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Running the half marathon

I am kinda thrilled that I could finish the half marathon at the Kaveri Trail Marathon this year. Sometime last year in September, I had decided to give 10K a shot at the same marathon. I trained for more than a month to finally do a 10K. That seemed like an achievement. New shoes and new gear. After that, I stopped training due to lack of interest and other activities occupying the time. I started training again for Sunfeast 10K in May. It was an easy thing to do now, but my stamina had really screwed up. I did finish it in 65mins but it wasn’t better than my previous 10K run. Soon after Sunfeast 10K, I decided to give half marathon a try. I registered myself for the half marathon and started running as and when I felt like it. It used to be mostly 5K-10K run in the evenings at the Krishna Rao Park in Basavanagudi. But running a kilometer in a loop can get boring after a while. You need something to keep you going which is when I thought listening to music would help. It did help. I loved training while listening to music. It was mostly Led Zeppelin, Beatles, Rolling Stones playing for an hour which really kept me going even on those boring not-so-motivating days. On weekends (mostly sundays), I started running in Lalbagh. A run around the lake would be nearly 1.8Kms. On my first running day itself, I finished 10 rounds around the lake. I was mighty thrilled. It really boosted my confidence to do the half marathon. All runs at Lalbagh have been 18-20kms. The last long run before the marathon was 22Kms.

The trail of Kaveri Trail Marathon is a village road along the cauvery canal. It is beautiful but can get very humid. I was just hoping that it doesn’t rain which would make me very difficult to run with my glasses on. Since I had done 10K last year at the same marathon, I wasn’t nervous. We started at 6.45am, a perfect time. The trail wasn’t blocked for villagers to move around. So we had to avoid cows, bullock carts, motor bikes, trucks while running. There were large stones all along, so we had to be careful about them too. I just ran without looking around much and of course, with music on. It prevents all the other distractions. I did stop the music for a while and loved the quiet surrounding but still having music on helped me. I still grab a sugar drink wherever I could and walked a few seconds where I found it tiring. The first 10.5K was really a breeze but the next 10K was difficult. The sunlight was hard too. But I did complete it. It took me about 2hrs14mins to complete the 21Kms half marathon. I was really thrilled to have completed it. Now I haven’t run after that marathon which is not a good thing. I need to get on to the trail again.

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Congratulations on your half! That's great and with great timing too, considering the trail and humidity etc. How many other runners were there ?

I think training in India for such an event is very difficult for many reasons. One is that the culture is not geared towards this level of fitness. Even people who are fit do a lot less. Here in the U.S. people do a lot more or as much on a routine basis, so its quite easy to get into the groove of this sort of thing. Second is that training areas are tough. You have to run in the city along side the traffic, or even in places like Lal Bagh, the loops are small and you have to do many loops. Near my house in STL, I have a park with a 9k loop. Just one loop. So training for the half marathon is just 2 loops. And the seasons in the South - most of it hot, with humidity - those are very difficult training runs. If you had the crisp cool air of the Fall weather in most of the U.S. states, you would see a marked different in your training and in your total run. If you walked for some bits and still managed 2hrs 14 mins, I think you must have been running 8.5 to 9 minute miles for much of it, with some slower segments. That shows a high level of fitness, keep it up.

Also make sure to eat right. Proteins to replenish what your muscles store, carbs of course, and now is the time to eat good fats - peanuts oils and coconut. These are fats that the muscle can store locally, and it's a good time to each your body to store it that way rather than as adipose tissue all over the body.

You should not take a complete break after the half, your body will be in shock. Do a little bit, or at least do slow pace, long hiking type of thing. That is what I did today - 8 miles of hiking, carrying 10kgs of baby!! I'm exhausted now!

yep, need to get back on the track again.

Yep, I agree with the training in india. Difficult to find longer loops. I have been doing hiking but want to do longer runs for fun. Need to train more :-)

Thanks :)

So i found your blog in the agelessbonding reading room.. though i vaguely remember being here before i think..
what sort of fantastic camera do you use btw? you've got some fab stuff going.. and man you're a serious nature lover!
Good find.. your blog :)

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