Wednesday, May 23, 2007

New Technology!!

Where will technology stop??

It looks like people want to go to the moon just to go to their backyard.

Until next time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Bangalore Midnight Marathon

Just got in from an exhausting drive to Bangalore for the Midnight Marathon!

Some background here. The Bangalore Midnight Marathon happened on 19th / 20th May midnight in, yes, you guessed it, Bangalore!

Apparently, this is a world's first! There has never been a midnight marathon ever before - and I can see why.

Its hell running at night. Especially for someone like me who is a morning person. I read somewhere (in my Chennai Runners group mails I think) that the circadian rythm is on a major downswing at night and its extremely counter productive to an activity like running.

Anyway, it was an interesting variation and there was a lot of entertainment around. So I had a pretty good time. We had to run around a 5.5 km loop 4 times. There were killer inclines every one or two km. So it was one of my hardest runs. I managed to run 3 loops and had to walk/jog/shuffle the last loop. Also I think I came into this race some what overtrained. Never really rested after the Groton 10k.

My calves were bunched up like tennis balls by the end of the 4th lap. I managed to finish the half in 2hrs 23 minutes. Thats a world class time. Only problem was that it is world class for the marathon. But thats a small detail.

The elite runners were keeping a pace that seemed more like my sprinting. Boy were they fast. The Dammaro drummers who were hanging about to encourage the runners would beat their drums to the rythm of their gait each time they passed by. When I passed by it sounded like they were tuning their drums. I wasnt very happy with that. Must complain to the organisers.

Anyway, I had a great time, and my buddies from Chennai runners - Hari, Shumit, Ravi, Guna, Karthik, Adhinav, et all seemed to have had a great time too. Karthik finished the race quite strong. But was making funny noises for a while after. The noises earned him a cold bottle of "Pulpy" mango juice or some sugary drink that they were vending at the end of the race.

After the race we gathered at the main area for announcements and generally basked in a sense of triumph and achievement. The walk back to the car park was a bit of a chore. Ravi and I hobbled to the car like a couple of old women and helped each other across a 1 foot high median. Fortunately, there was no one around to see us.

I went home at 4 AM and ate the perfect post race meal - rice and beef curry. After that lights out till 9 AM.

53.12 at the Groton 10k!

My last day in the US this visit and its at the Groton 10k. This post is a little late, but I had to write about it.

My first long race (more than 1 mile!) in 3 years. I had the usual race nerves getting ready for the race. My brother, a couple of his friends and I reached the venue a little early and were just taking in the sites and the atmosphere. There were the usual band playing, sports drinks companies selling samples, etc. There was even a test where they were giving free pre and post race massages.

I was too nervous to try it out. Anyway, we gathered at the start line - a good 150 meters behind it actually. There was quite a crowd. I heard later that there were some 1200 participants in the 10k.

When the gun went off, I quickly moved through the crowd trying to find a gap. The first kilometer was tough - as always. Getting warmed up and finding my rythm. Fortunately, I was dressed warm in a pull over. I also carried a couple of energy gels with me. Never tried it before but I thought I'll check them out.

Once I got into my rythm things started looking good. There was a bag piper around the 5th k - up on a hill and alone - quite picturesque. I running a pretty good pace and I was moving up on a few people by now.

A couple of kms later and the picture started to change just a little bit. A couple of pretty girls passed me by. I had to let them pass. Gentlemen are like that. Then a guy who seemed to be in his 70s - he was probably a lot younger - slowly passed me by. Gentlemen are like that too.

I decided to try my energy gel. It was pungent and harsh. But it woke me up. I pulled in a blistering burst for 100m and exhausted all the gel I had consumed. These packets are very small it seems. I then continued at my regular pace after having shaken up the several ( 2 ) runners that I passed in that burst.

I made the mistake of not drinking any water. There were only two stations. So I couldnt really get any in for the rest of the race.

I was now coming up to the last km of the race. It was getting really exciting now. I and a couple of guys with a stroller and a baby fought bitterly for position. Then I let them go - yes, you got it - gentlemen are like that.

I then urned into the final quarter mile and I decided to burn all my matches and sprint all out like Abibe Bekila coming in for a strong finish in the 10,000m. Boy was I a sight. I finished 683rd out of a field of 1200. I was just being gentlemanly as you would have guess by now.

Overall, it was a great race. I felt really good after the race. I waited for my brother to finish and we packed up and left.

From here next step was the Bangalore Midnight Marathon!