Saturday, February 25, 2006

Team Asha De-freezes Freescale!!

Here is the official press release of Team Asha (in Austin)

AUSTIN, TX. February 19, 2006.

It was a cold and icy morning with sub zero temperatures. Yet,
thousands of people braved the extreme weather to run the Freescale
Marathon and Half Marathon. Amidst the crowd were 12 individuals
running, 'come rain; come shine', to support the education of
underprivileged children in India.

Arvind Rao, Gloria Dholakia, Ganesh Krishnamoorthy, Gaurav Agarwal,
Harpreet Arora, Karthik Kumar, Radhakrishna Gaurishankara, Salil
Akerkar, Sanjeev Ranganathan, Santhosh Padmanabhan, Savitha Sridharan
and Vinod Viswanath are all members of Team Asha. They as part of a
16-strong team trained for over five months to run the Austin
Freescale Marathon in February of 2006. Each of them has pledged to
raise at least $100 for every mile of the marathon.

"Crossing the finish line today was a wonderful moment and what made
it meaningful was that I was not just challenging myself in running
26.2 miles but I was doing so to help empower the underprivileged in
India" said Gaurav, who ran his first marathon on Sunday.

"I believe that education is a fundamental right of every child in the
world. By training for and running the marathon, I am raising money
for projects that support child education in India. It is doubly
satisfying", said Savitha who trained alone for the most challenging
part of the training in the harsh winter of Raleigh, NC.

In keeping with the organization's name -- which means hope – the
volunteers want to help segments of the Indian population that would
otherwise lack opportunities, such as mentally disadvantaged children.
Arvind is running to raise funds to support Srishti Special Academy in
Bangalore. Srishti is a non-profit organization, headed by a team of
trained, qualified and experienced special educators who feel the need
today is to provide quality services and well designed and structured
intervention programs to children with mental retardation, autism or
any other intellectual impairment. "I joined Team Asha for the cause
they are striving towards in India and because I saw many of my
friends do it" said Arvind.

Over a million dollars have been raised through such marathon programs
organized by Asha for Education around the country. The Austin chapter
is organizing this event for the second time. Last year the chapter
raised more than $30,000 that supported eight worthy projects from
five different states in India. "Running with the flu made me remember
that great strength finds you when you try to be the strength for
others", said Sanjeev, a long time volunteer with Asha who ran his
first marathon battling a bad flu and is targeting to raise $20,000
for a resource center in Thiruvallur, Tamil Nadu. The resource center,
an effort of Bharathi Trust, one of Asha's partners, will provide a
place for the local community to experiment low cost techniques of
organic farming, alternatives to the capital intensive farming that is
pushing many farmer families into debt.

Nearly all the runners in this group are running a marathon for the
first time "Committing to the marathon training program for Asha is
one of the best things I have ever done in my life. I believe one
needs a strong motivation to run and raising funds to help educate
hundreds of children in India has been a big motivating factor for
me", said Salil who had not run much before he started training and
finished the Freescale half-marathon on Sunday.

"I am happy to have had this opportunity to contribute for the underprivileged
in India", said Gloria who was also down with flu a few days before the
marathon and ran the marathon despite a stress facture in her foot. A
mother of two adorable boys, she has been juggling family, work and
running, no small feat.

Asha for Education is a zero-overhead group of volunteers from various
walks of life. It is a not-for-profit with a mission to bring about
socio-economic change in India through the education of
underprivileged children. All donations to Asha for Education are tax
deductible and go directly to the projects being supported in India.

For more information:
Contact: Santhosh Padmanabhan, 512-431-5105,

Web site:

Asha for Education-Austin
The University of Texas at Austin,
Student Organization Center, Box 319,
1 University Station A6220,
Austin TX 78712-0181

Congratulations and thanks!

As I helped our chapter co-ordinate the marathon program this year, I had the opportunity to be a witness to the wonderful efforts of each runner of Team Asha. I sent a mail out detailing how much each runner had put it and their wonderful accomplishments. I also thanked all of the wonderful guys who cheered us tirelessly through the marathon.

You can see all the photos of our team here

Here is the mail -

Hey ppl,

I have a penchant for long emails. But, this one will probably be the longest without an attachment! Read it only if you have the time :) Curse me as much as you want, but, it won't stop me from sending this one out.

"On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won't understand
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"
It's a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting it's shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we're all alone
In the dream of the proud
On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerised as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night
No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It's not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there'll be
No more turning away?"

- Pink Floyd, Momentary Lapse Of Reason

There were umpteen reasons to 'turn away'. All of us are busy with work, our career goals, family and what not. It needed a commitment of time, energy, resources and involved a lot of sacrifices. Yet, each one of you wonderful guys from Team Asha refused to 'turn away' for one simple reason, the cause we all strived for.

The weather today was 'Extreme' or 'insane' in the words of mihir :) . Each one of our team battled against so many odds to make it a memorable finish, an event of a lifetime. But, all our runners are modest. I am taking the liberty to let everyone know of the efforts each of the runners have put in and what they have accomplished.

Anita -
She finished the 3M half marathon in style. She was regular in training and always had a smile no matter how hard the run was :). Though she didn't fight any serious injury concerns, she did face a few troubles during the race that she never made heavy weather of ! She is looking forward to the chicago marathon.
She co-ordinated the whole cheering effort on her own and it wouldn't have been possible if not for her dedicated efforts today.

Arvind -
"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

The will to succeed..arvind had loads of it. Nothing dettered him. He was just decided. Nothing could move him from his resolve to finish the marathon. IT band, back problems, knee problems and what not! He was a true fighter. After going through all the pain and suffering, he used to say very sheepishly " Sorry guys! I made you wait.". Yep, we were waiting alright..for this true runner to inspire us to keep giving our best no matter what!

Ashwini -
Being an inspiration for ppl you know is one thing, but, inspiring many others you don't know who see how much you want to put into a goal is just a league apart. She had other conditions that could have stopped her from running. But, she held on and finished the 3M half marathon with a smile. She was in the medical tent after that. But, it always was like a party with her around :)
Many runners with rogue have asked me about ashwini. They wanted to thank her for inspiring them. They said "She had a look on her face that said she couldn't bear the pain. But, it also said I am going to do it no matter what".

As I saw her cheering for us from the sidelines today, it gave me all the inspiration to just carry on and on...

Dinesh -
Dinesh literally limped more than half of the 3M half marathon! He had a severe case of ITB and every downhill was a torture for him. 3M was almost all downhills! Even, when I was walking with him he was in such high spirits and just joking about his predicament! Its very easy to say, "No, this is stupid. I can't take it any more" and just drop out of a race. But, it requires a lot of spirit to carry on against all odds. Dinesh's race will be a chapter in Team Asha's history !

Gloria -
Team Asha's marathon mom! With two adorable kids, a full time job as a professor, I really can't figure out what she eats to get all that energy! I kind of feel guilty that we really didn't get a chance to meet her a lot. We probably didn't take enough effort to go out and support her runs on sundays.
Well, that didn't stop her from sticking to her regular schedule though ! Unfortunately, work and family did take the toll on her training towards the end. She had to fight a few injuries today to finish the marathon. But, gloria was glorious in her finish :) . While we tried hard to find ppl to join Team Asha, gloria had contacted us by email and said she is doing it even without meeting us! She kick started the team asha fundraising too.

Ganesh -
"Sport is not about being wrapped up in cotton wool. Sport is about adapting to the unexpected and being able to modify plans at the last minute. Sport, like all life, is about taking risks."
- Sir Roger Bannister
Ganesh is a returning Team Asha runner. He was on track to a sub-4 hr marathon last year. But, cramps and some troubles hampered his chances in the marathon. This year was not the perfect in terms of training for him because of his extensive research at UT. Yet, he was there with a hell of a cramp and still finishing with a smile! I look forward to running the ultra with him.

Gaurav -
"A+" . I think that sums it all :) . Over the two years of marathon training we have seen, I have not seen anyone more regular ! He probably is the best student rogue has seen too! But, maybe too good for steve's comfort :) . Dude, you cracked a 3:51 in your debut! You better run more marathons and the ultra soon. I view him as the future of team asha :) he is our next 'coach ji'. He provided amazing support and egged on every runner to the finish line every time!

Harpreet -
Harpreet and salil trained alone almost through out the program. They never cribbed about feeling left out. Harpreet had knee trouble during his training. Today he finished at 2:08!! Wow! He came up with an amazing performance after going through all the trouble! He is doing the same with his fundraising too. He is already racing away to a wonderful finish!

Karthik -
Seriously, I never thought he would make it to the start line! But, he didn't care much about the not-so-perfect training he had. His research in UT and doctoral studies did take a lot of time of his training. But, that didn't stop him from doing the runs when he could. In extreme weather like today, he did an amazing job to come in with a wonderful time. He could barely walk when he finished, yet he had his characteristic broad smile and positive energy! I hope he recovers soon from his back pain!

Mihir -
"Insane"..absolutely. He was very regular and committed to the training through out. Unfortunately, his work assignment in china didn't come at a very good time. I am sure if he had been with us today, he would have "enjoyed" the hills! Thanks for keeping our spirits up and making it a party for all of us man! When you do the marathon after you are back in austin, I guarantee that I will be there to see you through the finish line!

Radhakrishna -
Packet pick up means "Packet pick-up"! At times I feel he makes all the trouble that we undergo too simple :) . Without any kind of training, without a bib and a chip on his name, he finished with an amazing time! Maybe he is just born to be an athlete! I am sure he needs no training for his fundraising too ! He is inspiring to all of us in letting us know that in the end it might not be as significant as we think it to be! You rock!

Salil -
Again, like harpreet salil never felt he was left out though he and harpreet had to train all alone with the half-marathon group. Their wonderful efforts got the half-marathon coach pretty excited about team asha! As he crossed the finish line today, he made us all proud! He and harpreet was back at the marathon finish to encourage the rest of us! As always he is keeping steady pace with harpreet in fundraising too! He needed no words of encouragement or pep-talk. On the contrary, I found my encouragement from ppl like him!

Sanjeev -
The best performance of the day. I don't think I know of a more dedicated and commited asha volunteer. More than 5 years with Asha and his dedication has only multiplied by leaps and bounds. The whole week he was battling flu and a very bad cough! His voice changed and we could literally see that he was weak. Nothing seems to stop him from his goals. I don't know where he got the energy to start speeding up after Mile 21! If you guys haven't noticed, anita and sanjeev are trying to reach a target of $20K through this marathon! They need all the support we can give them. This truly was a great display of sincerity and dedication towards a cause one would seriously believe in.

Savitha -
She trained all alone with almost no water stops and runners to give her company. She got lost in the wilderness of north carolina and even that didn't stop her. In her last semester at NC state, with her advisor troubling her for her thesis, she could have just 'turned away'. She chose not to and in the process made us all proud. Now, we can brag to everyone else about this runner who trained alone in the winter of north carolina for a cause she believed in. Once you are back in may, we can start training for the next marathon :)

Vinod -
Coach ji will be moving from austin soon. This marathon was sentimental to him because, this will probably be his last while living in austin. He is the man behind 'Team Asha', the brain behind the concept of Team Asha in austin. Our first and best coach ji! His tips and insight has helped lot of us achieve our goals. I would like to thank him on behalf of all Team Asha runners for letting us be a part of his dream! He ran the chicago marathon in october and just decided to run this one too. He slipped on ice and fell down at the 9 mile mark, hurting his knee. But, he still finished the marathon smiling and made us think about keeping it on! The whole asha running community draws inspiration from this marathon veteran!

Thanks to Lalit and sree for being one of us and congratulations in achieveing your goals under all odds stacked against you!! We look forward to running more marathons with you guys. Your words of encouragement have been invaluable to us!

O.K..if you are still reading this mail, thanks for reading it!

Thanks to all the Asha houston volunteers( Ruhina, Shiv, Lata, Madhav, Meenakshi and Amit) who took the pain of travelling to austin and cheering us through this really "bad" weather. Guys, this is a debt that we will have to repay. As I had mentioned before, you guys really inspired us with your wonderful support and cheering. Thanks a lot for the champagne :)

Thanks to Sanjay, ravi, akshay and all of the Silicon lab cheering squad!! Thanks to karthik, jay, priya, and all friends from AMD for being with us and sparing time for us. Thanks to bhaskar for travelling from north carolina to drive us around and egging us on!

Thanks to Murali for waiting at the finish line with all goodies!. Thans for your patience and wonderful support. Thanks to Sid and Shobha yet again for coming out to support team asha. They were there at quite a few points to support us. Thanks to friends from vibha for cheering us on the course!

Thanks to friends of Gaurav and harpreet for being there for all of us! Thanks to gloria's family for coming out to support Team Asha!

Thanks to all AID supporters. There were just too many and I really can't list all of them! It was wonderful to see familiar faces around! It was great to have you guys supporting all of us. We are indebted for your support and encouragement. Special thanks to kishore for giving company to arvind. He almost ran a half marathon with him! Thanks for extending this wonderful friendship towards asha!

I am pretty groggy after the pain killer, nap and champagne. So, please pardon me if I missed out anyone or really didn't thank anyone enough! I am almost sure that I missed out something! I have spent about 2 hrs writing this mail you better read the last few lines ...

"If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to change a life, run a marathon!"

In all the congratulatory messages and thanks lets not forget what we are all striving for! As of 2:02 A.M on Feb 19th, we have raised $6769 through online donations from 128 donors. This does not include any matching funds and checks collected so far. Way to go guys!! Lets break our record of $30K from last year. Lets go all out to achieve the targets that each one of us had committed to!

Believe me, crossing the finish line today would carry a meaning only when we are able to support the efforts of Siddamma with the resource center, the efforts of Srishti by supporting the teacher salaries, The efforts of banyan by supporting the Vocational training unit, efforts of ASS and BJSA in bringing education to the neglected children of interior India, in supporting the home for disadvantaged girl children in bangalore - Pasanna jyothi, in supporting the community driven alternative education system in rajasthan - GSK and in supporting many more projects that we all have strived for!

Go Team Asha!

I did it.

I took 3 hrs and 46 mins to finish my marathon. All the weeks of training and running hard finally came to an end on Feb 19th, Sunday. It was freezing out there! We started at around 28 F and when we finished it was around 34 F.

You can see my splits and the official results at

Graphic results

Results with splits

I have improved upon my last year's standing by 1 hr and 42 mins!! It was not simple though. I had shin trouble and other niggles through the training. But, I stuck to training hard day after day. On the day of the race, except for a cramp after mile 20 most of it was comfortable. Crossing the finishing line was an amazing feeling! But, this event of a lifetime would be of least importance when compared to the change that it can bring about. I have still a long way to go to reach my fundraising target. Please do support me in my efforts.

Here are photos from the race -

Saturday, February 18, 2006

My Last words ...

hey..only the last words on this blog before my marathon :) .

I had to kind of 'pep-up' our wonderful team too!

Hey ppl,

Take it easy and no tension. If at all you feel nervous think about all inspirational moments in our training. These are moments that were turning points in our running careers.

1. Gaurav misleading savitha on the first long run
2. Savitha misleading karthik in revenge
3. My burnt pasta in our first potluck
4. Arvind being given president's treatment with cop cars and all at the 20 miler.
5. Mihir loving the hills and going "insane" after the tablets.
6. My piece of philosophy of "finding one's own path"
7. Steve getting so irritated with A+ gaurav's questions that he volunteers to cut his legs off.

and so on :)

Seriously, its been a party so far!! At the finish line tomorrow it will be the biggest party of them all!!

We are well trained and are prepared. Don't work yourself up ..just enjoy the party tomorrow ...10,000 ppl running, a sea of ppl on either side of the roads, music bands almost every mile, Team asha support teams at various points, known faces and the whole city cheering for you.

...and of course, when you reach the finish line there will be beer :)

Life like the marathon tomorrow teaches us to focus on positives and keep going. When you think of the legs that ache or the body that says enough... just spare a thought for the underprivileged we all strive for. Is this pain and suffering anywhere close to what they undergo ? Think of the change that this could bring in their lives...

Zatopek said "If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon."...

when we were discussing about a slogan for next year sanjeev came up with one that fits us damn well!

"If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to change a life, run a marathon."

You are a hero because you will cross the finish line tomorrow. You are a hero because the kid in that remote village of india can now go to school.

Go Team Asha!!

Last words..

Our team felt pretty bad about the weather and sanjeev is fighting flu. The change of weather has caused trouble for some of or runners. Vinod, the expert marathoner in our team sent a few last words...


There is a lot of talk about cold weather and winds and visualizing
your race. You have heard about it incessantly from Steve. So I wont
say anything about that.

Au contraire, don't spend too much time thinking about the race. You
have all done your homework and the months of training will help you
accomplish your goal. Think about where you were and what kind of
shape you were in before the training schedule started. Reflect how
you have matured as a runner over the past months.

The one thing you should do tonight and tomorrow is to load up on
electrolytes It is very important to load up on electrolytes
especially in the last 60 hours. No matter what your choice of
electrolytes is, make sure you are well loaded with them. Plan on
drinking atleast about 1-1/2 to 2 gallons of electrolyte drinks
uniformly distributed over today and tomorrow. Also strictly avoid
alcohol (and thats not just for Santhosh).

For the rest, sleep early and sleep long tonight. You have to get up
very early on Sunday morning, and it is easy to not sleep well on the
night before the race. So please make sure you sleep well tonight and
are well rested.

There will be lots of Asha folks out on the course to cheer you on the
day of the race. We have folks coming from Asha Houston as well. There
are excess of ten thousand people running the marathon. The atmosphere
is going to be electric. Soak it all in and just enjoy your run, you
might even miss seeing the finish line go by.

Good luck to everyone. That said, I'll shamelessly paste here what I
had written on last year's mailing list.

It will be over in two days. When you cross that finish line come
sunday, you will experience a joy unlike anything you have ever felt.
Every aching muscle has been reflected in the face not in the form of
a grimace but as a smile and a grin. Wherever you are, whatever life
has in store for you, I know that all of you will succeed. Success
comes not from complaining but from overcoming difficulty by sheer
dint of work and persistence. Courage is not the absence of fear but
the ability to continue despite it. It took courage to walk into that
room in Texas Union in that other lifetime a long time ago. It took
courage to lace up those shoes and head out the door on every run you
did in the past 5 months. It will take courage to cross that finish
line a week from today but I have the greatest of confidence in your
indomitable spirit. The same spirit that saw the pioneers blaze the
path westward a hundred and fifty years ago in this country. The same
courage that saw Tenzing and Hillary climb Everest. The same courage
that saw Leonidas and his men refuse to surrender to the Persians and
choose to die to the man at Thermopylae. In that famous battle the
most courageous was Dienekes who, upon being told that the Persians
had so many archers that their arrows would darken the sun, said
"Good. Then we will fight in the shade".

George Sheehan uttered these famous words - "I have met my hero, and
he is me." Go out my heroes one and all, let us conquer Austin.


A few hrs more...

Just a few hours more for the marathon...very bad news though..unexpected weather - 28-30s and ice rain/ice pellets have been forecasted. Here is a part of the mail from our coach on how we should handle it...

Cold Weather Racing

OK, sot the weather seems to be staying in the 30's for most of the
morning on race day. What changes do you need to consider given this
unexpected change?

Race Plan: It stays the same. No strategic changes to how you approach
the race given cold & possibly wet weather. 2. Apparel: Since we have
been used to warmer temps this winter many of you are probably going
to need to break the "only if you've tried it before" race rule. That
is OK these are unusual circumstances. Everyone has different cold
tolerances & needs different numbers of layers but the basics should
be pretty consistent.

What to Wear

Lower Body: I like half tights for races below 45 degrees but never
wear long tights. You won't need for your calves & achilles to be
covered. they don't get cold except at the start line. I think the
temps will be cold enough to warrant long tights though. If you are
comfortable in them wear them. If you are on the fence, I HIGHLY
recommend half tights...they keep your core warm when you need it.

Upper Body: Layer, layer layer. I think you will all want at base
layer of short sleeved tech tee then a long sleeve tech tee (like the
one you bought in this program. By the way we still still have WOMENS
Large, Medium & Small & MENS Medium & Small at RunTex Riverside. Tell
them you are a Rogue to get the $30 price. We will also have them
available in the Annex on Saturday AM for our workout.)

Once you've got those layers down you will want to layer on top of it
in one of two ways:

• Disposable Outfit - The disposable outfit takes the recommended base
layer above & adds multiple layers of throw-away clothes to dispose of
along the race course. You can layer as much as you want, though I'll
give you a little tip & recommend that you wear a large black thicker
ply trash bag with a hole for the head & arms over top everything.
These are rain protection & really warm. Plus you can throw it away if
you don't want it anymore. Then if there are showers at the start you
have some cover. I recommend that layer from thinnest to heaviest on
top. This way you can slowly peel the layers off & limit the overall
weight of your disposable outfit. It is important that you realize
that you will likely NOT be able to retrieve these clothes after the
race is over. I recommend you hit Goodwill or St. Vinny's. A great top
layer is an over sized hooded sweatshirt...though these can be
difficult to get ahold of.

• Shell Outfit - The shell outfit takes the recommended base layer
above & adds a shell to it...this can be a long-sleeved jacket or a
vest. The quality is not critical because what you are looking for
from the shell is to trap the hot air produced by your body to
continue to keep you warm. If you have a waterproof one, Great! If
not, use the I love vests for the same reasons I love half
tights...the core stays warm but I am still as light as possible. If
you don't have a water proof shell then I recommend that you wear a
large black thicker ply trash bag with a hole for the head & arms.
This is the poor man's vest. I have used this as a shell many, many

• Extremities: These are perhaps the most critical areas to keep warm
during a race. You need gloves & a hat. You can always get rid of them
during the race but you NEED them at the start! I recommend you keep
them with you though. Just fold them over your short's waistband & I
bet you never know they are there unless you need them. I don't
recommend taking your hat off ever in the race. Unless you are just
roasty-toasty, keep the hat on!

A couple of other points:

If it is wet:
- The more cotton you wear the heavier you will be. Cotton loves water
& collects it. This is bad news. You will want to wear tech fibers
close to your body.

- You may want to have a friend or family member meet you at a
designated location after the 10 mile point with a fresh pair of dry
socks. Losing a minute of two to put on dry socks may make the
difference with blisters for some of you.

- Stay on the crown of the road at all costs to stay out of puddles &
standing water.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Photos from 3M.

Here are photos from 3M :

More runs and the final days.

After 3M we did the second half of the Freescale run. Rougue running systems had taken a lot of trouble in designing runs to make us feel comfortable and make it seem like a cakewalk on D-day. This was just an example. We followed the same course we would follow on the second half of the marathon. Doing this would make the course familiar and put us at ease on the final day.

It was an amazing feeling running through the Capitol. Running has become a part of my life now :) ..Well, I don't promise that I will be doing it all my life, though there is a very good chance that I just might. But, every time I do a run, I don't think I will feel bad about it. I have learnt to enjoy running ...and as in the famous words of someone ;) .."Do birds need to learn to fly, do fish need to learn to swim...But, of course I need to learn to run.. "

After the week we did the second half of freescale, we did an easy 7-10 mile recovery run yesterday. It actually felt like I was missing a long run ..o.k I should stop pusng it a lot. I meant it felt much better doing shorter run for consecutive weeks. 7 more days to go and I can already feel my heart pounding!

We had a Rogue party yesterday evening. It was wonderful to meet the running community of austin. Team asha has been very lucky in receiving support from an organization like "rogue". They have the best coaches in texas and were voted the best running club in texas! Steve and ruth could have very well said "NO" to us losers when we approached them the first time. But, they decided to give it a try and I hope we didn't fail their expectations :) ..and I am sure we got what we expected from rogue and we believe that this relationship between the orgs. would go a long way in the future too..Thanks rogue for making us what we are!!

In all this talk about running, training and the marathon I would like to reiterate that none of our runners would be here at this point if not for that one driving motivation that keeps us ticking, put aside injuries, wake up early in the morning day after day and put on those running shoes...the cause we will be doing all this for. I have posted a lot about what "Team Asha" strives for in this blog. If any of you have any questions, please do send me an email and I will be glad to let you guys know more.

When we cross that finish line on Feb 19th, it will only be a job half-done. We hope to raise $100 for every mile we run on marathon day. We need all the help we can get from ppl like you. Every contribution and every small change you can make helps...

Runs after the longest one.

I have been pretty busy with a lot of things over the last few weeks and its been extremely difficult to update the blog ..and of course, I was lazy :(

We had a 10 mile recovery after the runtex to runtex 23 miler as expected! Wow it was so much fun to do a recovery run!

The week after that was the 13.1 mile 3M half marathon. I clocked m PR half marathon at probably a speed I will take a long time to match again! I did about 1:37 for the half at around 71/2 mins per mile. But, the course was a steady downhill course and the authorities had made a mistake while drawing out the course and erred by 0.1 miles :)

But, no ones going to take my PR half marathon from me ;)

As for the rest of the team..

Many of our runners finished their goals at this half marathon. Terrible injuries had revised goals for some of our runners. I am really proud to have these fighters stick on and come this far even in the face of bad injuries. Dinesh literally limped across the finish line because of his ITB. He was limping for more than half of the course! It was impossible for him to go on like this to do a marathon. We didn't expect him to do the half with the injury. But, his resolve to attain the goal was amazing. He did an amazing job especially because of the downhills when the stress on the knees and the ITB are the most!

Ashwini had to face multiple problems with her back, wrists and what not! She took it all in her stride to complete her goal of finishing the half marathon too! All of team Asha was there at the AID station at the end of the finish line. But, it sounded like a party!! With almost all of the guys there and ppl with ice wrapped around their legs it looked like a battle field. But, then there were smiles, jokes and excited chatter ! Yes, it was painful and we had gone through a lot to be where we were and thats the reason we deserved to party :)

Anita, our seasoned campaigner finished her half marathon with no major problems and she made us all proud in doing so! Mihir, Sanjeev, Arvind, Gaurav, ganesh, karthik, vinod and the rest of the runners did great times in getting ready for the final frontier!

A special thanks should go to the Rogue team for sticking with us, no matter how complicated we made things for them :) ..

Photos from Runtex 20 miler.

As you all know I am pretty bad at keeping my blog updated :( . O.k here is the next flurry of posts. Here are the promised photos from the runtex20 miler.