Monday, December 8, 2008

Decker Challenge

On Sunday our team ran the Decker Challenge Half Marathon. Until last year this race was a 20K, but this year they increased the route by 0.5 miles and made it a half marathon.

We were up before sunrise - it was that time in the morning when the sky is still inky black, and the bright pink of sunrise is fighting its way into the sky's color palette. We were running late, so though I had my camera with me, we couldn't stop for a photo. All I got is this one a little later, from the moving car!

We were all ready to begin at 8am, and our Run for India team stood out in our bright yellow t-shirts.

This course is very hilly, and a little boring. But all those training for the Austin full marathon in February run this one as part of their training. It is organized by the Austin Runners Club, and they do another 40K one in January.

I'm just planning on running the half marathon in February, but wanted to do this one as well. Running used to be such a joy. But after about 20 years of it, the knees give up. I was fine until Mile 6 and doing a good pace. But after that my knees became very sore, and the run got increasingly more painful over the next 7 miles. The finish line was a welcome sight.

It is a very meditative activity, and I like its simplicity. I miss how it used to be though; running without pain, and just enjoying its freedom. But they also give awards to those who limp through the finish line, so here's what I brought home.

And speaking of awards, I'm thrilled to receive two from bloggers whose stories and pictures I enjoy very much.

This one is from Blu, who takes stunning photographs of her enchanting town and forest in Brittany, France. Thanks, Blu!

The rules are:

Copy and paste the rules and instructions in your post.
When you post about receiving this award, make sure you include who gave you the award and link it back to them.
Post five winners and link it back to them as well.
Post five of your addictions.
Add the award image.
Let your winners know you gave them an award by leaving them a comment on their blog.

I think I'll cheat a little here and pass it along to just one other blogger. Since Blu takes lovely photos, I'll give this award to Vagabond, who also takes lovely pictures.

Addictions ... my absolute necessities in life ... those would be

1. Silent time for contemplation
2. Hiking, and a periodic escape into the wilderness
3. Creating
4. Sunlight
5. Animals

The second award is from Chris of Shady Grove, who makes beautiful quilts, and totally unique quilt-jewelery. Thanks, Chris!

Here are the rules:- Five people are allowed to receive this award: four dedicated followers of your blog and one who is new to your blog and lives in another part of the world.- Please link back to the person who gave you this award.

I'm again going to cheat and pass this one along to just one other person - who lives all the way on the other side of the world in Australia: Sweetmango.

Have a great rest of the week!


Robyn said...

Congrats on finishing the half marathon. You must be super fit.

sweetmango said...

Wonderful effort with the marathon training and running. It's not fair is it, the effect many years of your favourite sport and age have on our bodies. I too used to run, for hours and hours for no other reason than the fact that I just LOVED it! I also biked for hours, I love the solitude, and you are right it is so meditative.
My two youngest children will start school in another 2 years and I am hoping that I will then be able to dedicate more of my time back to sport, I really miss it as a daily part of my life.
Thank you for my award! What a pleasant surprise that was :) I am very honoured. Not only do I hope to meet my sponsor child one day but I also hope to meet many of my friends I have made in 'Blog World', including you!! :)
Namaste Bindu :)

Chris said...

Congratulations for making it the whole distance. I hope your knees are feeling better. It is such a shame this curse of the aging runner.

meb said...

I'm amazed that you kept running even tho your knees were hurting. You had great stamina to keep going. I'm afraid I would have probably given up.

Sydney said...

Wow, I admire you completely!!!! How do you find time to train for this with bad knees let alone run it once you're in it. Do you normally still run for exercise, albeit for under 6 miles?

I too miss the many things I used to be able to do for hours that I can't do at all anymore (roller blading, Trampoline and dancing) due to bad knees and some other like-issues, though mine are from some hereidty as well as not being in my 30s anymore.


Blu said...

Ouch sorry to read about the knees. Over two years ago I did the race for life for Cancer Research. Although it was only 5 miles and I could only walk I felt so good about completing the course. I had only finished chemotherapy two months earlier. Its not the distance it is the taking part that matters.

Vamsee said...

Hey Bindu,
Congrats on finishing the half marathon. I am sure it took a lot of will power to finish the run with bad knees.

! ky said...

hey check out the blog contest u can win prize...
do take part in the contest check out my n go through the instructions.

Mohan said...

While you folks are at half and full marathon, we in India are starting to revolutionize 10K run in most of the cities. Ofcourse, this is only the beginning..

Congrats on finishing the half marathon and all the best if you are planning for Feb's full marathon.

~vagabond~ said...

Sounds like the marathon was fun...and I'm so glad you made it to the finish line despite your bad knees. Congratulations on your many awards both on finishing the marathon and for your fabulous blog. You do deserve them both. :)

Wow. I am so flattered that you selected me to pass the award to. My blog is nowhere close to as interesting as yours so I'm flattered that you liked it enough to mention it here. Thank you!...that made my day! :)

bindu said...

Robyn - thanks.

Sweetmango - so you're a runner too! I can imagine it must be hard to find time with little children. I'm sure you will find a way though. There's a good chance we will travel to Australia to visit my sister, so it's not impossible! :)

Chris - I know! :) My knees are much better now, thanks.

Sydney - Thanks. :) I normally do the elliptical or the bike at the gym these days and run just one day a week. Last year while training for the full marathon, I had to take meds to keep the swelling in my knees down. So this time I'm doing just the half. :)

Blu - that's fantastic that you were back on your feet so soon after chemo! That's better than anything else.

Vamsee - thanks. :)

!ky - I'll check it out.

Mohan - I found several running club websites in Bangalore and Chennai. There weren't such things when I was in college there! I used to run at the Marina beach in those days. :)

Vagabond - thanks. You do take great pictures, and you have an interesting blog too!

painter girl said...

Congrats on finishing even with your hurting knees. You are amazing for having the will power to keep running. Rock on!!!

Shayla said...

Congrats. That's such an accomplishment! Sorry about the knees, I can feel for you there. It's too bad when physical limitations start to limit what we used to be able to do. I loved what you said about running being meditative. I used to do a lot of running (never as much as you :), and I always found it to be so calming, rhythmic.

pink dogwood said...

hey - I thought I left a comment yesterday?

Anyways, congratulations and I am so proud of you. I remember around mile 6 (something wrong with that number :) I got a blister and wanted to sit down on the sidewalk and hitch a ride :)

Also, I wanted to tell you that I got my calendar from 2009 AID calendar in the mail yesterday and I love it - thanks for telling us about it :)

bindu said...

Painter girl - thanks for the encouragement!

Shayla - it's true. It's a great way to de-stress!

Bhavana - Thanks. I don't know what happened - thanks for checking back and leaving a comment. Glad you got the calendar and like it!!

Nancy and the fatties said...

Hi Bindu! good for you for completing the run, even if you didn't win you were out there for a good cause. I am so thrilled to have found your blog and your beautiful works of art. I had to stop running cuz of my knees and really miss that wonderful alpha state you talk about. happy holidays and congrats on your run!

Karine said...

Congrats on finishing the 1/2 marathon, and for the blog awards!!! I can barely run for a half hour, because I find breathing a major challenge. but I persist...

Mridula said...

So were you an athlete or there were other sports too that you pursued?

bindu said...

Nancy, Karine - thanks!

Mridula - I used to do track (sprints) and play basketball and volleyball in school. I still do all of these, but to a much lesser degree. It's hard to find friends who want to play.

Barbara Martin said...

I used to run, though not marathons, and a lot of horseback riding in endurance competitions. My knees are now losing their cartilage through the wear and tear I punished them with.

If you want to continue running, I suggest you take Reiki treatment before you run a marathon and afterwards to keep your knees from hurting.

Its good to keep fit, but take care of yourself before you reach retirement or you won't be enjoying life as well as you used to.