Sunday, October 12, 2003

First Marathon @ Long Beach

Asha Marathon training program 2003( has been a life changing experience for me.

Initially joined the program with sole goal of running a marathon and soon realized the amazing ways this program changes lives in India, buy facilitating education for under-priviledged children in India.

Brief description of each races and lessons learnt from each of them.

1. Long Beach Marathon 10/12/2003

Trained with TeamAsha for the first time. Training went very well, no injuries. Did not prepare for heat of long beach except for a 22 miler at oracle trail, which was very tough but survived and added confidence for the marathon.

TeamAsha coaches Rajeev Patel and Tony Fong are amazing people, pasionate runners and very experienced coaches ever-ready to listen to qualms of a runner.

Long beach marathon seemed to be a good running day, felt quite hot and humid at the start though. All training runs were at 10 min pace so had a goal of 4:25 marathon even in long beach. (never knew what lied ahead) decided to run
with Bharat, Amit as buddies as we did most of our training runs. we ran most of 10 miles togehter at that point it was 1:43

3 min short of our 10 min pace goal, at mile 14 we were 5 min short of goal, started feeling weak and got first indication of how tough things would be going ahead. Mile 14- Mile 17 did a easy run without much worrying about pace.(Time goal was not a concern at this point)

Mile 17 was the toughest mile, barren wide road and dry heat without waterstop for quite long time, started feeling headache and neck pain. From this point seeing the finish line was the only goal, did feel sometimes why do this?... but continued at walk/run pace till mile 22 . Met Rashmi, Soumya, Netika who were cheering the Asha runners,
seeing them was very encouraging. Luckily met Arun simha, Bharat who looked lot stronger at mile 22.

We continued with 4:1 run walk till mile 24, Mohit joined us at this point and we ran as much as we could before taking the next break :). Arun continued to encourage us till the finish. All 4 of us held hands and crossed the 26.2 miles for the first time in our lives.

Lessons learnt:

1. time goal changes with the course and weather conditions on a given day.
2. monitor sports drink and water intake.
3. try walk breaks..

2. SAC marathon 12/4/2003

Long beach left a very bad feeling in me, felt totally defeated by the marathon beast, considered my training was not over till I hit my time goal or run as best I as could. so continued with SAC marathon in 6 weeks

Started training with Asha friends, who had similar goal, pavan, srini seemed to have same pace as me so decided to run with them.

Marathon day:
Felt very strog, weather was perfect, course was known to be small hills till mile 15 and easy course after that. decided to run with 4:30 grp, which seemed slow at the we continued with 10:10 pace for next 18 miles, started feeling knee pain at mile 20 and from that point couldnt keep up with 10 min pace, pavan continued and i again struggled for last 6 miles with walk/run(did cramp a bit too) but was very very happy to see the finish at 4:45.. which was close to my goal and my potential..

Felt relived.. marathon beast is not bad after all.

Still need to know:

- cramps : how to deal with them?
- how to avoid fatigue in the last 10k?