Showing posts with label running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label running. Show all posts


2016 Planning

Some Runs/Race I would like to do in 2016.
  • 14-Feb-2016 Auroville Marathon
  • 06-Mar-2016 IDBI Kolkata Marathon ( can not go but listing )
  • 19-Mar-2016 Nirbhaya Midnight Marathon (Bangalore)
  • 12-Jun-2016 Run Your First Half or Full Marathon (Jaynagar Jaguar date not confirmed)
  • 17-Jul-2016 The Cherrapunjee Marathon
  • 28-Aug-2016 Airtel Hyderabad Marathon
  • 11-Sep-2016 Chennai Trail Marathon
  • 16-Oct-2016 Bengaluru Marathon


Cochin Full Marathon 2015

Pre-Race Day

The day started early, we get out Cochin Club today and part our our ways for some time. While Pamela & Aarush goes back to Bangalore on Saturday itself I stay back for the big run on Sunday.

They had a train to catch around 9 from ERS. There was not a single auto around so had to walk and get one from Ferry station and as usual the price asked and agreed is way more than normal,

My running friends already reached from Bangalore while some checked in to Hotel other went ahead to Alleppey to check run route for December MTR run. There was many small plans and phone calls in the morning about how we meet up and spend our day, At the end I came to the hotel in Wellington Island around 10. After 11 we start from hotel for BIB collection which is another end of 

Ernakulam. The bus ride was very long and memorable one not a kind that you suggest. We were swinging …. the drives is rash and the roads are narrow and there is Metro construction going on forever.

The BIB collection was happening inside a newly opened mall. And we came to know there are not going to many runners around 200 registered for FM and another 800 for HM, After usual chit-chat with fellow runners and pictures we headed for food. We were told and warned about the bad road conditions due to rain and that might impact bare-foot runners most. Organizers were also offering early start at 3AM. But the regular start of 4 AM itself was too early for my standard.

While walking to the mall from bus stop spotted the restaurant ‘Dhe Puttu’ a place Pamela wanted to go but we did not. While entering the place we liked it but it usual a clean nice restaurant. But when they served the ‘Sulaimani Tea’ things changed drastically for good. We all must had 7/8 cups of tea and some may be more. It seems this restaurant belongs to one of Malaalam actor Dileep. We all loved the food. And the best part we were full. The puttu is very filling and restaurant guys service was excellent. Post lunch we again walked to bus stop and got a bus to our hotel. 

Pamela and Aarush Bangalore reached Bangalore safely in the evening. They mentioned about the rain and cold weather over there. Personally had a shower and nap in the afternoon. But that killed by sleep in the night as I could barely sleep. 

Race Day

Woke up at 3:15 or so and left hotel at 3:30 in Bus (thanks to soles of Cochin) for the venue. From our group few were doing FM and most were doing HM. In hotel met Balaji, one runners from Chennai who is of my kind of running speed. But he has ran many FM including last month Bangalore on in 4 hours where I took 14 more minutes. It was 3 in the beginning but soon around 6 KM mark I think we lost Patrick and me and Balali continued together. We were running side by side but once the road narrowed we started to follow each other. We completed the half way mark before 2 hours and headed back and crossed 30K around 2 hr 45 minutes or so. But once we were back to the Wellington Island we met up with the many slow HM and Family fun (5K) runners. While they had a turn to complete their race we had to continue on an isolated roads between shipyards and godowns. It was the last KMs that was very dull and boring. And now the gap between me and Balaji increased as I really lost the enthusiasm . Thankfully one Hyderabad runner came to rescue around last 500m to give company. And the race got over in 4 hours 7 minutes. The best part not much walking and stopping in the last 5 KMs but there is way to improve. May be I shouldI think I have 50KM Ultra to run while running those 5KM. 

Post-race as usual Bangalore runner specially Pacemakers were on the podium. And very thankful to two gentlemen who are working in Dubai but avid runners gave us lift to Hotel. We checkout and headed towards MG road and ended up going to Grand Hotel for lunch. This is the same place where we as a family met our Cochin host Gulshan and his family on Tuesday for dinner.

The service was not so great as we were a Bhukkad Gang. Rest of the journey back to Bangalore was fun filled with lots of chitchat which can be shared here ;) 


Satara HM 2015

Satara is located in Maharashtra  not very far from Pune, Mahabaleshwar located in western ghat. PaceMakers decided to run this HM instead of Hyderabad beginning of the year and booked a complete hotel in February itself. That caused a uproar in Indian armature running community. The registration for Satara HM for out station also got closed as there is a limited hotel accommodation in this town.  Personally I was not very keen to run to it given the remote location and no direct train and flight. So registered for Hyderabad HM which was only a week before.  Then one day there was a twist :) Satara HM opened additional 300 slots for outstation runners and I applied. The organizers came out with noble and unique idea to accommodate runners via home-stay(B&B).

Initially was supposed to travel in a XUV 500 which got cancelled at the last minute but being part of a bigger group was able to find a free slot in the Bus and traveled with the team. The journey was long and was tired and slept most of the Saturday afternoon as soon reached hotel. The team went to explore the famous Khas that i missed completely.

The race started at 6, the starting point was 800M from the hotel. The route profile is very simple UP to the half way half mark and down :). Between 4-7KM is the steep part. I was very unsure how the race will turn up after running AHM a week before. I started my own thinking not to collapse or doing something stupid during the race and also giving my best. Like last week had a GU Gel as pre-race and one around 9KM mark.

I am very happy and pleasantly surprised to see my result. I was on the top 10 of my age category. There were 3 from PaceMakers ahead of me :). As usual our group collected many silverware.

Some pictures from the trip

Hill Section Going Up

At the Start Line

Reaching Finish line 200M more
PaceMakers BIB collection
PaceMakers @ Start
PaceMakers leaving  hotel
Hill Section .. moving legs :)
Waiting for food
My Chicken Thali with Bajra Roti


43 seconds and counting

Third year in a row ran Airtel Hyderabad half marathon yesterday. There was many things which were different from 2013. Looking back 2013 was my second outstation race with PaceMakers. We traveled in train and return journey was not a great one as we had to travel in sleeper class. The fun was most of us did not had bed linen as we forgot how it was to travel in sleeper class. So Last year though I went with group in train booked my flight ticket for returning and that way I was back home on Sunday itself.

Coming to 2015 booked air tickets for going as well. Left Bangalore in the Saturday evening as reached Hyderabad in time for an early dinner and heading to bed. My roommate was running full 42.2KM in the toughest city marathon of India. Did not had a good night sleep not from pre-race anxiety but due to poor room quality of WoodBridge Grand. This hotel is getting dropped from our Hyderabad running hotels.

In the morning all the autos were asking exorbitant price in the early to morning to take me to starting point which was only 2 KM away. SoI kept walking and good Samaritan offered a ride in his car to Necklace Road railway station.

Was delighted and surprised to meet up with Prithvi Reddy. It is great that he is running and this was his second year doing Half Marathon.

Did proper warm-up with few PaceMakers and was confident for a good enjoyable run. But my Garmin went off before even the race could start :) Not sure what went wrong as I recollect had charged it before leaving Bangalore. Had one large Banana at hotel around 4:45AM & Clif-Gel around 5:45. The digital clock went down before the race director could flag off the race so it was not just me having trouble with watch in the early morning.

Knew  I was running strong as was able to see Brojen in front of me even though the gap between us was widening. Till the first flyover I could see him but  after 5KM mark he really took off.  I had a glass of energy drink around 7/8KM mark and another gel around 11KM with water. I love my coffee. I tried my best to cover up on the downhill parts knowing the course my heart now. Naidu (another PaceMakers) caught up with me around 15KM mark. Asked him what speed he was running and he mentioned something around 5, did not bother with that data as I had only one thing in my mind the last 3 KMs with Gachibowli flyover. Last two years this is where had my trouble and had to walk for few steps. Surprisingly this year there were families with nice Bollywood numbers to cheer runners and I crossed it without much trouble.

But the at the end there was no mark of how much is left and once again there was surprise. As this year also the entry to the stadium was changed and I was not sure how much is left. Only once I saw the stadium entry I started sprinting to the finish line. The clock at the finish line was clicking 1:43:XX and my heart had no joy as at last I felt I cracked the 1:45 mark. I was not super confident with the clock as did not have my own watch to double confirm the same.

So with lots of selfies and groupies and chit chat with known runners we headed back for hotel. But getting taxi was not easy but at the end we managed one with bribe ;). The driver switched off his GPS phone with Uber. The uber guys caked him few times and he ensured to maintain a silence.
The lunch was HUGE at DineHill but these year we were very few runners there. But the whole celebration of 1:45 got busted as soon we reached hotel with SMS from TimingIndia. It said my provisional timing is 1:45:43.

Oh! Now you tell me the value of 43 seconds and the difficulties I had to explain the same to my non running friends.  It was great  to run at an average 5 KM pace for the whole distance. The weather helped big time but somehow feeling down. In three years my ranking and running had improved (2013 - 2:01, 2014 1:50) but I am no longer super excited.

At last and not the list, thanks a ton to Hyderabad Runners for their execution in a flawless running event. There were volunteers who were excited and enthusiastic not just holding glass of water. The post run arrangement was also great with zero waste. Even though there is nothing new after this 3rd edition for me might comeback one day to complete the ‘toughest city marathon’ one day. Till then À bientôt.


What a Saturday

Woke up at 4:25 AM ; it was supposed it be a a long day for me  as I try to run 39 KM practice run in a easy pace. Though I am not going to participate in the upcoming SCMM (Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon) 2015 I decided to stick with the full marathoner group to see how grueling their preparation can be. 

Assembled at 4:45 in front of the NCBS gate and met an ultra marathoner from our running group who already covered 23KM starting from 02:30 AM. Oh! boy still trying to keep my eyes and mind open and then you see this great guy who is running with a BIG SMILE. Really he is a person with big heart and great smile. He has transitioned to braefoot and was holding a small flashlight as he keeps on running in dark.

Being December we  decided to run only in the lighted area till sky gets clear which is almost an hour away. We started at 5:15 sharp and continued till almost 12 KM. Somehow I was running alone though there were two just running behind me.  I realized  missed the first planned water break after an hour but continued with them. Now sky being clear went for the full round of GKVK and completed 22KM. Had a banana and water and went out for the next  round. Somehow in the mind I was determined for 35KM as was not sure on 39KM. A week before only could do  a 30KM of running around Jakkur lake

As I crossed 28KM I started to feel my calf is burning with pain and I am slowing down.  I kept on saying to myself there is no stopping before 35.  I completed 30KM in 2:50 which was a very impressive achievement in itself. And completed 5 more in 3:22 :)  but  had to stop with my legs.

Good thing now these cramps comes after 30/33K earlier may be 18/20K.

Came home with  a quick shower was back to normal. It was a school day for Pamela as they had big annual day for senior class. While me and Aarush decided to bake a cake (Mocha Pudding) of his choice. Aarush was real gentle he allowed me to take a proper nap in the afternoon and did not touched iPad ;) woke me up on the correct time. 

The cake was second one from the new cook book called "1 Mix 50 Cakes".  All went super smooth, cake came out nice. Pamela called saying she is on her way to home and I thought to clean up few tea cups and glasses from sink and BANG  I realized the glass I was holding slipped & hit the side of the sink and oh! no blood and blood all around. 

I had no choice and  tried to put turmeric powder from kitchen shelf to stop the flow, it slowed down but could not stopped it completely.   I prepare myself to drive down to hospital and luckily Pamela made her entry as an angel in the door. We three went to hospital emergency. Soon it was all about getting the wound cleaned and prepared for the stitch work.  Got four stitches on my little left finger and headed back home.  

Could not stop myself thinking about the definition of accident.... while in road many a times it is because two or  three person taking chance and they met an accident and later blame each other for the same. Here there was not a single soul around me. God knows how many times washed fragile items and nothing happened and today after cutting  so many wine bottles with perfection I am wounded without any anticipation. 

Still this Saturday will be remembered  as one of my best run and awesome cake :) 


Sharat - when rains give way to the early autumn with blue skies, mid-August to mid-October.

Month of September 2014 was a unique one. It started like just another month of the year.

Honestly it has 17th September which is most times ‘Bishwakarma Puja’ and Pamela’s B’day and that is how I remember it. From childhood Bishwakarma puja has a special mention growing up in Tripura. After Saraswati puja in January/February there was no major festival till Bishwakarma Puja. And there used to pandals and people going out in the evening to visit those pandals. Also soon after Bishwakarma Puja the annual festival season starts where we celebrate Durga Puja and others. And normally the weather would be great where monsoon is over and climate were getting pleasant. 

But you ask about the weather for 2014 it is a mixed bag. The monsoon was delayed in Bangalore there was hardly much rain during June and July. The rain started to pick up in September and October and we had 2014 a one of the wettest year in recent time where there was traffic chaos and what now when it rained heavily for few days in September and October.

Personally was in a training plan to run my first Marathon(42.2KM) with practice with maiden Bengaluru Marathon. But my training came to grinding halt as suddenly things at family took a turn for worse. Pamela had to rush to Durg to take care of her father who was sadly hospitalized after a severe fall. Me and Aarush managed well in Bangalore. It was bit of a driving as I had to drop him early in the west of Bangalore and come to work in the east. 

End of September the price of IPhone 5 started to drop in Indian on-line stores. Last year (2013) I also noticed the same for one phone which I was willing to spend but ten realized the price starts to go up after the initial offer. So this year I made no mistake and booked one IPhone 5s for 33K and there was some cashback offers from leading credit card companies. Ironically the price of 5s now at 42K INR after the Iphone 6 came to market. Not sure who will buy a older product when the newer one is not that far off. A person who is willing to spent 42K Sure will justify a spent of 53K for the latest model. 

I am not an apple fan boy but have to admit the phone is what I was looking for ? and loving it so far so good.

The Durga puja was a special one as we celebrated the same in Bangalore with one of my beloved maternal-aunt and her family. So we have the usual pendal hopping eating outside. The 3 days just flew away. 

Now with all that came my birthday which was a very simple affair as things was not great again in Durg. And 4 days after that was Bangalore marathon. I had to make a hard choice of either run a Half Marathon or crawl a full marathon and after lot of deliberation I opted for the 1st one. It was an wise decision as I was struggling with 26 KM after coming back to running after an month. 

So here is my quick report on Bangalore Marathon. 

1:47:10 @ Avg 5:03!!

Enjoyed the race, did not had any target in mind at start other than finishing strong. Enjoyed the run and went with family for the Charity run after that. Here is my splits looks like if I practice well a 1:45 for HM in a good race is a possible target. Special thanks to Kothandapani Sir and my extended family of PaceMakers. UNfortunately the world media picked one news which was not great when lead pack of runners lost race route. The race organizers were great who shared the price money to these individuals in later days.

Thankfully I picked up long running again on the weekends and back to 30+KM on weekends but still a full marathon looks so daunting task.


Airtel Hyderabad Half Marathon 2014

After Chennai DRHM event the event I signed up for was Airtel Hyderabad Half Marathon. This run is little special to me as received my first ever finisher T-shirt last year as a proof of my improvement in running. Also there is the big culinary charm of Dine-hill and Karachi biscuits as post run celebration.

Booked myself a return flight as soon as the dates for AHM 2014 was out. Few of my fellow runners also opted for the same as soon as I posted the same in our FaceBook group.

The initial count was around 40 people going from our group alone this year but pre-race almost half of them dropped out due to various reasons. Myself was in worst running form as I got a Viral beginning of August which kept me away from any physical activity for 2 weeks. Just before the race week restarted running and was not even in a position to complete an easy pace 20km before the race week.

The train journey on Garib-Rath was wonderful with all the fellow runners. This time I did not took any food for myself for own dinner but there was so much homemade food on the train from others. I did not get much sleep over night but it was OK.

We got down at Begaumpet railway station and another running group (BHUKMP) from Bangalore joined us. This time we were staying together in a super nice hotel called Marigold. It was a chatty walk from the railway station to the hotel. Hotel staffs were super-efficient as they managed to checked-in 60+ runners with ease and then we had a big breakfast. I had lots of healthy stuff lots of curd, fruits and muesli. 

We went to expo from hotel thanks to Uber for free ride ;)

The expo was mixed bag most counters were well-organized and we were handed our running BIB and goody bag promptly but few were not so lucky. Met with lots of great runners with full ‘Josh’ (enthusiasm) whom came from across the country. Realized there will be no finisher t-shirt for the top runners from Nike. In a way it took off lots of pressure from me as I was not really ready for a race yet.

After returning to the hotel I declined to join the group lunch as every one headed to Paradise for the famous biryani and ‘qubani ka meetha’

After watching TV and some nap I got up in the evening and joined the group again for a early dinner. Had a light dinner with lots of Dal (lenthil) and curd.

Race-day : Woke up around 4AM, had a quick shower and had two banana and couple of dates. Dressed myself for a hot and sunny day. Again thanks to Uber reached the starting point of Necklace road. By the time we finished warm-up could already feel it was going to be a very hot day. 

I ensured to take water break at 2KM and 6KM early on. Thanks to Metro work there was some shades from those safety partitions. But soon they were also gone. I was running alone all along as could not find any one with a similar pace to run along. Most of the time I was crossing someone but there were few who crossed me along the whole path. 

As I ran this race before I was mentally strong and was able to map the course mentally and pushed myself for the best. I was also ensure that I was enjoying the run I ensured to thank many volunteers and give them high-five as I crossed them The volunteers specially Waste Warriors did a superb job of ensuring the street remains clutter free. I had my Glue-Gel around 11KM mark I did not tried any pre-race gel. 

All was going fine and I knew the last fly-over will be a killer and it really killed me. It was the worst as I almost lost the battle with it 18 KM was my slowest when I reviewed my Garmin later. I tried my best to push myself as I was approaching G. M. C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium. But to my surprise the entry to the stadium was changed from last year and I was completely hear-broken as I did not have any energy in myself to push further. Somewhere I knew it was only 500m to complete the race but I also not sure if it was 700m as did not want to victim of heat, dehydration and another DNF at the last meters.

I did what I best could and finished the race at 1:50:29. It was huge improvement compared to last year the result below is the testimony. The heat and sun was a killer this year and my face tells that. 

In a way very happy that I finished strong but on the other hand I wished I had little extra energy and strategy to finish the same around 1:48 and wished to run along someone as it was a boring city roads and flyovers.

It was the last outstation race of the year 2014-15 for me. 


DRHM Chennai 2014

Enough is enough I said to myself before I started to write down my experience with 2014 Chennai Dream Runners Half marathon. After waiting for weeks and getting constant update on social media that my friends are being tagged in various albums I could not found a single picture of myself what a pity when everyone was clicking with those super sharp DSLRs and smart phones.

Like last year we travelled to Chennai in Shatabdi Express on Saturday starting  early morning from Bangalore. The train journey was fun there were many familiar faces along with few faces of our group. Some from the last year opted out this year but at the end it was almost same number of people. Had a good sleep on train this time and could not participate in 'Gupshap'. The journey to hotel this year was very smooth compared to last year as we had a local Chennaite with us. We got down from the bus right in front of our hotel in Adiyar.

Had a big tasty south Indian veg-lunch at Sangeetha; the walk from the hotel was little long as we got used to the hot & humid Chennai. I tried my best to skip sleeping in the afternoon, evening we had long chat over tea/coffee at Anand Bhavan about running and various upcoming events like how and when we are going to participate on those. Suddenly it started to  rain like cat and dog which was refreshing and brought down the temperature little bit but shooted  humidity to higher level. Dinner was a low key affair for us who opted to come back to Anand Bhavan. Some of our friends had the dinner at hotel and was not so delighted with their service.

There was the Iran Argentina group match for World Cup and I wanted to watch it so I kept myself glued to the TV till half-time. A great defense and tactical match from Iran where they blocked Argentina from scoring anything till the last minute.

I got up around 3:45 as we were supposed to assemble at hotel lobby at 4:15 ; I had one banana, one Parx chocolate some dates and some water. Remembering last year I tried to drink water previous day to hydrate my body and kept my food simple. The moment came out of the AC room realized this morning is going to be a tough one.  We jogged from hotel to the start line which was around 1.6KM, by the time we reached the starting pointed many of us were socked in sweat. Personally dressed very light in a super thin sleeveless vest to keep myself cool.

Started the run with fellow runners from my running group and by the time we crossed 2KM mark we were completley sweating. But the good part the sky was dark and we were doing around 5 minute a KM for first 8 or 9 KM. In that course me & my running buddy crossed few others from our running group who normally runs faster than us. It was a good and bad sign - definitely I did not had a target , its either a sign of running  fast now and having a  physical problem in the later part  or the weather is playing its part and we are coping  better than others.

Around 9 KM when we were running along the beach my running buddy slowed down a bit and I continued with the pace that I was comfortable and stopped looking at GARMIN.  Around 18th KM meet with all the slow runners / walkers from 10K race and had to navigate them as I passed. Around 19th KM near Adiyar bridge found the local Chennaite from our group running very strong and crossed me. That motivated me to follow him and I kept reminding myself how a 2KM feels like in our practice runs and tried to make my strides longer.  I did my best to finish strong and gave my best in last 500 meters or so.

As I was relatively faster this time there was not so much queue for post run breakfast I drank many cold bottle of water which were easily available that time. My roommate did a wonderful run of 10K and cut-down his previous best record by 4 min to complete the same in 42 minutes and was celebrating the same. Called Pamela to let her know I was fine and all went OK.

After 10/15 minutes or so when we as a group started to ensemble someone reported one of from our group is having health issue and need medical assistant. I went and was with him during the whole time he was dehydrated and collapsed after finishing the race & while waiting in breakfast queue. Any way he had a bad time with dehydration which caused his BP to go down and needed drip. Oh! tell you when you are in medical tent of a race you see the whole race and post-race celebration with a different lens.

Met with LilyDi  and SameerDaa for lunch at their home, wow what a yummy food it was with so many courses of fish.

As usual train ride back to Bangalore was less eventful and many had a nap after a hard  race day.

I  did a personal best this time which I realized little late, for me being able to run and enjoy the same was more important than the time. But I think these few things really helped me in getting there.

  • Train enough and train hard for race, as race has so many unknown.
  • Taper down your training .
  • Rest enough even it means watching TV or reading a book if you do not get proper sleep in hotel bed.
  • Try your best to keep mind away from ‘target’, ‘pace’ and ‘timing’ just  enjoy the run as much as you can unless your are professional runner.
  • Dress accordingly avoid experiment.
  • Hydrate enough but do not overdo it like I did last year where I was barely running the last 5KMs. So I kept a water bottle with myself 6KM onwards and had small gulp on regular intervals. But I did not stopped in many water station as I like to have water when I want.  Some cannot run with a bottle in their hand so it is better to stop at water station and drink , find out what works for you.
  • Do not try to eat too much or too fancy on previous day.
  • If you have friends or relatives to meetup keep it post-race.

And here are those 1000+ of pictures which I checked meticulously to find myself in vain :(


Mysore Half Marathon 2013

This was Mysore Celebration Run 2013 ; well there was BIG celebration at Pacemakers running group. Coach was brand ambassador of the run, we had a promo run in Bangalore for the same. Few runners from group also got featured in Life is Calling's web site.

Initially I was against this run as I rescheduled my Mother's return flight from Bangalore to Siliguri on the same Sunday :(. But big thanks to Maa and Pamela as they supported to run me this event. Initial plan was Pamela to drop Maa at airport, but at the end Maa said she would go via Taxi of her own. I traveled in car with fellow runners post lunch on Saturday and with small coffee break reached Mysore around 18:30. We had a simple South-Indian rice meal - a well carb-loading with rice. The hotel we stayed was 100 meters from the start/finish line.

On the race day we did not had to wake up that early compared to weekends run as run was starting at 06:30. Prepared myself for a hot day with a very light sleeve-less , ca and sun-glass. Was double minded about the tee as it felt little chilled as we walked out of the hotel. But as soon as did warm-up felt great about the choice of attire.

Initial plan I had in my mind was to stick with one lady runner from our group and try to finish as best I could. We started together but around 2KM mark there was little down hill and I continued my pace which I was comfortable once I go ahead from her. I continued my own pace and most time did not checked my garmin at all. I knew I was running faster than normal weekend runs but there was no discomfort. Around the lake where we took "U" turn could see all the the elites were coming back and a majority of them were from our group. Around 17 and 18 KM I wish the finish line was nearer as mind always plays devil game at the end.

The last 500 Meters there were Pacemakers waiting to cheers and pace the last part. I tired my best to push myself and get get a 1:50 finish. Well a minute shorter I would have beat my own record from 2003. But the length of the race is not 21.1 so if I really need to finish 1:50 next time I need to save 2/3 minutes overall and a target of around 1:45 would be dream come true.

Special thank to Flashbulbzz for the capturing these wonder pictures.



Blessing is a simple word, but yesterday night (Monday) just before sleeping I was thinking about the same again and again. Wished for a gadget to record my thought as I was too tired to use any keyboard or voice recorder. At times we  wonder and sometime make fun of those award ceremonies where people on the stage  keep on thanking people around him or her and sometimes even their dogs. I always love to read the preface of a book where authors thank about their loved ones and early critics and business partners. Webby Award (considered as Oscar of Internet) being techie kept it simple --- as they have "5 word Acceptance Speeches” rule. Well I was not thinking about those awards and long speeches but more about the people around me who are allowing me to cherish my daily life on my own way.

After a horrible finish in Bangalore TCS 10K(1hr plus) and Chennai Half Marathon(2:27 my watch/2:09 race web site). I was determined to be regular with Coach Kothandapani K C and Pacemakers group. Earlier, was just running once a week with the group on weekend for long run and that too bit irregular. Now for one month started to leave home at 4:30 AM to reach Kanteerava Stadium for Tuesday and Thursday training. Tuesday, is interval training something I never ever tired before when I  started to run,  in early 2000. I struggled for weeks but eventually saw some improvement in me but there is still a lot to go. Thursdays we do tempo or core strengthening exercise which really helps running as core is the power house of our body. And couple of Nandi hill runs on the weekend ensured we were not scared of those flyovers in upcoming Airtel Hyderabad Half Marathon .

In recent time, asked my younger brother to ship a  pair of running  shoes (4E-wide feet) & Garmin(GPS Watch). These items were personally carried to Bangalore by friends and colleague from US. These items are not easily available in India and if they are, they cost an arm and leg.

Can not thank enough Pamela for being there like a rock. Now a days, Pamela rushes faster than Bolt on those 2 days as she prepares breakfast, lunch box  and ensures Aarush and herself is ready with shower, breakfast and out of home by 07:30 to be at school on time.  Also,  in recent time lucky to have family members around who baby-seated Aarush on Saturdays as we are now running on Saturdays for long run instead of Sundays.

The result just speak for itself, finished Hyderabad Half Marathon strong with 2:01:33 on my Garmin. It is my best in recent time and  I am happy with the split timing for each Kilometers. I was consistent throughout and had only few kilometers where I ran slower than pace 6. The last KM I was able to push myself and was around 5:10 pace again ; where crossed a fellow runner from the running group and felt like winning the Gold medal. Yes, there was hard work, determination, strategy which helped me to achieve this. A minute shorter would have been a icing on the cake. But again, all these could not have been possible without these people and their belief in me; so feeling really blessed.

The race was an amazing one, met few finest Indian runners from other cities. The arrangement of transport, train tickets, hotel arrangement was too good; again special thanks to Coach and pacemakers team for that. The post-run lunch was something which I am going to drool and talk about for months to come. It was a unmarked restaurant named "Dine Hill", we were bit hesitant initially but once went inside for food; seeing the people and their plates we got a big cultural shock. There were those huge dishes which are as big as the size of the table and 4-5 people eat together from the same plate. We asked the restaurant guy if he is going to give us separate plate; He said YES but added why do not you try this way of sharing and eating food with friends - love grows between friends.


Chennai DRHM

Chennai DRHM ( Dream Runners Half Marathon) was on 1st Sunday of July i.e. 7th July 2013. It was the first run out of Bangalore for me. Last time I registered for Mumbai Standard Chartered was in 2008 and was gifted with Aarush just few days before the race :D  Well Aarush is the reason why I can not run on weekdays morning but he is the catalyst who introduced me to The Pacemakers running group of Bangalore.

 It was a great escape for me from Bangalore and daily routine. a big thanks to Pamela for supporting me on this. Knew it was not going to be my best run given the fact I was not practicing at all. The last time ran was beginning of June after that it was all about running around household and office work. Working late and on weekends and busy with Aarush's school and what not. In fact I was so messed up  posted The Pacemakers  Facebook page that “I am not going” but thanks to Pamela after an hour  posted  “I will” be going.

Thanks to fellow runners a cab was booked and woke up Saturday Morning at 4:30 and meet them at the gate at 5. We were at Containment Station by 5:40 where already few fellow runners were waiting, at 6:10 boarded the Shatabdi. The train journey was fun brought back the memory of college days where traveled  in a large group for the last time.  It was fun to be noisy and so many small group chit chat ... it was real entertaining.

As soon reached Chennai the humid heat welcomed us and oh! that smell of Chennai Central. Thanks to our Tamil friends we moved to the electrical (local)  train platform and took a local train towards hotel, the last part from station to hotel was long walk . We crossed many ministerial bungalows as walked from Station to our hotel Raj Palace.

Reaching hotel there was enough opinions for lunch venue/cuisine between 30+ hungry stomachs personally stayed back had the same in the hotel and had a long nap till dark. It was ladies Final at Wimbledon and soon our room was packed with 20+ people as it is more fun to watch in group. Everyone thought it would be a big fight between German and French. But Bartoli finished the tournament quickly in a straight set with ace. Well she did not beat any big names in this tournament but she beat those who did ... a dream came true.

Dinner was like lunch again many opinion and this time personally went out to explore little beyond hotel to ‘Saravana Bhavan’ the place was packed as usual and had Paneer Dosa a foolish choice before a long run tried to mitigate with Dahi Vada (yogurt to neutralize the richness of Cottage Cheese and oil) . The bus ride back to hotel was long we had we had a walk mile personally liked it after a big meal.

Race Day ….

Woke up at 3:30 had a quick shower and realized it is going to be a tough one as was not feeling good in stomach. We were supposed to be out of hotel by 4 but there was big time drama by the arranged cab drivers, was part of the last drop. The sky was dark with cloud and it rained a lot in the night but still the weather felt hot and very very humid bay around 75~85%  precipitation. Tried to follow Coach’s warm-up session but the school ground was full of sand and dropped out from the running one. The race started at 5 and started my stop watch for the first time running with a watch and that too a GPS enabled,  started with few pacemakers for the first few kilometers and then started running of my own pace which  felt very good about. And every Kilometers Garmin showed my speed and all was looking very nice. Soon say the lead runner coming back and it was none other than our Nanjundappa. The second runner was at least a KM behind him. Soon saw many of the Pacemakers taking the turn. But my run took a downhill  as I struggled from 13KM onwards. I felt there are too much water in my bladder and I am tired from the humid condition.  So I walked run and continued till the end and many people crossed me in that process. The 2 KM I tried again to push myself but by that time I was out. As soon as I finished the race said bye to pacemakers group and walked back to hotel. Well it was a long walk but did not want to haggle with Autos.

The race was very organized with lots of police and volunteers and roads are so good that it does not seem like India. The coarse was also perfect as we ran along Bay of Bengal and the famous Marina Bay only humidity was a concern but there is no way we can avoid that in this time of the year. The sun was completely out as sky was covered with dark cloud I think it can not be better than this in July in Chennai.

Reaching Hotel, freshened up had a big breakfast and by that time all others also came back. There was a celebration in hotel where someone walked and got beers  personally skipped beer just after exercise but the fun was too good to be missed.  The train  journey back was as much fun but this time everyone was little bit tired. Enjoyed every moment of this trip and next is one going to be Hyderabad Half Marathon  in late August. Well the result below is wrong to my it will be in the range of 2:27. In TCS 10k official time made me mad now it is making me smile :D


Running Paris Versailles

Almost after one and half year I was running in any event. The weather was very grey but it was very pleasant for running. Temperature was around 16 degree Celsius. The race was 17KM long starting from bottom of Eiffel Tower to Château de Versailles.

For the first time, Pamela accompanied me to the starting point of the course so as to take a photo of mine with Eiffel Tower. The first part of the run was along River Seine and then it goes to Forest of Meudon; this was the most crucial part as it has a steep climb (approx.2kms).

Well, the water stops were quite nicely spaced and I did not felt like a trash any time during the whole course. There were around seventeen thousands people in total but at a time only 350 runners departs so when I started it was almost 30 minutes after the first group started.Anyway, the route was quite scenic as the main part was bit away from the city in the forest & I finished by 1h 29mn 59s which is not that bad :D

Day 3 - Rishikesh

The weather looked gloomy with an overcast sky as we woke up. We had breakfast at the hotel and decided to visit Rishikesh today. Again we...