More about me as a runner

2017 Target Events

  • 15th Jan - Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon - 3:49:54
  • 12th Feb - Auroville Marathon HM - 1:46:28
  • 29th April - Western Pacific Marathon
  • 15th October - Bangalore marathon - tentative

Blog Archive

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Looking back at 12 in 12..

A week after completing the 12th marathon on 12 months I thought it was time to look back at the past year and then look at ‘What Next’ in a subsequent post.

Inspiration :
The inspiration for doing 12 marathon in 12 months came while reading Bob Fletcher’s book in April 2008. Here’s the mail that I sent to a few of my fellow runners on 2nd May 2008 and some responses from them.

Have been wanting to mail this to the group ever since I finishedreading the book "Spaghetti Every Friday: The Story of Running 50Marathons in 50 Weeks, by Bob Fletcher. 2002, 2nd Ed., " a few weeksago. checkout the review at : book does not have too many tips on running but is a greatdiary/log of guy who went from no excecise to doing this within 3years. This was in 1981-82 when he ahd to write to the race organisersby post , get the entry forms and send them across!! And he did not runto finish - his goal was to finish first in his age group in all theraces- he did that in most of them with finish times between 2:45 and3:15. He was extremely disappointed when he finished around 3:25 in acouple of races!!This book is inspiring me to plan my running as I approach the age ofbig Five O myself ! While there is no way I can do something as crazyas 50 marathons in 50 weeks (even if there were events available inIndia to run in0 I am looking at doing(and in my case finishing under5 hours in all of them would be great) 12 marathons in 12 monthsbetween August 2008 and July 2009 which is probably crazy enough!!. Inthe months that there is no event I was thinking of doing a trainingrun of 42K. Still in thinking/planning stage - have not shared thiswith the wife yet :) but following are the events I am looking at so far:
Aug 2008 Hyderabad trail marathon
Sept 2008 Bangalore intl marathon?
October 2008 KTM
Nov 2008 Ultra
Jan 2009 Mumbai
Feb 2009 Pondy
July 2009 Tibet or thane varsha marathon
Any thoughts/suggestions?

Response from Rajesh Vetcha:
Dear Bhaskar,

No wonder it is inspiring.
As for your 12 marathons,12 months, it is doable for you considering your endurance level, planning and commitment.

My only issue is that you should take your wife's consent to begin with. If that comes through, we will all support you.

Response from Partha Roy:
BhaskerI am on it with you. I also need to get off my behind and do something. It's bit easier and if we have a long term goal like this. I totally concur with Rajesh, that get your wife's consent and make sure kids know this. There could not be better way to discuss this but over a slow long run. Cheers
Of course it would have been impossible to achieve this goal without the understanding and support of my wife and children. While the initial reaction was that it would be too much effort and that I was carrying the running stuff a bit too far they were accommodative and flexible to enable me to make the time for the long runs and the marathons. Being an ardent supporter of Dream A Dream I also decided to do extended fund raising for the organization. It was Vishal Talreja - the co-founder of Dream A Dream who suggested that I track my runs and the associated fund raising progress via a Blog – I took the idea one step further and decided to start writing a running related blog.

In the beginning of May I went to the Manipal hospital Department of Sports and exercise medicine for consultation and discussed my goal of 12 in 12 with Doc Rajat Chauhan with some apprehension. Doc very positively reassured me that I would be able to accomplish this. He also suggested that I do some strength conditioning. I am very happy that I followed his suggestion. The strength training has played a very significant role in enabling me to achieve my goal and stay injury free during this period. Click here to know more about my take on strength conditioning.

Summary of the 12 runs:
Six of the twelve runs were official events with five of them in India(of which one was the Bangalore ultra marathon) and the sixth in Washington DC. The other six runs were done as part of RFL organised runs. Click here to see a summary of all the twelve runs – in fact all the runs I have done to date in nearly seven years of long distance running. I was able to finish 3 of them below 4:15 including a PB of 3:56:49, had 3 finishes between 4:15 and 4:30 and kept all of the full marathons below 4:45. In doing so I certainly surpassed my own expectations. Of these runs I found the RFL Hennur run the toughest due to the uneven terrain and the warm weather. The RFL Kanakpura road course was the most challenging one I ran on ,I struggled the most at KTM and I had the most fun at Auorville. Though I spent a few nervous Saturdays on the eve of many runs , I stayed highly motivated during the run itself. Not once did I think of giving up without finishing.
Overall I lost 2Kgs during the 12 months going from 65Kgs to 63 Kgs. In the period between August 2008 and July 2009 I clocked a little over 1900 Kms at an average of 160 Kms per month consuming two pairs of Addidas Supernova cushion shoes. My training pattern between two marathons was typically FM, 12K , 25K, 15K , FM or FM,12K, 20K, 30K,15K, FM depending on whether the interval between two FMs was 4 or 5 weeks. I raised nearly 2.5 Lakhs for Dream A Dream with spurt in contributions around the Mumbai marathon and the Sunfeast World 10K.
Note of thanks:
Here's the note I sent out to a few fellow runners on 27th July morning the day after completing the 12th marathon.
Hi All
Please accept my heartfelt acknowledgement and appreciation of the moral and physical support provided by you all that helped me achieve the goal of running 12 marathons in 12 months. The T-shirt and the plaque at the end of yesterday's run are mementos that I shall cherish for a long time! These were unexpected and left me quite overwhelmed and speechless! Thanx very much for this wonderful gesture. 6 of my 12 runs were done in RFL organised runs. Manoj and Deepak did the FM with me at Kanakpura road in Sept 2008, Deepak and I ran the Bellandur in Dec 2008. Dharam, Manoj and Uday ensured that I was almost never running alone during the Hennur road run in April 2009. And then Rishi and gang helped make the last 3 runs (EGL May 2009, Bellandur June 2009 and Olde Bangalore July 2009) a breeze! And numerous other runners cheered me on in all of these runs. Last but not least kudos to Nikhil and A2 and the RFL support staff - who kept the course and water stations open till well past 10am in these RFL runs.
Thanx once again.
Meanwhile life has moved on:
During the 12 months one has survived the downturn caused by the drastic change in the world economy. We moved home from CV Raman Nagar to Domlur Layout and my duaghter has joined St Josephs College of Commerce and started her CA course.

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