Running My First Half Marathon

IVS Half Marathon

IVS Half Marathon (Photo credit: midwestnerd)


STANDING IN A CROWD of almost 4,000 runners, I shook my legs, hopped in place, and bit back waves of panic. That’s what everyone says you’re supposed to do with panic–bite it. You wallow in praise, cool your temper, gird your strength, but panic extrudes like doughy ropes from invisible portals that you have to nip off with your front teeth before they engulf you in giant debilitating wads. It was a few minutes before 8:30 a.m., and I was about to attempt the first 13.1-mile run of my life. While strangers on all sides bumped lightly against my shoulders, I lifted my head and closed my eyes and tried to picture the finish line–visualize the finish line, that is. You bite panic and you visualize finish lines. If you can. Though I had visited and looked it over less than 12 hours prior, in the moments before the race I could barely recall what it looked like. Then I remembered we were promised an arch with fire at the end of the course. Fire I could visualize. And so I thought with a starry burst of excitement–I’ll run until I go through the fire.


Talkers talk and walkers walk. Although walkers occasionally talk, talkers almost never walk, and they certainly don’t run half-marathons. After almost four years of consistent running, I had become a talker. In a wild week of random optimism, I’d impulsively announced in the pages of this magazine and to almost everyone I knew that I was ready to tackle a half-marathon. Before you’ve ever run or even begun training for a half, it’s easy to talk about “tackling” one. Inevitably, you realize both real and metaphorical tackling of any kind are thoroughly useless. You realize early on that you must run a half-marathon plain and true, leave the helmet at home and tackle nothing. (Bite panic, visualize finish lines, run half-marathons.) When people asked what half I planned on doing, I’d tell them it wasn’t important which one I chose. Important was that I’d finally decided to talk about tackling one.


Continue reading on Runner’s World…




Mumbai Cyclothon – 21st Feb, 2010 – Well Done!

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I participated in the Amateur Community Ride on my new Fomosa Power Sport mountain bike! The Amateur & Corporate riders started their race at 8:30 a.m from Rangsharda grounds at Bandra Reclamation. We started a bit late, around 8:35 a.m. I completed the race at 9:30 a.m. 24kms in 55 minutes! More time than I anticipated! I didn’t go all out to outrace participants. I was happier being safe rather than sorry! I also decided to conserve energy for the Sea Link stretch! And did I need it! The Sea Link leg was fantastic. It was quite warm and the uphill climb at the start of the Sea Link was really hard on the thighs. Gatorade to the aid! I guess road cycling really is not the same as stationary biking smile_shades.Good fun!

Never tell a story because it is true: tell it because it is a good story. John Pentland Mahaffy


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Mumbai Cyclothon – 21st Feb, 2010

Police officer on a bicycle.

Image via Wikipedia

bicycle demonstration in Chamonix. Image via Wikipedia

The Mumbai Cyclothon takes off on the 21st of February, 2010 here in Mumbai.


p align=”justify”>The BSA Hercules India Cyclothon- Mumbai 2010 is a mass participative cycling event for professional, amateurs and the casual biker. The event intends to promote the cause of cycling and promote the various benefits.

The race categories are as follows:

International Elite (Men)
18yrs and above
Entry By Invitation only

Elite Indian (Men)
19yrs and above
Entry By Invitation only

18yrs and above
Online Registration

Corporate Group Ride
18yrs and above
Online Registration

Green Ride
14yrs and above
Online Registration

Kids Ride(8-13 years)
8yrs and above
Online Registration

I have registered myself in the Amateur category i.e. the 24 kms race. Cycles are not available to lease though registrants were promised that it was a possibility that they would be provided.That would be difficult since cosmopolitan India does not have a cycling culture yet!

24kms should be a breeze! I’ve been doing 45-50 kms on my stationary bike at home! Have still not got around to purchasing one for the race, though I have made enquiries.

The website is

Have a great day!




If you have a child who is seven feet tall, you don’t cut off his head or his legs. You buy him a bigger bed and hope he plays basketball. Robert Altman


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Dream Run – 17th Jan 2010

I completed the Dream Run (6 kms) in 45 minutes. I have been doing 10 kms in an hour and 7 minutes, 9 kms in an hour , so I ought to have finished in 40 minutes. But the first 2 kms was not a run, it was folks having a party with no space to run and elbows jammed in your tummy if you tried to go past!

Some pictures clicked at Azad Maidan and me, nearing the finish!

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For more photos from the official web-site

My photos are also online at

PS: Kindly don’t go nuts over the microphone! You know what I’m referring to!

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Cool Running!

Fun runners taking part in the 2006 Bristol Ha...

Image via Wikipedia

After doing the 6 km run this year, I will attempt the 21 kms next year, i.e. Jan 2011.

I have located a few web-sites on running that give tips and schedules as how to prepare for both a marathon and a half-marathon. All said, running a marathon or a half-marathon is about endurance. It does not matter how much you run but how long you run! The longer the better!

Of course distance counts but if you are a  beginner, like me, then you should not concentrate on the distance and/or speed but focus on increasing the time spent running i.e. running non-stop. You can of course, choose to fortify yourself with water and small snacks. Hydration is very , very important. Carry a water bottle with you especially for the longer runs.

Some interesting sites to look at:

and of course

the Mumbai Marathon web-site

As for myself, I will be training by running 3 times a week, supplemented by cycling 2 times a week (to reduce the wear and tear on my knees) and some light weight-training! Bulking up is out – makes it harder to run!

You can find a program to follow on the web-sites listed or use them to create one tailored for yourself!

Also, do not try to be rigid about your running schedule. Listen to your body! Rest when your body tells you to! Also, start early, so that you can compensate for slippages. Or sick time. Ensure that you have good running shoes. Change them as needed.

Do check with your physician before starting any vigorous physical exercise! Start slow, be steady! Don’t rush where angels fear to tread!

Have a great day!

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Dream Run!

I will be running the Dream Run on the 17th of Jan, 2010 in Mumbai.

The Dream Run is 6kms and covers the distance from CST (VT) to Nariman Point and back to Metro.

I have been training for the past 3 months, running 2 – 3 times a week. Slowly but surely increasing the distance covered. Have brought the distance run w/o a halt to 9.6 kms.

I started out running to increase my stamina and strengthen my legs. Those goals have been met to a large extent! Losing fat will take some time! Can’t have it all, I guess!

Intend to give the half-marathon , (21 kms), a shot next year. My friend, Newton is participating in the half-marathon this year.

Wish us luck!


For more details about the race, check out

Mumbai Marathon WebSite