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!