Mumbai Marathon 2011


(Photo courtesy: www.marathon-photos.com)
After a long time I completed a Marathon without dropping out. In 2010, I did not run a single Marathon except Ultra which was a disaster. I was more than determined to restart my running with Mumbai and not to drop out.
On Saturday 15th January 2011 by evening my throat was in a bad shape. I was finding it difficult to speak still continued talking. I took few strepsils to clear my throat but I think they made it worse.
16th January 2011, my throat felt better but difficulty in talking was still there. No time to drop out. 6:15am started the run with others who were not aspiring for prize and were amateurs. I was running at decided pace and not exerting myself too much in the first half. Things looked fine. By 7:30am I started cramping up. Due to lack of energy reserves in body I needed to eat something from getting cramped up. Luckily my bro Shyam, was running in front and I never lost sight of him. I went to him and took the additional nutri-bar that he had. Ate half. Kept the rest in my hand. By 8:30am, I was nearing the 21kms mark and was happy that things were going as planned. A 4.5hrs finish looked very probable at this time. I had conserved all my energy for the last 10 odd kms.
Then the inevitable happened. My throat was getting from bad to worse. Stomach was cramping up further. Finished the remaining nutri-bar. The only good thing I was doing this time was to keep drinking water at regular intervals. It did help a lot.
The stomach cramps was getting more frequent. Whoever offered biscuits I shamelessly took 4 from them. Those biscuits, continuous water intake did help. I was also afraid that if I exert too much, it could lead to coughing and maybe pull out from the run. I started walking a bit. Cooled down my body then again combined walking with running. I was at sealink by this time. It should be awesome sight to be there early in the morning or early in the evening to watch the sun go down. But not at 8:45 – 9:00am when you are fully exposed to the sun and the humidity. At that time I thought my finish would be worse this time, maybe 6.5hrs. Then by 33kms, I started running without stopping, though at a far lesser pace but better than walking. The other factor that was bothering me was the irritation on my neck. I had got bad rashes few days earlier due to mix of sweat and heat.
It was tough to overcome all these but I did not want to be mocked at on halting in another marathon half-way. The other factor is how to get back to start point if I drop mid-way? The only solution is to run & finish.

A big thanks to those who handed out Parle-G biscuits. A kid who gave me Enerzal energy drink. Those who clapped and encouraged which made me decide against walking.
While the spirit of Mumbaites is awesome. I have never seen such a spirit by residing people in other cities where I have run.
One thing I always wonder is, is there any shade in Mumbai. It seems to be a city bereft of trees. There were few instances when I was running under trees. Mumbai needs more greenery.
Congrats to fellow runners from Chennai Runners, RFL and from elsewhere on completing.

Road Trip 2 Leh

No road trips for this year so far. Been quite period so far. Couple of short rides to Ooty, Coorg. And finally am on a road trip. Not to forget Make Your Trip in March this year.

And finally am on going to be on my motorbike. Tonight I pack my bags and head to Chennai on KSRTC bus. Tomorrow after brief check-up we leave in the night by train to Delhi. Our bikes would travel with us. From Delhi we ride to Leh via Manali. The tentative plan includes Nubra Valley. Once back in Delhi.
Am riding down to Bangalore through Jaipur, Udaipur, Mumbai, Pune.

Looks like a good road plan??

Mumbai Marathon 2009

2 weeks of no training after cycle trek. And basically no running after Ultra Marathon. It was pretty much difficult to complete the marathon but I managed it in the end. I completed in little over 5hrs.
Somehow, I don’t know but after seeing the 30km mark I tend to feel that my legs are tired. That my body would give it up. This is some sort of mental block that’s creeping in of late and I need to work on this soon. Sooner the better.
After some point I wanted to munch few bananas and regain some energy but unfortunately none of the water booths have bananas or oranges. That actually helped me when running Ultra. I finally gulped a bottle of maaza from a shop nearby enroute. Heat was of course on higher side compared to Bangalore!! But definitely not as worse as 2006 or 2008.
Anyway, one more medal to the tally and now time for betterment and improvement.

Mumbai calling

Its the time of the year and the time to be in Mumbai. The time to be running. Am off to Mumbai in few hours from now for the Mumbai Marathon on 18th Jan 2009.
Its going to be tough this year. Am running this with least amount of practise except for cycling few weeks back. After which I have not done anything. Hopefully I’ll finish it in time to get the medal.

Mumbai Attack – What next

Everytime an terrorist attack happens we retaliate. People identify themselves as one nation. We have live blogging, live micro-blogging, live photo feed. We have our troops fighting on the other side to neutralise the situation. Are we pro-active to any situation, we only react to given situation. Though there was tight security at major points in Mumbai, there was a security lapse in recent times since we became lethargic due to no activity. And so we are always unprepared for any eventuality. Every state does not have the proper force to counter terrorism even though it has been an issue since post-independence.
Our laws have too many loopholes which can be tapped heavily. Any person with political clout is a king/queen. If we are stopped anywhere for police check we call for political influence and get things sorted out, even if there is mistake on our side. There is a major problem at grassroot level.
The attraction to make fast and lot of money leads us to do activities which we would not if our laws were tight enough.

Now what should we do. One thing that primarily comes up is lack of resources (people) to fight terror. Why is it so would be discussed in next post.
All ministers should come together to formulate a tough law. Every guy after schooling should spend minimum two years with Indian Army/Navy/Airforce/NSG or any other team. Any guy with poor physical fitness should undergo a program for next one year to become fit. Two years after that he should spend with the force. If a person cannot join force to fight he should provide appropriate medical fitness certificate only due to some illness. This should be verified by panel of army doctors and he should spend two years on the administrative section of force. Any girl willing to join the force should be allowed to do so. If the person wants to continue in the force he/she can do so or get back to the education system.

What is the advantage of such a law enforcement.
1. Every guy would be in either national or state-level force. This makes a team always available to combat in terms of emergency.
2. There will never be a shortage of resource to fight. When one batch leaves another is already in and the next one is ready to join.
3. Every guy would be trained and even if he/she is not in force anymore would know the basics to be done in times of emergency. He/she would also be active to notice any suspicious activity.

Is this possible. yes, it is. But we need a complete revamp from grassroot level. The entire force should not have any political linkage. Any person trying to use political influence would be made to sweat more. For this the politicians should stay away and be neutral. Any politician trying to use his influence should be booked and given a sentence of imprisonment for sometime. And that politician should be barred from contesting in elections after that.

The education minister should ensure that every school prepares its students both academically and also physically. This would enable a kid after school to join the force. Any school which fails to prepare even 20% of its students should be closed down. School managements in their greed to make quick money compensate for the fitness. The health minister should work in tandem with education minister here.
The defence minister should formulate a law which does not have any loophole. Such a law should be brought about in consultation with chiefs of all forces. Its needs more teeth than just mere mention of words.
The election commission should be in a position to not get politically influenced and ban any politician trying to influence the system.
The home minister should be taking stock of situation and prepardness for any emergency regularly.

For this to happen all politicians should be thinking of the nation first rather than being more money greedy or position greedy. But this problem is not only with politicians.

Mark of respect to slain souls

While the operations are still continuing in Mumbai to flush out all terrorists, as a mark of respect to all those souls 29th (tomorrow) is being observed as ‘No Blog Day’.
The determination is commendable of not to speak with terrorists but to flush them out dead or alive. Sitting miles away from Mumbai, there is nothing much I can contribute. May all those souls rest in peace.

This song goes out to all those in Mumbai. We stand by you.

Thanks to Hrish, from where I took the photos. Full credit to those who created it.