My recovery drinks

Lot of friends have always asked me about Protein shakes, and drinks that I use. To be honest, I have never ever used a Protein shake from the market. There is one that I bought recently, only after reading about the natural ingredients in it, and I seldom use it. Continue reading

Crossfitting for Half-Marathon

I ran 13.1 miles today, on the trails, with an elevation gain of 2190 fts. I had not run a single time past 6 weeks or more. Suffering from a calf muscle injury, I was only on bike, swimming, and cross-fitting (avoiding the run workouts). I spent time working on my glutes, core, squats and used to row more. Workouts dealing in squats are the best overall workout for your body. Continue reading

The Ultra Recap

My first ultra marathon.

Wikipedia states that, an ultramarathon (also called ultra distance) is any sporting event involving running and walking longer than the traditional marathon length of 42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi).

I picked my first ultra distance, as the ‘SMALLEST ULTRA’. A distance of 50Kms, or 31.25 miles. Really not much, if you have completed a marathon, but when most of the minds shut down after 20 miles of running, and you only need to push for another 6.2 miles, the 50K calls for another 11.25 miles of running. Added to it, the obstacles of hills, elevation, and rugged terrain.

I signed up with CoastalTrailRuns, who organize trail races, across the bay area, by the California coast.

Coming to the course description, this is what the 50K looked like:

50Km course profile

50Km course profile

Elevation gain – 6320 ft

Single Track – 42%

Dirt Road – 44%

Asphalt – 14%

I would say this was my first event, where I wasn’t feeling any butterflies in my stomach. I infact slept well for two nights. I was not at all thinking or looking at the course. Rather, for the entire week I was actually logging 40 miles per day on my bike, and 5-6 miles on the run on alternate days. Remained calm and composed, I would say.

A night before, I had set up my bag with all the things I would need, like- extra clothing, running clothes, body glide, and some gels, and water bottle.

The start time was 8 am in the morning, so I left home around 5:45, enough time to reach Marine headlands. Whether I enjoy the workout in SF or not, but driving their early morning is always fun :).

Reaching Rodeo beach, the parking was around a mile away from the start point, so we got a shuttle drop to the location. The weather was cloudy, and quite cold, that I had to wear layers. I was expecting the weather to warm up, and so I wore a make shift arm warmer, made out of cutting the closed end of used woollen socks :). They serve the best, and just incase you want to get rid of them you can trash them.

Reaching the registration tent, around 50 mins prior to the start of the race, gave me enough time to move around, sink with the weather, use the bathroom, and call my parents as I had nothing else to do during that time.

Runners picking up their race packets

Runners picking up their race packets

The race start was right on time. The course starts with an elevation gain of 800 ft. Without letting my running emotions get over me, I kept my nerves, and started slow, even walking the steep sections. Being my first ultra, I thought I will pace myself on my own, and as I feel good.

After the steep section, I started to pick up a little pace. My running form was – smaller steps, quick rotation. This always helps me get into a rhythm and I eventually start passing people on the way.

The first food-aid station was at mile 4, just ate a 1/4 PBJ, some M&Ms, and nuts to keep me going. Beyond this, at every aid station, I consumed a salt capsule, and PBJ with some table salt. And consumed 20 oz of electrolytes every 4 miles. And I never cramped throughout the run.

The course was amazingly beautiful, incredible views


It was awesomely windy, and cold.

As much as I loved going uphill, the downhills were quite demanding. The rugged terrain, had lot of gravel and stones, which need focus and patience while coming down. By the end of 30K, the downhills had almost taken a toll on my quads.

This is me at the 30K aid stop, stretching before starting on a half marathon :).

Stretching, and you can see me wearing socks as arm warmers :)

Stretching, and you can see me wearing socks as arm warmers 🙂

I piggybacked on a runner for the second part for a good 2 miles, she was doing her marathon. And this helped me with some company and pace.

After the 36th km aid stop, I almost walked the 2 mile climb, which had a grade of +10%.

Once the 2 mile climb was over, I picked up the running pace, and enjoyed the muddy trail –

muddy trail

muddy trail

You can see from the picture above, how foggy it was in the woods. Looks like it had a good rainfall.

The last stretch was either downhill, or flat. And let me say, after running a big distance, your quads will not like you running downhill.

As the finish was getting closer, the happy emotions were setting in. If you would have asked me how was I feeling, the honest reply I had was ‘I AM JUST FEELING HAPPY’.

This is me crossing the finish line. Finish time was over 6 hrs, but now when I look back at the whole course and my run, I definitely can get the same course done in under 6 hrs. Even, 5hrs 30 mins won’t be an overstatement.

Happiness !! You can see the smile :)

Happiness !! You can see the smile 🙂

Strava link-

Feels good to own this –

My first Ultra badge

Feels good to own one !!

After the finish

Won’t let it be my last

10 miles of love affair with the trails

San Antonio Rancho park trails continue to amaze me, every time I go there. I find new routes, and new climbs, and new friends !!Image

Being a memorial day weekend, when most people are either traveling or getting their skin tanned. I had a nice affair with the trails today. 

Good sunny day, yet cold, I was planning to log double digits mileage. Still getting my fitness back. Started off slow with tight hamstrings and thighs. Plan was to go slow, and cover the hills and unpaved trails, enjoying the weekend in the runners style !!

Took the trail path, where there was no rush, and I just saw in total 6 hikers, and 3 runners coming down. 2 miles of climb, with few steep ones, and the 5th mile was a steep climb, which for the last part, I had to literally walk. Check the Strava stats.

The best part of running uphill is that you get to relish the downhills. And the downhill part always gives me more energy, and a boost to run another mile.

Today I wasn’t worried about the pace, or the total time. I was there to enjoy my sunday run.

Go slow when you like, and pick the pace when you like !! 

Fell Running…..different kind of hill-running

I came across this term on the web, while exploring few books on running.

‘Fell-Running’ the sport is quite popular in UK. So far I haven’t found any club or group which does Fell running in US.

Fell running is not trail running or hill running. Well, you can say it is closely related because the running happens on the hill trails, slushy paths, grass, and the gradient climb is a significantly difficult part of the component. The name arises from the origins of the English sport on the fells of northern Britain, especially those in the Lake District.

The main difference from trail running and hill running is that the runners use their navigational skills to reach the destination point, and have to carry adequate survival equipments.

Less is known of this sport in US, but there is a Fell Running Association in UK, which administers the sport. Every country has its own, I came across the following link for US – American Fell Running association.  but it hardly has anything in it :).

I would say if you love the idea, you should read – ‘Feet in the Clouds- A Tale of Fell Running and Obsession’.

Also visit the wikipdedia for this.

So far I have been sold by the whole concept and idea, seems so much fun to me 🙂 …