2014 – Journey of running

2014 was an important year for running.

To look back 15years ago in the last quarter of 1999 when I was studying at NIT, Trichy (Then REC, Trichy) I made my first steps of running around the cricket ground. I was running barefoot then. I used to cycle from hostel to the ground remove my slippers and ran. Struggled even to run 200mts, the ground was 800mts. I was panting, sweating, cursing myself. I kept running almost every day around the ground irrespective of difficulty in running. When I was leaving REC I managed to run 11times around the ground.

2014 also marks a decade of serious runnning. It was in 2004 around November – December that my brother suggested why not run marathons. And from their running got stuck on!

Prior to 2014 running was on and off with bad timings in Marathons due to varied reasons and inconsistent practice runs. Mentally it was tough to overcome injuries and broken bones and get back to running. The vision was in sight. It was time to come back. I started off towards end of 2013 and felt good.
To prevent injuries I also decided to strengthen core mixed with good stretches. Everything was new and it looked like I was a newbie again. The biggest factor was poor performance in previous years was in the 2nd half of running marathons. And this resulted in timings above 5hrs. I started feeling that being on the track for more than 5hrs was not getting justified to say that am a runner.

2014 began with a simple target that I would not run marathons for anything more than 5hrs. If I ran above 5hrs then I would not run any longer.

So began the quest with Mumbai Marathon (SCMM 2014). New strategy to keep running and not walk at any point of time. Unfortunately after 30+kms, I was forced to walk. Old thoughts started coming back but the main focus was to get over the cramps. Finally I managed to cross the line after 4hrs and 15mins. I managed to keep up to my word and that was a good motivation, I was pumped up. There was a learning from here not to avoid hydrating sufficiently.

The next run was “Run the Rann“. This was to be a 42kms run at Rann of Kutch. In the end the distance turned out to be 53kms. It was not about the distance, I spent almost 9hrs and 31mins. It was disappointment. It was not much about the trail it was also not properly planning the run and a mental exhaustion. There were learnings and revised target that no more ultra marathons with such a bad timing.

Few months of break and it was time to restart with TCS World 10k. It was not exciting event but a good platform to start running with regular practice. I did not expect much from this event. Of course 1hr meant I was long enough and would have felt bad. Luckily that was not the case. But am not sure I would again get back to this event in 2015!

Chennai Trail Marathon, this was one event I was looking forward to. I was also getting attracted to Ultra Marathons. Main target was to run 50kms comfortably. Though in the end I would not say so. I was again comfortably running with sufficient intake of oranges and lemon for hydration and salts. And this also had an effect. After around 30kms I started struggling. Finally I managed to finish 50kms in 6hrs 20mins.

The next even which was coming up was Jawadu Hills Ultra. I was keenly looking forward to this run. 50kms on the hills, I was excited and tensed. I did not intend to repeat mistakes of Mumbai and CTM. I kept hydrating myself, avoided lemon and oranges, feasted on bananas and chocolates. There I was running comfortable pace. Maintained one single goal, do not walk. Around 25kms I was getting tired but pushed myself saying that however it is do not walk. Slow job up the hill is fine. Took good few minutes break at all aid stations. Yes I managed to finish in 5.5hrs without any tiredness nor pain nor acidity. I was very happy.

Post this event I wanted to take a break which was when SAP Runners Cup started. This was an event where we form team of 3 across SAP locations around the world. We burn calories basically. With my body weight I had to run more and more to burn little amount of calories. I ran frequently to office from home. This 3months helped in improving my rhythm and also pace. I all times supplemented with core exercises. I did not clock less miles in this period but I burnt only few calories.

Chennai Marathon in the month of December to mark the decade was my best run so far! I picked up pace after 2kms, regularized the run with sufficient breaks. Learnt from all past mistakes. Carried forward from Jawadu Hills Ultra and completed the marathon with personal best of 3hrs 54mins.

To sign-off the year in my own way last 3days I have clocked more than 10kms per day. Today being the last day of the year ran 14kms in 1hr20mins.
With that looking forward to improved performance in 2015!

Thanks to my family of parents, brother, wife, sister and my in-laws and to all my running friends and non-running friends and to my office colleagues for all their support throughout the year.


PK – Movie Review (Hindi)

Aamir Khan and Anoushka Sharma have done a good performance in the PK. PK is actually a word used for a person who is drunk. Aamir Khan is a guy who comes from different planet to research about Earth. Fortunately or unfortunately he lands in Rajasthan and is stolen of his only possession which is also the device to go back to his home.

What follows is a hilarious take on superstition and our blind faith in God. And how we put so much money in the name of God but not to feed poor kids. There is loads of humour in the way he follows each religion and the practices to get what he wants.
Stealing clothes from dancing cars, doing “anga pradakshana”, breaking coconut, serving wine…

Do not worry there is entertainment factor in the name of songs and emotions too. The director could have done without songs unfortunately this is bollywood.

Songs are just fine though I do not recollect the background score now.

The script does loose down a little in the 2nd half.

Bollywood goes to prove that they can make even aliens fall in love, sing a song, shake the leg! 🙂

In the end we humans teach one important thing to any other species, “To Lie”!

The movie is one time watch.

My rating 3/5.

Chennai Marathon 2014

This run was very important for two reasons:
1. 10yrs ago around this time was when my brother Shyam asked whether we should start running marathons graduating from 5km runs.
2. I had gave a word to my wife I will run this marathon in less than 4hrs. There has to be an improvement from previous runs.

I was doing exercises regularly and doing regular runs and slightly confident of doing a good finish. Last two weeks most of the time I was having cold and was not able to run regularly like I would have loved to.
I was shocked when I learnt that start time for The Wipro Chennai Marathon was 4:00am and unlike last year no run inside IIT Campus. This would also mean running into 21kms and 10kms runners mid-way.





Morning of the d-day I was up by 1:30am and finished some stretches taught by Gladson and applied little Himalaya Stress Relief Oil. I reached quite early to the start point which was Kasturibhai MRTS station. I met Tanvir Kazmi who did motivate me that I could finish in less than 4hrs. Tanvir was also a pacer with 5hrs bus. I had a target time of somewhere between 3hrs45mins – 4hrs:00. Later I met others from my office part of SAPRoadies.

The amazing thing about TWCM is on dot start. Sharp 4:00am all full marathon runners were flagged off. I moved over ahead of 4hrs bus with pacer Peter Van Geit from Chennai Trekking Club. First 5kms is always bad sometimes for my mind. I even ended up thinking that I should do more of Ultra Marathons and leave Full Marathons. The route was great so far moving towards Besant Nagar Beach and then towards Marina Beach. Was going steadily I believed. At times I was feeling dehydrated and thankfully there was a water station with even chocolates and bananas.
The learning from Mumbai Marathon 2014 helped a lot. Not to allow to get dehydrated and to keep hydrating regularly. I took few sips of gatorade at every possible aid station and water at some others. Apart from helping myself with some chocolates and bananas!
After Chennai Trail Marathon I deliberately stay away from lime and oranges in the initial kms of the run. U-turns and straight stretches and long runs I was doing pretty comfortably. At every u-turn I would want to ensure that 4hrs bus do not cross me and to be almost a km ahead of them.
After 30kms was a little nightmare because I was running into the crowd of half marathon runners. They were many running in same direction as mine and many many in the opposite direction and not to mention half marathoners walking in the middle of the road. It was difficult to move through this sea of people. I drained a bit of energy asking people to move to the left and banging my hand on elbows of other runners. This was tough stretch.

Now I was getting mentally drained also. I pushed myself towards 40kms mark and was feeling the tiredness and pain on my shoulders. Took a quick break and also applied volini spray. A definite no-no next time. The burning sensation was not an easy one to bear with. In the end towards the last few kms I could have maintained pace for a finish in less about 2mins or so.

Eitherways am happy with my performance.
Bib Number : F132
Name : Sathish Krishnaswamy
Category : OPEN
Gender : Male
Start Time : 04:00:13
Split@9 Km : Reached at 04:48:01 with Net Time :00:47:49, at an Avg Speed of 11.3 kmph
Split@14 Km : Reached at 05:17:02 with Net Time :01:16:50, at an Avg Speed of 10.93 kmph
Split@14.5 Km : Reached at 05:21:24 with Net Time :01:21:12, at an Avg Speed of 10.71 kmph
Split@22.5 Km : Reached at 05:55:03 with Net Time :01:54:51, at an Avg Speed of 11.75 kmph
Split@26 Km : Reached at 06:11:34 with Net Time :02:11:22, at an Avg Speed of 11.88 kmph
Split@28 Km : Reached at 06:28:31 with Net Time :02:28:18, at an Avg Speed of 11.33 kmph
Split@35 Km : Reached at 07:05:01 with Net Time :03:04:49, at an Avg Speed of 11.36 kmph
Finish@42.197 Km : Reached at 07:54:42 with Net Time :03:54:30, at an Avg Speed of 10.8 kmph
Gross Time : 03:54:36

Positives of the run:
1. Water stations at almost every 2kms mark.
2. Chocolates and bananas and dates at the aid stations along with gatorade, electral and water.
3. Sponges dipped in water though I did not use it.
4. Traffic management. Excellent job by the traffic cops and the police to maintain discipline by road users. And the public did not honk at any point of time or point and abuse for running and blocking traffic.
5. Cheering squads at many different point and volunteers.
6. Separating different sections to distribute medals to runners.
7. Volunteers who would take cups from you and put it into dustbin and there were volunteers who would collect cups from ground and put them into dustbin.

Improvements for future:
1. To ensure that runners of different categories do not clash. Maybe a slight changes at peak hours where most runners are expected to be at a particular stretch.

Thank you organizers. Looking forward to TWCM2015.