Archive for August, 2008

Last or 4th or FINISHER?

August 25, 2008

I recall practically the ‘first’ race I took part in. I was in the first or second year of graduation (fresh out of the ‘teen’s … maybe 20 then).

When the college sports day was announced, I was not too much into any sports then but still wanted to participate anyhow. I scanned through the list of competitions and felt that Race (running) would be something that does not need much of prior experience or preparation. I thought it would be even easy to stand out (and secure a position without much of effort) if I signed up for the 1600 meter race (the longest one for the sports event) – and I went for it! All with whom I shared the news were probably laughing at me — do you know what it means to run for 1600 meter in a race event? (This made me feel even better thinking that my guess would turn out right and I would easily come in the top 3 – since there may be just 3 such crazy geeks).

The race day arrived and when all participants gathered at the start line I was bit puzzled – there were 4 participants in all – I was unhappy that my hunch of having only 3 (or less) runners did not turn out to be true but was positive thinking I only have to beat just one guy to secure at least the 3rd (second runner-up) position 🙂

However, as the race progressed I realized that even simple looking running needs preparation. After couple of rounds (of 400 meter) all the other 3 participants were ahead of me. I tried my best but by the time I was at 1300 meter mark (or so) all of them had taken considerable lead. Soon, they had crossed the finish line and shattered my wishful thinking of securing a medal (without much of effort 🙂 ). The spectators were so engrossed in cheering their success that it took them a while to notice that I was still on the race track! Despite of all the medal positions being taken up, I continued running till the finish line and felt satisfied with the self-assurance that I could atleast complete the 1600 meter race that I had signed up for.

Being a FINISHER itself is an achievement, especially in a major event like half-marathon (or marathon) where hundreds and thousands RUN for the sake of running (and just few decorate the stage of winners!) … I am not a ‘pro’ runner … but I can certainly speak from the experience of my ‘first’ race event 🙂

Now, how about some running humor (I am not yet there 🙂 ) before you see my updates below –

Mon – 18 Aug – light ‘stretch & strength’ in the office gym

Tue – 19 Aug – 6 KM in 35 minutes (in the nearby park)

Wed – 20 Aug – 3.25 KM in 16:30 minutes (on treadmill)

Thu – 21 Aug – 6.5 KM in 33:40 minutes (on treadmill)

Fri – 22 Aug – Rest

Sat – 23 Aug – Rest [first volunteering session for Teach India]

Sun – 24 Aug – 10 km in 63 minutes (in the park – My 1st 10 KM & 1st 1 hr+ on the track)

Haven’t you read about my latest project yet? Please comment and register your moral support here! (Info. about the related Orkut community & FaceBook group is mentioned on that page)

GOD’s delays are NOT GOD’s denials

August 18, 2008

If you are keeping up with my weekly updates then you must be aware that I was dejected last week for being unable to participate in the local’s 10 KM event …

Well, true to the essence of ‘GOD’s delays are NOT GOD’s denials’ (a quote I had liked from the book ‘Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People Do‘ by Dr. Robert H. Schuller that I had read long back) – it is just a matter of 4 weeks –

Yep, they have another similar event on 7 Sep. I am loving it!

Mon – 11 Aug – Rest
Tue – 12 Aug – 6.5 KM in 34 minutes (on treadmill)
Wed – 13 Aug – 3.25 KM in 17 minutes (on treadmill)
Thur – 14 Aug – 6 KM in 31.5 minutes (on treadmill) AND 12 KM in 4 hours (in car!) 😦
Fri – 15 Aug – Good moooorrrnniiinnnnnngg India! Wishing all Indians a very Happy Independence Day! [Rest]
Sat – 16 Aug – Cross-training (brisk walking) for 10-15 minutes
Sun – 17 Aug – 8 KM in 48 minutes (in the nearby park)

Nature in TriColor

Nature in TriColor

Haven’t you read about my latest project yet? Please comment and register your moral support here!

my first (and worst) – 12 KM in 4 hours! :-(

August 14, 2008

It is true that these days most of my blogs contain updates of my training for the half marathon project. However, this has nothing to do with my running.

Today (14 Aug 2008) was the worst day as far as my commute to home back from my office goes. The distance of about 12 KM took me about 4 hours in my car! 😦 If I go by my current times on the treadmill, I would probably have RAN the same distance in just one-fourth time …

The incessant downpour had certainly played a vital role … However, the traffic jams on the busy & narrow street (near my office) are not uncommon anymore …

Last Thursday (7 Aug 2008), I read on the front page of Times of India (New Delhi) that ‘Cars idling at crossings (in just Delhi) burn Rs 1,000cr a year‘ … More than a year ago, Swaminoics had listed out ‘The hidden social costs of vehicles

It is not a news item anymore that we waste so much of time (& money), fuel (& money), peace of mind (and some times even precious life – on account of road rage) … almost in every major city and town. If this is the cost of growth & development then even at the risk of sounding pessimist (or leftist!) I would go for slowdown of economy. We all know that ‘economies of scale’ have a threshold on the inverted U curve. I think growth (or atleast the speed of development) has crossed such a threshold or tipping point and the ‘costs’ outweigh the ‘benefits’

This is NOT the solution!

This is NOT the solution!

This big ‘monster’ problem certainly needs ‘ideas’ … any sharp brains listening?

Missed the ‘bus’ to Cloud 10! :(

August 11, 2008

Before I share my weekly training updates, let me tell you a story (a folklore I have read/heard somewhere) … I would choose the caption ‘Impossible is Nothing’ for this one

One day, a person from city visits a nearby village and is astonished when he sees a villager carrying an ox on his back to the lake. Amazed at this unusual show of strength, he asks in disbelief – ‘how could you carry such a heavy animal on your back?!’ The villager responds unfazed – ‘Why is it so surprising?! For years, this has been a mundane routine for both of us. I used to carry the ox on my back when we both were young and I am doing the same now’

I do not know the authenticity (or even practical feasibility) of the story … but I like it a lot since it depicts power of incremental yet regular improvements. It is true that ‘slow and steady does win the race!’

Are you now charged up enough to participate in the Mumbai Marathon? Then go and sign up for a higher category than you think you can make it! There is ample time to train yourself before Jan 2009! Remember – IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING!

Haven’t you read about my latest project yet? Please comment and register your moral support here!

04 Aug – Monday – light workout in the Office Gym

05 Aug – Tuesday – 6.5 KM in 38 minutes (on treadmill)

06 Aug – Wednesday – 3.25 KM in 19 minutes (on treadmill)

07 Aug – Thursday – 6.5 KM in 35 minutes (on treadmill)

08 Aug – Friday – Rest

09 Aug -Saturday – 10-15 minutes of biking on borrowed cycle 🙂

10 Aug – Sunday – Oops … I was looking forward to my first 10 KM race … but could not do it … not because I was tired or unfit … I was actually very much in physical and mental shape for it … but reached the venue late and had to satisfy myself by just taking part in the 5 KM event! 😦 … I finished the RUN in 27 minutes (but was not happy with myself – because of getting late for the RUN!) 😦

(One more lesson for myself — only training and nutrition are not enough – Need to also pay attention to punctuality and learn time management!)

About an (unusual) supporter (and my training updates)

August 4, 2008

Hope you have read about my latest project … here!

Please comment and register your moral support!

Before I share the past week’s training update, let me tell you – I am getting overwhelming support from all over (including some unexpected quarters)! … It is good to keep me motivated on this looong journey … Thank you, one and all!

For now, I will mention only about the unusual supporter that paid us visit on last sunday. Before I went to the nearby park for my day’s excercise, this fitness freak ‘animal’ appeared in the balcony of our flat on the 8th floor from nowhere. Our much blogged about creativity course at IIM-A had taught me how to chant ‘aum’ and stay cool while facing the dreadful lions in the midst of Gir forests. However, it did not mention what to do when a monkey scares you with its faces while sitting right on top of the dining table in your own home. I was helplessly watching it go right into the kitchen, open the refrigerator, throw out few ‘less healthy’ items and then pick up the mixed fruit flavor of Real Activ juice. (As if it was saying, ‘I endorse the costly supplement. Use this and you will not only be able to RUN but even climb upto 8th floor without using the elevator or the stairs’).

Thank you monkey for making me realize that I have chosen the right nutrition options! 🙂

(My wife did not like my creative idea of taking its picture in action and therefore you simply have to make use of your imagination in visualizing its adventures)

Now, here goes the training updates –>

Mon – 28/7/08 – Rest

Tue – 29/7/08 – Was tired and could run somewhat less than required 6 KM (Need to take action and not just think about nutrition)

Wed – 30/7/08 – 3.25 KM run was easy

Thu – 31/7/08 – Completed the 6 KM on treadmill in the office gym. (38 minutes)

Fri – 01/8/08 – Rest

Sat – 02/8/08 – 35 minutes of riding the security guard’s bicycle

Sun – 03/8/08 – 8 KM run in the nearby park (52 minutes)

Hope you all had a ‘Happy Friendship Day!’ 🙂