Saturday, April 28, 2007

Groton 10k Road Race coming up

Well, two days to go for the Groton 10k. Ive have started eating larger and larger amounts of food, anticipating a greater than normal burn of calories on Sunday at the race. Not sure if it will really make a big difference. The engine can go only as fast as its capacity. Higher grade fuel does not neccessarily mean a larger faster pace - does it?

We'll see on Sunday. Have stopped running. No running today, and nothing tomorrow. Im going to get a lot of sleep tonight and tomorrow - even during the day if possible. I took a two hour nap this evening. So that should be good. My legs feel good. They are twitching to race. It looks like I might have planned the taper somewhat well - not ideal - but ok for a first race.

We pick up the race packets tomorrow. We are also planning driving the route tomorrow to understand the grades.

Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Running in Westford, MA

Thought I'd make a quick entry today before I rush out to pick up my brother at the station. Got into Westford, MA two weeks ago. Ran for the first time in 30 Degree F and in a light drizzle. The experience was surreal. I felt like I was in a Pink Floyd video. I thought I could tell between dark skies and pain.

I guess it takes some getting used to. Some of the people who post on Runner's World claim to run in 50 below (with Windchill of course). Im not there yet and dont know if I will ever be considering that most of my running is in good ole Chennai.

The next couple of runs were pretty ok. The weather changed. My immediate next run was in a hotel in New York - on the treadmill. I did a 4 mile tempo run with one mile warm up and one to cool down. Managed to keep a good pace even though the damn mill decided to keep slowing down. I had to keep increasing the speed every 3 - 4 minutes. So it was a like a Tempo-Interval run.

My next couple of runs were back in Westford. I did a long run on Saturday around this area - about 8.5 miles. Got to try out my new runner's belt and running glasses. It was really cool! Had some great music blasting out of the Ipod and the weather was perfect for a long run. After the run I had a real good breakfast of crepes and chicken at the Friendly's in Chelmsford. Felt really strong. The runs here are my first experience with hills. But I think my beach training in Chennai really paid off.

On Sunday I did a 16 mile bike ride from Bedford to Arlington - on pretty good mountain bikes. Managed to get in four 3-minute sprints on the way back. It was too crowded for more than that - sunday and earthday - everyone was there. I also went to Goodales in Nashua and checked out a few bikes there. Saw a 1000$ beauty that I am so tempted to buy - but not sure where to ride it. Apparently Im a size 54. One day..

This week is all about slow and easy recoveries. I ran a 4 mile easy (somewhat fast but comfortable) today to recover from a weight session yesterday. For the next few days until the Groton 10k I will only be walking to keep my legs fresh.

Most likely my next post will only be after the race. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Runaway appetite!

I did some minor weight training - back and some leg presses - and 50 minutes on the exercise bike. Burnt about 800 calories today. I am desperately trying to get my weight back under control. In the last couple of weeks it looks like I have actually put on about a kilo. However, I am actually increasing my mileage and intensity. What has however happened is that my appetite seems to be running way out of control. I sometimes eat 3 times between 6 and 12 AM in an evening. Not sure how to fix this.

Im going to post in a discussion at Runner's World and see if any one has any answers.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Long run yesterday - to IIT Madras

Yesterday was my second run with Chennai Runners, a group of guys who train for various marathons.

Our route was Dimensions Gym off C.P. Ramasamy road to IIT Madras and a 2.5 mile loop inside which each of us could do as many times as we liked. The run to IIT was uneventful. We were unsure of the reception at IIT as none of us had run there before. In any case, we decided to give it a shot and turn to Anna university in case we had problems getting in. Anyway, as we approched IIT we got strung out a bit and I was the first to hit the entrance. I saw a couple of suspicious guards at the security booth and came up with a quick strategy. I turned up the volume on my Ipod looked the other way and ran through. The guys following (Ravi had just joined us for his first run with us) say that the guard tried to call after me to check if I was a student. I of course could not hear the guard and kept running confident in the knowledge that there was no way the guard would leave his post to chase after me. The plan worked and I was deep inside IIT by the time I realised that the rest of my group was missing.

Apparently they were effectively intercepted at the gate by the same guard who tried to stop me. He demanded an entry pass which none of the guys had. So they paid the requisite obeisance and proclaimed him lord and master of the roads in IIT. Sufficiently appeased, he let them continue with the stern warning that he will not let them in the next time around.

I completed three loops inside to give me a total mileage of 11.84 miles (18.94 Km). So Im getting closer to the half marathon it looks like. This time around I had applied diaper rash cream to my inner thighs so I didnt get chafed like last week. However, my right nipple almost fell off with the t-shirt chafing it!

Other than that hoary experience, it was great running in IIT, reminiscing all the time I've been there drunk or stoned going in for some concert or the other. It was somewhat surreal - lol.

Hope to be running in Mass this week end and in New York next week. I will post a comparison if I can!

Friday, April 6, 2007

Its not about the bike!

I am almost done with a great book on Lance Armstrong. Its called "Its not about the bike". I must say its one hell of a book.

Its great because it really inspires and pushes you to try and do some thing right away. It also gave me a complex about my cycling. I recently participated in a cycle rally and covered 30 km in a pathetic 1 hour and 10 minutes (I defend myself saying I had no training and what not). The Tour riders do 30 Km uphil in some surreal 25 minutes!

And to think that this guy went from 40% chance of survival to 7 continuous tour victories! Its mind boggling. Check out this great video of Lance speaking at the ESPY awards -

and here's one of the god climbing the Sestriere in 1999 -

Definitely read the book guys. Its a whole new perspective on what the human mind and body can do.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Blogman returns

After several endeavours at maintaining blogs on different subjects and giving up, here's an attempt at returning to blogging.

My latest craze is running. The more I thought about it, the more I realised how much similar running is to life. Hence a blog that talks about running - running in every aspect of my life. So mush on and hopefully I will have something to say that people would like to read about.

I recently discovered this great site - by Rbk - and no, unfortunately, I am not getting paid by them to write about it. Let me just say that I found the site amazing. Its a great site to plot your runs (or any route for that matter) and get the distance. Its powered by google maps so you can see a sat image superimposed and all that. I was blown away that this was possible for Chennai.

I checked out a couple of other sites. But this looks like the most slick. The interface is not obviously intuitive, but it works great once you get the hang of it. So try it out folks and let me know if you find anything better.