2008 : Marathon

I realized that I am not superman!!

I successfull completed the 2008 Chicago Marathon in 6 hours and 57 seconds. My worst time so far (2004 was  04:46:01 and 2005 was 05:14:41), but boy am I so glad to finish it. It was hot (lower 80s) and humid, two things that I cannot stand. Despite my lack of consistant training, I thought I could finish the marathon in < 5 hours. By the time, I got to the 14th mile, I realized that I wasn’t superman and had to start walking :-). It was all downhill from there.. my walks got longer and my runs got shorter. By the time, I got to mile 22, I was ready to give up.. but then I remembered why I was running the marathon and picked myself up. Not to mention, my personal cheering squad (my sis, brother-in-law, Sri, Hafsa, Ravi, Deepthi, Achi, Madhavi, Sujana, Byna and Joy) were there to keep me going.

Thanks to everyone that supported my cause and provided moral support. You guys are the BEST!!!

Although I might have come 28472 out of 45000 people that ran the marathon, I was the ONLY guy (as far as I could tell) who ran with the Indian flag :).

I have to thank the wonderful folks at Team Asha, for putting together a great program for a worthy cause.

Finally, thanks to the folks at CARA for running a great training program. I was confused througout the program on what my pace group was, I kept jumping from 12 to 11:30 to 11:00 to 12 to 11:30 :).. but that was my issue :).

This is how a grown man cries in pain after running 26.2 miles!! 🙂

A couple thousand more reasons to run the marathon

I was watching a recent episore of “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (sports show on HBO), which had a story about the plight of “debt” children from India. These children (in the cities of Meerut and Jalandhar) are forced into child labor due a debt their family got into. The terms of the debt so bad that the family never gets to pay it off. The children are then forced to work for nickels to stitch footballs. While the poverty of the family plays a role in this situation, an educated parent wouldn’t have allowed this to happen. If these folks had access to programs run by organizations like ASHA, they would have probably have gotten better paying jobs and their children wouldn’t have to be in this situation.

Running a marathon is a hard task, but nothing compared to the plight these children go through. I am proud to be helping eradicate such things from happening in the future. Help me raise money for ASHA, by clicking on this link (http://ashanet.org/chicago/teamashawiki/index.php/Runners/VinayKudithipudi) and donating whatever amount you feel is appropriate.

I have found my inspiration.. have you?

Week 14 & 15 training update

The last two weeks had been a bit crazy at work due to the recent hurricane hoopla we exeprienced here in the US. I was barely able to keep up with the mid week and weekend long runs. And I oficially missed the 4th race I registered for this year. I planned to run the Banco Half Marathon, last weekend, but wasn’t able to due to a hectic work schedule. I am so proud of the folks that ran it though. It was pouring all morning and I can only imagine how difficult it would have been to run in soggy shoes and clothes.

The 20 miler this weekend was tough. I started off strong and ran ~13 miles without any issues. Then the heat and humidity started to kick in and I had to literally walk the last 3 miles.

Joys of running and week 13 training

You know what one of the biggest joys of running is?? You can eat a full sized steak, some mussels with beer and top it all of with a tripe fudge chocolate with caramel and ice cream… and still not feel guilty about it :-). That was my dinner last night with my friend Brian and I was able to run 18 miles today without breaking a sweat (alright.. I am exaggerating here 🙂 ).

Another successful week of training. Was able to do all the mid week runs and the long run. Hopefully, will be able to keep it up till the marathon.

Confessions and Week 12 training..

As most of you saw, I only ran 10 miles in week 11. I was supposed to run 16 miles that Saturday. I ran for 10 miles and did the one thing that any runner would dread to do.. I stopped, gave up and took a cab back to the starting point. I was exhausted from running in the sun and thought that I would have a sun stroke.. Everyone, I spoke with said that I did the right thing by listening to my body..But long distance running is as much  (or more of) a mental challenge as it is a physical one. I felt crappy the whole day when I remembered that I gave up..

That night I was going through my e-mails and read all the encouraging and supportive e-mails, I received from friends and familly when I told them that I was running the marathon this year, to raise money for uneducated and unprivileged kids in India.. I felt that I had a mission to accomplish and that I couldn’t give up on these kids. And did I kick butt this week :).. I woke up at 4 in the morning on Saturday and ran the 16 miles I missed last week. And not only that.. I also increased my speed to an average of 10 min/mile.. Thx guys..

Week 9, 10 & 11

I was out of country for the first two weeks of August and could not keep up with my running schedule. And boy, has it been taking a toll on me on the long runs. If there is one thing, I would advise to folks that want to run a marathon, it is to keep up with the training schedule.

Week 8 training..

I am in India, on a business trip and haven’t been able to catch up on my mid week runs. Had to settle for a 7 mile run for the long run too. For those that have travelled to India, I am sure you will understand, when I say that India is not the most frendliest place for runners :).. This is in spite of the media attention on the 3 year kid that completed a marathon :)..

Week 7 training..

Chart of my week7 training for the marathon. I did better with mid week runs and also improved on my speed. I ran with the 11 min/mile pace group and was feeling really good after the weekend 12 mile run. Think, it is time to move up to 10:30 :)..