Friday, January 07, 2011

The Spartathlon


September 30 - October 1, 2011
(http://www.spartathlon.gr)

What a journey this race promises to be!! I have filled out the form, printed out the races I have done in the past 2 years and am planning to wire transfer the race fees late next week after mailing the form on Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully my application will be accepted.

50 miles in 9h 30 mins.
106 miles in 24h 30 mins.
153 miles in 36 hours.

These are the cutoffs I will be dealing with. That's faster than I have ever run a 100 mile race. I have one advantage that I "gifted" myself a few months ago - I crewed Nattu Natraj's effort in this race in September and got to witness the course for the first 93 miles up close. Karen Bonnett and I had the crewing down pretty good after the first few Checkpoints and all that knowledge will end up proving invaluable for me and my crew.

My journey to the start of this wonderful race, a start that takes place on the Acropolis under the floodlit beauty and grace of the Parthenon, promises to be filled with excitement, long training hours, painful speed work sessions and intense nervousness in the last few days leading up to race morning.

THE PARTHENON

THE START

HOPING TO MAKE IT PAST ANCIENT CORINTH (50 miles) WITH TIME TO SPARE

WHAT I WANT TO BE DOING SATURDAY (OCT 1) AFTERNOON
(James Adams, from the UK, finishing last year)

THE RACE ENDS WITH THE KISSING OF THE FEET OF THE STATUE OF KING LEONIDAS
"The journey to 153 miles begins with one step" (with apologies to Lao Tzu). I took that step this week. I came up with a training plan of sorts. The plan involves 1 track workout a week in addition to 1 hill run (4-6 miles straight up on asphalt) and a long Saturday run followed by a shorter Sunday run every weekend. I plan to take 1 day off per week.

My first speed session of the year was yesterday (Thursday, Jan 6). I warmed up with 1.5 miles followed by 4x50m strides. The main workout was 6x800m which I ran in 3:51, 3:35, 3:26, 3:27, 3:23 & 3:26. Did the last 2 feel hard! My breathing was a bit labored towards the end and I did not feel as smooth as I did during the first 4 800s. My plan is to work my way to 12-14 800m repeats by August.

My air ticket and hotel reservations are done for my Memorial Day weekend Grand Union Canal Race (GUCR; 145 miles) in the UK. It was my finish in the same race last year that became the qualifier for the Spartathlon. Last year I ran the GUCR with just goal - to finish in time. This year I want to attempt to run in under 38 hours. Maybe 37 hours if I have a good race.

(Eric Nedervold- thank you for asking me to blog more often).

[The Spartathlon logo was "borrowed" from the Spartathlon Web site]

1 comment:

Sean Lang said...

Rajeev,

You are truly an inspiration! It was nice running into you today, and best of luck training for the Spartathalon!

See you on the trail,

Sean