Saturday, June 13, 2015

Running Notes : Week 2/16

Monday - June 8th

When I woke up felt my legs ached a bit. Was debating whether to give it a pass - as I have 2 long runs coming up the next 2 days.

Anyway, dragged myself out of the home and started at my gentle pace. Once I started running did not think of the mild pain.. it went away I guess. It was just my mind fooling me. Then when I had 2 kms to go raised my pace a bit. I think I can identify 2 paces - a slow pace where I breathe through my nose effortlessly, and a slightly faster pace - where I really run - and breathe through the mouth. I feel I have one more gear left.

Listening to Once a runner audio book. It is about a bunch of cross country athletes in a South Eastern University of Florida, and our protagonist - Cassidy - is in trouble. He had represented other athletes against a rather stupid circular from their Athletic director - to cut hairs and wear collared shirts. And the athletic department has suspended him to bring fear and discipline in others. He is to face the board today, but before that goes for a run with his friend - and the author philosophises about running - beautiful piece.

Tuesday - June 9th

Night I had to put Volini on my knees. They were not feeling normal. When I woke up knees did not have the odd feeling. Had the nagging fear - will I get pain on my knees and I have to break my run midway?

I was searching for WWDC podcasts, but none were there. I continued Cassidy's story and he is thrown out of college. He goes to the woods and lives alone and becomes a monk runner - runs twice a day.. almost a full marathon each day.

Todays run is 9.7 KMs, had to run at a fast pace after 1.6KMs. I picked up pace, and each lap I ran faster than the previous one - like a Formula 1 car that picks up speed as its fuel load lightens up. Ended up with amazing timing - almost 6.30 on average - pretty impressive.

Right knee is acting up a bit - gotto give it a massage in the night, and perhaps buy the knee braces. This running business is expensive.

Wednesday - June 10th

Woke up at 4:20AM in anticipation. Thought I will do Sudarshan Kriya, but dozed off. Searched for any good podcasts, I only got 2 hours left in the audio book. Did not find any interesting podcasts, so decided to run with the book.

It was a gentle good run - 8.4kms - did not push too hard at any point.

In the story Cassidy practises real hard and even manages to run a mile within 4 minutes. His friend Denton keeps Cassidy filled with books, training and keeps him sane. He is trying to enrol Cassidy in an athletic meet, but the College board removed Cassidy's name from him. Denton talks to the Chancellor - and says Cassidy can bring glory as he has improved a lot, but the Chancellor talks of discipline etc. and even threatens Denton openly on his academic career coming to an end if he keeps supporting Cassidy.

I picked up a mild pain in the right leg muscle below the knee on the back. Tomorrow is cross-training day ( I call it rest day ) - if I give it enough rest it will be alright.

Thursday - June 11th

Cross-training day. Did Suriya Namaskar and Sudarshan Kriya.

Friday - June 12th

I had a 8am meeting in Worli. That means had to leave home by 7am. That means I have to complete my run by 6:15am max. That means I have to wake up by 5:00am. Thats what I did and ran 6.4kms.

It had rained the night before, and it was dark and there are little pools of water here and there. The Mumbai rain season is just beginning. Legs felt heavy and was wondering how I will do the long run tomorrow. Also I did not have my morning dose of filter coffee - so was in a terrible mood at the beginning. But like in all runs - after a few steps the dark mood drifted away.

Cassidy trains real hard. Denton his friend and trainer makes him work really hard. Does interval training where he gets him fully tired. Then makes him repeat it - and here is where Cassidy discovers something inside him. After this he sleeps for 17 hours straight after this.

And he is going to race in the College Track once again. The worlds faster runner - a bloke from NewZealand - is to participate and Cassidy is enlisted as Faaz - with Denton doing some shady stuff - as a Finnish runner. And Cassidy had stopped shaving and grows a beard - so he won't be recognised. Can't wait for tomorrow's run to see how this story ends.

Saturday - June 13th

Today is the longest run of the week.13kms.

Legs feel real tired. I started the run with lot of doubts - could I finish today's run and the Marathon?? It was drizzling a bit and had to watch where I put my foot as I might slip on the slopes.

I tuned into the audio book - and Cassidy walks the track before the race night thinking what he will do at every step. And the race night. It is all explained in detail. After the race starts, somehow the word spreads and everyone comes to know the bearded runner  is not Faaz - the finish runner - but their own hero - Cassidy - who has been expelled - and the crowd starts chanting. Cassidy's now ex-girl friend - Andrea - stands up and sees his face - and suddenly realises what this runner is all about and she too starts chanting - much to the chagrin of her new boyfriend.

I cry here. Thankfully my spectacles is all wet and no one would have known. I was rooting for Cassidy too.

The Newzealand Runner is ahead but at the final stretch Cassidy beats him to win the race and that too in 3.52 minutes. His fastest ever and he not only breaks the 4 minute barrier, he also beats the worlds fastest runner. The Athletic director eats humble pie.

The story ends with him leaving the medal on the field and walking away.

The story got over quickly. I still have 5 more kms to go and it was getting tough. My legs have become very tired and the last 2 kms I had to really push hard to complete.

Tomorrow thankfully is a rest day - and from Monday Week 3 starts. And next week the long run is 16km. It is cruel - after a gruelling week - on Saturday - when my poor legs are the most tired is when I do the longest run of the week. This is how athletes build strength I guess. This is how they learn to run the last 10 or 15 kms of the 42km Marathon - when they are all done and tired, they dig into their deepest reserves to complete the race.

"Trial of Miles. Miles of Trials" - Once a runner.

This week running summary

Next Week plan
[ Week 3 Notes ]

Sunday, June 07, 2015

Kaveri Trail Marathon

September 20 is my D-Day - The Kaveri Trail Marathon [ ]. Got to know via a tweet and it set me on another of my adventure / irrational act - to run a full marathon ( 42kms ).

I had run (half walked in pain) a half marathon ( 21kms ) in the Bangalore Midnight Marathon held in Dec 2011 and it was a disaster. [ My first half Marathon ]. I finished last. And vowed never again. Next time I will train better and will run the full race, not walk half the race.

It has been 3 long years since then and I could never bring myself to run even a half marathon again. Always the fear of failure was there and the last disastrous experience kept haunting me.

What if I cannot cross the wall - the point wherein body has exhausted its glucose content and starts burning fat. Body thinks it is starving and self preservation kicks in and freezes itself - and a runner cannot take one step forward as body does not allow fat to be burnt. Every marathoner has to overcome this wall.

What if I get cramps at the 41st km just before the finish line - and my legs are all locked up and I am lying on the floor watching the finish line and see others runners crossing it.

What if I develop shin splints and other running injuries and I have to give up the training midway.

What if on the race day I land my foot on a hole, and sprain it badly that I have to DNF ( did not finish ).

What if I develop blisters, stomach cramps, dizziness - or the myriad ailments that can strike me when it is undergoing the heavy stress of a marathon?

My mind quickly got filled with all the Nos. Why should you subject yourself to such torture, when on the very Sunday on Sep 20th - I could be sipping my morning filter coffee and reading a nice book in the comfort of my home.

And it is not just torture for one day - the next 4 months is going to be a torture - every single day.

Why bother at all with this?

But then there is this little voice in my head - which keeps fighting all these little devils - tells this - what if this frail body we are all in can pull off an impossible feat. And I want this little voice to grow louder and defeat these little devil friends of mine.

So I pulled up my phone, launched Nike Running, navigated to Coach, keyed in race date as 20th Sep 2015 - and it created a training plan starting from June 1st ( 16 weeks total)

I will have to do 5 runs a week of which one of them is a really long run. One cross training day. One rest day. One of these runs, as per the running program - I have to do a Fartlek - interval training - run very fast for a few minutes, then run slowly to recover and keep repeating it.

Till date I was averaging 40 to 50 kms a month. From the very first week I have to run 43kms in a week.

I completed the first week successfully. Legs were tired throughout the week, knees a bit wobbly - but thankfully no pain.

Continuing my vegetarian diet. I eat Brown rice for lunch and last week started legumes for evening snacks.  Thinking of adding Soy milk for increasing protein intake.

I have travel coming up - not sure how I can fit them with my training - do not want to miss a single running day.

Will I last the 16 weeks of training?
Will I complete the marathon?

Doubts.. and the battle with these doubts - this is my life for the next 4 months.

[ Week 2 Notes ]