Skip to main content

A couple of marathon to my name - finally!

You are stupid and inexperienced if your first half of the race is faster than the second half.
You are untrained if you cannot run above zone 3 for a full marathon.
You are stupid if you don't plan your hydration and nutrition for a race that takes more than 3 hours.

Waiting for opportinity

I hadn't run a marathon till October 2014. But I had done one in Lalbagh garden in 2012 on my own. But generally, I don't have the motivation to go out and run such a long distance without the right atmosphere. Bangalore didn't have any such event except the oddly timed mid-night marathon, which has very unattractive course. I also don't have the time and energy to travel to other cities to do one. So, when Bengaluru Marathon (www.bengalurumarathon.in) was first announced, I jumped in immediately and I was one of the early birds to register getting free tees.

2014 Bengaluru Marathon

I set a 3 hours target for this marathon. This is a stiff target, specially considering my lack of experience. I had done only one half marathon and that too was a slow one that took 92 minutes. So, running a double distance with more or less the same pace was a big challenge. But I practiced decently well, running thrice a week, two months before the event itself, most sessions spanning about 90 minutes and covering a distance of mostly 20 km. Two months of training is a lot for me, because I train for two weeks for most other races I participate.

Surprisingly, my work schedule that usually goes easy became hectic in the run up to the event. I also registered for the first Bliss In the Hills, which is a 1200 km cycling through mountains with elevation gain of near 15,000 meters. Bliss In the Hills happened too close, just the weekend before the marathon. So, I didn't have any room for recovery, leave alone additional training. I did try a 10 km run in between to test if I was ready for a 42 km at that condition. I pushed for a 45 mins 10 km and that probably drained my energy more.

Anyhow, I ran carrying a bottle of gatorade. No nutrition and not enough hydration. Out of grit, I pushed myself hard and finished in 3:32:49. I felt really bad about it and I decided to run the mid night marathon. I registered, but something else came up and I couldn't run.

2015 Bengaluru Marathon

I wanted to do well this time. But again, I couldn't train. I was without the support of my father-in-laws, who used to help with my kids study and school pickup and drop. I was in a water tight schedule to balance work and family. When my in laws returned in mid of September, I had to cover up my work as well. So, no training at all. Meanwhile, I decided to ride the Bliss In the Hills again with my Cleated Warriors team-mates, specially Ganapathy, who was my companion in my first 600 km ride in 2011. I did manage to run a 5 km. Ride Nandi repeats on one holiday. Accompanied wife for 17 km to practice for her first running event, half marathon in the same event. I also got to ride to Basavanabetta on Bakrid holiday. So, basically I was relying on my Bliss In the Hills ride as my training for the marathon. This ride is also a trial ride for something big coming on my way in the near future. Anyway, I finished the ride strong taking all the time I was given! I had two weeks gap this time before the marathon. So, I ran another 5 km and then another 10 km between - both in office treadmill.

Target 3:10

I was ill prepared. But I set myself a target of 3:10, but was going to accept even a 3:15 under the circumstance. My plan was to do 4:30 a km pace all throughout. I mixed three sachets of enerzals of 50g each in a bottle and mixed water just to make it liquid. Plan was to sip it and drink water from the aid station. It was working well. I also got to run with a bunch of around 6 runners who were running at my pace till the half way mark. Towards the U turn, it was up slope. A couple of them went ahead of me and the rest went behind me. I was still doing good but I knew that my energy was going to drop as I didn't have any nutrition. I didn't even bother to see what was there in the aid stations, but I think, there was no food until towards the last 10 km. Or did I not look carefully? Anyway, I continued. My bottle was empty at around 28 km mark. I relied on the aid stations for my 3:10 target. The target was still in sight though.

The mad crowd of half marathon

Half marathon was flagged off 65 minutes after us. So, at my pace, I was going to catch scores of them as they progress their second half. There was hardly any space for me to run straight. I still managed through. Then came the biggest problem. Each aid station was heavily crowded and it was almost impossible to grab a glass of water without stopping for a considerable time. At one station, I grabbed two bananas and I felt much better in energy level. I gulped some plain water in another station. Still, it was way below the required amount. I was running low now, with very low pulse rate, trying to simulate a higher heart rate. Hands and legs felt the lack of blood flow - a kind of numbness for the lack of a term in my dictionary. I started walking a few meters every 500 m in the last 4 km. The target was then revised to 3:16, then to 3:17 then to 3:18 and finally to 3:20. Finally I saw the last 500m sign post and I pushed.

A 3:20:21 finish. I was hoping for a prize, even if a 5th one in my age category of 35-40. When the result came out, I was 6th, two minute behind the 5th person. To my surprise, age category of 30-35 had lesser competition compared to 35-40. The older category of 40-45 was even tougher than 35-40. That is what mid-life crisis does to men! They are crazy and they are tough (LOL).

I will still do a sub-3 hour marathon sometime in the future, hopefully in the 2017 event as I plan to skip the 2016 one. A target in mind will at least keep me motivated to go back to the event at least. All I need is a two months training and some light nutrition on the course.

Keep running!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Family trek to Kumara Parvatha

What: A two day trek to Kumara Parvatha from Kukke Subramanya temple.
When: 23rd and 24th December 2018
Who: 31 people, including 14 children, of which 4 are aged 7 or 8 years.
Distance:

1.5 km to the start of trail.4.4 km till Bhattara Mane, 675m elevation gain5.5 km from Bhattara Mane till Kumara Parvatha peak with a gain of about 870m elevation gain. The distance will vary a bit based on how one selects the trail - some small steep sections had easier and longer alternate trails.
How I started trekking I had never written a blog on trekking. So, I will include a long journey to my treks and our family trekkers group.
I had climbed a few small hills in my childhood on the cheiraoba (Meitei new year which is usually either lunar calendar new year or the nakshatra calendar new year around start of spring). But we never considered those as treks. Fast forward to college and then job. My Trigent office took us to Antara Gange caves, which seemed like a trek or team outing. The thought of ex…

Trans Am Bike Race 2016 - My Accounts

Trans Am Bike Race is a race of about 7000 km with various kinds of terrain and landscape, temperature ranging from 0 degree Celsius to 42 degree, which can happen on the same day, altitudes from sea level to 11500 feet, with total gain of about 165,000 at a very conservative calculation. There are bad roads, rough roads, smooth roads, bear infested roads, thick forests, totally dry places. It takes through mostly country roads and there are places where supplies are 100 miles apart.
Writing about every detail of the experience for me alone will sound like J.K. Rowling's novel, leave alone about compiling stories that I got to hear from other riders. Here, I will try to give a gist of the race while I focus mostly on my journey, how I survived the distance in spite of a horrible health condition, that happened in a bad timing, and in spite of my lack of adaptability to a food habit that is poles apart from my regular eating routine.

I'm not a good writer who can make the stor…

A slushy attempt at 12 hours Bengaluru Endurance Run 2019

Just jotting down for the lack of time to write a nice blog :-)

Finished a crazy race yesterday. 12 hours Bengaluru Endurance Race 2019 (https://www.facebook.com/events/589577574846300/)

After the hypes around the beauty of Malnad Ultra, I wanted to experience it. So, I registered. But they put a qualifying criteria. I had to do either two marathons or an ultra no less than 75 km. I didn't have even a single marathon in the one year period they expected. I didn't have the enthusiasm to run two marathons just to qualify. So, I looked out for any ultra race. I didn't find any. So, I registered for Bengaluru Endurance Run 2019. Later, I discovered that Malnad Ultra would accept even if I logged my own run in garmin or strava and shared the link.

I decided to run the Bengaluru Endurance Run anyway. I had to decide on a hard 6 hours run or easier 12 hours run. 75 km in 6 hours would be too risky considering that I hadn't been running at all. The only ultra I ran was 100k i…