First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 28 (Dealing with the mind)

After a great Saturday, I didn’t want to just stop. Unlike last weekend, I wanted to run in this one. Cold had deteriorated my training severely the past ten days or so and I wanted to put that on track again. So I ran.

Usually I do long runs on weekends but given that I rode almost 30k and walked 15k the previous day, the wiser plan was to go easy on myself. I ran until it made sense to me. It’s hard to explain. My mind didn’t even want me to go longer this night but I know that running on tired legs is something I must get used to. Specially for the last 10k of a marathon, this kind of toughness helps.

When I completed the two loops around my home, my mind started pushing me down to the ground. My body was not as tired as the mind was perceiving it but I was not the one to give in this time. I told myself to go for one more. I ended up running for exactly an hour (which definitely is not the definition of a long run, but I’d say it was a rejuvenating run for the mind and the body).

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 29 (Riding around the French Island)

The conversation usually starts like:

Me: Hey! I am going to French Island tomorrow. The plan is to ride around the island for as long as we can. You know how bad cyclist I am!
Friend 1: Aww that’s so cool. But where is this place?
Friend 2: Never heard of it man.
Friend 3: Why are you going to an island to ride? You can just do that here, no?

For the first two questions, the answer is somewhere north to Philip Island (which is famous for it’s Penguins Parade aka tourist attraction). Unlike Philip Island, French Island is actually an island with no road connections. Perhaps that’s the reason why it is not so popular/known to people living in Melbourne. With it’s population of about 100, it offers a lot of land with nothing built on it. It is a classic countryside with not-so-well developed roads, more than half of the island being a national park (where no-one visits), huge and numerous farms and rare sights of humanity every once a while.
For the last question, I’d say it’s a cool idea. You get to see an entire island within a day, without any travel van or tour bus! You can stop wherever you want, you don’t need gasoline on the way and in the end, you’d be proud of yourself for doing something that not many would prefer to do.

My vision of this island was not as barren as it really was. There was one, only one, general store cum post office on the island. No other restaurant/convenience store/grocery store/hotel/motel/you name it. If you are going there, you can count on your fingertips the number of houses you’ll see. I don’t think I’d be wrong if I’ll tell you that there are more cows than humans on this island!


Our original plan was to get to the farthest “view” point called as the Albions. It just seemed like a good turn-back point for the whole-island plan. Though I have never rode this far, I thought that if we’ll just go slow, I could make it without passing out on the way back. But as the mighty Forrest Gump once said “SHIT HAPPENS”. It happened with us too.


One of our friends got a flat tire a couple of times during the way. It was not always his fault, thanks to the bumpy ride. We mended it less than a couple of times before finally calling it off. Alas! We couldn’t get to the point where we wanted to but it was hell of a ride amidst those muddy roads and the beautiful landscapes offered by this tiny piece of land.

That’s where we stopped and headed back.

With a bike punctured completely, we resorted to a hike back to the ferry terminal. Due to limited number of ferries, the change of plans was inevitable. We reached half an hour earlier before the last ferry departs. In the meantime, we enjoyed the clear night sky and let me give you the privilege to enjoy the scenery of this place 😉

On the way back taking the last ferry, it was a bad idea that we didn’t check the train schedule as the last ferry that arrives stony point at 6.45, the next train is 8.30!! Had we taken the previous ferry (which arrives SP at 6.15), the next train would had been at 7. Much better! Anyway, we hung out with the kiosk guy until 8 (when they were closing). He made us some nice hot chips which was a treat in the shivering cold.

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First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 30 (A month to go..)

With the cold left behind, I think it’s time to get back on the streets (and roads and trails and track and yeah, treadmill) to keep myself in shape for what it takes to run a marathon. It’s a Friday night and I can’t wait to see what weekend has to offer.

I have plans with friends to ride around this little island called French Island. Apparently the original plan was to run around the island which would probably be around 50-60k, so I need to step up after the marathon is over. The current plan is to take our bikes on the ferry and ride for as long as we can. Cycling is something I am trying to get into so I can’t wait to see how it goes. Cycling is the least boring cross-training for someone like me.

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 31 (Facing the Fears – II)

Now having gone through an hour of treadmill running, I was content. At least in terms of running. But it wasn’t enough. The next day was another challenge. Similar but slightly different. I had the final semester exam!

The guy who usually is asleep by 10:30 or so stayed up till 2 browsing through all his notes, assignments and tutorial sheets. He knew he could pass his exam but passing is not enough. He wanted to be the best version of himself. He woke up early in the morning, as usual and followed the same routine until a little before exam.

The exam was alright. Much better than I thought after one day of preparation. My marathon training probably took that as a mental challenge 😉

First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 32 (Facing the Fears – I)

After getting a bit better, it was time to test myself. Running out in the open would had been a risky affair given that I am recovering from something that was caused by it. So I insisted on the next best option – gym. Not one of the places I would like to spend time in, but today, it is the only place I am looking forward to go to.

I have never really liked treadmills ‘coz I am one of those runners who find it more natural to run outdoors and no matter how advance is it, treadmill can never give you the same run. Also because, I am afraid that I might trip off of the tread and get a good face-plant. It’s more of an illusion rather than a reality but definitely a possibility. Anyway, I started the damn machine and set it on a profile of hills (i.e. the incline of the treadmill would change with time). I ran for an hour on it without thinking too much. My previous longest run on the treadmill was 40 minutes when it was raining heavily outside. My earphones were on most of the time and it also felt a little dizzy at times but nothing beyond the comfort level. I ran the last 20 minutes or so without the shoes. In this aspect, treadmill could be a good training platform as roads and trails might not be the best place to start with for a barefoot athlete.


First 26.2 Miler Countdown: 34 (Monday blues)

I can feel that the cold is going down on me now. Waking up, I cough for a couple of minutes before I could breathe. Perhaps it’s the last phase and I will recover soon. Or perhaps not? I walk slowly throughout the day because the body feels a bit weaker than usual. I am careful with things because of the debility. Anyway, I am still carrying out with my life in the best way I can.

Training is still on a pause and I am not too gloomy about it given that if I start running, I might pass out without even knowing I just might. I did some friendly-squats in the evening with my cousin where I challenged her to squat on her toes and get up. Of course I beat her just before I was thinking the other way round. It’s a good exercise if you wanna improve your balance and composure.