Goals reached x2: $3,754>$3,000 + 3:58:39<4:00:00. Yeah!!!

Goals reached x2: $3,754>$3,000 + 3:58:39<4:00:00. Yeah!!!

Your Donation to PRASAD

As I mentioned in my second post, I am using my participation in the New York City marathon to raise money and awareness toward the work of the PRASAD Project.

There is one specific project that the funds are going to: it’s called the Orchard Project and Second Crop Initiative. From the PRASAD website: “farmers in the Tansa Valley have planted mango and chikku trees - popular fruits that are easy to sell. Amidst the trees, they are planting cash crops such as colorful marigolds or chamomiles, and vegetables such as spinach, beans, cucumbers, pepers and squash.”

I liked this project because:

  • The farmers - which in rural India constitute most of the local community - are empowered: it’s their land, their crops, and their economic independence they are building with PRASAD’s help - your help!
  • The environment is restored, with the trees that retain soil and water, and also with the other crops which recreate an ecosystem.
  • The long term goals (7 years for a tree to bear fruits) are supported by short term interest (meanwhile the trees give protection to other cash crops and vegetables). In a world whereshort term gains tend to be the priority at an enormous cost for the future generations, I find that this long term vision, which is strong in the traditional farming culture, needs all the emphasis it can get.

Lives and land are profoundly transformed for the better thanks to your donations. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

PS: I you haven’t donated yet and would like too, please visit  http://www.crowdrise.com/tristansnycmarathonf/fundraiser/tristan

The Staten Island Half Marathon this morning was blessed with perfect weather: sunny with cool, crisp air. It&#8217;s a very happy and courteous crowd. I ran without music and didn&#8217;t feel I was missing it. My time: 1:46:36.

The Staten Island Half Marathon this morning was blessed with perfect weather: sunny with cool, crisp air. It’s a very happy and courteous crowd. I ran without music and didn’t feel I was missing it. My time: 1:46:36.

The Wall

In long distance running, there is something called “The Wall”.

At a certain point, the body runs out of the glycogen stored in the liver and muscles. Glycogen turns into glucose quickly whereas fat metabolism is slow. It’s like running out of gas: you just can’t move as you can see on this video.

Even with carbohydrate-based energy gels and drinks intake during the race, 43% of runners experience The Wall; some can’t even stay standing and crawl on all fours to the finish line. If you have the stomach for more dramatic occurrences, you can search “hitting the wall marathon” on youtube.

This is something I wanted to experience before the big day, so I could practice pushing through it. Most people hit The Wall between mile 16 and mile 20. Yesterday, I had pasta for dinner, and today I had a brunch at 11:00 a.m. and then did not eat anything until my run at 4:45 p.m. Taking just water, I covered 20 miles in a little under 3 hours, and… didn’t find my Wall.

My training program does not include longer runs, and I’m going to stick to it. I am walking slower though and I have the feeling tomorrow is going to be sore.

Running as Meditation

My longest run so far was the saturday Irene approached New York City. I was going for 12 miles, taking advantage of the cool rain the hurricane was bestowing on us before the strong winds would keep me inside for who knew how long.

In my previous runs, I had experienced thought-less moments each lasting a few minutes; they would come naturally when I would get in a running groove, and end when a cyclist would zoom too close, a group of kids would cross in from me, or when the smell of barbecue would hit my nostrils.

On this run, with just a few of us in Prospect Park and nature’s elements wrapping me in a gentle cooling caresse, I entered the same state. I stayed there for a while. When I checked my distance again, I was already at 12.5 miles and finished 15 miles with ease.

In that state, my breathing is deep and slow, so deep it makes running seem effortless; my eyes rest unfocused about 30 feet in front of me, seeing but not watching; my muscles though working are relaxed, each of the hundred parts of my feet conversing in harmony with all that is resting on them;

my mind is serene.

Over-hydration?!

Did you know there was such a thing? (I mean beyond the middle-ages torture technique).

I’m a big (water)drinker, 2 to 3 liters a day easy. But somehow, when I started running longer runs, I didn’t feel like drinking lots, even when I ended up so salty it felt like I had taken a dip in the dead sea.

So I looked it up online. Turns out: more people are over-hydrated than under-so. It’s called hyponatremia, and it’s led to a few deaths in recent marathons. For more information, read this article from Runner’s World.

It all goes back to post #3: Listen To Your Body. What works for me for now is a little water every 5 km during the run and coconut water before and after to replenish electrolytes.

Shoe Shopping

The shoes are the most important piece of equipment you need to run.

Growing up on a island in the pacific, the less shoe I had, the best I felt. I can still remember the high school principal checking at the gate and sending the shoe-less kids back home (I was a serious kid, came with my shoes).

So when I started to run a few years ago, I went with my beloved Nike Frees, the closest I could find to the barefoot feeling.

Growing old on the new york city concrete, I need the shoes I need, not the shoes I want. A year ago, when I criss-crossed this electrifying city on foot looking for work and a place to live, one of my feet resigned on me. If I had to run, I needed the right shoes.

I went to Jack Rabbit on the Upper East Side. They filmed me trying a few pairs with more or less support, and - from the angle of my ankle on impact - recommended the Brooks Ravenna 2. I’m getting close to 300 miles on these and I’m buying a second pair.

And now there’s the new vibram fivefingers trend… what to think?

Listen to Your Body

This is the golden rule: “Listen to Your Body”. True in general but even more when you are going to ask it to run for hours on end.

I’ve done research across the web to design my training program for the marathon, and there is a lot of very useful information out there, and it then it all boils down to listening to where the body is at.

You know it. You know you know it. And yet, the temptation is sooo close to push it just a little more even though the pain in the ankle is growing and the little blinking light is glowing brighter on the dashboard of your awareness.

Ignore it and keep running and you might have to stop for weeks. Stop now and rest for two days and you can compete with the kangaroos again. 

My First Marathon

Welcome to this blog!

This is my first marathon, and I’m so looking forward to run the 26.2 miles to the finish line through this amazing city that is now my home.

I’m also very happy I can support The PRASAD Project by raising money for its purpose, which is to improve the quality of life of economically disadvantaged people around the world. With your help, I have no doubt we can achieve and even surpass the honorable goal of $3,000. To donate, please go to my fundraising page. I am deeply grateful for anything you can give.

With this blog, I intend to keep you up to date with my training which officially begun on April 28 when I heard I got in through the lottery. I’ll share how my runs are going, my thoughts and discoveries, and I’d love to hear from you.

101 days to go, let the count down begin!