Monday, November 24, 2008

Philadelphia conquered in 5h 43m

Completed the Philadelphia Marathon yesterday!! My First Marathon!!

Took me 5 hours and 43 minutes to complete the 26.2 mile distance. I had hoped to finish in less than five hours, but I am not disappointed with the finish time.

The weather was very cold all through!! It was 26F when I left the hotel in the morning at around 5:00 AM, and it must have increased to 40F during the race. After training all through Summer in warm weather, the cold temperatures during the race was a bit of a challenge. However, it is much better the weather being cold than warm. I will take Frozen face and cold muscles over dehydration and sunburn any time.

Reached Philadelphia on Saturday morning by train; didn't drive to make sure I have a relaxed trip back home after the run. My friend and colleague John Zhang had some free time early in the morning, and he met me at the Train station and gave me a quick tour of the historic Philadelphia City. Spent most of the afternoon at the Health and Fitness Expo; stayed around for a while after picking up my number, speed tag and a goodie-bag with a T-shirt and other interesting stuff.

Forgot to pick up pins, and had to run the marathon without pinning on my number! That will make it difficult to get my photos from the marathon once it is on the Philadelphia Marathon web-site.

I had booked a hotel near Philadelphia Airport - three quarters of an hour away from the Marathon starting point; in hind-sight that seems to have been a bad decision - being close to the marathon starting point is preferable - especially for an early start. The good thing about the hotel is that it was at the airport and less than 2 minutes walking distance from the Train station!

Got to sleep by 8:00 PM on Saturday with the goal of waking up at 4:20 AM, but woke up sometime during the night and to my chagrin found it to be 9:30 PM!!! Try as I might, didn't get to sleep before 1:00 AM. Waking up in the morning was consequently a difficult proposition. Forced myself to get dressed for the race - in multiple layers, and made it to the 5:27 AM train. Got to the city by 6:00 AM and had a mile long walk from the station to the starting point - this was a good warming up before the start of the race.

A huge mistake I did before the start of the race was to not have breakfast! Consequently had to run the entire race with an empty stomach. I had planned to have breakfast at a Dunkin Donuts or a Starbucks after arriving in the City, but at such an early hour not a single cafe was open! If at all I am in this situation again, I will have my breakfast at the hotel, never mind how expensive it is ;-)

Around 8000 runners were running the Philadelphia Marathon this year, and there were more runners participating in the half-marathon and the 8K race. The participants in the marathon were started in different groups, and I was in the third wave which was started off around 7:20 AM.

Given that the weather was very cold, I ran very slowly in the beginning to allow for my muscles to warm up. The first few miles took us within the heart of the downtown - going past the City Hall, the Convention Center, Chinatown, Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Penn's Landing, Washington Square, and so on. The latter part of the marathon was mostly along the Schuylkill river and it made it for a scenic run.

The half-marathon and the full marathon shared the same trail - the half point for the full marathon being at the same place where the marathon started. By the time I came to the half way point, I was exhausted and was ready to call it quits. BUT I DID NOT QUIT!!

The second half of the marathon was gruelling; walked more than I liked to during this phase. The second half also was unique in that it was a out and back path, so runners who were a few miles ahead of me were coming in the opposite direction.

My empty stomach started growling after around 15 or 16 miles, and luckily within a few minutes there was a guy giving out candy and twizzlers. Bless his soul! Later on, there was another guy giving out chips and pretzels! The race organizers had arranged for water and gatorade supply every 2 miles or so, and it was perfect. I stopped at almost everyone of them and collected two half-filled glasses of gatorade to replenish myself on the way.

I was twittering frequently along the way, and quite a few friends sent text messages of encouragement during the race - that really made a difference giving me a boost in inspiration!! I even uploaded a photo of icicles forming on a rock face onto Facebook - thanks to Facebook Mobile on my iPhone!

The organizers had provided for a Runner tracking functionality on their web-site, which allowed for the family and friends to receive updates on their cellphone or pager or via email about the progress of the runners. I had signed up for the email updates, and got the following short messages:
08:09:46 Prakash Murthy, 00:34:21 (NET) @ 5K Pace 11:03 , Predicted 04:49:43.00.
09:09:52 Prakash Murthy, 01:09:29 (NET) @ 10K Pace 11:10 , Predicted 04:52:46.00.
09:16:41 Prakash Murthy, 01:48:11 (NET) @ 15K Pace 11:36 , Predicted 05:04:08.00.
10:38:33 Prakash Murthy, 03:10:03 (NET) @ 25K Pace 12:14 , Predicted 05:20:44.00.
12:21:58 Prakash Murthy, 03:51:06 (NET) @ 30K Pace 12:23 , Predicted 05:24:40.00.
12:52:58 Prakash Murthy, 05:24:25 (NET) @ 40K Pace 13:03 , Predicted 05:42:09.00.
13:11:29 Prakash Murthy, 05:42:56 (NET) @ Finish Pace 13:04
I did finish strong, overtaking a few runners in the last 100 meters or so. Felt great to hear "We have Prakash Murthy from Jersey City finishing up the race now"!!

The crowds were amazing all through the race!! People were cheering runners all along the 26 mile stretch. Amazing!! Students from Drexel University were standing outside their dorms with pots and pans and ladles making a lot of noise cheering the passing runners. One guy had made up a sign which said "No Stopping Here" and was holding it up for runners to see just after the 22 mile marker. Made me laugh, and also start to run.

I ran a very conservative race, and am proud of completing my first marathon successfully - still standing and still smiling!! All in all this was a terrific experience!!

The parting note on the marathon is a song which was played at around the 19th mile marker and was very inspiring to me. Here is Eye of the Tiger from Survivor!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

8 miles in 1h 37m in cold weather

Completed 8 miles in 1h37m in Liberty State Park today morning.

Started early - around 7:15 AM - to prepare for the 7:00 AM start in Philadelphia next week. It was cold and breezy! The temperatures must have been between 40 F and 45 F.

The first 3 miles almost were a big drag - warming up in the cold is a slow process! Also, without gloves, I could feel my hands getting frozen very quickly.

Will have to make sure I have a pair of gloves when I run next week. It will be mandatory to have gloves and a head band for the first couple of hours at least.

12 miles last Sunday

Forgot to record my 12 mile run last Sunday!!

Ran 12 miles two weeks prior to the Marathon as per the training plan last Sunday. It took me 2h 26m to complete the distance.

Monday, November 3, 2008

20 miles in 3h 53m at LSP

Ran 20 miles today afternoon! I am thrilled!

This is the longest run I have planned for before the Philadelphia Marathon on Nov 23rd.

Started running a little after noon; the weather was cold and cloudy - the temperatures must have been in the mid 50s - upper 60s. Since I had to take care of the vehicle inspection earlier in the day, I could start only at noon. It was kind of odd time to start as it wasn't yet time for Lunch when I started, and it was too late for Lunch by the time I finished.

Had planned to run at 5 miles per hour pace every hour and complete the 20 mile distance in four hours. Some of the milestones along the way are as follows:
10 mile - 1h 48m
13.1 mile - 2h 27m
15 mile - 2h 51m
18 mile - 3h 30m

I was wearing two layers of shirts and a single layer shorts - it was pleasant enough in the weather, though at some places where it was windy, I could feel the chill. I am expecting similar weather for the Marathon on Nov 23rd in Philly which is further south from here.

My car was parked in the free visitor parking lot near the kid's play area and the Columbus monument. This place is in the center and allowed me to create my own 2-3-4 mile long stretches for running and get back to the car for Gatorade and some cookies.

Overall it was a thoroughly enjoyable run. Looking forward to the 26.1 mile run in 17 days!

Friday, October 31, 2008

5.1 miles in 55 minutes in the Gym

Put aside many other things and focused on getting back to running.

Got back home straight from work - picked up dinner on the way - and went to the Gym and started running by 8:00 PM. With a Gatorade bottle in hand! Took a drinks break at around half way through.

The running was easy; felt comfortable and energized through out the run.

Planning for a 20 mile run on Monday, after being in the second week-end of the Introduction Leaders Program. Have taken Monday off from work - to do the long run, recover, catch up on a few stuff. The 20 mile run will be the longest I will run before the Philadelphia Marathon on 23rd November. Thrilled about it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

4 miles in 44 minutes on the treadmill

After more than three weeks break, got back to running today with a 4 mile run in the Gym. The rain and cold weather made it difficult to run outside. Nevertheless was glad to be running in the Gym on the treadmill. The three weeks break seemed to have made me really out of touch.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, there is less than a month for the Philly Marathon!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

18 miles in 3h 38m in LSP today morning

Ahhhhh, I ache all over! Put myself through an 18 mile run for the first time today morning, and it shows up in every part of my body :-)

After prepping myself mentally for a week (since finishing the Grete's Gallop Half-Marathon last Saturday) I was still very nervous and scared as I made my way to Liberty State Park this morning. Couldn't help laugh at the notion that I would be running for four hours today!

Started the run a little before 8:00 AM and completed a little before 11:40 AM. Had plans to start earlier - maybe around 6:30 AM or 7:00 AM - but was glad that it was 8:00 AM by the time I started as it was very chilly today morning. The temperatures were in the mid-50s and the Sun was just rising at that time.

The first three miles were a pain as with the last week's run. After that it became much easier to run. Started from the Parking lot close to the Columbus Monument, and ran along the various paved running paths in the park, always making sure that I come back to the Parking lot (and my car) every 2 to 3 miles. My car was stuffed with Gatorade bottles and some stuff for me to snack on and continue refreshed.

Completed the half marathon distance in 2h 36 minutes, which was much slower than last week's run.

The last three or four miles were a drag; just kept going - telling myself it is only a 5K I have to cover!

3h 38m was much better than I expected of my first shot at an 18 miler. I guess my first shot at the marathon distance will be a similar experience as well. One big difference would be that the watching crowd and fellow runners will motivate me to do much better at the Philly Marathon!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Three miles in 29 minutes

After a busy week, and taking the day off to recover today, got back to running. Went running in the evening at the running track in the Bayonne Park. Was aiming for a faster run today, and was able to achieve a sub-ten-minute-per-mile pace for the three miles run.

As I build up to the Marathon run on Nov 23rd, I may not be able to spend too much time running during the week days, but it would definitely be possible to put in these kinds of short three mile runs 3 or 4 times during the week.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Grete's Gallop half marathon in 2h and 16m

Terrific performance!! I am proud of my result today!!

Completed the Grete's Gallop half marathon in 2 hours and 16 minutes, shaving off a good 10 minutes from my previous best of 2 hours 26 minutes at the Queens Half Marathon three weeks ago!

From the way it started and even into the first two miles of the race, it did not look anything like it was going to end this way.

Started the day by oversleeping - shutting down my wake up alarm - and rushing to Central Park with barely enough time to get dressed for the race. Had to take my car into the City as there was very little time, and using the public transportation was out of the question.

Reached the starting point at 9:16 - 16 minutes later than the start time, and the organizers had already removed the start mat. So effectively my start time was noted down as 9:00 AM.

Did not have time to have breakfast! How could I do anything without toasted bagel and coffee to start the day with?!!

Also, did not have time to stretch and warm up - dove right into the race. The first two miles were really tough - my legs (particularly the left one) felt very heavy, and the thoughts of quitting flashed through my mind more than once.

After the second or third mile marker, after having a glass of gatorade, and getting inspired by the runners who were coming up along side me after completing the first round, I got into the race fully and felt I was much lighter. The stiffness in my legs were gone, and I could go faster in some of the stretches. I might have completed a couple of miles at 9:30 minutes per mile pace!

Coming up to 2 hours on my clock, I was comfortably placed to beat my previous best having covered 11 and half miles with just one and a half miles to go.

Got to the finish line with my clock showing 2h and 16m, and I was ecstatic!!

This performance augurs well for my preparation for the first marathon!! Exactly Seven weeks to go, and I am confidant about ramping up my abilities to be able to complete a full marathon of 26.2 miles in Philadelphia on Nov 23!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Less than seven weeks for my first marathon!

Nov 23rd is just 53 days away!!! OMG!!!

According to the recommended training for marathons, I should have run at least one run of 16 miles or more by now - seven weeks out. The longest run I have done so far is a half marathon distance. Not all that bad!


My goal for the first marathon is to finish, and finish FIT. It would be great if I can complete the full marathon in 4 and a half hours, but it is not a must. I will be happy just finishing even if it takes six hours!

I should be able to do it easily with systematic training over the next seven weeks, with greater emphasis on the long runs over the week-ends. I will be able to run at least on 5 of the 7 remaining week-ends. Also could take a couple of days vacation from work to fit in some running.

So definitely not an impossible task!

Tentative plan for long runs in the next seven week-ends:
  • Weekend Six - Saturday Oct 11th : 18 mile run
  • Weekend Six - Sunday Oct 11th : Volunteering at the Staten Island half marathon and getting inspired by the runners
  • Weekend Five - Oct 18th and 19th : No running possible; will be at Landmark "Reinventing the Enterprise" event
  • Weekend Five - Monday Oct 20th : A possible day off from work : 12 mile run
  • Weekend Four - Saturday Oct 25th : 15 mile run
  • Weekend Three - Saturday Nov 1st : 20 Mile run! (This means I will not be in the Fall Introduction Leaders Program!)
  • Weekend Two - Saturday Nov 8th : 12 Mile run
  • Weekend One - Saturday Nov 16th : 8 mile run
  • Weekend Zero - Sunday Nov 23rd : 26.2 miles at Philadelphia Marathon!!!!
  • Weekend Zero + 1 day : Monday Nov 24th : Back to normal life!

Looks good on paper. Now to make it happen for real!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Quarter marathon in 1 hour 11 minutes in LSP

Ran 6.55 miles in 1 hour 11 minutes today morning at Liberty State Park.

Still having a hectic time at work and at Landmark, and hence could not run during the week. Got myself to go running today for sure!

The weather was very pleasant in the upper 60s - lower 70s all along. Did two loops of from the south end to the north and back. Stopped for a Gatorade after the first run. The run was quite tiresome, especially in the first loop when my legs felt heavy.

Next Sunday is the Newport Liberty Half Marathon; will most likely run an additional 2 miles with the half marathon to do my first 15 mile run!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Queens Half Marathon in 2 hours 26 minutes

Completed the Queens Half Marathon today morning in 2 hours and 26 minutes!!

Wasn't sure if I would be able to run well today given that I had run only once in the last two weeks, and also haven't had good sleep in a few weeks. Consequently I am thrilled to have achieved my goal of completing the marathon in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes.

The early start at 7:00 AM meant I had to wake up at 4:15 AM to get ready and drive to MacNeil Park in Queens. I was quite motivated to get going today morning; easy traffic conditions ensured I was there at the start point way ahead of time. Turned out to be lucky as I got a partking spot very close to the start point. Got my number and speed chip, and had time to walk to the nearest Dunkin Donuts for a pre-race breakfast of Bagel with Cream Cheese and Coffee ;-)

The race was run through the residential area of College Point all through with the police blocking the roads for vehicular traffic; an unusual experience for me!

Met one interesting guy at the beginning of the race. He had dislocated his shoulder a month ago while racing against a colleague who had challenged him by saying "he is too fat to outpace him". This guy has been running the Queens Marathon for the last 9 years continuously and was here to keep his streak alive! I didn't wait at the end to see if he finished though.

The weather was pleasant to begin with and started to get hotter after a while. There were fluid stations at every even mile-marker. I stopped at each one to get a glass of gatorade and pour a glass of water on my head.

The 'band-aid-method' to cover my nipples while running did not work out today. I put on the band-aids after I had warmed up and sweated a bit; consequently they did not stick and fell off within the first two miles. Took off my shirt and ran without a shirt on for the rest of the distance to avoid bleeding.

Today's run was a thoroughly enjoyable run. It gives me confidence that I can finish strongly at the Philadelphia Marathon later this year, with regular long runs over the weekends till Nov 23rd!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Five miles in 57 odd minutes in LSP

Got back to running after the monster half-marathon last week. Legs are still sore, and mind and body unwilling. Unmotivated to run as I realize I am not in ship-shape to run the Queens Half-Marathon next Sunday, and also quite likely to not do well at the Philadelphia marathon.

Well, too bad I seem to be stuck in a rut!

Ran 5 Miles today morning in Liberty State Park, and now I feel good about it. It was not easy while running; wanted to give up many times; took walking breaks and completed 5 miles. My body seems to be warming up to the idea of long-running. I will have to run regularly this week to be in a good shape for the Queens Half-Marathon next week.

My goal for the half-marathon next week: To complete it in less than two and a half hours.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Survived the Monster Half-Marathon

Completed my first half-marathon today morning, at the Monster Marathon run in Virgil, NY!!

Took 3 hours and 31 minutes to handle the 13.1 mile distance run through the Virgil forest.

The run was through a hilly wooded area with enough uphill climbs to make it difficult for me to run continuously. Walked most of the climbs, especially the steep 1000+ feet elevation gain hill in the beginning - between mile one and two.

The half marathon distance was out and back on the same path, with many stream crossings and intersections with local roads (zero traffic!) along the way. The aid stations were placed at midway point and at the end of the 6.5 mile run. These aid stations made it easy for me to complete the distance; I was running from one aid station to the next.

After this one, the Queens half-marathon coming up in two weeks will be much easier!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

3 miles in 32:07 minutes in the dark

Went running after a full day at work for the first time today.

Reached home around 7:00 PM; relaxed a bit and then went running at around 8:00 PM in Lincoln Park. The park was mostly dark. Ran along the streets under the street lights for a while and then circled around a closed loop a few times till it became boring. Continued exploring the park in the dark, and ran along the huge artificial lake in the park.

My legs were stiff all along, and hence was surprised to see that I had completed the 3 mile distance in 32:07 minutes.

The Monster Half-Marathon this Sunday is weighing in heavily on my mind. It is my first marathon, and is a very difficult one with a huge altitude gain. It is also supposed to be very hot and inhospitable trail. All this is making me worried about successfully completing the half- marathon.

I don't have to run it, if I don't want to. More important thing now is to be able to run healthy. I will try my best at the Monster Half-marathon, and focus fully on the Queens Half-marathon two weeks later.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Six miles in 1 hour 15 minutes at Liberty State Park

Started the Sunday with a six mile run at Liberty State Park along with Siva. Completed the distance in one hour and fifteen minutes.

For the first time in my runs, I had to take a bathroom break - very surely induced by the cup of coffee I had before the start of the run. Luckily for me, Liberty State Park has clean toilets!

One question that has been on the forefront of my mind is whether I should or should not run in the Monster Half Marathon in Virgil next Sunday. If I run and complete it, it will be my first half marathon, and the first run at such distance. The difficult terrain which includes over 2700 feet of elevation gain coupled with the lack of adequate preparation is holding me back to take up this effort with a full heart. The NYRR Queens half-marathon is two weeks later on Sunday Sep 14th.

I will run in both! The Monster half would be a good one to begin with, as any time I set during this event will be easy to beat later on. Besides, completing the Monster half marathon will make running on flat surfaces look easier. That would be a good preparation for the Philadelphia Marathon in November, especially as it is just 90 days away!

Friday, August 22, 2008

9 Miles in 1 hour 55 minutes at Rockland Lake State Park

Accompanied Dr. Ashis Roy to the Self-Transcendence Marathon today at the Rockland Lake State Park.

Dr. Roy completed the marathon in 6:04
and won the special prize for being the oldest runner.

I ran 9 miles during the time Dr. Roy was running the marathon. I ran with him on his third round around the lake, but then found out that it was not a good idea to run with the participants of a race; for many reasons - one, it does not look good for the runner; two, there could be accusations of outsiders setting the pace for the runner.

While waiting for Dr. Roy to complete one lap around the lake - when I was to giving him Gatorade - I completed two sets of three miles to end up with 9 miles total mileage.

I have not been able to run much in the last week or two, mainly as I started a new job. I should be able to run more frequently from now on as I settle into a routine at work.

Friday, August 15, 2008

5 miles in 54:25 on Super Friday

Ran 5 miles today morning very early; started around 6:30 AM. Since I didn't get enough sleep yesterday, was not sure if I could complete the 5 mile distance. Managed to do it by running slow and steady.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

4 miles in 44:51 minutes at Liberty State Park

Back to running after almost a week!

Difficult run today - one of those I-Don't-Want-To-Run days. Stuck to the basics and ran slowly and steadily for 45 minutes to finish 4 miles. Need more of these kinds of running over the next two weeks to be reasonably successful at the Monster Half-Marathon on Aug 31st.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

First 2 hour run and first 11 mile run

Ran 11.15 miles in 2 hours today at the Rockland Lake State Park along the Hudson River in New York State! The longest I have run so far in terms of both distance and time.

Drove a little over an hour to the Rockland Lake State Park as a trial run before the Self-Transcendence Marathon next Friday when I will accompany Dr. Ashis Roy on his 85th Marathon.

The run was very pleasant and very picturesque. It is a 2.8 odd miles bike trail around a scenic lake. Very flat and very fast! I completed a little over three and a half rounds taking two drinks break - the first one after one round, and the second one after completing 8 miles.

I reached the 10 mile mark in 1:48 minutes, shaving off a full six minutes from the 1:54 I had accomplished on my Birthday. 11 miles was in 1 hour 58 minutes.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

5 miles in 51:56 on a day of running after a week break

Did not run for a week since last Tuesday's 10K run :(

Finally got around to run today and completed running 5 Miles at Liberty State Park, finishing the distance in 51:56 minutes.

Ran along the water-front walkway all the way to the Ferry Launching area, and then continued to run along the path adjacent to the boat docking area. Discovered a walkway connecting Jersey City to Liberty State Park at the end of Jersey Avenue near the Jersey City Medical Center building.

Today's run of 5 miles in 51:56 minutes is my personal best at this distance, shaving off more than a minute from the 53:08 minutes I accomplished at the Father's Day 5M in June.

Monday, August 4, 2008

9.3 miles on a lean week

Very little running last week! A 5K on Monday followed by a 10K on Tuesday.

Reasons, justifications, excuses, busy weekend - all resulted in not running after Tuesday. Nevertheless, the past few days have been of intense self-discovery and breakthroughs - very proud of myself! Have to re-commit to the goal of running a marathon this year, and get back to running and training regularly.

A few runs in the next few weeks of August:
  • A 10+ mile run in LSP this week.
  • A shorted run with friends at LSP on Sunday
  • A 12 mile+ run at Rockland Lake Park on Friday Aug 22nd accompanying Dr. Ashis Roy on his 85th Marathon
  • A half marathon - MY FIRST!! - at Virgil, NY on Sunday Aug 31st
Gotta make running a regular part of life....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

10K in 1 hour 8 minutes at Liberty State Park

Ran 10K (6.2 miles) today morning at Liberty State Park in 1 hour 8 minutes. The fact that I was running along the same path where I ran my first 10 Miler last Thursday made it easy for me to focus on finishing the 10K distance. I wasn't looking at my watch to know the distance or the time I had covered all the time, and just kept running, knowing that there was a long way to go before I complete the intended distance.

Took one water break after around 2.7 miles. The weather was on the warmer side; temperatures being in the lower 80s. There was a light breeze at times which made the running pleasant.

Monday, July 28, 2008

5K in 32:43 minutes in Bayonne Park

Got around to run four days after my first 10 mile run last Thursday, after a busy week-end due to the Communications Power to Create Course.

Went running around 3:30 PM in Bayonne park; since it was hot (temperatures in the upper 80s) I was running most of the time under the shades of the upper parts of Bayonne Park. Completing a 5K in 32 odd minutes without a break seems to be a much easier task now!

18 miles total last week

Ran 18 miles over three days of running last week. The break up is as follows:
Monday - 5 Miles
Tuesday - 3 Miles
Thursday - 10 miles

Have not been able to run over the past three days since I did the 10 mile run, mainly due to the Communication : Power to Create course I attended over the week-end.

This week is also going to be a tough one for running, with the fourth week-end of the Introduction Leaders Program coming up. Will try to do as much running as possible over the next four days.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

First ten miler on my Birthday

There are good days to run. And there are other types of days to run!

Today was a terrific day for running. Wonderful weather. Heavy rains last night had brought the temperatures down to mid 70s as compared to upper 80s and above for the past few days. I was also well rested, having slept deeply yesterday night and taking a break from running yesterday. I was also in high spirits thanks to the amazing love and friendship shown by many on the occasion of my Birthday!

Originally was thinking of running a Watchung Reservation, but decided to go to Liberty State park mainly due to the wet and soggy conditions likely to be there on the dirt tracks of Watchung Reservation. Concrete and tarred tracks of Liberty State park were perfect for running in these conditions.

Ran from around 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM - completing 10 miles in 1 hour and 54 minutes! I was energetic all along, and took only a couple of water breaks all through - the first break after an hour having completed 5.65 miles. There was quite a bit of juice left in me even after the 10 mile run - that is Goooood!

My Garmin Forerunner 305 clocked double digit mileage for the first time! I have taken a picture of this amazing feat for the sake of history!

I am proud of how much I have improved my running over the last few months. At the beginning of this year, I ran a 4M race and finished it in 51 minutes walking half the way. Now I run more than 5 miles without taking a walking break!!

Happy Birthday 2 me!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

3 miles in 31 minutes on the treadmill

Ran on the treadmill in the Gym for the first time since I started this blog. The temperatures in the upper 80s this after noon was not conducive for running outside.

While my intention was to run 5 miles, I stopped at 3 miles after 31 minutes. Did not push myself to go for the 5 miles run.

Monday, July 21, 2008

5 mile run in sweltering heat

The plan I put for this week in my previous post almost got derailed on the first day itself! Slept late yesterday night having been absorbed in Doris Kearns Goodwins's Team of Rivals and was too late to wake up and was not in a mood to run early in the morning. As the day wore, got bogged down by the non-progress on the RunWalkIndia efforts, and was in a general depressive mood.

Finally around 2:00 PM convinced myself that no matter how things are going, I should not give up on my own promise to myself, and hence set out to run 5 miles. Since it was very hot (temperature in the upper 90s) decided to drive all the way to Watchung reservation and run in the comparatively cooler and shaded trails.

Completed the 5 miles run - with a lot of stops and starts - in one hour and four minutes. While I didn't spend time on stretching either before or after the run, I walked almost a mile after finishing the run and that seems to have had the intended loosening effect on my legs.

Going to bed early today - keeping away from the story of Lincoln and his peers - to be in integrity with my promise for tomorrow morning ;-)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

18.25 miles total this week

Ran only four times this week, and totaled 18.25 miles. Four miles on Tuesday, 5 miles on Wednesday, 2.25 miles on Thursday and 8 miles on Saturday. Lost a bit of steam after Thursday, and recovered with a 8 mile long run on Saturday!

Next week will be a tricky week to have adequate amount of running included as I am busy both days of the week-end with the Communications Course at Landmark. Irrespective of next week's situation, I realize the benefit of planning out my workout schedule and include it in my overall plan for the week.

I want to run every day of the week - preferably in the mornings - and at least one of the week-end days.

Here is the plan for the next week:

Monday 5 Miles (Society Hill / Bayonne Park / Lincoln Park - Starting 6:00 AM)
Tuesday 5 Miles (Society Hill / Bayonne Park / Lincoln Park - Starting 6:00 AM)
Wednesday 5 Miles (Society Hill / Bayonne Park / Lincoln Park - Starting 6:00 AM)
Thursday (My Birthday!) 9 Miles (What better way to celebrate my Birthday than going farther than I have done so far! Most likely at the South Mountain Reservation starting 7:00 AM)
Saturday 4 Miles (Society Hill / Bayonne Park / Lincoln Park - Starting 6:00 AM)

Tough plan for the week ahead! I will be a tough guy and rise to the occasion!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Back to Running & back to Watchung for a 8 miler

After Thursday's shorter run, and a rest day on Friday, today too seemed to be ending up as a no-or-not-enough-running-day.

Getting home late yesterday night, and an ineffective alarm due to a muted cellphone ensured that I got up late for the 4 mile run in Central Park. Siva and Sridevi participated in the Run for Central Park 4M race and did wonderfully well, finishing in 42:00 and 48:55 minutes respectively.

Tried running in LSP in the morning, but the warm weather - and a lack of resolve - put an end to these aspirations.

The day got better with Raju answering my call to go running together; he was willing to go running today evening. Awesome! We went to Watchung Reservation with an intention of running 9 miles, and started running along one of the trails along the stream - took new paths which took us to the eastern end of the reservation - the intersection of I-78 and Summit Avenue. We headed back and stopped at the car for a drinks break after running 4.5 miles. We continued to run afterwards - with a little difficulty - and stopped at 8 miles after 1 hour 49 minutes.

Great run! I am happy to be back running!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

2.25 miles in 25 minutes

Went with an intention to do some speed workouts and complete 3 miles within 30 minutes. Finished the first mile in 9:50; the second mile was difficult after that! Stopped running after 2.25 miles.

I guess I am still too raw in terms of running; I have been running consistently and all through the week only from last week. I will focus on putting in longer runs for now, and work on speed later on.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

5 miles on a Don't-want-to-run day

Ran 5 miles in Bayonne Park today from 9:30 AM onwards. All through was thinking I will stop well short of 5 miles - maybe three miles or even four miles but no way five miles! However, continued to run mile after mile and finished 5 miles in 55:26 minutes.

Since I started rather late in the day, and it was a warm day, chose to run along the shaded parts of Bayonne Park for the most part. Ran on the running track for the last two miles - the running track being mostly open and being scorched by a bright sun.

Took one water break after running four miles.

Ever since Sunday's 10K race in Central Park, I am adding a sense of urgency in my running and am forcing myself to run faster than usual. Previously I used to run with the attitude that finishing is what matters, and hence was very slow at times - particularly over the latter part of longer runs. Now I try to push forward with pace even on the fourth or fifth mile and I am surprising myself by the effort I can put it despite being tired.

Actually what surprises me most is that running becomes easier after the first two or three miles! In the first couple of miles, my legs are stiff and running is a burden. I should add a mile's running as warm-up for future races. That way I am warmed up and ready to run when the race begins.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Four miles in 42:21 at Lincoln Park

Started the week with a four mile run at Lincoln Park. Was not feeling like running today and my legs were stiff to begin with, but persisted and completed the intended 4 miles. Took a walking break after 2 miles; normally would not have done that, but given today's physical and mental state, I was ok with the break.

I have not been devoting enough time to stretch before and (particularly) after running over the past few days, and that is showing up as stiff legs before starting. Today, I spent 15 minutes stretching after running - does seem to make a difference; my body feels much lighter and flexible.

I had got good pointers on how to stretch when I worked out with Dr. Ashis Roy; Rahul Verghese too has a very informative article on stretching on the RunningAndLiving web-site.

I will follow a regular routine for stretching after the run from now on. That would ensure I do the required stretching exercises and not avoid doing it - especially when I am with someone in an effort at looking good.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

24 miles of running this week

Clocking in at 24 miles for the week! I had ramped up my running efforts this week after realizing I am very close to run my first half-marathon.

The 24 miles breakdown is as follows : Tuesday 4 miles; Wednesday 5 miles; Thursday 4 miles; Saturday 3 miles and Sunday 8 miles.

I am not fit enough to be doing this week in and week out. This effort itself was very tiring, and I could put in this many hours of running mainly as I am not holding down a full time job now. Once I am back in the grind, it will be difficult to put in as much mileage.

Given my commitment to running a marathon by the year end, I am sure I will figure out ways to train regularly and finish strongly at my first marathon.

One decision I made earlier today is to not run in the NYC half-marathon on July 27th for which I have signed up. I had already signed up for the Communication - Power to Create course at Landmark Education during that week-end, and I am choosing now to participate in the Communication course, and skip the NYC half-marathon. I will choose to run in my first half-marathon a few weeks later.

8 mile run in 1:28

Ran 8 miles today morning in Central Park, the first 6.2 miles being part of the Park to Park 10K. Completed the 10K in 1:07:16 - my personal best for this distance, beating the 1:15:02 I accomplished on Mar 30th at the Scotland Run 10K.

After running non-stop the entire 10K distance, I lost steam and found it difficult to run further towards my goal of finishing 10 mile for the first time. Completed the 8 miles to equal last Sunday's long run effort. The time of 1:28 for 8 mile was a huge improvement over the 1:46 last week. The 10K race component made it for improved timing this Sunday.

Sri ran her first ever event, and did extremely well to finish the race in 1:20!! Awesome!!

I am inspiring many of my friends to take up running - makes me very proud! Krishnan ran 10K yesterday in Delhi, 5K as part of the run organized by Rahul Verghese's RunningAndLiving, and 5K on the treadmill. His 5K timing is very close to my best time!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Leisurely 3 mile run on the Newport Waterfront

Ran with Siva and Sri today morning on the Newport Waterfront; ran slowly and steadily to complete 3 miles in 39:34 minutes. We started around 9:45 AM, and consequently it was very sunny and hot.

Today's was a good leisurely run ahead of the 10 mile long run tomorrow!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Labored 4 mile run at Liberty State Park

Today was the day I did not want to run, and my legs felt like heavy lead all through. Ran 4 miles - resisting the urge to quit or to take a walking break - and completed it in 44:20 minutes.

I was running in Liberty State Park after a long time; used to frequent here quite often, before I discovered the parks closer to my place. Since it was very sunny even at 6:00 AM today, I restricted my running to the shaded back-roads in Liberty State Park, avoiding the river front walk-way, which is more scenic but does not have any shaded area.

Feels good to have started the day with a 4 mile run, and be ready for the rest of the day by 8:30 AM!

Had come across an interesting article on running in a recent issue of The New Yorker. The article titled The Running Novelist was written in Japanese by novelist Haruki Murakami, and chronicled his entry into long-distance running and subsequent experiences. I was particularly stuck by the paragraphs which deal with days when he does not want to run. Too bad the full article is not available on-line.

Here is the relevant part of the article, reproduced from the print version:
No matter how much long-distance running might suit me, of course there are days when I feel lethargic and don't want to do it. On days like that, I try to come up with all kinds of plausible excuses not to run. Once, I interviewed the Olympic runner Toshihiko Seko, just after he had retired from running. I asked him "Does a runner at your level ever feel like you'd rather not run today?" He stared at me and then, in a voice that made it abundantly clear how stupid he thought the question was, replied, "Of course. All the time!"

Now that I look back on it, I can see what a dumb question it was. I guess that even back then I knew how dumb it was, but I wanted to hear the answer directly from someone of Seko's caliber. I wanted to know whether, although we were worlds apart in terms of strength and motivation, we felt the same way when we laced up our running shoes in the morning. Seko's reply came as a great relief. In the final analysis, we're all the same, I thought.

Now, whenever I feel like I don't want to run, I always ask myself the same thing: You're able to make a living as a novelist, working at home, setting your own hours. You don't have to commute on a packed train or sit through bored meetings. Don't you realize how fortunate you are? Compared to that, running an hour around the neighbourhood is nothing, right? Then I lace up my running shoes and set off without hesitation.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Into the limelight by surprise

Megan DeMarco - who works with the Jersey Journal newspaper - came across my blog entries about training in Bayonne, and contacted me for details about my Marathon preparation. She has posted about my marathon preparation on the Bayonne Now blog.

I am glad to receive some attention for my efforts in this context!

An off-shoot of this event is that I have committed myself to run in the Philadelphia Marathon on Sunday Nov 23.

Previously I had been uncommitted about which Marathon I was training for - telling myself I would decide on the go; as and when I am ready to run a marathon, I will, etc.

My original intention to run in the Self Transcendence Marathon on Aug 22 had fallen by the wayside sometime ago when I did not passionately persist with Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Plan after my first 7 mile run.

Now that I have bookmarked Nov 23rd as the date for my first Marathon, I have enough time to prepare for it, while allowing for a few days / weeks slack in training.

Philadelphia based Sunil is going to accompany me in one of the races on Nov 23rd - thats a bonus!

5 miles in 53:16 minutes at the Lincoln Park running track

Continuing my renewed effort to prepare for the first full-marathon in November and the first half-marathon on July 27th, I ran 5 miles today and feel good about the prospects of a successful completion the first half-marathon in two+ weeks time.

Tried out the Lincoln Park in Jersey City for the first time; to my surprise I found it to be huge, well equipped and with adequate parking facilities. It is a bit crowded though, but that is good when motivation is a bit low.

Today again, I ran the entire distance with no walking breaks. The time of 53:16 is very close but not my personal best for this distance. My personal best is 53:08 which I accomplished during the Father's Day 5M in Central Park last month.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4 mile in 47:27 minutes on the Newport riverfront

Ran 4 miles in 47:27 minutes today morning on the riverfront jogging path in Newport / Exchange place in Jersey City.

Sri accompanied me for the first three miles of the run, before heading home to prepare for going to work. Great to have company while running! Makes it easier to persist in running over a long period of time. Sri too got something out of it - for the first time she ran 3 miles non-stop in 37 odd minutes.

I wiill make it a habit to run regularly with friends in Jersey City over the next few months - that is likely to keep my marathon preparation lively and exciting. In addition to Sri, the other friends who are likely to accompany me in running in Jersey City are Amrit (a beginner runner), Siva (a beginner-intermediate runner), Harish (more of an intermediate runner) and Raju (a good runner who hasn't been running too much lately).

Newport waterfront, Society Hill Complex, Liberty State Park, Bayonne Park, Central Park and Lincoln Park are likely to see me and my friends running frequently over the next few months!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Recommitting to running a marathon this year

Last Friday while talking with Rajat in Bangalore about my running activity, I realized I have only three weeks till the NYC Half Marathon on July 27th. The event had totally slipped out of my mind, with all the travel and other engagements. Even the goal of running my first Marathon in 2008 seems to have disappeared in the background, with other items becoming more important. I have to re-commit myself to the Running goal and dedicate enough time over the next few months to come out with my head held high at the end of my first Marathon.

I am back on track with the first 8 mile run yesterday. I will continue the intensity over the next three weeks to complete the NYC Half Marathon in good time and in good shape!

My Training Plan for the next three weeks:
This Week starting Tuesday - 4, 5, 4, 3, 3, 10
Next Week starting Tuesday - 4, 5, 4, 5, 3, 10
The week of the half-marathon starting Tuesday - 4, 6, 4, 3, HM

Let me see how this plan goes, and then plan for the Marathon later this year!

This Saturday July 13th I am running in the New York Park to Park 10K. My aim for Sunday being 10 Miles, I will run the 6.2 miles race and then run the additional 3.8 miles both before and after the race

Sunday, July 6, 2008

First 8 miler of my life

Ran 8 mile distance for the first time today! Completed the distance in 1:46 hours at the Watchung Reservation. Parked my car at the Trailside Nature & Science Center and started running along one of the numerous trails there. Soggy and soft trails all along - good for my knees. Very picturesque - the trail running along a stream for long, and always under dense cover of greenery. Part of the time I must have been running very close to the Inter-state 78, as I could hear the speeding vehicles very closeby.
Ran non-stop for the first 3.5 miles (in around 40 minutes) and then took regular walking breaks.
Nice place to run; will come here for my long runs during the week-ends.
Since the last post about the 5K run in JP Park, I ran three more times in JP Park - two of them being a 3M/5K runs, while the third one was a long run of 5 Miles. One of the 3M runs was sub-30 minutes - the first time I ran a sub-30-minute 3Mile!

Friday, June 27, 2008

5K in 34:09 at JP Park

Kumar accompanied me on the run today morning. We ran parts of the run together. While I went around and completed the 3 Mile run, Kumar went at a slower pace and completed around 2 miles.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

3 Miles in 32:05 minutes at JP Park

After a hectic week-end at the Introduction Leaders Program Third week-end and the journey from New York to Bangalore, got to run again today. Ran 3 miles at the Jayaprakash Narayan Park today morning; finished at a surprisingly good time of 32:05 minutes. I guess my motivation to complete was high as I was running in my neighborhood - where people look up to me as a Hero!

Friday, June 20, 2008

3 point something miles in 35 plus minutes

After a five day break (down) got back to running today, and ran over 3 miles without a walking break.

Did have a small stop though as I noticed I had stopped my timer accidentally. Though I was finishing the third lap of a half mile long loop, the timer was at 1:06 - stopped with a groan and started the timer again. Must have stopped the timer while running by brushing the watch against my body - I must be trying out keeping my hands at weird angles for this to happen!

Feels good to be back to running. The progress being made on the RunWalkIndia front has been tremendously encouraging! It is not only motivating me to keep running, but also giving an immense boost to my confidence in the business idea.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day 5 Mile run in Central Park

Competed in the Father's Day 5 Mile run in Central Park today morning.

Got to sleep only by 1:30 AM yesterday night, and had to leave home by 6:30 AM today morning to be at the Race. Thought about not going for a while, but then the fact that I had promised to Gerd that I will be there inspired me to go for it. Met with Harish S on the way to the Park; we took a taxi together from WTC to the Park.

For the first time, I ran all 5 Miles without taking a walking break! Followed the slow run procedure I learned from Dr. Ashis Roy, and completed the race in a trot! The slow & continuous run method makes sense for these races; no point in taking a walking break in a 5M race, when my goal is to be running a Marathon in 4 - 5 months.

My time for the race - 53:08 minutes. That is quite likely my best time for a 5M distance!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

First non-stop 4 mile run in 43:43 minutes

Ran 4 Miles today at the Bayonne Park - for the first time without taking a walking or running break!

My pace of around 11 minutes per mile is very slow compared to other runners I come across on the blogosphere and in Running magazines and books who seem to effortlessly run at 6 or 7 minutes per mile.

With 170 pounds of body weight, and very little practice in running at a young age, I think I am doing good at 11 minutes per mile. I should not be worried about the pace now; the pace will pick up as I put in long mileage week after week.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

3.1 miles (5K) in 36:10 minutes

Ran a 5K within my community - Society Hill. Had taken a two day break from running since I ran with Dr. Roy on Sunday.

An important thing in today's run was that I ran all 3.1 miles of it without stopping or taking a walking break! Slowed down a bit to play with two kids along the way, but no scheduled break as in my previous runs.


I figured out a possible route for a 5K within our complex. I will try out a slightly modified route tomorrow - a route which will include a detour into a few inner streets, which will make it a full 5K distance from the beginning point to the end point - both of which are likely to be the Recreation Center at the Society Hill at Jersey City II complex.

It is amazing how naturally kids take to running.

The first kid I came across while running yesterday was Arpita - she was happy to see me - someone she already knew, and tried to run with me.

The second kid - around two year old Dion - was out walking with his grandfather, and though he has never seen me before, he just started jumping up and down with excitement as I came close to him in my jogging stride. Got to know the family is from Tamil Nadu; Dion gave his Grand-Dad quite a bit of working out by running with me for a few yards!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

6 Mile long run with Dr. Ashis Roy in 1:19

Met with India's Marathon man Dr. Ashis Roy today in Fairfax, VA and ran 6 Mile with him.

Dr. Roy - who has completed 82 marathons so far, and has been running consistently since 1982 - shared insights from his incredible experience in running. The 6 mile run itself was at a very slow pace - Dr. Roy going slow as he was running without kneecaps for the first time in few weeks, while I was keeping up with him and we were having a good conversation.

We took just one water break during the run, and we did the 2 mile running loop three times. I was surprised to be finishing this long distance run with relative comfort!

As per the training plan, I was supposed to run 9 Mile today. Given that I ended the 6 mile run today very comfortably, I will take this as the benchmark distance for this week, and adapt my training plan from this week onwards.

Yesterday, I took part in a river clean-up - organized by the Hackensack Riverkeeper organization - in Bayonne, and did quite a bit of rowing and moving stuff around - that was a decent cross-training for the week-end.

Friday, June 6, 2008

3 miles in 39:50 minutes in Bayonne Park

I did not want to run today! Even after taking a day's break from running after the over-exertion on Wednesday. Legs cramped up most of the run.

Ran from Rutkowski Park to the Running track at Bayonne Park, ran more than a mile on the Running track, and returned to Rutkowski Park.

The Running track was being used for school Physical Exercise period; the kids were bringing in amazing amount of energy!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

5 miles in 55+ minutes plus 3 mile walk

Participated in the NYRR 50th Anniversary 5M run today morning in Central Park. Being a week-day morning, the race started at 5:30 AM!!

Stayed over last night at Marc W's place in Midtown Manhattan to make it to the early start. Despite getting up at 4:30 AM, got delayed while walking 20+ blocks to the start point and was 6 minutes late to begin the race. By the time I reached the starting point, the entire 2000+ people had already started off, and the front runners were probably past the first mile market!

Enjoyed the early morning run in beautiful Central Park - wet weather adding to the enjoyment. As per the training plan, I was supposed to run only 4 miles today; so took it very slow in this 5 mile race. Finished the race in around 55 minutes, as per my Garmin Forerunner GPS. However, the official NYRR results of the race show it as 1:04:27, which is very surprising. Most likely I was being penalized for starting late.

The other major surprising thing about the results is that they were available online by the time I walked back to Marc W's place and checked on my MacBook. I think it is almost real-time updates from the starting / ending mats to the NYRR Web-site; It would be awesome to have such technology available in RunWalkIndia events.

My ex-colleague Gerd Zeibig completed in 31:27!!! Wonder if I will ever be able to achieve that pace - 6.17 minutes per mile!

The race organization itself is a big surprise! 2000 people showed up, braving a steady drizzle, and the very early morning start in NYC. It will be fantastic to recreate this kind of event in parts of India where day time is too unsuitable for running races, and only this kind of early start will be practical!

On the way back, walked down Seventh Avenue past Times Square and Penn Station, and took a few photos to depict the early morning life in NYC. Photos are available on my Flickr account.

A memorable quote from one of the volunteers at the race:
Its just 6:30 AM and you have already run 5 Miles!! What better way to start the day!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

3 miles in 31:50 minutes in Bayonne Park

Good run today!

Completed 3 miles in 31:50 - not quite my best time, but close. Took walking breaks at each mile. I should go for 10 minute per mile pace for the 3 miles by next week.

Walked / jogged on the board walk from Rutkowski Park to Bayonne Park, did stretching exercises, and started running from the entrance of Bayonne park to the running tracks. Ran on the Running track till I reached around 2.75 miles and then started running back towards the entrance.

Walked all the way back to the car - stopping on the way to stretch.

Looking forward to tomorrow's 5 Mile run at 5:30 AM in Central Park.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

4 Mile Japan Day Run plus 1 mile run in 56 minutes

Had a terrific run today!!

As per the training plan, I was supposed to go on a long run of 5 Miles this week-end. I signed up for the 4 Mile Japan Day run in Central Park, and decided to run an additional mile after the race.

The 4 mile run was awesome! I completed the race in 41:25 - my best time for a 4 mile distance, and the 10.21 minutes per mile pace is the best I have achieved in a race!

Unlike in the earlier races, in this race, I was neither carrying a backpack, nor was I stopping frequently to take pictures for the benefit my friends and RunWalkIndia associates in Bangalore.

I took four walking breaks - all on reaching the mile markers. I sprinted the last 50 meters of the race, finishing ahead of many people and in my best time. However, the sprint effort took heavily out of me, and I walked most of the next mile - taking almost 15 minutes to complete the last mile.

The 56 minutes for 5 miles too is my personal best!

I enjoyed immensely the three long runs I have had over the past three weekends. Looking forward to the 9 mile run next Saturday!

Next up - The NYRR 50th Anniversary run 5 Mile race on Wednesday June 4th at 5:30 AM!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

3.25 miles in 36:00 minutes at Bayonne Park

Ran for 3.25 miles between Mayor Richard Rutkowski Park and the running track at the Bayonne Park. The distance from the car parking area to the running track is about a mile. I ran 2.25 miles on the running track before heading back to the car parking area.

Today I took a minute's walking break after the first mile, and every half mile afterwards.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

3.25 miles in 35:10 minutes at my community

Almost did not run today!

I was in the same situation as yesterday, leaving the running part to later in the evening , and almost winding up not having time to run before heading out on my other engagements. For a minute or so, I had eliminated the possibility of running today, and was on my way to declare a break down and start afresh from tomorrow. I probably would have gotten away with it as well earlier, but now I am made of sterner stuff!

All kudos to me - for my inventiveness - in turning the no-show to a spectacular 3.25 mile run by deciding to run in my community - right next to where I live, rather than go to the park.

Got out to run around 3:30 PM and ran through the streets of Society Hill - my gated community in Jersey City; treaded on many streets that I have never been on before!

A main motivation for me in running in my complex is to figure out if it is possible to organize a 5K race in my complex - a possibility I have been discussing with many people. The distance from one end to another is about a mile! It is possible to set up a route for a 5K by doubling up the path, and including many bypaths.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

1.8 miles in 19:30 minutes

Completed part of the running required for today, as I was running late to an appointment in the evening.

Take away from today's reduced effort:
I will run first thing in the morning on the days I am supposed to run!

I will make up for the reduced effort today by adding .25 miles to the next two days 3 mile runs.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Second successful long run - 7 miles in 1:24

I can't believe it!!

I ran 7 miles in 1:24 minutes today as part of my Marathon training!! The longest I had run before this was a labored 1:15:02 10K at the Scotland Run in March this year. There wasn't much from my past efforts to prove that I will actually be able to run 7 miles and enjoy it.

I ran on the running track at the Stephen R Gregg Park in Bayonne today afternoon; went with the intention to run all of 7 miles (28 rounds on the 400m track) and try out my new Garmin Forerunner 305.

The first two miles were difficult; after that the run became easier and I was virtually cruising - laps and miles disappeared in the distance! And I had completed the longest continuous run of my life with a lot to spare!

I am loving this game! I can see clearly now the moment of my first Marathon completion!

I did this amazing effort without any external encouragement. Wonder how much better I can do if I had ZZ Top's La Grange or a Bollywood favorite blaring in my ears!

Friday, May 23, 2008

3 mile run on the Treadmill; 38 minutes

Ran 3 miles on the tread-mill today morning, to make up for the lost training session yesterday. Had to go very slowly after the first mile. Looks like the tiredness from lack of sleep caught up.

I have to implement the 10:30 PM Curfew period from now on; to avoid working late hours and consequently losing sleep and go around exhausted during the day.

Another concern that came up with the troubles I am having with training is that the remaining 13 weeks till the Self Transcendence Marathon will not be enough for my body to attune itself for the rigorous marathon run, and that I will be cutting corners and putting myself at the risk of injury and of losing the passion for running if I push myself to cram everything in a short time.

I will decide on this concern by the end of June - after completing 5 more weeks of training.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Breakdown in training plan

The training schedule required me to go on a 3M run yesterday. I did not. It is a breakdown in my preparations for the first marathon. I let circumstances determine how I go about it. I am not proud of it! By not running the requisite miles this week, I am jeopardizing my preparations for my first marathon.

I will make adjustments to my training plan and go running 3M on Friday morning - an off day according to the Training Schedule. The Gym opens at 5:00 AM - I will be there by 5:30 AM to finish the 3M as early as possible, so that I have time to recover and run this week-end's long run of 7 miles on Saturday in the afternoon.

I am the possibility of being unstoppable!! I will prepare for the marathon - AS IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE DONE, and not like AS I FEEL!!

Today, my semi-depressed mood because of the non-progress on my businesses, as well as the doubts about the presence of authenticity in many of my relationships - all undoubtedly started by the Vodka binge on Wednesday night with Edward S - made me postpone the plan to run the required 3M to later in the day, till I couldn't go running as it became too late.

I will go through with the trainings early in the day from now on!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

3 mile run in Wall Street Area

I participated in the American Heart Association Start! Wall Street Run 3 Mile Race today evening. The 3 Mile distance was in perfect alignment with the training schedule for the second week week-day run.

Had fun running in the heart of the financial district! Took tons of photos ; check them out on my Flickr.

I finished the 3 Mile distance in 36.26 minutes - much slower than my personal best. The wet roads, and my interest in taking photos made it for a much slower pace.

Monday, May 19, 2008

1.5 hour mega workout!

As per the Novice training plan, today is a rest day.

I decided to treat it as the first training day of the week - to compensate for not running one day last week, as well as to accommodate the evening start in the Wall Street 5K tomorrow. Went to Bayonne Park in the evening, and ran 2 full miles on the running track there, and more than a mile in getting there and back.

On the way back, since it was already dusk, the authorities closed the walkway which connected the park to where my car was located. Trying to get to the car in an alternate route I ended up walking more than 45 minutes - finally walking back all the way home and then having Amrit drive me over to my car!

Everything in my body is aching! I have to ensure I park my car inside the Bayonne Park next time I go running very late in the day.

45 minutes Kayaking in Hackensack River

Kiran was visiting from DC yesterday; went kayaking with him in Hackensack River. Was on the river for more than 45 minutes, feverishly trying to reach the bridge a mile away and then turning back 2/3rd of the way as it became too tiring.

Great cross-training work-out on the day after my first long run!

Will have a pair of in-line skates for next week's cross-training! Chose in-line skates over bicycle as a bike is something I can always use in the Gym.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Why 2008 Self Transcendence Marathon?

I spent a few hours early this week exploring the marathon calendar for USA, and decided on running the Self Transcendence Marathon on Friday 22 Aug 2008 in Nyack NY.

Originally I intended to run a Marathon in December around Christmas. On reading the reviews about various Marathons on the web-site, I was impressed with the user comments about the Self Transcendence Marathon.

Additionally, what made me choose this marathon is the Indian-ness of the event, and the fact that the race is nine loops along the same path.

I am sure having Sanskrit incantations (this is a Sri Chinmoy Race!)  and Indian faces in the crowd will make me more at home in my first Marathon.

The race being multiple loops also is a positive factor for me as I see it as a possible way to get myself to complete - telling myself I can stop at any point should I not feel like it! I am counting on Terrain-familiarity to pull me through the 7th, 8th and 9th rounds!

Good start to the Marathon Training

Started on the Marathon training this Tuesday.
  • Ran for 30 minutes on Tuesday at Liberty State Park.
  • Could not run on Wednesday.
  • Ran for 30 minutes on Thursday at Liberty State Park.
  • Completed the long run today; ran for 1:15 in Bayonne Park.

Good start to the first week of Marathon Training as per the Novice Program of Hal Higdon's Marathon Training Guide!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

My First Marathon

My First Marathon will be on Aug 22nd 2008 at the 2008 Self Transcendence Marathon at the Rockland State Park - near Nyack, New York.

I decided a few days ago that I will indeed go for a marathon; blogged about it on my Kathegalu blog; informed everyone I know of, and here I am starting on a new blog to record my journey towards completing my first Marathon.

Somewhere down the line, I hope this blog will inspire someone to take on this or some other challenge!

Bon Chance pour moi!