Doing it again…

August 7, 2008 at 12:27 am (community, running) (, )

2008 San Francisco Marathon Report

After completing my first full marathon in Nov 07, there was a question I asked myself, Should I do it again? So in early February, I decided to run San Francisco Full marathon hoping it would help me doing other things in later part of summer. As it turned out, on last Sunday I ran my second full marathon! To double the good news, Varsha has completed her first half marathon in great fashion. Isn’t that great! You can read Varsha’s marathon report here in detail. Now more insights on my run….

Crossing the line

Crossing the line

3rd August 2008 – Finally the day came which I and Varsha were eagerly waiting for, a day to run at big stage – San Francisco Marathon. With big help from Nerella family, we both were set for our final run.

At 6:15 a.m. with Wave 6, my second marathon run chase started. Weather was just perfect though little bit cold to get started. I was wearing trash bag which made things comfortable in early run. I started slower taking 12 minutes to see first mile marker. In another 30 minutes or so I had a beautiful view of Golden Gate Bridge from Crissy Field. That’s where I saw Praveen. He mentioned me that he is running at 10 and ½ minutes pace and was very happy to be my pacer for first 13 miles as he was just doing half marathon. And that certainly helped as I didn’t have to worry about pace, with having only one task to do is stay close to him.

Running over the Golden Gate Bridge was very refreshing. With clear weather, one could easily see big line of runners occupying the one side of bridge. We did good amount of cheer exchange with Asha runners. Also quest to track Varsha ended during return run on bridge when suddenly I saw her and Shailee running ahead of me. I was very happy to see them enjoying the run. Now I’ve to believe it after seeing Varsha cruising through 8 miles run 🙂

End of Bridge guided us through Presidio neighborhood where we had taste of second hill at 9 mile marker. Still I was going at our regular pace and things were going quite as per plan. Running with such a big crowd is always inspiring. You see all kinds of runners. There were few running in group while chatting all the way. Some do ran in fancy outfit while some like to be warrior. And there are some barefoot runners like our own Shoeless Shetty or barefoot Ken Bob I just had feeling that every one of these wanted to say same thing …. Winning is not only the important thing, enjoying it all the way and finishing it strong also matters. Don’t believe me? Ask Austin, youngest (12 year old) marathoner who had a fun run. And he finished 26.2 miles in just 3 hours 35 minutes.

Well back to me again…. After we passed 12 mile marker, we were already inside Golden Gate Park and here there were different routes for 1st Half Marathoners and Full marathoners. And that means it was time to say “Good Bye” to my pacer Praveen who kept me on the track till then. I’ve completed 13 miles in 2 hours 20 minutes at pace of 10 and ½ minutes per mile. Still going on strong! Next 5 miles we were running through park at same pace. And then around 18 miles I had my first taste of Charley horse . I had pain in my right leg calf which just forced me to be standstill at the very moment! With help of Street light pole, I stretched both legs. And to make things easy I decided to run very slowly while having the intake of banana on the way. In few minutes to my surprise Kumar caught hold of me. Two injured horses shared the feelings of pain and decided to stick together for rest of journey!

Next few miles were never ending.  It seems that I had been walking for long long time. There seems to be no end to journey.  So when I saw pacer with 4:45 plank, decided to tag along with him and other runners. I could able to see 21 mile marker ahead and the wall decoration saying “by going through this you are going to beat the wall” But the irony was before I cross this imaginary wall, cramps in right leg made life miserable. This time I could see the cramps moving from one part of calf to other. I have to wait by the virtual wall for some time before making next move! But I had decided to not to stop and kept running at slower pace and that helped to cover the remaining distance faster.

Very soon I was on Embarcadero Street rushing towards the finish line. Now there was no stopping and I was sprinting all the way till I hear the final beep beep sound which let me know that it’s over.  I did cross the line again with one last push. Hello beloved 26.2, I’m here and I love you very much!!

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Varsha Marathon

August 6, 2008 at 9:34 pm (community, running) (, )

San Francisco Half Marathon 2008

Run with Big Smile!

Run with Big Smile!

Aug 3, 2008 day started very early at 3 a.m. By 4 a.m. we were at Fremont BART station waiting for the shuttle to take us Embarcadero; our marathon starting point. There were total 22 runners from Fremont. Around 5:10 a.m. we found ourselves into running crowd. With backdrop of lighted Bay Bridge and runners all over the street, atmosphere was very encouraging.

We decided to start our run in earlier wave (5th wave). I had one quick thought; before training started I never ran even one mile and now here I’m getting ready for my first half marathon with high hopes to do it strong to the end with aim of doing it under three hours! (Quite a big aim ha ha :-D)

So at 5:55 a.m. we got a green signal and there we are (me and Shailee) leaping toward our first mile marker. With so many runners around, first two miles passed very fast. Smell of fresh breads from Boudin Bakery kept us going. Along came the Crissy Field. Since we had one run over here few weeks back, it was confident feeling with known road. Thanks to Asha, keeping one practice run here was a good move! Okay so we had our first water stop at 2.8 mile marker. With water break, we were able to run through first hill of the marathon. This time while running down I didn’t had any issues. View of Golden Gate Bridge was simply great and it kept us motivating to go further.

Run on Golden Gate Bridge

Run on Golden Gate Bridge

Around 5 mile marker we were in Presidio neighborhood marching towards second hill. This time I decided to run first half of the hill and fast walk for the rest. And then we reached Golden Gate Bridge. We had lots of fun while running on the bridge. We were cheering for all Asha runners and giving pose to all photographers on the way. I was hoping to see my husband Rajendra who was running full marathon. And to my surprise, I found him running behind us. With few cheers he cruised ahead of us. One interesting thing was lots of ongoing traffic was cheering us with big honks! With round trip to bridge we had finished 9 miles. 4 miles to go… wow! But then as we were going through rolling hills; even crossing these slight elevations were turning into big haunting task. With mouthful of pretzels we saw 11 miles marker. After this things were getting harder. Shailee and me were running for a while but to our despair, 12 mile marker was nowhere in the vicinity. Not good I said! We really started missing our running buddy Anita and all interesting talks that we had. Prateek and cheering crowd gave us some needed fuel to see the much eluded 12 miler. Few struggling moments (minutes?) passed by and we started hearing songs played by band. While running with us Chikita assured end line is closer. Those kind assuring words were very uplifting and helped us to go stronger. And in quick moments we saw the finish line. Now there was no stopping and we gave all our best to cross through finish line. With final beep beep sound, I knew I had finished uphill task. Finishing time was 8:46 a.m. I’ve completed my first half marathon in 2 hours and 51 minute. And there was my coveted prize ….. Half Marathon medal! Thank you San Francisco!!

Thank you Asha!!! Without you I couldn’t have done it. Big big thanks to all coaches, mentors and coordinators squad. Thank you Esther, Aparna and Aditi for spending some quality time with my daughter while I was doing my practice runs. Big thanks to Nerella family for taking care of Adya and all the help.

Will keep running… so the story will continue…

<b>A Marathon Family</b>

Marathon Couple

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