I have not been able to run much during the last ten days due to travel - first on personal work to Chennai and then on official work to Belfast in UK. However, the few runs I managed to do during this period were quite enjoyable. It was a nice change to do training runs in places other than Bangalore.
On Saturday 1st November I did a 25KM/2hours 35 minutes run in Chennai. Started out with my brother Mahesh from his home in Kilpauk Garden road around 530 AM. Ran through Nugambakkam road to Marina beach - a distance of approximately 8KM. While Mahesh returned back as he had to go to work I ran up and down along Marina Beach for about 8KMs before returning back. While running along Marina beach I was pleasantly surprised to see another runner with the Bangalore ultra 2007 T0-shirt. I caught up with Ramani and ran a couple of Kilometers with him. It was really wonderful - I look forward to seeing him again at the Ultra next Sunday. I was quite skeptical about enjoying a long run in the streets of Chennai and was surprised with the experience. While there was reasonable traffic even at 6am and more so on the return leg the roads were very broad and one could run on the side without a problem. I had to stop for traffic only to cross the road to the beach side (that intersection is a fairly busy one) and then at EGA junction on my return. I also found the roads much smoother(that is without potholes) compared to the roads in Bangalore. The heat was not bad at all till about 730am. There was shade along most parts of the route and also a gentle breeze. All in all a very satisfying run!
The week of 3rd November I was in Belfast on work for 4 days. During this period I ran in the treadmill in the hotel gym a couple of times. I don't do much running on treadmill - only when I am unable to run outside. In this case, I was staying in the city and could not find a suitable running route. Besides, it was quite damp and cold with morning temperatures of around 6 Degrees celsius. While long runs on the treadmill can be quite boring I do not mind running for an hour or so indoors. (For the record I did do my first ever 20K+ run on a treadmill in Plano Texas in February 2002). On Monday 3rd November I did a 45 minutes, 8.5K run and on Thursday 6th November I did a 61 minutes 11.7K run . I enjoyed both the runs. The gym was very spacious and there were quite a few people for company. In between I cycled 30K in about 50 minutes - not sure if the reading on the machine was correct - normally when I cycle outdoors I do about 15K an hour pace - so this seemed out of wack.
I intended to end the week with a 12K run in Bangalore on Sunday 9th November - however, I felt too tired (with slight sore throat and cold) after the travel to get up early and run. So I ended the week with just about 20K of running instead of the planned 30K+.
I feel I am a little short of training runs and have put on a couple of Kilos in the last couple of weeks with all the gorging during Diwali, the Chennai trip in which I attended a wedding and visited several relatives and also the travel to UK. (I do tend to eat a bit - specially fried stuff and sweets and gain weight easily. I first got into running so that I could eat and drink what I like without adding weight!). However, I feel reasonably confident of tackling the 50K next Sunday and completing it between 5:30 and 5:45 - barring any last minute injury or sickness.