Journey 2017 – First Half

Since the beginning of this year, I have been consistently posting updates on my month-wise journey in the First Half of 2017.

To summarize,

I ran 68 times in the last 181 days, covering a distance of 652.35 kilometers in 59 hours 45 minutes, burning 46332 calories at an average pace of 05:30 m/km.

Now let’s fast forward and re-visit them “One month at a Time”.

First Half - 2017

Just click on the Month below to go back in time. 🙂 🙂 🙂

Month Runs Duration Distance
January 8 8:31 hours 94.47 kms
February 9 6:11 hours 68.22 kms
March 14 11:28 hours 126.1 kms
April 9 8:19 hours 92.06 kms
May 12 12:08 hours 131.1 kms
June  16 13:08 hours 140.4 kms
Total 68 59:45 hours 652.35 kms

Keep Running with Raah !!

June 2017 – One Month at a Time

16 runs |13:08 hours | 140.4 kilometers

June (for me) is one of the best time of the year, my love for rains and for the enjoyment of running in the rains. It’s time to get all soaked up.

Last year I ran just once in the month of June, and in contrast to that I am a lot happier this year to have completed 140+ kms in a single month. I nailed it this time around 😉

Goodbye heat, Hello rains! 😀

The best thing about running in the rains is that, it is gloomy throughout the day and the weather is beautiful (picturesque). I can oversleep and go for a run at anytime during the day and I don’t have to worry about the heat or the overhead sun. I become a little kid running around splashing through the puddles. 😂

Medium Long Run on mornings like these ❤

Running in the rains is really, really fun. I become that “crazy runner” who’s out there in the rain (mostly all alone), getting those kilometers done no matter what.

I can’t believe that I successfully completed the first 16 weeks (phase 1) of my annual training cycle for 2017. During these 16 weeks “thrice a week” plan, I skipped 7 out of 48 planned sessions and covered a distance of 421 kms.

All my runs in these past months were at General Aerobic and Lactate Threshold pace during the weekdays and easy paced Recovery runs over the weekends.

Completion Rate of 85% | 41/48 runs | 421/504 kms

After the first week of June, I moved to a 14 weeks “four times a week” plan (i.e. phase 2 of my annual training cycle), which will go on until mid-September.

With this phase, I introduced Medium Long Runs (MLRs between 18K – 24K) into my weekly schedule. So my week would now look something like this,

  • General Aerobic run (weekday),
  • Lactate Threshold run (weekday),
  • Recovery run (Friday or Saturday),
  • Medium Long run (weekend).

First Attempt | Second Attempt

Highlight of this month was the Strava Mile promotional event, wherein I attempted a couple of Miles in 06:26 and 06:17 minutes respectively.

Nike Zoom Winflo – Shoe Love ❤️

Dear Shoe,


It was Friday, 12th June, 2015, the day you were born. I didn’t expect you for another day or two, but then you made it and were here with me in my arms. I was so happy that day and since then you have always been one of the most important part of my life. 👟

Whether it was your robustness, your durability, your coolness or your supportive nature, very early in your life I got completely attached to you, my shoe (true) love for you have always been so strong since then, so much that I’ve collected all those lovely medals with you, logged my best 5K, 10K, Half Marathon, and my first ever Marathon with you. 🏅🎖🏆

In fact, since your birthday you have been with me for over 190 runs, 1850 kilometers, and almost 750 days & counting. 👍🏼

It is because of your goodness and your trust-worthy nature that I’ve enjoyed ALL my runs injury-free. The best thing about you is that you were ALWAYS there, and you took care of all the hurdles throughout the journey. 🤗

But now, our long lasting happy journey of over 2 years have come to a phase where I would have to make some harsh decisions. I know that you are getting old and for that reason I don’t intend to overburden you with my problems. I will be planning your retirement sooner or later. 😳😳

There is this one thing I can promise, to have you with me and extend this beautiful journey for as much as I can. 🤞🏼


Love you always ❤️

A Story of My Mile – Second Attempt


As a part of an ongoing promotional event in June (The Strava Mile), I had made my first attempt on Wednesday 14th June, 2017 by running a mile in 06:26 minutes.

A Story of My Mile – First Attempt

Today, I attempted another mile in 06:17 minutes which was 9 seconds faster than my first attempt this month. The strategy this time around was slightly different and less tiring i.e. instead of pushing a lot harder, I began much slower than I did on my first attempt (almost 20 seconds slower, 02:40 mins/km vs 03:00 mins/km) and concentrated on going steady at a pace between 03:50-04:00 mins/km.

First Attempt
Second Attempt

In spite of starting slower in the second attempt, in both attempts I completed the first KM in 03:51 and 03:50 minutes respectively. For the remaining 600m, I was 8 seconds faster in the second attempt than I was in the first attempt.

First Attempt
Second Attempt

Start slower and gradually pick up the pace. Conserve energy for the second half.

I will not be able to attempt any more miles this month, but I will surely try again next month. I have 9 more seconds to beat my PR of 06:08. It is definitely going to be a challenge. 🙂 🙂

A Story of My Mile – First Attempt

Going out and running a 7 to 8 minute-mile when you haven’t been running previously, can lead to an injury. Pushing yourself too hard can derail you for weeks or even months. So, don’t try to run faster than you should. Just go with the flow and always remember, you are not competing with anyone else but you.

A mile (1.609 kilometers) for any regular runner is a short 6-7 minutes stretch. They say all you need for this one is guts and I completely agree with that. Any runner, whether he is a long distance runner or a sprinter can get through a mile. But it takes a whole lot of effort to crack down a new PR.

I clocked my quickest mile in June a couple of years ago at the exciting Puma Urban Stampede 10K, 2015 race in Pune.

PR: 1 mile in 06:08 (Pace: 03:50 mins / km)


If you closely observe the chart above, you will find two stretches of Downhill followed by Uphill of 5kms each. So, clocking a 06:08 a mile on your way down hill with -100m elevation is very much possible, but the challenge here is to maintain and beat that pace on a flat surface.

It has been two years since then, and I haven’t really tried to run a mile as fast as I can.
This month Strava has come up with an interesting challenge. More exciting is the fact that I would be joining other runners from across the globe who are celebrating big, bold effort in smashing a few (million) PRs.

The Strava Mile
Run your best mile in June and share your story with #MyMile

Taking it as a challenge, I went out running today, on a flat road in rains, and attempted to run a mile as fast as I can.


My first attempt this month in rains for The Strava Mile promotional event.

I ran this mile today in 06:26, which was 18 seconds slower than my PR of 06:08. However, this was my 2nd best PR and I am really happy about it.

Here’s the link to #MyMile on Strava.

I would be attempting a couple of more this month and you should too!!!


May, 2017 – One Month at a Time

12 runs | 12:08 hours | 131.1 kilometers

One of the Hottest month of the year, and with that it was not going to be easy to log 30-35 kms each week (not to forget incremental by 1 km every week). On top of that there were a couple of family visits and a leisure trip over the weekend.

However, I did well, except the last couple of weeks in May. I had to skip all 3 sessions in the last week and catch up with the sessions that I had missed.

My GAs and LTs this month almost peaked 12-14 kms, and Recovery runs up to 10 kms per session. Although it meant running just thrice a week, but, logging 34+ kms each week required a lot more discipline than the previous months.

General Aerobic run

In fact in May I was able to log most kilometers in a single month in 2017. With 12 runs and 131.1 kms, I was already going strong.

Yes, it is okay to skip sessions. Just make sure you feel good about it.

One of the most refreshing runs this month was in a pollution free, dense tree cover of Matheran. Despite all the bugs and tripping hazards, the tranquility of the deep woods in Matheran is somthing to cherish.

Matheran Trail Run

April, 2017 – One Month at a Time

9 runs | 8:19 hours | 92.06 kilometers

In the month of April, I chose to skip 3 planned sessions in the first-two weeks as I was preparing for Decathlon Anniversary Run, 10K (D’War).

My previous best 10K was in 48:31 minutes (in 2015) and this time around I was looking forward to set a new Personal Record (PR) and was hoping to cross the finish line in < 48 minutes at a goal pace of ~ 04:48 mins/km.

On 9th April, 2017 I beat my 10K PR at D’War 2017 in 46:41 minutes at a pace of 04:41 mins/km and ranked 14th out of 245 runners. It was an exciting route, a very good race and above all, nothing beats seeing sunrise while you were on your way to cross the finish line.

Every time I go out and race, I end up running faster than I’ve ever done before 🙂 🙂

D'war 10K
D’war 2017: 10K in 46:41

The rest of the month I sincerely followed my “thrice a week” (phase 1) schedule of General Aerobic (GAs), Lactate Threshold (LTs) and Recovery runs.

One of the highlights this month apart from breaking my PR in 10K was that my last run for the month ended at the Gateway of India, Mumbai followed by a 1000m of pool swimming at a nearby club.

Happiness is when your run ends at the Gateway of India 😀

The Gateway of India, Mumbai

March, 2017 – One Month at a Time

14 runs | 11:28 hours | 126.1 kilometers

The month of March went exactly as planned. Not only did I follow my training plan sincerely, I almost ended up doubling the no. of kms run from 68.22 kms in February to 126.1 in March.

Mostly, my runs were at my General Aerobic (GA) pace of 06:15 – 05:45 mins/km (some of them slightly quicker than that – but I prefer training at a slower pace). Occasionally my GAs formed a Negative Split (i.e. running first half slower than the last half) and I think it is one of the best way to end any race stronger

Negative Splits

At times, I mixed the GA runs with Speed runs; starting with a warm-up, followed by 10 x 100m interval of Speed run (as fast as I can) and ended the session with a Cool Down.

I also ran a couple of runs at my Lactate Threshold (LT) pace of 05:15 – 05:00 mins/km. Again, warming up at the start of each run followed by some kms at LT pace and ending with a much needed Cool Down.

Lactate Threshold

Weekends were mostly recovery runs at an easy relaxed pace.

February, 2017 – One Month at a Time

9 runs | 6:11 hours | 68.22 kilometers

Last year, I started with my routine running in the month of April and SCMM, 2017 training plan in mid-September. It did work well for me to some extent, but then it was also one of the main reason why I fell short of running 1200 kms in 2016. I clocked 10 runs in 5 months covering only 78 kms (2 runs in Feb, 1 run in March, 4 runs in May, 1 run in June and 2 runs in August) and then I covered up 800 kms in the remaining 7 months (too much to catch up with). I was nor sincere – nor regular with my running.

In contrast, I chose to train through out the year in 2017. My annual running cycle began this year in February and would end with SCMM in January, 2018.

I began with a “thrice a week plan” (phase 1) starting with 24 kms in the first week, with an increment of 1 km each week for the next 16 weeks. It covers mostly Short, Interval and Recovery runs.

Interval Run

For Interval runs, every km I run, I split it into equal half, starting with a Recovery run at a very slow pace followed by a speedy run, wherein, I try to push myself as hard as I can.

Interval runs are so much fun and are one of the best ways to reinvigorate yourself.

January, 2017 – One Month at a Time

8 runs | 8:31 hours | 94.47 kilometers

My year began with the last mesocycle of my annual training for Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, 2017 (SCMM). By then, I had tapered my running distance from a regular 50-60 kms per week by more than half to 10-20 kms per week. In the last week I ran a couple of “feel good” runs of 30 and 20 minutes each before the BIG DAY on Sunday, 15th January 2017.

Having run 870.1 kms in 2016 and completing only 48 out of 75 training sessions i.e. 64% of my SCMM training plan, I was prepared of falling short of my goal pace and of not crossing the finish line in < 3 hours 30 minutes. I quickly reset my goal pace so as to finish my first marathon strong in < 4 hours atleast. Now, when Plan A seems impossible, you better have a Plan B ready.

On Race day, starting strong was good and finishing stronger was epic. The journey in itself was so extraordinaire that in the process I discovered strengths I never knew I had. In the end I was proud and pleasantly surprised to complete my first ever Marathon in less than 4 hours.

Forty Two point Two (42.2) kilometers in 3 hours 53 minutes and 6 seconds.

First Marathon in 03:53:06

I ended the month on a high with mostly rest days and a couple of recovery runs.

Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, 2017

​Finishing a Full Marathon always seemed impossible, but only until it was done. Now, having completed it successfully, it feels very much like being on top of the world.

It definitely is one of the best feelings ever and with that finally I’m able to check one long awaited goal in my bucket list.

Marathon 42.195 kms in 03:53:06 ✅

Woohoo! 😀



Ups and Downs: Half Marathon under 1 hour 50 minutes

1929401_9718797645_9558_nIt was back in January, 2013 when I timed my 8th Half Marathon (21.097 kms) at the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon (SCMM) in 2 hours and 17 minutes. The timing was not bad, knowing the fact that I had not prepared for it, but, I wasn’t really happy about it. My dream was to run a Full Marathon only IF I was able to successfully finish a Half Marathon in or under 2 hours. I was unhappy, as I would not want to transition from a Half to a Full Marathon otherwise. But dejectedly, I fizzled out in 2013 and then again the next year.

In 2014, I clocked another Half-Marathon in 2 hours and 24 minutes. It was a depressing finish, to lose 7 minutes that year as compared to my last run in 2013, and I had shown no signs of improvement. Unfortunately, I had had a mid-race injury, and in spite of that I over-burdened my legs just to cross the finish line. (and then, I could not run again for the next 3 months – injury is bad !!).

After 80-85 days of restoration, I was back to running in March, 2015, I left my past behind me (failed not once, but twice). I had to learn from the mistakes and would have to figure out a way to overcome it. Well, after all that intense thinking and thorough analysis, the only thing that was a daunting hurdle and was possibly missing from all these years was “TRAINING”.

I got my answer. It was a clean slate then. Let’s get to work.
I had 9 months to get trained for a Half Marathon at SCMM, 2016, is that enough? or is that way too much?

We plan rigorously, we start over-enthusiastically, we follow it occasionally, and then we forget about it. That’s life. Nothing is permanent.

Keeping that in mind, I figured out (from my past record @ the GYM) that it may take me 4-5 months to transition from an enthusiastic phase to a lethargic phase. I chose to get trained for a 10K instead and keep SCMM, 2016 next on my list. Friends, you may have faced a similar situation many-a-time in your life, wherein you split a long-term goal into multiple short-term goals, because you understand that it would get easier to achieve it that way.

So yeah, I had a plan (starting in May, 2015). My short-term goal was to finish a 10K in 50 minutes at 5 mins/km (considering that the remaining 11 kms would take less than 1 hour and 10 minutes to get to the finish line).

My trainings would include assorted runs from Warm-ups, to Short runs for 30-40 minutes, to Tempo runs for 40-50 minutes, most importantly Interval and Fartlek runs for 60-90 minutes, and the obvious Long runs that would last for an hour or two. I had a plan, and I will say that it was not so easy to follow it rigorously and to take time out from a “busy” schedule. So to be honest, I was neither 100% regular nor did I follow every session in my training plan, but I had to ensure that I didn’t miss out on any of the mid-week Interval runs or the weekend Long Runs, and at the same time I had to allow a cool-down period for my body to recover from between the runs.

On 10th October, 2015 after 5 months and 225 kms, I was already going steady between 5 – 5:10 mins/km.. and to my realization, I had run just 45 kms a month or a mere 10-11 kms a week and I was yet able to pace up. By then, I had completed a couple of mock 10K runs in and around 50 minutes (IMPORTANT – weekend long runs), so I was confident and ready for the Race Day.


It was Sunday 11th October, 2015 at the Pune Running Beyond Myself where I realized my Short-term goal by clocking in the 10K in 49 minutes and 31 seconds without any hindrance. There were no failures this time around, and the next step was to move onto another short-term goal which was by then on top of my list.

My confidence level was high, and my performance was booming, so instead of finishing a half-marathon under 2 hours, I thought, why not try for a 1 hour 50 minutes finish. After a successful 10K, I had patiently gathered the confidence of maintaining a constant pace through out my run. I had to go for it.

In the next 75 days, another 180 kms and by maintaining a constant pace of 5 mins/km on most occasions, I had the last 3 sessions of 6 kms in 30 mins on 7th January, 2016, 12 kms in an hour on 9th January, 2016 and again 6 kms in 30 mins on 12th January, 2016, I so knew that I was ready for the Race Day.

There are those weird days when you are nervous and you really don’t know what would happen, and then there are some good days when you already know the outcome.

The 3rd Sunday of 2016 was one of those “good days” for me. I finished a Half-Marathon at SCMM in 1 hour 48 minutes and 21 seconds.

I made it happen !

What’s next on my list? Full Marathon in 2017, yes, I’m on it.

11412245_1578739959057795_225058974112599071_n252812529You may be strong or you may be highly active, but it is definitely not a cake-walk if you have to finish a Half Marathon under 1 hour 50 minutes or even a 10K under 50 minutes. Even if you manage to do so without any kind of training, you may end up having a bad injury.

So, better get TRAINED and then, there is no stopping you.

A friend asked, “I want to run a Half Marathon this year, can I lose some weight on that day?”

The answer is “No you cannot lose weight by just running ON THAT DAY”, but if you undergo a training plan depending on your food habits (i.e. diet) and that suits best with your body type, you can very well achieve your targeted weight loss within a short span of time i.e. whether or not you run on that race day, you will definitely feel lighter after a successful training session.

More questions? Feel free to ping me.

Thanks much !