Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Fresh new start..

After the forgetable Sunday run. I decided to compensate for it by going a morning run on Monday, did my 6 odd km in about 33 minutes and it felt a lot better.

I hope to run three more times during the week, Thursday, Friday and Saturday and will couple it with some swimming, as I am traveling again. Am looking forward to the Sunday 20km run, hope to have a much better run this week.

That reminds me I also need to send my application for GTM (Great Tibetan Marathon), taking place on July 21, 2007.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Disappointing Sunday run..

Everything that could go wrong before and during the run did happen. Physically I was feeling perfectly fine, but found it difficult to do just 10km, let alone 20km as planned, guess its one of those freak days when your body just says a big NO to running.

I had not slept properly over Friday and Saturday nights, thanks to India playing its crucial world cup match & the thrashing it got from the Lanka team & was watching flight plan the other day. All this made the early morning wakeup call difficult, so I started late in the morning at 8.30am, instead of the planned 7.30am. At the start of the run I almost tripped as I tried to cross the road, thanks to a lot of digging taking place all over Bombay (thank god for some good reflexes, which saved the day). After the first 35mins it was almost impossible to run, as I was feeling the heat (the winter is definately over!) and decided to cruise after that, barely finishing the 10km in 1hr 5mins.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Update on The Great Tibetan Marathon

Finally got some good news from the organisers of the Great Tibetan Marathon - July 21, 2007. They have got back with all the details for participation and a very special offer for Resident Indian nationals (it excludes NRI's), costing just Rs.7,700 towards registration fees for the marathon (basic package). They also have an advanced package costing Rs.40k for Indian nationals, which includes airfares from Delhi to Leh and a few other things (but no accommodation). Should any of you be interested, do email me and I will arrange to email the entry forms and other things. They have only about 250 seats, as its difficult to accommodate more due to the limitation in organisation of support services at leh (doctors, accommodation & medical care), its on first come first serve basis.

The basic package includes participation in the Day Hike on the 19th July 2007, Participation in the Breakfast run on the 20th July 2007, Shared transport to and from the marathon start and finish on the 21st July 2007, Participation and First Aid on the Marathon Day 21st July 2007, Invite to the Gala Dinner on the evening of 21st July.

Please note participation in the 19th and 20th July runs are compulsory as they would be testing your lung capacity & fitness for the acutal marathon. This also helps identify any early signs of AMS (altitude sickness). All participants are required to report at the Marathon office in Leh on the 16th of July and no later. Failure to do this will disqualify you from the marathon.

I plan to register for it this week and will finalise my travel itinerary as well. It looks like a good 13day trip for the marathon.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back home..

After the eventful runs it was nice to get back to running in Bombay. Went for a 6km run in a little over 33mins, in the evening today. It was a big change in weather and also the dust and noise level (though the traffic feels a lot safer as the speeds are a lot lot slower!!)

Finished the run with some long awaited amazing coffee. Barista cafe coffee is any day a lot better than Starbucks. I have had Starbucks in different countries and the coffee at Barista cafe or Cafe coffee Day from India is any day a lot better. Waiting for Startbucks to arrive to India now... and how they take on competition.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My best long run till date...

As planned I started out early in the morning today. I knew I would not be able to do a long run on the streets - where I had run for the past two days, not only would it get repeatative and dangerous doing a 1hr plus run - with so many singnals and stuff (its so scary trying to cross the road without the signal turning green as you are never sure which way to look for the traffic), basicallz it would also not be very enjoyable.....

I was lucky to have found a friend in a local who decided to help me out by guiding me across fields (through forest area), stud farms and Sportsplatz, over a very beautiful 9km stretch in west Wettbergen, all of this helped make my todays long run the best ever long run till date (any run outside Bombay is usually quite beautiful), but this was very special. And what made it really special was the weather which was not only cold (compared to Bombay, but ideal for this part of the world), but there was strong westerly wind and light drizzle, the combination making the weather absolutely perfect for a long run.

The few things one needs to have, to be able run in cold humid weather is a baseball cap and some light gloves, rest of the gear does not really matter. After the first 50minutes in the countryside I did the next 35minutes in regular city traffic, taking exactly the same route I had taken the previous day. I did about 15km in 1hr 23min run, the initial run across the fields, ascorted by the wonderful local, who was on a bicycle, ensured that I kept a quick pace.

Pardon any mistakes wrt Z or Y, as the Deutsch (German) keybooards have them interchanged, not sure about the reason though.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Deutschland runs...

I have managed to run twice this week, the weather is just perfect for running, could not have asked for anything better. On my first day I was not able to run much as I lost my way . Did only about 27mins of running for 5km or so, till I realised that I was completely lost . On my second run today I was more careful, plus I was more familiar with the area as I had already spent two days in the city. Today i did about 38mins of running and managed about 7kms. I hope to follow it up with a 1hr plus run tomm and have found a suitable place where I can do the distance without really getting lost!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Another week of running comes to an end. I ran on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, did 6km on each of those days and followed it up with a good 21km run today, which takes the week's tally to 45km, which is quite good as I had also done a 17km run last Sunday.

Next week I will be traveling quite a bit and will not be able to do my Sunday long run. Hope to compensate for it by doing shorter runs during the week. The weather is going to be lot colder than Bombay, so it should be interesting.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Holi day - festival of colours..

Most of us might enjoy this festival of colours, but I don't really appreciate the colour bit though am completely ok with the use of water (as water balloons that are used to celebrate this festival).

As usual I started around 7.45am in the morning for my Sunday morning long run and I was very much aware that today was Holi and that I would be encountering people who would be celebrating Holi in the morning & they might feel compelled to include me in their celebration!! But, that was not something that could hold me back, well nothing ever does.

I was quite surprised (pleasantly..), as I had to dodge only a couple of water balloons being thrown at me from two different building on my run. Since, I was a moving target, it was never going to be easy and I was able to comfortably avoid them. But the good thing was that nobody who was at ground level & celebrating the festival (and this includes adults from affluent backgrounds, kids, poor people, street urchins), none of them threw colour or water at me, which really talks a lot of the spirit of Bombay, I don't see this happening in most other large metros where the festival has a mass following.

Coming back to my running, I did a comfortable 17kms in 1hr 41mins, though it did not feel the same, as most of the regulars were missing at the second half of my run (where I sometimes run around Shivaji Park instead of continuing my run on the streets), as they must have been paranoid about having colour thrown at them.

I hope to continue doing 20kms on Sundays, so that I can have a good launch pad for my Leh marathon in July.

Back to sea level..

After my short trip, the runs have got a lot easier and my legs are feeling a lot better (all the niggling pains seem to have disappeared for the time being, as you never know when they will return, as its a part and parcel of running).

I did two six km runs on Thursday and Saturday in about 33minutes each. I was feeling so good that I wanted to run on all the days, but due to exhaustion from the trip and lotsa work catching up happening I could not. Next couple of week would also be hectic with lotsa traveling and work, but hope to take my shoes with me, whenever I am traveling, so that I keep the great rythm going.

Encounter of a different kind....

After some eventful and adventures runs on the hill station, its back to sea level now. I had one of my most scary runs during one of the morning runs at the hill station (I was to run for some 5-8km from a forest reserve post to a sunrise point, on badly potholed tar road) just around sunrise. Everything was fine for the first couple of kilometers after my friends dropped me off and decided to meet me at the sunrise point. The weather was close to perfect and I was feeling very good, but I sudden started hearing some sounds & then it slowly sank into me that I was running on forest reserve land (and forests have animals, maybe no tigers but definitely some foxes or wild dogs). I decided to have a look at my mobile phone signal (which luckily was working as the network was not consistent), but then realised that the wild animal would not wait for me to call my friends!! I decided to blank those thoughts out of my mind and focus on my run. But after about 4 kms I realised (at some distance) that there was something waiting for me in the middle of the road, it was a animal alright (was it a wolf, fox, dog, or something else), I knew I had no choice but to jog ahead (if the animal was comfortable parking itself in the middle of the road, I was reasonably sure that it should also be comfortable with human presence, unless of course it perceives me as threat). I tried to remind myself about the numerous stray dogs (and some of them were vicious) I had encountered over the year...

As I went closer, I realised that it was either a wild dog or a cross between a fox & a dog (am still not exactly sure what it was). I decided to slow down as I was crossing him and also made sure that I went off the road a little so that he does not feel threatened (did not want to enter its space..). Even after crossing him I was still not sure if it would decide to chase me (and there was no soul in sight, which meant it was not a pet/domesticated animal).

The final conclusion which I came - wild animals are a lot calmer and peaceful than stray dogs, unless they feel threatened. Stray dogs on the other hand are usually abused and invariably feel threatened and decide to chase you/bark at you or decide to call for their pack to bark or threaten you.