My Third Full Marathon – TMM 2019

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20th January, 2019 was the big day for me. All those days of waking up before the sun while my bed was at its comfortable best, getting myself mentally prepared to run while I struggled to get my stride in order and through all that constant soreness, muscle pains and what not!

It was going to be a tough day. One I was mentally prepared for; however it actually turned out to be tougher than I anticipated. Running the race for the 3rd time this year, I thought I had a slight edge over some others thanks to my experience. But the weather gods had something totally different in mind.

I did anticipate the first 5-7k to be really hot and humid, thanks to the thousands of people together, as well as it being very humid towards Nariman Point. However, slowly as the crowds begin to separate, the more seasoned runners pulling ahead, it starts to get better, with more breathing space (literally) for everybody. And usually, you start to feel the cool air whisking through your face as you near Haji Ali.

However this year, it was way worse. I was sweating so profusely by 10k, that I already felt slightly light headed. And what good weather usually starts hitting you by 9k, only came to us around 15-16k when we hit the Sea Link. To give you a better idea of how bad it was, I shall type an excerpt from The Times Of India, dated 21st January which goes as follows:

A sweltering Sunday meant that nearly 40% more marathoners needed medical attention compared to last year: By noon, over 3,200 were treated at the event’s medical camps for dehydration, exhaustion and muscle cramps. Fourteen needed hospitaliztion, though barring two, the majority went home by evening. Because of heat and humidity, several seasoned runners said they took more than their expected time to reach the finish line: Many who wanted to beat their personal best were disappointed as their running time increased by 25-45 mins.

In the morning, the minimum temperature recorded by IMD’s Colaba observatory was 20.3 degree Celsius, 1.4 degrees above normal. The maximum temperature was 33.6 degrees, which was 4.1 degrees above normal. Adding to the unconducive weather was a humidity level of 93%. Studies have shown that elite athletes can suffer one to four-minute slowdowns due to higher temperatures and humidity.

This year cases of cramps and dehydration were more mainly due to warm and humid weather. Also, the number of hospitalizations were more than last year’, said Dr. Vijay D’Silva, director, critical care and medical affairs, Asian Heart Institute (AHI). As compared to the 2,324 runners who required medical attention last year, the number rose to 3,226 this year. As a point of reference, overall participation rose by a little over 200 this year.

Read the entire article at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/67616609.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

It was a tough game mentally. I was running at a very good pace for the first 25k, covering that distance in just a little less than 3 hours. Then slowly as I felt a cramp start to build up, I had to slow down, and even walk in the midst cause I had another 17k to go, which would be just under the sun. And if that wasn’t enough, I felt morally depressed as I saw all the various pacers run past me.

Such is life. From a high of wanting to finish the race in 5:15 hours to wanting to quit at multiple durations, cause the cramps were getting to me. However, I knew this would be a blip on my running career, I’d never be able to forget. And giving up has always been something that’s very hard for me to accept on all levels. So I carried on, one step at a time, running slightly and walking all the more, doing my best to block all the pain that came with it. All is well that ends well I suppose.

Another thing I’d like to add at this point is, being well prepared for it, I don’t hate running as much as I did last time. I started my training keeping in mind this race a year ago, after finishing it in 2018. Last year, I did not take up running for almost a couple of months thanks to all the anguish and pain it caused. This time around, thanks to better conditioning, I’ve been on my feet on the day of the marathon and the next day (today); and I am looking forward to starting training again by the end of this week.

And like always, I did manage to run for the last 1.5k, just so that I could get this race over with. The timing was nowhere close to my liking, way past it. But it was a humbling experience and something that is going to surely help me grow as an individual and a runner. Looking forward to sharing many such experiences in the future.

-The Travellothoner.

My road to 26.2 Miles – Weeks 5 and 6

This is a string of posts that I have been doing over the last 6 weeks to document my way through training for a full marathon.

You can follow them here :

  1. My road to 26.2 miles – Week 1
  2. My Road to 26.2 Miles – Week 2
  3. My road to 26.2 Miles – Weeks 3 and 4

My goal through these 6 weeks has been to intensify my training regime and improve my diet, so as to get leaner and tighter while maintaining my muscle mass. So far, it hasn’t been the most successful road. Although I have managed to lose a few kilos, I’m still far away from my goal. In the meantime, I also planned to increase my weekly running mileage which hasn’t been going as well as planned either.

However, on the bright side, I have managed to improve my training regime to include almost 2 hours of workout or active time in a day, which includes a session of running and a session of weight training. Over the last 2 weeks, I have managed to clock about 35kms a week, which includes more inclines. And during my weight training sessions, I have started increasing my number of reps per set while maintaining the same level of weights.

My prime focus still has been on getting an adequate amount of sleep and focusing on recovery, while making sure I consume foods with ample vitamins, nutrients and most importantly protein.

My goal over week 7 is to clock atleast 45-50 kms which includes a long run of atleast 2 hours or 20kms. Over the next few weeks until the marathon, I have also decided to reduce my weight training to give my body more time for recovery. All in all, Core-Training is an area that I am going to emphasize a lot more on.

Do feel free to add tips or share your expertise in the comments below, especially if you feel I am not on the right path.

Until next time,

The Travellothoner.

My Road to 26.2 Miles – Week 2

After writing my first post last week, My road to 26.2 miles – Week 1 , what I thought would be the beginning of a fast journey towards achieving my goal, has turned out to be quite a slow and sluggish start. At the peak of my training, I literally waited all day just to get a workout in or head off to the gym. That’s certainly not the case anymore.

I find myself bored and making excuses to get out of going to the gym, or from going for a run, something which I hated to do a couple of months ago. I realise now, that it’s going to take a while before things are back into place like they originally were. It also does not help that I actually have genuine excuses in the form of exams approaching next week.

But having said this, there has been progress none the less. I did manage to run about 25kms this week, do 4 days of weight training climb about 45 flights of stairs and lose 1.2 kgs in the process. Its not the best start, but its better than not to have started. I just need to find my drive and find that work ethic that got my blood running the last time around.

My goal for the coming week (given I also have an exam to prepare for), is going to be to atleast get 30 kms worth of running and eat better and lose another kilo. At the end of this week, the real training shall begin and it’ll be time to raise my training intensity many fold. For now though, I am busy trying to find my legs under me and get into a good rhythm.

My situation has been similar to that of an athlete who comes off an injury. Full of enthusiasm and desperately trying to do too much and get back to speed as soon as possible, as if nothing ever happened. And in the process, managing to be all over the place, while still not being 100% game ready and probably not having lost some of that injury weight. But I shall get better, and that is a promise!

Until Next Time,

The Travellothoner.

My road to 26.2 miles – Week 1

From this point on, I have exactly 8 weeks to prepare for my full marathon at The Tata Mumbai Marathon on 20th January 2019. It’s going to be very tough and a challenge in every sense, since I was busy with exams and haven’t trained for a single day since October. Running itself has been on hold since over a couple of months now.

I’ve decided to document my entire journey through these 8 weeks, so that it’s easier for me to keep a check, and this is a way for me to keep myself accountable. For anyone reading, I have been running since a couple of years now, and have finished 2 full marathons at the same event in the last 2 years. So, my body is used to running 10k a day and taking up some light weight training in the evening. I also take excessive care of my nutrition during this period and focus greatly on recovery.

So to actually go on this journey is not completely alien to my body, and hence not as enormous a task as it may appear. It also helps that I am aware of my body reacts to various changes in my diet and exercise routine, and how I’m supposed to bounce back from it.

My goal over a span of 8 weeks is to lose about 6-7 kilos and run enough miles to enable myself to finish my full marathon within 5 hours. Currently, I am at 78 kilos, which is about 3 kilos over my mean weight this year, and by the end I am hoping to weigh around 70kgs.

To do that, my first week goals include running about 35-40 kilometres, and do light weight training, just to get my body back into rhythm and slowly ease into the intense training that will follow. Primary focus being on stretching and not overdoing anything, and to avoid injuries or exhaustion.

As the weeks go by, I shall put a weekly update regarding training during that particular week, and see how and where I end up. Hopefully, by the end I am well prepared and in a good shape to hit my goal. Wish me luck!

Until next time,

The Travellothoner.