Wednesday, 7 May 2014

EVEREST here I come – Gulp!!

My 50th (full) marathon had to be a big one, so I chose to run it from Everest Base Camp to Namche Bazar on May 29th 2014. The easy part was telling everybody and myself about it, the tough part was to try and raise some funds to pay for it, and to train so that I could finish with a smile.
A meniscus surgery in my left knee had kept me off running for 4 months in the latter part of 2013 but 2014 saw me as a pacer yet again for the party animals (and several first timers) at the Mumbai Marathon in January. That was fun as usual, but for me it was my 49th and it also gave me the confidence that all was well and I could at least manage a slow marathon without any injury.

I had run many marathons but the highest was at 12000 ft, I had been climbing up to 20,000 ft but that was when I was in college. Starting a marathon at 17800 ft was another experience altogether and I had to be in much better shape for this one.  March 2nd was when I got out of my slumber and did a 28km trail run at an event in Gurgaon – a gorgeous trail and weather to boot, made for a good way to overcome my inertia and inner demons and start my journey of training. Puma was sponsoring a big chunk of m costs for the run and I was running in their ACTV compression leggings for the first time and their trail running shoes and some of their other apparel and accessories. I was surprised by how good I felt on the run despite the long hiatus from running, The 30 runs we organise a year had taken it’s toll with most weekends and traditional long run days, occupied. But that was an excuse.

The next month saw a few runs in considerably rougher terrain on our recce runs in the Aravalli for a new cross country route and my 2 pairs of Puma trail shoes were being put through a rough challenge. Sometimes the tough thorns from the Aravalli scrub won, but their light weight and flexible sole were a great plus. I loved the new found comfort of the ACTV wear compressions tights especially on the trail and when it was cool. I would have to be as comfortable in them, as I was in my shorts or windproof pants, for keeping options open for the Everest Marathon.
But I was not training enough. I had to step up the intensity as there was not much time left.

Meanwhile – I had started going for physiotherapy to regain my flexibility which I had almost completely lost – so my calves and quads and hamstrings had to be stretched for 90 minutes a day I was told. I was definitely not being a good patient and my erratic stretches were showing.

On April 18th I had a wonderful 10.55k run on the route of our Corbett Marathon which was happening the next day and I began to feel somewhat more reassured that I would get into good shape. I could also finally touch my toes with a considerable amount of effort.And I had lost 2 kilos over the last 2 months which I am delighted about.
I finally felt I was getting into some shape.

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