Tag Archives: Marathon

Advantages of being a Tortoise

In my previous post I had mentioned a few random thoughts popping up in the mind of a slow runner. Incase you have missed it then you can read it here Tortoise in running shoes

I have observed that many runners feel that running at a slow pace is a waste of time. Running can be a simple, beneficial exercise for many people. Slow or fast, you’ll still reap loads of benefits and if you are slow, you are certainly not alone. So before you change your mind and throw away your running shoes just consider that slow running can also be beneficial. Continue reading

Tortoise in running shoes

Just some random thoughts came into my mind which I felt like penning down 😊

If one can recollect an old story of the legendary race between “The Hare and The Tortoise” where the Tortoise had won the race in-spite of Tortoise been a slow runner. But if one compares this scenario with any recent Marathon event then imagine the thoughts that would have popped up in the mind of today’s Tortoise ….Tortoise

  • Getting lost – I know you must be laughing but this is serious. For long races with loops and having lots of twists & turns then the runner tends to forget the way. If the runner has no sense of direction and if there are no sign boards then this is bound to happen.
  • Running out of water – Chances are high that the water stations might have finished their storage of water and if you are among the last runners than possibly they might have closed their water station too.
  • Reaching last – What if I reach last ?? … I mean the last person to reach where there is no one to overtake me.
  • Not making it before the cut-off – there are certain Marathon events when there is a cut-off time to cross the final mat and what-if-i-don’t-make-it-on-time ??.
  • Not getting a medal – If I did not finish the run before the cut-off time then I will lose my medal and hence all my efforts will be wasted 😦
  • Click-click – This is the most important part of running a Marathon. All the official photographers are busy capturing the main runners and forget to click pics of the slow or rather last of the lot runners. Not a single official pic of yours running in the Marathon = #youhavenottakenpartintheMarathon 😊

Distance running is about personal goals, improving your health and finding positive energy.

These are some real issues to think about for slower runners but there’s also many positive things that come with the back of the pack. I’ll talk about some of the wonderful things about being a slower runner in another blog post.

A Priceless Metal

Last week, I got a surprise gift from my very nearest and dearest running buddy. It’s a medal hanger with wordings “I CROSSED THE LINE”.

Only a Runner can understand and feel the joy of crossing the finishing line. I recollect that I, myself had tears in my eyes when I completed my maiden 10km run and the same feeling I had when I completed my first HM (Half Marathon 21.097 kms) and even while crossing the finishing line of the 25km marathon too (one of the toughest for me until now since it had 4 times inclines included in the route and the last few kms I was all by myself with all my known buddies either ahead or trying to catch up with me to reach the finish line).

This is a perfect gift for a runner who has thrived hard to earn a medal for himself/herself. The medal is the proof of the sweat burned, proof of waking up early (even before the milkman or the newspaper guy comes at your doorstep 😊), proof of calories burned, proof of determination to run every day, proof of not giving up no matter whatsoever the weather; be it a hot & humid day in summer, be it a heavily rainy day in the monsoons or a chilly winter morning; which never stopped me from running.

The impatient me could not wait any longer and I immediately got it fitted in my room with all my medals hanging. I also added few medals earned by my daughter and wife. Looking at the hanging medals I already am getting charged up to earn more. Frankly neither during my school or college days have I earned any medals and hence achieving such success at this stage of my life makes all these medals very precious and dear to me.

Running is not only about earning medals. I have been actively running since over 2 years now and running has taught me many things. Running helped me to know how to stay fit & healthy, it has helped me to get disciplined at late night outings as most of the weekends I have my long runs scheduled and for this I need to get up early so this means I have to sleep early 😊. Running also has got me connected to lots of other athletes and helped me make new friends who now have become an integral part of my life. It was because of Running I now have a very near and dear friend who is my mentor as well as my running buddy.

Experience one cannot forget

Roshni Cecelia Pereira is an avid runner, a house-wife and loving mother of 2 children. She happened to get into running to lose weight and since then she is unstoppable. Roshni was nominated twice for the Mumbai Road Runner Award night; in 2017 for Improved runner and in 2018 for Best runner.

Roshni till now has officially ran One Full Marathon, Eleven Half Marathons, Maiden 25Kms run, Seven 10 kms & One 5 kms and has won many podiums till now :-

  • 1st runner up @ Yeour Hill run – 21km
  • 1st runner up @ Keep on running (KOR) – 10 km
  • 1st runner up @ Goregaon Spirit of Sport run – 10 km in year 2018
  • 1st runner up @ Goregaon Spirit of Sport run – 5 km in year 2019

Pacing is the new liking of Roshni and she recently also had the experience as a Pacer to drive her bus loaded with people on time to the finishing line.

In just 2 years of time she achieved her initial goal of becoming a Marathoner.

You can read her experience of running her 1st official Marathon from her own heart.

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The Experience of running my 1st Full Marathon !!!

“The pride in finishing a marathon is much greater than all the pain endured during the marathon.” Hal Higdon

On Race day…

I woke up at 1.20 am when the alarm rang in a fraction of second, no, it wasn’t the excite of the race, but the frustration of fight (silly one though) which had not allowed me to sleep whole night. Got ready by 3 am left with Sunil and Varsha to the station to take 3.30 am train for CST station (now I wasn’t in the mood at all, as I had not cleared my bowel). Reaching station my friend Varsha asked  me where is the  Garmin, and I was like, Holy Christ!! no records of my first FM on such expensive gadget what a waste 😉 …….Uff…… but I was still chilled……. Met my BBG gang in the train and I was normal by then… Samuel was asking me to take his Garmin watch, that was very sweet of him even my other runner friend Sunil was giving me his earphones, he runs with his earphones all time, for me it was ok, as I run without it, so it didn’t matter. After wishing goodbye to the HM’ers who got down at Mahalaxmi, we others sat there relaxed. We (Alwin, Rahul, Xavier, Jaj and me) reached the venue and started with the warm up….. I heard a voice shouting my name and it was my friend Ritu along with her hubby passing by, I told her to carry on I will catch up at the B line up………. At the time of stretching few thoughts started running in my mind, how I registered for this day.

Registration period / Training ……..

It all started in my Runners forum  group ,lets register for FM this year and train together….the ones who wanted to do, had registered for FM immediately once the registration had started, I was still reluctant about it, frankly speaking,  I’m a bit lazy to get up early in the morning during winters, and that’s only best time to train for us runners and  Running a marathon is not anybody’s cup of tea. It takes huge efforts, determination and commitment for a long time. and I was asking myself : Do you think you have it in you ?. Finally made up mind and registered on 13th September 2018. I thought. I was excited, nervous, and anxious. What I didn’t realize was how much training for a marathon would change my life…for the better. Started with the Gym training since then and running most of the time 10kms, 15kms and 21kms in months of Nov and Dec apart form this only one 35km I had done with help of John (hubby) for water support, poor fellow was in the car for 4hrs ;-), everybody in different groups encouraged me a lot. But still I wasn’t satisfied with training plan the reason is, it was not a systematic one, the way the actual Marathoners train……no coach to guide, just got useful tip from few friends and my runner forum group and Sam (Samuel) he guided me with all the do and don’ts all the time till the race day (yes but this is for sure I trained hard and strong). So I decided do a 42 Km to overcome my fear before hand and later not crib on the race by saying Why did I register for the race, or abusing my friends for it who had asked me to register ;-).  I always wanted to do a Full Marathon but I didn’t knew it would be this soon in two years of running (Also, I dream of running Comrades 🙂 ) …. So on 22nd Dec 2018, I get up early at 4 am get ready and leave the house by 5am and after warm up of 10 mins, I start my run in my locality finishing around 10kms and I go running to Goregoan west (3kms) , and a few kms I run  there at back road (Malad west near behind orbit mall) , then I proceed on S V road till Dahisar end and return, I come to back road doing last 4kms there, weather was so pleasant  it felt like never stopping that day. I took few breaks at general store, chemist, D’mart to purchase water…….during this run I was only on salted dates, water (before the run I had eaten 2 bananas which I always do during run or event days)……. I finished my 42.24 kms in 5.09.35 hrs (including all the breaks) … What a satisfaction it was !!!! ………. that’s it I’m ready!!!, there  was nothing as such hitting wall that day……… We had planned for few days trip to Goa where I relaxed completely and recovered as well (for a week). after that did few runs in 2nd week of Jan and gymming for few days ,then last  week I was  completely on rest till the D-day arrived, as people around me kept saying I overdid it, I reached to peak and etc etc,  so I controlled myself by not doing anything more further which could lead to injury and failure of the mission, only things I did was hydrate, hydrate ,hydrate  carb loading, sleeping,  stretching  from the  third last day of the D day.

Back to race day ………..

Reached the B line up section I met Ritu and her hubby Vijay as we were talking n walking we met Bijay and his friend we exchanged greeting n wishes, my eyes were looking out to my friend Vishu (Vishwanth) as we both had planned to start the race together n support each other but missed meeting him. I met Sameer, he gave me some tips and that was my actual plan (not to run with pacer) run on your own. Meeting such friends who inspires you, gives me always positive kind of vibes. I’m happy to meet them before the race. 🙂

The race started bang on time at 5.30am by the time I could reach the timing mat  it was 5.33 am , it was dark, the road was narrow , I felt like everyone were going slow  or maybe it was over crowed, few of runners  dashed me , one guy stamped shoe from behind , so much of chaos starting 2 /3 kms, was going on a steady pace not shooting the HR(Hear rate), few kms later I saw Sunil sir and Sangeeta ma’am running together I went towards them and greeted n moved forward , I was running on the middle of the road  stamping  some of the reflectors , that’s when Sunil sir called from behind and said don’t stamp over it …… Thank you sir I wasn’t attentive enough at that moment . While I was reaching peddar road I heard sound screaming like some herd is approaching it  was 4.30 hrs pacer bus I was with that bus till the peddar road down also met my friend Mani who was running strong,  then I left as I wanted to go with easy . I was feeling better and the weather was also ok till then, I felt, when reaching at Worli I was searching for HMers friends who were running couldn’t see any. Slow and steady I reached Bandra Sea Link I was still feeling strong , At 19 km I stopped to use portaloo , told myself few kms and the half way is over, reaching Shivaji park it was 24km and I don’t know what happened then negative things started  running thru my mind felt like stopping  and walk off home, but I told myself why you want to do that did you train for this day to quit over a small silly fight  ,(this silly fight happens in every house and especially if your spouse is a non runner, mentioning about it here because one should fight with your moods and not to give up under any such type of circumstances) No I said, I shouldn’t give up, I’m running for my joy and I’m going to complete it !!…. battling with my heart and mind (also praying). At 28.5 kms mark I again stopped for portaloo  had to wait there for few secs as both of the portaloo was in use, I somehow reached Worli dairy where we had to go in loops which was a bit boring where the turn wouldn’t come it was like going on and on,  but  at the same time it was sight to see the Kenyan elite runners  running from nowhere pass by next you…( from 27kms  to 40 kms I was stopping at all the water stations for drink water  feeling  like throat was getting dried all the time but at the same time enjoyed the presence of Mumbai crowd along with their little ones offering salted oranges, salt, dates, jaggery, water etc etc.) reaching before 36 km I  crossed my friend Alwin then met my friend  Ravindra , at the  start of Peddar road met my dearies Shweta, Ami, Sopan, Umed (God bless all the angel volunteers and the crowd for cheering out there for us ) so sweet of my friend Ami  who offered me a piece of dark chocolate . few meters ahead met Prerna and Alpa they were shouting just run 7kms to go, run. At 38 km I met a friend Dinesh I wanted to run together but I told him to carry on and not to slow down for me.

Then the WALL HIT !! at 40 km, it sneaks up on you like a thief in the night. I wasn’t feeling pain, but my legs were starting to deflate, (but didn’t felt the same  during training run ) suddenly felt a kind of push from behind and it was Raj Vadgama sir  he told me don’t walk keep moving slowly, we are just reaching , it’s another 1.5 km to go and can be completed in 5hrs , come on keep moving he said to me. Thank you Raj sir for that push. Those last 6km I felt very humid with no shade that’s when I did biggest mistake consuming lots water which further slowed me down. At reaching the 41km mark suddenly I heard loud cheers from my friends from MRR cheering zone that boasted up my energy (thanks Yvette, Sam and Hemang), then my friend Hemang started pacing for that last 1km, I can’t thank him enough for that. He left at 100mts saying he will meet me later. Finally I reached the finish line with tears of joy in my eyes…….. And at last I said to myself, I’m a Marathoner !!!!

There was no target in mind as it was my first marathon and I wanted it to enjoy it fully, without any injury or tiredness left at the end of the run… I’m glad it happened the same also with an unexpected timing of 4.55.44 hrs of finish, what more I could ask for !!!  Amen.

 

Startup line …………

Running Marathons is now becoming the most trending sport in India. Every Sunday one can find a Marathon event happening somewhere or the other. A nice organized event will normally have around 4k-5k participants and the numbers are increasing day by day.

Well, I got into running marathons almost 2 years back and running each day is helping me getting stronger and stronger. Few weeks back in one such running event I was lucky enough to get myself positioned at the very beginning of the startup line. Till now I always use to start my runs either in mid of the crowd or at the end once most of the crowd has crossed the starting line. But during one of my last run event (Indian Navy Run) I tried the other way of starting the run before rest of the crowd. Surprisingly it was a delight to be among the first few runners to cross the starting line leaving all the crowd chasing you (minus the elite runners 😊).

Upon completion of my run I analyzed below few points of starting it among the first few runners :-

  • All your co-runners standing next to you are of the elite category making you feel proud that you are among them and you will have tough competitors 😊
  • You can run at your own pace since you are the among the first few to cross the starting line and do not have to bother dodging rest of the runners by asking them to excuse and give way to you incase you are a fast runner.
  • You can easily pick up a bottle or glass of water from any hydration points as later on it gets fully crowded and you have to wait for your chance and hence wasting your precious minutes.
  • More chances of yourself getting clicked by the official photographers before rest of the crowd pulls in.
  • You can achieve your PB (Personal Best) as the road ahead is clear and no blockage of others (I missed this by few seconds ☹).
  • You don’t have to worry for tripping over on any slow runner who is ahead of you.
  • No waiting in long queues for getting medals and refreshments.

I thoroughly enjoyed my run and was happy to experience a very different startup as compare to my previous races.

Unspoken fears of a runner …

As a runner I feel everyone has some sort of inside fear for running a Marathon be it your maiden marathon or you are running your “nth” marathon. Basis on my experience I have listed few of them.

Unspoken fears of a runner …

  1. First and foremost … will the alarm buzzer wake me up next day morning?
    Will I be able to get up and reach the venue on time?
  2. Fitness watch betraying …
    Be it Garmin or fitbit or any app in the mobile phone not staring or dying mid run. If your race is not recorded in any form means you did not run that day wink
  3. Using the washrooms during the race
    It is ok to use washroom before the race starts and get yourself lighter but using it during the race can cost your PB (Personal best) by few seconds which you would not like to even think about it.
  4. Will I be able to do my PB in this race?
    All the pre race efforts and hardwork should be result oriented. And incase it fails, you kick yourself.
  5. Not finding any race photos of yourself
    1st day, 2nd day after the race and still you are trying hard to search your race pics with no luck. This again means you did not run lol
  6. Looking weird in your race photos
    Finally you manage to find couple of pics and you are looking weird in running poses which means you cannot share your pics on any social media and which also means you did not run biggrin
  7. Your startup line section is not what you had expected
    All the practice runs and your app shows that you should be in section C instead of section F and now you can’t do anything to change it sad
  8. Your running app judging you
    Overcoming all the cramps and pains in each and every part of your body, finally you manage to reach the finish line and your app says you are 3.49 seconds slower than your usual runs. This is the time you feel like hitting the lady (for male runners and vice versa for female runners) who announces loudly in middle of so many co-runners smile emoticon

As a runner, what other fears do you have?

Drop them in the comments sections, let’s laugh together.

21 it is ….

No no … neither I am not referring to the legal age in India nor its my age 🙂

Today. I completed my first half marathon i.e. 21 kms (13 miles). The madness in me of running and to stay fit which started this Jan 2017, I managed to complete my first half marathon with ease.

The strong determination of mine to go for regular practice, getting up as early as 4.45 am everyday helped me to cross the finishing line comfortably. Also thanks to my co-runner and my inspirational lady Kamakshi Soni without whom I would not have dared to run today’s half marathon. She is truly an inspiring person. I really cherish the early morning runs which we do on roads and the long runs on weekends which has brought a complete change in my lifestyle. And we proudly say that we are Mumbai Road Runners 🙂

Well, till yesterday the anxiety in me was clearly visible on my face. Will I be able to complete the half marathon with ease and that too injury free were my main concerns. But today morning when I got up and geared up with the race t-shirt along with the BIB, the confidence level inside me started rising up and more over I had my co-partners running with me too. We reached the venue well on time, did the warm ups and was all set to roll out 🙂

The atmosphere was electrifying (well this was not my first marathon, I earlier have run for 5 marathons of 10 kms) and we started running under moonlight (shining bright white). So the journey of 21 km started. I was off with steady pace with local crowd including school students cheering us all the way to the finishing line. The climate was humid (not as expected) but this did not dampen our spirits.

I had been thinking to participate in marathons from last 2-3 years but due to some reasons I had to back off. But this time I was very firm and nothing would have stopped  me.

My timing and road map of today’s run.