Monday, November 27, 2006

The 10th week of Sunmart training

This was probably the easiest week of all training. We did nothing. There was a suggested 10 mile run for the tuesday, and owing to being in Cincinnatti, I promptly skipped that run. Good times were had with family in the corn states of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Some fundraising was also achieved. More fundraising emails need to be set up and sent now.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The 9th week of Sunmart Training

These weeks were our hard yards of the training. Following the 31miles of Sunday, monday was 14 more miles (still making up for missing the back to back run on the previous weekend). The wednesday powerline loop was as always with some fartleks put into it, and Messrs. Mark and Fagan made me really sweat it.

Warda trail marathon was coming up on the weekend, so we mostly chilled out rest of the week. Warda turned out hot and hard, and somewhat useful in understanding how to setup your gear in a race where you loop around the start point 4 times.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The marathon at Warda

The marathon at Warda was a hot and hilly affair. It started off with a fairly tame drive to Bluff Creek Ranch in Warda (we are getting to know the bylanes of East Texas fairly well, what with all these weird races). It started off a little cold, and as we saw the 50milers start their race and were warming up for our start, the organizers held a sweepstakes for trail running shoes. Bub (Gaurav) picked Ani's number and all good (and goods) was retained within the family!

The marathon was structured in 4 loops. The first half of the first loop went by listening to Joe's stories and his songs on farting. There was a small catch in the back, and I slowed down starting the first loop itself. The second and third went by with a little push. End of third, I met Ani whose ITB had forced her out of the race after 2 loops. She gave me her bottle and I took off my backpack and went out for an easier final loop. The best part of Warda was the piece of wood we received for finishing. Far better than the numerous lame medals we get after every road race, each in-distinguishable from the other.

Monday, November 13, 2006

The 8th week of Sunmart Training

The week started out fairly tame, one easy and refreshing run in Portland, return to Palo Alto on Friday with two pizzas for dinner, and return to Austin on Saturday night. Nothing so far had prepared me for what eventually turned out to be the most surreal single day of my entire training, the race day inclusive. The Sunday was the Motive Bison Stampede half marathon race. Prior to the race, I wanted to make up for missing my 30 miles on Saturday. The entire team had run a hard run in Bandera and were more weather beaten than I was -- prompting an inspiration to ensure I catch up with them. The story of Sunday has to be blogged elsewhere, 'nuf said to say I did run my 30 miles.

In all this week turned out to be the most eventful week of the training, just because of the Greenbelt by night experience.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Surreal!! The day of the Bison stampede

The day of the Bison Stampede started early for me. I was travelling back from Portland, and had missed the 30mile run at Bandera on the previous day. The Bison Stampede half marathon was scheduled to start at 7:30am and I was looking to get a 17mile run before that.

Greenbelt at 3am is incredibly surreal. I had run (finished) a few wednesday runs in the dark, but none of that had prepared me to run alone for 3 hours in the dark. The green light, the rocks and roots, a constant buzzing (which I attributed to some insect) added to the atmosphere. The powerline loop had never held such a charm. I ran the powerline, came down the hill of death, crossed over sculpture falls and went until 360 and returned up the hill of life to finish my 10mile loop. That had taken more than 2 hours. As I refilled my camelback, I was more than ready for the next loop. This time it was the usual powerline loop and this time it went much faster.

Then I drove over to Motive and met the Asha gang. The half marathon turned out to be the fastest part of the running that day -- I got through Motive in 2hours, my personal best in three years on that course.

Monday, November 06, 2006

The 7th week of Sunmart Training

Most of this week was spent in Portland. Portland is a great place to run. Its really hilly and is almost always wet, and if you hit the trails, then it has a great tropical forest feeling to it. Considering it was a taper down week, coming right after the RR 50K, mostly we chilled out this week, partaking heavily of the fat of the land. The two runs in the hills of Portland however, were truly enchanting. Having run all my trails in Texas, Portland provided an extraordinary breath of fresh air.