SCMM 2017

This year’s SCMM weather played a spoil sport for many. I was surprisingly unaffected by it. My training this year was not upto the mark. I did not run as many long runs as I wished at the beginning of the season.

Runs: Continue reading

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Kids these days

Did you hear about the time a kid went and challenged another kid for a fight. The other kid being timid went and complained to her dad. The dad thought fighting the first kids dad was a befitting reply to the challenge.

wanna

Do you know how the fight went? Neither do I. I remember waking up an hour later with a black-eye and just a broken rib. Aren’t kids adorable?

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Something new

Going into my uncharted territory.

For those of you who know me, would know me as an introvert. If I had to classify myself, I would classify as an introvert. There were occasions where I could not even imagine speaking in front of a crowd. I mean, not speaking in front of a crowd, but imagining myself speaking in front of a crowd would scare the living daylights out of me. I would go crazy, restless and my heartbeat would increase rapidly.

This year, for no reason, I thought of doing things I had never done before to see what is the worst that could happen. To begin with, I signed up manage a get-together followed by dinner for  50 strangers. This included setting up the event, deciding the venue, talking to the chef to decide the menu, asking people to register, reminding them to pay, inviting speakers to speak at the event and finally as if these were not scary enough I decided to compere the entire meet.

All these stages were equally frightening. Every call I had to make stared with how to I start, followed by a panic attack and the actual call. One thing I learnt is how much ever you rehearse won’t help. Of-course it might give you some confidence due to the preparation, but things can change on the fly and you need to think on your feet. Until I did that, I never realised I it.

This was followed by me signing up to organise a run and talk to corporate sponsors. We usually had individual sponsors who would step up and sponsor small things like say bananas for a day or so. This meant talking to corporates and asking them to sponsor us for a year. Like one brand agreed to get us tee shirts, and another one agreed to be our hydration partner. These were not my deals, but I learnt how to make a deal. This did help me in talking to a timing partner and asking them to part with some cash every month for advertising space. Later we decided to scarp this as we did not want to get into taking cash and answering to higher-ups scenario each month.

All this made me realise some things. Working for a large corporate, I deal with customers every day. I am not scared of that. I was scared of talking to new people. I do not get a chance to deal with new customers, for new deals. Never having done that, I always thought I had stage fright. Now that I am able to do comfortably, I realised it was something else. Now to do it for some more time and get used to it before I find my ‘something new’ again.

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Concluding the running season 2015

As the running season draws to an end with the annual pilgrimage that is the Mumbai Marathon (SCMM), it is a good time to look back at the training that went into finishing the run. This blog post will also serve as reference to me for any future training. What follows is a boring long post about running. It includes a lot of numbers because I now understand that what cannot be measured cannot be improved. Continue reading

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The year that was

This post is coming in early this year. My year has been great. I have been able to take a lot of me time. Most of this time was spent on running. Practice runs for the Mumbai Marathon 2016 are also on track. As decided I have not run any paid races this year and also spent just 4k on running gear. Talking about running gear, I got a GPS watch and T-shirt free from two people. I love both the watch and the tee shirt.

As for habits, I started sleeping way too early. Quality of sleep has also improved. I am able to wake up at 4:30 in the morning without the help of an alarm clock. I read some good books but not as many as I did in the past years. I guess you have to make up some where and lose some where else.

Travelling has been a great source of stress reliever. I have shut down from office while on travel and on most weekends and ignored all official calls. I traveled atleast once every quarter there by visiting Nasik, Goa, Mangalore, Indore and Karkala.

Me time also included cooking. I got to experiment with food and luck was in my favor. Most common theme followed this year was using less spices and cooking tasty food. I tried to make my dishes more predictable by arriving at various proportion of all ingredients thereby eliminating the need to taste/worry.

I got to spend some quality time with my wife and daughter. They continue to brighten my days. I look forward to coming home to these girls.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful year ahead. May you find happiness and things that make you happy.
In the coming year I wish to keep running, find something different which interests me, travel more.

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Giving back to running

There was an idea flouted in my running group. The idea was to organize a relay event where runners can get their families to participate in running a relay. The main reason was to make the families understand the joy of running and mainly to promote running as a fitness activity. About 32 teams came participated and had fun bonding with runners and their families.

I had the chance of helping organize this run. We used to meet once a week to decide what has to be done and throw around some ideas to make the event good. With limited resources and just five of us we could give the crowd a memorable event. We even surprised every one with running bibs, and also providing them breakfast after the run along with the usual water, energy drink and fruits.

The point of this post is with a minimal fee (100/-) if we could do all these, I do not see why such exorbitant amounts are collected at events. I agree that you have to plan for emergencies during the race, but registrations costs are escalating.

Also, my running group has helped me develop as a runner and it felt good in helping organizing an event for the group. It felt like giving it back to the society.

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Run Free

My running has run into a halt due to a variety of reasons. Thankfully injury is not one of them. With race fees running out of reach, I decided that I will not be running any paid events in this calendar year.

Practice has also stopped due to not participating in any events. I still put an effort to run atleast every Sunday. Coming to free events, they are rare but there. Some running groups celebrate an anniversary and create an event with voluntary contribution. I have run 5-6 such runs this year contributing 100/- like a cheap ass.

With the new people I meet, I get introduced to new groups and their runs. These runs happen in very beautiful surroundings. One such run lead me to an all expenses paid stay and run at Atul, Gujarat. I never thought I would travel to another state for a 10K. Turns out I would, if it is free with accommodation. It was my fastest 10K till date. I went there with a target to achieve a sub 60 10k timing. The route was all flat and all green. I finished in 53 minutes.

One of my friends qualified for the Boston Marathon. He wanted to run the hills in the last 3 months of his training. This lead me to Kharghar hills. The hills are beautiful and tough. It is 5.5 KM uphill and then back. I did about 3 half marathons in three months.

Then a friend organised a 6Hr midnight marathon, where you run a 5 KM loop for 6 hours starting at 12 in the night to 6 in the morning. I survived is all I can say about the run. Being out of touch, running distances above 25K was tough. I realised I have lost the core strength in this run. However with boiled potatoes being fed every 3K I completed about 40K in those 6 hours.

Now being monsoon, Matheran road via Nere is really green, wet and empty. This is not the main road to Matheran and hence we runners are exploiting the road. We will be running here for 3 months on every Sunday. I hope to get about 100KM per month upto September.

Running has been free, this year, so far

photo 2   6Hr_Run

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Udaipur: a trip report

We decided to visit Udaipur this time around. It had been some time we took a time off from Mumbai to not visit family. After informing some folks who were surprised by our choice, my desire to visit the place grew stronger.

On landing in Udaipur my first surprise was the temperature. I had lander at a 13 degree Celsius place from a 31 degree Celsius place. It felt amazing to experience this type of chill after a long time. After settling down at the hotel we decided to start off with a local eatery for breakfast. The food is very good at most of the places. The local cuisine stands out. I wont get into the details of what I ate and where. But most of the websites on the net give you pretty good reviews and places to eat. All food is served with love. Spare a second to let them know how you enjoyed the food and look at them beam with pride.

The next thing that impressed me was the amount of foreign tourists that visit this place. On my return flight 60% passengers were not of Indian origin. The locals have adapted well to the influx of tourists. The taxi driver I spoke to informed me that during the tourist season, he is a taxi driver while the rest of the year he is a farmer. The local businesses speak fluent English with an American accent (very well faked) and broken German and French. Many cafes can be found in the heart of the old city. These cafes serve good burgers, coffee and tea. There are places that fit into all the budgets.

You would not miss the palaces and lakes in the city. The place is well planed with man made lakes. By lakes I mean water bodies which are 700 Ha in size. All these lakes are interconnected. There are around five major lakes in Udaipur. Stay around lake Pichola if you want to be close to the happening places. You will save a bucket load of money on rickshaws.

Last but not the least, travel to Udaipur with an empty bag. You have lots to shop for. clothes, handicrafts, leather goods and memorabilia. The shopkeepers are good. I had one instance where I bought some hand made leather shoes and went my way. As they are hand made you don’t find sizes imprinted on them. I was on my way to other stores looking for stuff to buy. After a while and about 500m down the road in a different shop, the guy whom I bought shoes from comes in and shows me another pair of shoes and says that they fit me better. He made me try those shoes and of course they did fit better. After exchanging the shoes he was on his way. That was an experience at customer delight which will stay with me for a long time. Do not miss out buying local clothes,bed sheets,shoes, belts and woollen clothes.

To be continued…

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First Bangalore Marathon – “Trip report”

Bangalore is labelled the runners’ capital for a reason. It had all sorts of tough races like the midnight marathon, ultra marathon and weekend trail races. However there was no official road race. You can guess the excitement it garnered when the race was announced back in June-2014. I too was pretty excited about the race and registered for it the moment it was open. My reasons for registration were many. Firstly I call myself a proud Bangalorean even though I don’t live there any more.

Continue reading

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A post about not posting

I feel like writing a blog, but am not sure what to write about. So ironically, I write about not writing. With the Mumbai Marathon looming just around the corner and me facing the risk of a DNF*, my mind is gone blank. Or is filled with too many things.

*DNF – Did Not Finish

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