marathon five times; someone else has run the Tibet Marathon – arguably the highest altitude marathon anywhere in the world. At that altitude walking itself is such an effort that completing a marathon run is beyond my imagination.

I will continue to keep drawing inspiration from these wonderful folks and strive to be a worthy member of the group. Keep running Hyderabad!