Sunday, April 13, 2008

My First Half-Marathon

I have been jogging all through my life but never for more than 1 hour and never very seriously. The last public event of worth mentioning is Hyderabad 10k run (in 2005) around the Hussain Sagar. I guess I completed it in a little over 1 hour. On that day I realized that I could run for even 2 hrs at that low speed. Running very slowly is the key atleast for beginers.

Thanks to Vamsi & Sudhir, we all (including Bharath) registered for this event that was to happen on April 5th 2008. Sudhir & myself knew that running 13 miles wouldn't be easy without practice, so we started practicing running on school tracks in the evenings. The practice helped us a little, but little did we know how hilly the terrain would be in the Golden Gate Headlands Marathon (Rodeo Beach, California). The idea of going to the Rancho San Antonia Park, turned out to be helpful as we realized how difficult it would be to run on Hills. Then, couple of days before the event Sudhir saw the altitude graph of the terrain, and then we had some vague idea of the difficulty involved. At least these events prepared us mentally for the half-marathon.

It was nice to see the number of participants of all ages. This was my first such public event in USA. In the begining itself we had to climb a hill and the altitude gain in the first 1.5 miles was around 600 ft (600 ft looks very small, but you'll know only when you run it :-). And there were steps in one place. We were happy to see the steps as we could stop running there and walk for some time. Sudhir and I ran together and completed the half-marathon in 2 hrs 19 mins. It's not a bad timing considering the terrain and that this was the first one for us and we hadn't
really practiced much before the event and I felt good. The last stretch on the beach was quite tough and it sapped me completely. But seeing Sudhir continuing, I pushed myself. Running together helps a lot atleast for beginers like us. I had a small knee pain, which I generally get if I use too much of my legs. Other than that there weren't any problems.
Check out the result here:-

And the photos are available here on Flickr:-

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