What was he thinking?
When I first heard what Reggae Marathoner Navin Sadarangani did earlier this year, I thought he was crazy. I've run a marathon and couldn't even consider a serious run the day after, much less another full marathon…plus 6 more!. But he did it and lived to tell the tale. We recently caught up with Navin and got him to share his story with us:
Reggae Marathon: What inspired you to do this?
Navin Sadarangani: During 2010-mid I learned about the Quad (4 in 4 days) and was hoping to attempt it in 2011. With getting lucky in the 2011 NYC lottery, I couldn't attempt this because of it's proximity. I stumbled upon the Savage Seven (7 marathons in 7 days) sometime in June 2011. I saw myself already planning to run this event plus a marathon on the day before the start of Savage Seven, thereby making it 8 marathons in 8 consecutive days. I termed this my 'Ecstasy Eight'.
RM: What challenges did you experience?
NS: During the first 2-3 marathons in the Ecstasy Eight, the challenge in the mind was to not let the laps (running 105+ laps around the track for each day can be daunting) get to me. The best part is that as the body starts to break down as the days progress, the mind gets attuned to the repetitive laps and stronger in bearing more pain.
RM: How did you train for this?
NS: My training was spread over 5 months with 5 days a week of running with strength & cross training to aid in gaining overall fitness and stamina. The training program was intended to build up the weekly mileage progressively, peaking to a couple of 100-mile weeks. But while training, I found it tough to increase the mileage beyond a point and keep my speed-workouts regular for my PR attempt at the NYC Marathon, which was 6 weeks out of this event. Eventually I had to succumb to maintaining moderate mileage weeks (in the range of 55-65 miles per week) and keep the hard sessions in tact too.
RM: Were there any lasting after effects of doing this?
NS: The soreness that started mid-way through the event continued for about a week after. But some of it was not soreness and fatigue as I eventually found out. During my 7
th marathon, I felt a sharp pain on my right leg in the 4th mile and ran with it for the final 80 kms of my Ecstasy Eight. I though rest was all that was required to recover. Unfortunately, on having it examined, it seemed to be a minor tear in a muscle. I am currently in healing mode. My running senses are itching and I hope to get back on the road soon.
RM: What was the toughest moment during this?
NS: I had a silent aspiration of doing 4 consecutive sub-4's during this event. Days 4 through 7 blessed me with this. My toughest moment was from the 4th mile of my 7th marathon (being my 4th consecutive attempt at a sub-4) until the start of the 8th. Running at the same pace with the extreme pain was difficult. After I managed to nail the sub-4, it took me about 3-4 hours to feel
my senses again. I was pondering dropping out of the final run since I was close to limping that evening but I ran the last day with all the pain.
RM: Would you do it again?
NS: Yes, I'd love to. What better way can one want to spend 7 days other than just running, icing, carb-loading and sleeping.
RM: Do you have any new running challenges?
NS: I usually don't talk about my running aspirations and goal. But it's quite common that every marathoner would like to someday run the Boston Marathon. Hence, a Boston Qualifier is something that I have my eyes on, even though I realize that it's going take a long while and a massive load of effort to get anywhere close to it.
For Navin's detailed report on his eight days of marathons, check out this blog post, Ecstasy Eight. The photo above shows Navin running comfortably at Reggae Marathon. Navin, we expect to see you at Reggae Marathon 2012 December 1.
Until next time…