January 1, 2014

Cycle Ride to ChikkaTirupathi

Cycling is a great way to explore. I always wanted to include cycling as cross training into my schedule and do long rides once in a while. So, here it happens, the first long ride - 65kms to chikkatirupathi. My longest distance before this was just 21 kms.

The decision was impromptu - one day I said to my friends, let's do a cycle ride and few of them were game. Guru, who is an avid cyclist is always game for it. Pavan wanted to join and so did Nagesh. We didn't plan anything till the day before the trip.

Guru came up with couple of routes that we can explore and I was busy enquiring with RR cycles to hire few bikes. We zeroed down on chikkatirupathi. After last minute drop outs, it was only Guru and me who wanted to go finally. So, I used Pavan's Hercules ACT 1.0

We started off at 5:30 AM - the darkness, cold and fog were intimidating but we continued to ride. We rode at decent speed, approx 20 Kmph. Though the first 12 kms was in the city, the real ride started post that, as we entered the outskirts. Fog, Fields, Village atmosphere, Greenery and Kids waving are some of the highlights of the trip.

Here is a short conversation I had with a kid. And there were numerous kids waving to us all along.

"Kid: Hey man
 Me: Hello
 Kid: How are you doing man?
 Me: (all smiles) I am good, how are you?
 Kid: I am doing good man. Byee
 Me: Bye (all smiles)"

The roads weren't in a great condition and that slowed us a bit. I used the wrong gear ratio for almost 2/3rds of the trip but it was a good learning. It took us close to 3 hrs 20 mins to cover this distance. I am happy that we did this ride, it was completely a new experience. Thanks to Guru for the first ride.

I think moments like these (running and cycling etc) give a new dimension to life, give new experiences, bring a smile on your face. And that is the essence of life.

More rides and longer distances to come in the future.   

December 29, 2013

Bangalore Midnight Marathon 2013

So, I finish my Bangalore Ultra 12.5 K and was planning for my next run and I thought it will be sometime in Feb 2014 and tentatively the Auroville Half Marathon (HM). I made my own training plan to reach the peak training phase by mid-Jan. Again the aim was to finish strong and not aim for a time finish.

And I was contemplating doing the Bangalore Midnight (BMM) or not. And another bigger question was whether to do a 10 K run or a Half Marathon (21.1 K). The decision was tough coz I have to do double the distance and I have about a month to go.

The Sunday right after Bangalore Ultra, I could finish a decent 16K at cubbon park and I was glad. This boosted my confidence that I probably have it in me to run longer. And two weeks later, I could do a decent 18.5 K at cubbon. park.

I haven't taken a call on Bangalore Midnight run till December 7th. I was held up with one my Bestie's wedding and some travel. So, finally I decided to run the HM, registered and still not sure if I have it in me to finish it.

In the meanwhile, I kept Bangalore Ultra as a surprise to Kavi and the day I told her about my new running interest, I am sure she was glad that I took the plunge. Since then, she has been guiding me with tips, training etc to make me a better runner. She helped me select the perfect shoe - Nike Lunarglide+ 5, which arrived on the day of my first ever HM. We also trained once, we ran in the rain and what an experience it was to run in the rain. Totally loved it.

I always ran in the mornings but BMM was right in the midnight. All I could manage was a single run in the night, a 10K, 3 days before the actual run. But my morning runs were going as scheduled.

December 14th, the day of the race, I took a cab to the venue (the cab driver gave me his good wishes for the run), reached by 11:20 PM, did some stretching and walked to the start line. But the jitters and nervousness still exists. The HM and FM was supposed to start at 12:00 AM but got delayed by 15 mins. I had to do 5 loops of  4.2 K. The mind kept counting - 5 to go, 4 to go...1 to go and finally the finish line. I did my run in 2 hrs 19 mins 43 secs and I finished strong. I should thank a couple, who stood at one corner cheering the runners for almost 3 hrs - Kudos to them.

Somehow, I noticed that I better my pace everytime it's a race - it was approx 10 mins 30 sec per mile for BMM. I cut it down by approx. 2 mins from my training sessions, which I guess is good. The same happened during Ultra as well, it was approx. 12 min 30 sec per mile. But I have a long way to go.

The atmosphere was electrifying. People live their dreams, their passions during those runs. They make every effort to finish to cross the finish line. Runners are happy people, they spread joy and happiness and that's why its addictive. To outsiders it might seem insane but only those who did it, know the joy of finishing it.

Yes, running is addictive. It changes your life. Moves you out of your comfort zone. Makes you a better person. Connects you to some awesome happy people. Pushes your limits and probably make you realize there aren't any. Makes you a big believer in practice, hardwork and perseverance.

This run is so dear to me and it goes to my family and also to Kavi and Radhi - who are again like a family to me. And also to all my friends who believed in me and shared my happiness.

My next run is in February - Auroville HM. I am treating it like my first run - will have the same rigour and discipline during the training and run. Looking forward to it.

December 28, 2013

Bangalore Ultra 2013

Yes, I have taken the plunge into running recently, Sept 29th 2013 to be more precise. I don't know what prompted me to run that day but I just wore my shoes and started off. And am I happy about the decision? Hell Yeah!

Fitness has always been an important part of my life, at least over the last few years. I was either dancing or hitting the gym, on and off, but never took it seriously.

Thanks to my friend Kavi, an avid runner for the last 5-6 years. She has been pushing me into running for a long long time but I never budged but I finally did. She inspired me a lot to get into running.

Also, the main inspiration/motivation is a particular event that I want to complete one day. Every time I watch the videos or read about the event, it blows me away. I hope to cross that finish line one day. There is still a long way to go and it's my holy grail.

Running for a minute was a nightmare on the first day of my training but I continued day after day. I started reading a lot about technique, nutrition, posture, stretching, recovery, shoes etc.,. I trained alone most of the times, made my own training plans, nutrition plans. But the entire process for fun and satisfying.

Me and Radhi, another very good friend, registered for Bangalore Ultra 12.5 Kms which is scheduled for November 10th, 2013. I did not aim for a time finish for this event, I just wanted to finish the race and finish it strong. I couldn't sleep well the night before the run, I was both nervous and excited. But the whole experience was great - training, waking up at 3:30 AM on the run day, the bus driver who didn't know the route to the venue, the jitters for a first time runner, the beautiful trail, the joy of finishing the race. I finished the race in 1:37:58

But what I really liked about the event and running is the energy at the place, there is soo much positive vibe around, that it just gets addictive. Runners are happy people. Period.

So, here I am, off to a decent start in my running journey and I hope there are many more awesome experiences in store for me through running. This post wouldn't be complete without thanking few people - Kavi and Radhi for all the inspiration. Raaji and Rini for believing in me even before I did, my family and friends who are the core of my universe and the pillars of my strength. And to all those who shared my joy and excitement.

December 21, 2013

No Limits

"How much do I love you?
 I ask myself every time.
 I look into the depths of the ocean and the high of the sky,
 And I find no answer.
 Then I look into my heart and smile, coz,
 My love for you has no limits!
 I smile not just coz I found my answer but also coz my feelings have found their right words!"  

December 17, 2013

Be Born Again, Free

"He is in a dangerous place,
 In a place, where he has fallen in love with the idea of living with someone,
 The place of joy and jubilation,
 He knows it, but She, doesn't,
 So, does he still want to be there?
 No, coz LOVE is a two way thing.
 And now he wants to vanish, not just from there but from everywhere,
 To the Oblivion, to a place where there is NO hope.
 And be born again, free!!"

December 16, 2013

But She is an addiction

"She is an addiction,
 She is like a drug,
 She is good and she is bad,
 She is a pain but there is happiness to it,
 She is mad and she is magical,
 She is addictive,
 Yes, She is a drug"

October 27, 2013

Crowdfunding & Art

Thanks to Crowdfunding - new, deserving, brilliant art is coming to life. Recently saw a movie which was crowdfunded - Lucia, it's an intelligent Kannada movie.
Kickstarter is the one of the first movers in the crowdfunding for art space and they are doing some amazing work. I guess the crowdfunding laws and regulations for every country are different, but I believe every artist should be able to raise funds from anywhere in the globe. Because good art needs encouragement and deserves to be told & presented!
What is next in crowdfunding? - I hear there is crowdfunding for travel :)
I am hoping there will be crowdfunding platforms for research & school projects very soon. 

October 25, 2013

Books & Values

Someone recently asked about my favourite books and the ones that came to my mind are - The Fountainhead, The Godfather and The Harry Potter Series.
As I thought through as to why I like these books, the answer was clear - the main characters of these books - Howard Roark, Corleone (Vito and Michael) and Harry Potter have some much to teach about life and values!
What you take back from a book is totally up to you and would vary from one person to another. But I would still treat these 3 books as a much read for everyone.
So, what are your favourite books and why? I would like to hear.

October 17, 2013

Under or Over

Human's mostly underestimate or overestimate themselves.

The key is to find a balance and be rational!

But given how funny the brain works, finding a balance, can again be the case above.

October 2, 2013

Outside of Work

Always do something outside of your regular work, something you are interested or passionate about.

It can be anything - music, theatre, travel, dance, reading books, running, community work, cooking, blogging or anything. But DO SOMETHING.

It can open up many doors and opportunities, increase your networks etc. And if not anything else, you'll have good fun & peace.

After all, life is about different experiences!!