Full Marathon no 3 – SCMM 2017

A Brief History of Marathon: Legend holds that the world’s first marathon was run — unintentionally — in 490 B.C. by a Greek soldier, Pheidippides, who ran the 25 miles to Athens from the town of Marathon to announce a battleground victory over the Persians. “Greetings, we win!” he shouted — and then fell to the ground, dead. It would be more than 2,000 years before the marathon would make its return, at the revival of the modern Olympic Games in Greece in 1896.

This was my third 42km and like the other 2, there was that incredible joy and feeling of strength till the 20th km mark, then slowly the pain took over  and eventually intensified as the sun slowly came overhead. However I made it to the finish line with the same feeling of last year, the feeling of practicing more and coming out strong the next time.Really thank all the people who came out to cheer and offered us food on the way, without their support this run would not have been possible. 

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Every run teaches you something, this marathon was about: how things will never be  absolutely perfect to do something. We often procrastinate stating the reasoning that I will travel when I have enough money, I will run after i lose some weight, I will say sorry if she also apologizes, I will change my job once i get a promotion etc. There will never come a situation in life when everything will favor you, it will always be about you making do of what is there.I ran this race with barely 4 hours of sleep in 48 hours, though it was tough to run I had no choice, I had to do and I did it. I learnt a big lesson: to adjust to what constraints the life imposes on you and make the best of it. 

Overall I was slightly disappointed by the weather and the race management but it happens. I was more happy and upbeat about Mumbai the previous day when i was traveling to collect the bib. I scribbled few lines then and true to every word, every time I am in Mumbai, the city never disappoints me.”That time of the year when Mumbai has the perfect weather. Asked the cab driver to switch off the ac and just rolled down the windows. Took a long ride from the airport and experienced the morning scenes. Such a place, so full of life.Mumbai I must say getting ready for the day, children at bus stops, crowd having food at street shops, high rise buildings amongst jhuggis , a very old couple holding hands and crossing the roads, a man vigorously cleaning the cars, girls posing infront of a store, birds flying in the back drop of a church. I think will get my camera next time and spend 10 days clicking.”

I have decided to train properly from now on, a mix of both mileage oriented and leg strengthening training. This is one place I can write about the training, follow this page for running tips and food guidelines.  

Life lessons from running

Most of the education happens with a goal in mind. You are told to study hard, perform well in exams to get into a good college. Once you enter the rat race it is all about landing a good job which would lead to a big house, car and other material comforts. I find no wrong in keeping a goal, probably it keeps you motivated. But it is very very important to enjoy the journey and do a reality check on whether you enjoy doing what you are doing.

I finished an early morning run today, the usual one , a chill in the air , greenary, birds and a rising sun. I enjoy being there , in nature, pushing myself and enjoying at the same time. Eventually what I will attain through running is just an outcome, as far as I am concerned, enjoying it is the most important part of it .

Yet another early morning run

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Shriram properties bengaluru marathon

Last time I did a full marathon, I thought never again, today I finished another, same feeling, never again.

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 Yesterday at the 25km mark to 32 km mark, I saw runners giving up and taking an auto, ending the fight, yesterday I also saw people on artificial legs finishing a 5km run.Ed Whitlock finished a sub 4:00 marathon yesterday at the age of 85.It speaks a lot about running a marathon, for after a time it is all about breaking that mental barrier. There is a lot of literature on Marathons, on the right shoes, the right diet, the right posture, the right regimen etc. But when it comes to running a long one only you come at your rescue.

We live in such times, while everything comes to our doorstep at the touch of a screen, some people do step out of their doors, not to work but to run. I share and empathize with all such people who i met in the morning runs,the running groups who always kept me motivated, wife who at difficult times was always by my side,people who gave me a slice of banana during the run, all those who put on their shoes and were outdoors, God Bless!!

Yesterday was a marathon of blunders, I ended up with blisters and bruised arms, still I am happy I did it again for at the 34km mark I was at walking distance from home and could have ended my tryst with pain then and there.I didn’t and so did plenty others.Running is a self motivation exercise with the only difference that it is you who does the talking. I talked myself into it. However few mistakes that i should have avoided : 1) Trying new clothing directly on the day of run 2) worn out shoes 3) Forgetting to eat. Anyways mistakes happen and I knew i could rectify them by finishing the run, so i ran and then ran a little more.

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It was beautiful morning yesterday when i woke up at 3:15 am to make it to the run which was supposed to start at 4:45. I felt great and had practiced a bit so mentally was all prepared. Carrying a full time job which entails a lot of travel, this time round my aim was just to finish. But I ended the run with a promise to practice more and go for a better timing next time. None the less it was a gratifying experience to reach the finish line.

Would end this post by quoting my favorite lines from Murakami

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. Say you’re running and you start to think, “Man this hurts, I can’t take it anymore”. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself. This pretty much sums up the most important aspect of marathon running”

 

As the years rolled by

“To sit back, relax and gaze at the million stars that lit up the night sky fills one’s heart with a sense of profound peace. This star, many million years old now will exist for many millions of years after I am gone. All academic deadlines, marathons, room full of books, achievements, friendships, failures, and little heartbreaks of life look exceedingly minuscule, a tiny insignificant spec in the universe…This starlit sky reminds me from time to time that…Life is Beautiful.”

As I write this post I contemplate on the fact that the next few months will be mostly the last of my academic life. From where i look i see a transition and probably the best way to gauze it is the journey I have had with this blog. Of what started as a experimental affair with writing has slowly turned into a hobby. The best part is that eventually i have started writing for my self and it really makes me satisfied and once a while someone drops by to acknowledge the work too. My academic life specially the graduation and the post graduation part has  been very very hectic and enjoyable at the same time. To summarize the happy memories come from the times spent on the football field, the lighter moments with great friends, in the company of a good book, traveling around India and of course the tryst with running. When i look back now I did most of the things that is expected out of college and probably at few frontiers i did somethings which has made me lovingly unique. So i was thinking today on the fact that few more months ,these months like days ,like seconds , like every passing moment are never going to come back and what is that one thing still left to do. I have led my college life both in limelights as few people may say, among friends, in teams but at the end of the day it has also been coming back alone, in solitude and all for oneself. I have never been a confider and some how that has made me stronger because I have dealt with all the things alone, have taken my decisions alone and even though i had friends at the end of the day i was all alone. Class- football field – running – mess – work has been the usual routine and have never had the chance of the company of the fairer sex. I think probably this should be done in the next few months , to have a good friend who is a girl and then my education will be complete.

“The most amazing people in your life will find you, the moment you’ll start doing what you always wanted to.” This is one line which i have learnt in the past few years and have tried and tested it. Like this post, these lines have been just put randomly here with no definite idea of the why.

I must probably talk of something inspiring here. The girls from my NGO went on to win the football tournament in Spain.At some part of my life i was a part of the change. DSC_1793-1024x678

Another inspiration is recovering from the ligament tear.I started running within a week of the tear for staying in room was not my cup of cake. The situation was horrible and the pain was immense and sometimes inscrutable but it did not stop me. It has been 8 months now i am back to football, though it will be another two months to attain my full strength but i did it as i had to do it. Last two months have been horribly busy both academically and leading the sports club at college. I have faired well. As an initiative have started a running club which i guess is doing well too. Will be going back to teaching rural kids soon as i have managed to strike a deal with a Teach for India school. I ran and completed another half marathon last sunday adding to the huge tally. Reading has taken a dent but i am still aware of it and making time for it.

This post has been haphazard and  purposeless probably but still wrote it because i wanted to do so.A pic from the Sunday’s run.

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Weight loss and running

It is no secret that exercise has its own benefits like : boosts mental strength, keeps anxiety at bay, keeps your heart healthy, manages weight, lowers diabetes risk, normalises blood pressure, increases stamina, boosts your immune system, lowers bad cholesterol etc.

Running is a good and a convenient form of exercise. All you need to do is find a track or a treadmill and start running for 30 minutes. Running can help you in loosing weight and also in maintaining your weight without starving. If you are overweight then you can start with small distance running along with sprints to loose the weight fast. It will take time and try getting it into your regular regimen. The best part of it is that you will soon see the change and start loving it. Along with running you must have a good plan of diet. Since i am a vegetarian so i will put down some dos and don’t s for the same.  Try following these and definitely you will soon see a change.

Dos:

  • Have a fruit like banana half an hour before your work out.
  • Increase your protein intake.
  • Go for raw fruits and vegetables .
  • Have sprouts and almonds regularly.
  • Relax and don’t overdo.
  • Go for liquids like soup and fresh juice without any added sugar.
  • Cut on rice and other carbohydrates intake.
  • Try having similar kinds of food at a time like only fruits or only carbohydrates , don’t mix as the body gets surprised on which hormone to secrete.

Don’t s

  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid junk food
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid busy life
  • Avoid ice creams and cold drinks
  • Avoid cheese and oily food
  • Don’t be lazy
  • Don’t over eat.

What I talk about when i talk about running by Haruki Murakami

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Title: What I talk about when i talk about running
Author: Haruki Murakami
Genere : Running /on self
Publisher: Vintage Books
Non-Fiction
ISBN: 9780099526155
Pages:180
“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life”
Every time  you read a book it leaves in you some imprints to last for long. I wonder what influence this book would have had in me, had I not been a runner. Reading a non fiction on someone’s life leaves you with a   feeling that you know someone even if you would never meet him. This is not only the story of Murakami  but of all the long distance runners. It covers all the aspects of long distance running. For non runners it may be quite difficult to totally appreciate some aspects of the book but i definitely feel that this would invigorate the hidden runner in you. He combines his running with writing and definitely has tips for an amateur writer.
He started running at the age of 33 . In spite of criticism he sold his jazz bar to focus solely on writing. He needed a routine going and strength and focus for better output. He started running then which not only made him quit smoking but also set in as an important part  of  his writing life. He says that writing is a mammoth task and often involves a lot of sitting in the same place and of continuous focus day in day out. Ideally writers consider writing as involving a lot of manual labour but he has always considered his writing to be a physical task of endurance somewhat like climbing a mountain. Though he talks of a lot of running experiences from the past and how running and writing have evolved together in his case , this book is primarily set in 2005, when he is preparing for the New York city Marathon and his 4 months of preparation for the same.
There are a lot of technical aspects of running covered in the book. His training regime symbolizes how important is mileage for a long distance runner, how does he sets himself to a routine of distance running and how he has to sacrifice all other things for running. Averaging 160 miles plus a month is commendable. He also speaks of certain aspects for example how the muscles develop for a long distance runner and how they are susceptible to relaxing too easily if adequate load is not put on them regularly.He compares his strength when he was much younger but like any other runner wants to keep running all through his life. One interesting aspect of his runs so far is that he has never walked in his long distance runs.  His descriptions of his solo run from Athens to Marathon where he speaks of a lot of white salt on his body is something Indian runners can relate to because the conditions here too are very hot.
Running is a strange activity for when asked one cannot tell what he was thinking of . Most of the time it was blank for him while sometimes it was a thought process of an upcoming event in his life. Sometimes it was just enjoying the scenery especially in the regions of Charles river where he talks of the colours of the sea. If you run on the same track day in day out you start recognizing the passers by to an extent that he talks of a 60 year old lady who had an impeccable dressing sense and would always give him a feeling of strange expectation. But apart form these running as an experience is totally internal , it is one’s own nostalgic silence.
This is one wonderful book which you should definitely give a try, probably inspired by it you may start running.
“Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. Say you are running and you start to think , man this hurts , I can’t take it any more. The hurt part is an unavoidable reality, but whether or not you can stand any more is up to the runner himself. This pretty much sums up the most important aspect of marathon running. “
Rating : 4.5/
This Book review is a part of  Book Review program at Flipitall.com

It’s a wonderful life

“Wind in my hair, I feel part of everywhere 

Underneath my being is a road that disappeared

Late at night i hear the trees  , they are singing with the dead 

Overheard…..”– Eddie Vedder – Into the Wild 

There is something wonderful about getting what you want and I have felt over the years that it is propelled by your desire. It may seem trivial that everyone desires but do they get it ? That particular desire which I am talking of comes from within and it can not come in the same proportion for all the things in your life. So it so happened that during a diwali break I almost landed up in a bike trip. I had already started in a car and had spent a day at Tosh and Kasol when my friend turned up on his Royal Enfield and layed the foundations of a wonderful trip to be.

When you are alone, sometimes you do talk to yourself . Of the many books I have read there have been characters who have lived a lonely life and sometimes have spoken to inanimate things. Do you remember Wilson and Tom Hanks from Castaway. The Dug Dug Dug Dug.. of a Royal Enfield never lets you be alone, whenever I am on the road alone that particular sound reminds me of a companion , of a power , of a reliable friend , of comfort and thus it turns makes me formidable. I hope you get my point your bike is your sole companion in your journey on two wheels and most of the time it treats you as you have treated her.

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God has placed beauty in the strangest of places. You may find it in the yellow leaves sprinkled on the road or a purple flower in the wilderness of a mountain and even in an author’s imagination. On my way to Rohtang pas in the evening I found beauty everywhere , at every turn , in every rock and among all the long trees. I found myself once again in that precarious situation with a valley on one side and beauty all around. I think that is how nature has placed things around us and makes us work for it time and again. For all that joy that you may have felt on achievement of a goal i am sure one reason for the ecstasy would definitely be of the pains that you may have taken.For me  then it was about the beauty in spite of the cold in my hands , the tiredness from the long days ride and the mental fatigue of concentrating hard on dangerous roads. I have often been told and so do i guess you have been too but then my philosophy is to experience it and then judge whether you want to do that again or not . For me two wheels is a symbol of freedom for when the wind the gushes through me on the roads it just makes me purer.The picture below was clicked on this marvellous evening.

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What makes a trip , a day special is how different you treated the day. In the twenty some diwalis that i have witnessed I remember 3 of them , one of course was the one in which i burned my hands. The other was a night spent at Yercaud with a set of 60 year olds who had left their families just to reunite. That night was a revelation and I remember one of them saying us that we must continue biking , continue living these adventures as eventually there will come a time when there will never be enough time. This diwali too was special and its memories will always be etched in my mind. Heading to Shimla on the bike we couldn’t make it in time and so had to halt at a village around 30km in total wilderness. They do not celebrate diwali here but they are familiar with the concept of hospitality. A night at one hand filled me with gratitude and on the other the realization that contentment in life can be found in the weirdest of places that one can never envisage.

Life has changed a lot over the last six months, from the freedom and happy life of a NGO to the daily rigours of an academic programme. I have learnt one thing in the past six months that no one can stop you from happiness. I had tales of how much work one has to do in a MBA programme but i was determined to enjoy myself along with the academics. I ran 3 half marathons , played lots of football, went out for one long bike trip , read books and started writing paid reviews for Flipkart and so on. In a way life just went on and it has eventually taken a normal course. I am finding less time to write and this post was long in the queue. Would like to end this post with a pic of the latest half marathon and some lines from the movie UDAAN.

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छोटी छोटी छितराइन यादें बिछी हुईं लम्हों कि लौ में 

नंगे पैर उनपे चलते चलते इतनी दूर आ गए हैं 

कि अब भूल गए हैं कि जूते कहां उतारे थे

Airtel Delhi Half Marathon and life in general

“Encumbered forever by desire and ambition
There’s a hunger still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
Though down this road we’ve been so many times”

We humans have the capability of sometimes surprising ourselves, going beyond what one can comprehend. Last night when I got free from an academic session which was compulsory to attend it was already 2 a.m. and i had a cab booked for 5 a.m. Incidentally the cab turned up early by half an hour. So with little sleep and sporadic practice over the last month I was unprepared for the run. But then I said to myself that this is how things are bound to be and all that one can do is make a choice. The difficult choice in life is something which distinguishes you from others. I had another session today at 1 p.m. and running the race also meant no sleep even after the event. Even the friends were suggesting to rest a bit but this was something which was more than a race to me, something about a strength unknown to self and so i just wore the shoes and ran. ran like i never did before.

Delhi is still hot and there was a stretch of almost 10km which was on flat road with no trees. It was extremely hot which added to the almost tired body. But somehow the 31,000 odd people running gave each other the strength. Compared to the Mumbai Marathon there was less cheering by the crowd but at the same time the track seemed to be familiar. I had spent some great times spent at the India Gate and for a period of 2 months of summer intern ship it was my favourite spot.At that time i had never envisaged running in all sweat past it and was really a high of today’s run.

I will always miss and i miss Madras a lot, especially the college terrace. I have made few good friends here too and it is fun with them. But life in general is a pressure cooker. It is amongst all these that I find those times of fun, most of them come at the football field while others come in tit bits. People are awesome, each different from other. I have an interesting knack of making friends with some people who are generally criticized. I don’t understand why everyone goes with glory , goes with high achievers , they are great and i too am friends with them but i feel that all our batchmates are the same and deserve respect. Try traveling with that one person whom you would have not done otherwise and you will realize my point. We are a generation who goes by our preconceived notion or in management terms what we call as the Halo effect. You will find me writing more from mid of this month, till then happy reading and thanks for dropping by.

The Gurgaon Half marathon and life in general

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Tell me not, in mournful numbers,

Life is but an empty dream!

For the soul is dead that slumbers,

And things are not what they seem.

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Life is real―Life is earnest―

And the grave is not its goal:

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.

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Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,

Is out destin’d end or way;

But to act, that each to-morrow

Find us farther than to-day.

You know what is the most easiest thing to do in life ? To give up. For me life has taken a complete U turn. Over the last 45 days i have written 28 exams , 14 PPTs , assignments, the number I can”t recall and a plethora of classes.A B school never sleeps and time runs fast here. To top all this,there is someone toiling harder and the pressure soon becomes a pressure cooker. There is no life here or rather one forgets about the possibility of life.

So last Sunday I ran , I ran for my life , for all those  people who had forgotten that it existed. With almost no practice , humid and difficult conditions , these were the toughest 21 kms till date but at the same time equally exhilarating.It marked the slow coming back to life.Post marathon there are at least 15 people who have started running and the upcoming Delhi marathon will have a good participation. It feels good to bring back life here, in mine and many others.

To the readers, i have been not writing much and this is again a small and uninteresting post.But every post has a significance , a personal one here, to remind myself of the things I love and in future if  I feel like accepting a defeating probably this post will give some motivation.Happy running to all of you.