The Perfect San Francisco Marathon

San Francisco is a charming city. The best time to be at San Francisco is early in the morning to see the city wake up. The marathon starts at 5:30AM in the morning. I started running around 6:00AM. It was a nice cool weather of about 54 Fahrenheit . I did not have to use my home-made non-organic jacket, the garbage bag. The first sign that breakfast was ready was around Mile 1. The aroma of fresh baked bread from Boudin made every runner around me gasp, as if we could breathe the calories into us!  

We ran through Crissy Field to the Golden Gate Bridge. This was the first real hill of the course. Rajeev and I decided to slow our pace slightly. It was a good idea to hold off a bit at this time. Once we were on the bridge, the course became very crowded. We had to run around many people, speed up at some places and slow down at others. With all this going on, it was easy to forget to look at the mile markers or worry about the hill. I missed all the mile markers on the bridge and I saw mile marker 10 after we came off the bridge. This turned out to be good because we did those 5 miles at a faster speed than what we had planned. After the bridge, there is another hill. I remember coming down from that hill the most, because that was a steep down hill and it was also my fastest mile of the entire course, Mile 11.

 I had lost Rajeev in the crowd on the bridge, he then caught up with me between mile 10 and 11. From that point, we got into good rhythm and breezed through the next 7 miles at a consistent pace. The first half marathon runners finished at mile 13 and the second half marathon had not started when we crossed, so the number of runners reduced after mile 13. At mile 18, Rajeev said that real marathon starts now. That was so true, this is where all the training and mental preparation really helps.

Rajeev had to slow down a bit to adjust his shoe laces around mile 19 and I was waiting for him to catch up again, as he did at the bridge, but that did not happen till the end of race. Mile 21 is another easy mile at the race. It is all down-hill and I got my second fastest mile after mile 11. At Mile 24 my body was all ready to give up, but I do not know what kept my legs moving. The next mile was the slowest mile of the race for me. After Mile 25, there is small jump to get on to the sidewalk along Embarcedero road, the last mile is mostly on concrete. The Bay Bridge acted as a homing beacon to the finish line and it was just awesome feeling to complete the marathon in my best ever time.

 The marathon was perfect in many aspects. I had very positive and encouraging training partners through this season. The weather on the day was good, it was a cool and cloudy through out the race, with not a hint of sun. The best of all, I had my running mentor pacing me and looking out for me through 18 toughest miles of the course. It is for days like this that I run. What a wonderful day!


Weekend running schedule for June

It looks like there is interest in the long run schedules that I am posting here. The long runs for the month of June is critical to the training for the San Francisco marathon. This month contains 2 of the 3 long runs that will be over 18 miles. Long runs over 18 miles are important endurance training runs for a marathon.

 June 7th  17 miles
 June 14th  12 miles
 June 21st  19 miles
 June 28th  20 miles

Have you seen the Adidas Ads, "Runners, Yeah We’re Different". These are good.

Long run schedule for May

If you have been following my long run schedule to train for the San Francisco marathon 2008. Here is the schedule for the month of May.

 May 3rd  10 miles
 May 10th  12 miles
 May 17th  14 miles
 May 24th  10 miles
 May 31th 16 miles

 It is also a good idea to start doing some speed workouts at this time. Speed workouts help in the long runs by increasing the efficiency at which your muscles burn oxygen. The efficiency of the body to use oxygen is measured using VO2 max. You can use the McMillan’s running calculator to determine the optimal speed at which you can get the maximum benefit of a speed workout.

Update: Corrected the mileage for May 3rd.

Running schedule for San Francisco Marathon 2008

 I ran "almost" two marathons last year. The "almost" is for the Chicago marathon 2007 that was shut down after about 4 hours into the race. Here are the details.

This year I have registered to run the San Francisco marathon. This marathon is a nice one to run for its amazing views and people get to run across the famed Golden Gate Bridge. It is also not for the faint of heart because the course is a hilly course. If you are interested you can train with me. Here is the plan for the first four long runs. Join me, the training starts this weekend. If you are around the bay area you can join my training runs too.

 April 5th  4 miles
 April 12th  7 miles
 April 19th  8 miles
 April 26th  6 miles

5k/10k spring run for 2008

I participated in a 10k race organized by Team Asha last spring.  It was my first long distance race and it took me 1 hour and 30 minutes to run those 6.2 miles. I ended up training for a marathon with Team Asha and I ran the Chicago marathon and the Silicon Valley marathon during the fall season the same year. It is amazing what a little bit of training and a bunch of motivated people can do. Later that year in November, the fitness center at the Sun Campus in Menlo Park conducted a 10k race and I was able to run the same 6.2 miles in 53 min 28 sec.

This year the Team Asha spring run is this coming weekend, the 16th of March. They are planning a carnival this time with more activities, games and food too. I plan to run this 10k race again as the first race for 2008. Wish me luck.

If you are around the bay area this weekend, this race would be a fun place to drop-by.