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This Sunday I finished my first half marathon. It was on the East Coast Road and towards Mahabalipuram. Chennai Runners Club organises this event twice a year and I am so glad this was my first half! I have seen the way Chennai Marathon is organised and it was disappointing, perhaps owing to the larger scale of the event. The run started on time and it rained for quite some part. The route was beautiful and the rains made it all the more divine.

The volunteers were encouraging and nice. It was sad to see that the whole route was littered with paper cups the volunteers had handed us during the run. I can not find words to describe the breakfast at MGM. Subjecting people who have run for two hours to such sad food is absolute sin. And this is where I should stop ranting.

Anunay accompanied me for the first 10.5, a  girl I met on the way for the next 6-7kms. The rest I crawled on my own. Never have I experienced neck pain from running! But this marathon was a first time for a lot of such pains. At the end of 21kms, my face was the only thing that wasn’t hurting. And as is usual with me, inspite of having quite a struggle completing the last 5kms, I felt like I had done nothing only minutes after finishing the race. I am proud of the fact that I stopped zero times as I had wished. Also that I was placed third in girls. A lesser important fact is that only ten ran the race. I finished the first half in about 70 mins and the entire race in 2 hrs 30 mins.

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Le Cafe in Pondicherry where I went later. This is the best cafe in town as far as I know. Although this time it did show signs of a government (mis)managed place. Its good inspite of that, thanks to the view. They serve coffee with choco powder. Also vague french dishes which aren’t very bad.

Unfortunately, the day wasn’t meant for good food. The Cafe had nothing other than veg sandwitches with extra mustard in them.

Bouquet smiling at the prospect of eating chicken lasagna

An unlucky day: Eating veggies instead..

And that is one more item on my wish list checked. Next is a full marathon, after due practice 8)

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Long Runs @ IITM

A few weeks back I went for a run with a couple of friends and professors. The verdant surroundings of the institute are at their best in the mornings. We started out at a comfortable pace and I thought, surely I can manage to run with the profs. But I was in for a surprise. The middle-aged lot outdid us and easily. They have been running for a long time and that was our only consolation for the huffing and puffing. And I thought to myself: I want to run this fast, this easily. It gives you the zest to conquer your physical limits, the feeling of being free, the sense of being able to run away from everything. It’s a form of expression intermingled with physical pleasure.
Here is our track from the last Saturday. I have been doing it for two weeks now and already feel like I have improved. Long runs help. Sticky has put together tips and tricks to do better. Here they are.

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Scenes from a Stadium

Time: 6:50 am
Place: Institute Stadium
Composition: 70% profs, 10% students, 5% dogs, 5% kids god-knows-from-where, 5% couples god-knows-since-when, 5% women running in salwaarkameezcanvasshoes.
Weather: Can be described as cool by Chennai standards.
Most repeated actions: Sprinting for 50 meters and then suddenly stopping, panting, walking the next lap around the track.
Most fun moment: Over taking a guy for however short a time and make him chase you; male egos at stake and why?.
Slowest walkers: The couple and the dogs are in for a tie here. Did I just compare them?!
Most disgusting action: the taking-shirt-off-stunt. One guy does it every day…No, not exactly the kinds you would want to see ladies…
Thought of the moment: Go have your breakfast now.

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