Sunday, April 30, 2006

Interesting sunday run....

I had a good run, which was pretty similar to last Sundays run. The pain/stiffness was not really there after the first half hour and had a very comfortable and smooth run after that, but decided to stop at 10kms (did in 1.04hrs), as did not want to stretch my luck. But after the run in the evening it’s again feeling the same as it’s been in the last 2 weeks, still not able to figure out how to get my legs.
Since tomm is a holiday, plan to run in whatever state I am in to see if I can push things and get it right. Hope impatience won’t not get the better of me.
Had an interesting run today. I run on the main road, which has 4+4 lanes. It pretty safe as I run on the shoulder and vehicles travel at a moderate pace as there are a lot of signals to keep them in check. I have different things happening around me on most long runs. Today was no different, I had a religious procession walking on my route, they looked like Bori (a sub-sect, others are Agha khan, Sunni, Shia, etc) Muslims (in sparkling white shalwar khameez and their traditional religious cap). The procession contained primarily adult males and some kids and one of them decided to accompany me for about 100mts and after that could not keep up. But what I liked the most about this was the expression on his face and the enthusiasm on his face. This has happened to me on quite a few occasions. But the most memorable one was when a stray dog decided to run with me, he followed me for a good 8kms, initially I was a little worried and tried to get rid of him by going from one side to the other (which meant crossing 8 lanes), but the dog was focused and managed to catch up with me on the other side after an interval of 100mts. Hope atleast a few people take up running as an exercise, after seeing me run, esp. kids!
I usually never find anyone run on my route, except when it’s about a month before the Bombay marathon in Jan every year. India is yet to see the growth of road running as a sport. Though running on treadmills has now become an integral part of all Gym routines, but that is yet to spill over to the roads. Can't really blame people as the weather in most parts of India are not the best for the sport, plus the availability of mud tracks or designated running path/trails and the fact that running on concrete roads can be quite damaging on knees and joints, are a bunch of reasons for keeping them away.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Recovery time..

I have not been running for the last few days. Am hoping to use this time to strengthen my leg muscles, to make them stronger and to reduces injuries/aches & pains. Due to running, only certain muscles get used while running and this has to be supplemented with other exercises to strengthen the legs as a whole (esp. cross training!). To correct this I plan to walk about 3 kms a day (1 to 2 splits), sit-ups, climbing of stairs, stretching exercises and some specific leg exercises. Have begun the process and hope to develop a routine over the long weekend.
Will be updating my blog at regular intervals even if I am not able to run. The Sunday runs would continue, as they have become such a big part of the Sunday routine and I just can't do without it. But will restrict it to something like 10kms only.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Good run but no FLM telecast..

Started at the usual time, but luckily it was not too hot today. I had a well paced run of around 13 odd kms in about 1.24hrs. I had a little bit of stiffness in my left calf, which has been there for the last one and half weeks, but decided to run anyways. Did have some discomfort for the first 25mins, but after that the pain disappeared. Which is quite normal, as the muscles get warmed up and the body start releasing natural painkillers. Did not feel exhausted at the end of the run and was tempted to run more but decided against it, as it would result in pushing the body after the short layoff.
The tough part starts now, need to ensure that the left calf muscles are well streched through out the day, to ensure that the stiffness does not return tomm morning. If all goes well, I will have my run tomm.
As regards the Flora London Marathon, the cable operator does not seem to know the existence of the marathon and has decided not to show us the telecast. The Race is scheduled to start at 3pm IST. I have been trying to reach him all day (on phone), but have been unsuccessful. So, I guess I will miss out on the live telecast and will have to settle for the F1 race instead!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Tomm. is FLM time...

Tomorrow morning brings the London Marathon

This is the first time that this marathon will be telecast live on Indian television. The rights have been bought by Zee Sports (one of the upcoming sports channels). I hope to catch the race tomm, but will be at the mercy of my cable operator as he might choose not to transmit (Zee sports does not figure currently in his list of top 100 channels, unless its doing a telecast of a cricket match).
Will keep my figures crossed.
Am looking forward to my long run tomm, as have not been able to run during the week. But tomm. the traffic should be much better as the BEST bus service (the govt. owned public transport service), employees are on a indefinite strike.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Break time...

Did not have a good run on Tuesday morning, did 5.5kms in 34mins. Guess the best thing would be to rest for the next few days and get back to running on Friday. My legs just don't feel right, something or the other keeps troubling me.
Am feeling good otherwise, will just be patient and start things again before the end of this week.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

New route...

I seem to be getting better on my start time, started at 7.45am for my long run and the one hour run was bearable.. But to do more distance next week I will have to start atleast by 7.30am, if not earlier.
I did the 10km run a little under one hour, which is decent time. After a long time I decided to experiment with a new route for my long run by taking the highway heading towards New Bombay. It was hot alright, but the change in route was refreshing, guess I need to experiment with my routes every now and then. The only issue with this route is that high speed traffic (which was not too bad on a Sunday morning) and the almost barren landscape (absolutely no shade at all). The highlight of the run was the two kilometers stretch over the old Vashi bridge.
Am feeling quite alright after the run and get a feeling that I am getting back to normal with my runs. Plan to take it a notch higher if the good thing continues...

Friday, April 14, 2006

Response time!

Guess what I just got a followup call from MTNL asking me if my connection was up and running. I had complaint at around 7pm or so and was told that it would be up in about two hours and it did happen within 2 hours and to top up the experience I get a call from them at 9.30pm with a followup call. Thatz what I call service! And coming from a government company, the experience is that much more pleasurable. Who needs private internet service providers!!

Weekday long run

Thanks to the holiday I was able to go for my 11km long run on a weekday. As usual I ended up starting late and it took a heavy toll on me, I was drenched within the first half hour & exhaustion set in after the first five kms, so decided to take it a little easy for the next couple of kms and then managed to complete the distance in 1.15hrs. The leg muscles are still not feeling fighting fit post the 10day layoff, need to get back to normal my Sunday. If my legs feel good I hope to run tomm. Morning as well if legs feel good.
What I need to do on a urgent basis, is improve my breathing (ability to take in more oxygen with each breath), by restarting my yoga exercises related to improving lung capacity, plus I also need to get down to some leg strengthening exercising. Can’t afford to avoid both of them!
I have been wanting to post my blog since afternoon, but the MTNL broadband connection is down, so am writing it offline and will post it as and when it’s up. I had a tough time getting hang of their complaint number, tried using two popular tele-information services but both were not working – where have the 24x7 services gone?? And they decided to put the GPRS connection on my mobile to test and guess what after about a few minutes of search on Google and browsing through the MTNL site on my mobile, I was able to locate the complaint number. And to my surprise the toll free number was picked up by a very courteous lady on the second ring. She then put me on to a technician who informed me that the server in my area was down and that it would take about a couple of hours to get it working. I must say the good old government service (both call center & response times), seems to be better than the private call center (helplines/tele-information services). Private telecom and other services better watch out, when the public sector gets going, they would trample all over you!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Back to running again..

Its been one painful wait, my eye infection seemed to take a infinitely long time to heal. But according to the Doc its suppose to take a week so I guess I have to be patient. So today decided to go during late afternoon for a light half an hour jog, which felt very refreshing. Had taken the day off after having gone to work yesterday which was quite strenuous on the eyes.
Have been on medication so did not want to push it today, plus the fact that I had not run during the last one week. Hope to run again on Thursday morning and if my eyes heal completely might go outside Bombay over the weekend. But don't want to jump the gun and will take it one day at time. The actual test will be tomm. Morning to check the condition of my eyes (which is the most painful time!!), as during the day it feels pretty alright except for some irritation every now and then.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Injury update...

I have been sleeping (resting) for the last 24hrs, as I was down with an eye infection. For a change I was feeling very fit, but was unable to run! Due to the infection have been on some eye drops and antibiotics (anti-inflammatory ones!), which has managed to sort of bring my eye back to normal. Plus the anti-inflammatory medication has helped me cure any minor muscle pains that I might have had.
Eagerly looking forward to tomorrow’s run, as I am totally rested and feeling really fit. Plus have been stuck in my room for the last 1.5days, so am waiting for my run tomorrow. Keeping my figures crossed, hope my eyes behave themselves and don't come between me and my run.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Niggling injuries...

Small aches and pains keep following one after the other. Its just about having lotsa patience and getting one's fitness up & getting into a routine. But the good thing its that the shin split is not up again and its been replaced by some calf stiffness and ankle pain. So will rest my legs tomm and apply some pain relief gel. Might run on Saturday if things improve, but the Sunday run is definitely on, can't miss it.
Its actually not too much of a effort running with small injuries, as the pain is present only for the first 5 odd minutes, as after the muscles warm up the pain disappears. And ofcourse it comes back when you stop!! So its important to resist the temptation to run while not doing fine, else it can lead to serious injuries. So its all about knowing your body well and knowing when to stop or rest and this comes only with time.
Did about 5.5kms today at a slow pace, in 35mins. Which clearly indicates that I was not doing fine.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I had a good 7km run in 42.5 minutes today morning. The weather was pleasent and the run was good. But post run it still does not feel effortless, so I guess I will need another week or so to get into the groove. Hope to run all the remaining days of the week.
Activating new features on the blog is pretty difficult, I wish they could simplify it and make it easy to change things. Even uploading a pic on the main page is a painful exercise. So will take sometime to figure out everything on the blog and make it interesting. Am yet to figure out the RSS feed thing on the site, to make it possible to subscribe to the blog (to get it in a email each time there is a fresh update).

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Break day..

I extended by break to tuesday, as I needed some more time to recover from the hectic activity on Sunday. The weather is really hot now at 38degree C, its quite hot for March, dread to think what its going to be like during the summers.
Looking forward to my run on wednesday. Also over the long weekend might head for the outdoors, maybe a beach or something. Its been a long time since I have run on sand, its a amazing feeling running early in the morning on a beach (which is nice and blue and clean!!, so it definately has to be outside Bombay). I used to love running on the beaches around Mangalore (my home town, South India) while studying at Manipal (a student township about 60kms from Managalore).

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Super run & swim..

I could not have done things better today. Started my run at 8.15am in some blistering heat (should start by 7.30 from next week) and did my targeted distance of 13.5kms in about 1hr 24mins. I did ensure that I took a gathered through the run, along with bananas before and after the run. Its very important to ensure that one replenishes carbs immediately after a run.
And then I went for my swim after a break of 30mins (not programmed or something, its just that it took me 30mins to get to the pool from where I stopped after my run).
After a good run, I had a even better swim. Managed to do 500mts which is about 20laps of my 25mts pool and thanks to the Gatorade my legs did not crampup as they would usually due to loss of body salts. The swim took some toll on the arms as I don't seem to exercise them much, but the legs actually felt much better after the swim, guess water has some therapeutic properties as well. After the swim I had a energy bar followed by some cold coffee and some more carbs to complete my eventful day.
Am pretty sure that the day India has its first international Ironman Triathalon (or atleast a mini triathalon), I would take part in it. Ironman as its popularly called includes 3.8 km swim / 180 km bike ride/ 42 km run, i.e. a marathon, these three are placed back-to-back in immediate sequence. I would need atleast a year to train for it (the toughest thing to practice would be biking, as its not really safe cycling on Bombay roads, esp. over such long distances). For more info on triathalon do visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triathalon
Ensuring that I eat immediately after my run, has helped me recover much better and faster. Esp. with the entry of energy drinks and bars in India, things have become easier, as earlier it used to be very difficult to have protein supplements after a run, which is now much easier with a energy bar. Looking forward to more such specific goodies - food supplements, am sure it will make running a more pleasurable experience, as it will help speed up recovery and also build stronger and healthier bodies.
Now the only thing I need is some good sleep in the afternoon to get completely refreshed by evening.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Saturday run..

Back to my usual route after the Thursday adventure. It took me one day to recover from the Thursday Carter Road hammering. Today's run of 5.5kms was at the regular well paced time of 32mins 42sec, it felt like any other day except for fact that I was chased by a pack of stray dogs close to my house. They seem to multiply and we need to do something to control their population and the threat they pose to early morning runners..
I have been lazy and need to get back to cross training. Hope to swim after my run on Sunday, lets hope I implement it. As Swimming is one of the best cross-training activities. Swimming enables one to build muscular strength without causing injury and builds endurance while improving flexibility. Plus it improves the lung capacity and rhythm in ones breathing. Tomm. I hope to do atleast 13kms in addition to the swim. Big ask, but what the heck.