21 April 2018

Every run is a negotiation game with him..

The problem every morning in Kalyani is that I do not finish off my run first thing in the morning when nobody else is awake and the temperatures are far more bearable and certainly there is no direct sunlight. Before I can get myself there, usually, my brother wakes up. That can only mean the first cup of tea will be soon to follow… And then sitting idly in the balcony, we just start having yet another cup of tea every half an hour or so. Finally, the sun would be up, it would get warm and I start regretting not having finished my run.

Today was no different. Since it had gotten hot, I decided to put in an endurance run. The heat and humidity had already conspired to make the temperatures feel like 107 deg F on the skin.

Then the negotiations began! Any which way I go for a run, I will have to get past my dad who will immediately engage me in a discussion that roughly follows the same pattern…

“Where are you going?”
“For a run”
“Why now?”
“Because it will get warmer later” (did you see how I dodged the obvious question of why I did not do it earlier? ha ha)

“How much will you run?”
“X km”
It really does not matter what X is. I have tried various variations – 10, 8, 6, 5, 2…. His inevitable question is
“Why X? X/2 is more than enough”. He immediately will halve it.
Even if I were to tell him – “Okay, I will do X/2”, he will wait for a few minutes and go “Today is a very sunny day. X/4 should be adequate for today”…

At some point I will leave the house and just go run.

First question today after I came back – as with every day – was
“How much did you run?”
“8 km”.
His response was again classic. I could have said any value and he would have said the exact same thing – “That is enough for this month. You do not need to run any more this month!!

That said, it was a 5 mile (8 km) run in rather oppressive heat and humidity at a sub-10 pace. Towards the end, I had to take a 30 second break to get my heart rate to come down from 170s. That was the penalty I paid for not carrying water with me.

18 April 2018

That was no ordinary run in the park…

First, this completed my run in the 20th country (Singapore)!!

Second, I got to run with a long lost friend of mine. Prasenjit and I went to our MBA school together. We last saw each other in 1991. We knew each other then but were not very close. But we became close later thru social media as we kept egging each other on for our runs and races.

Both of us started running very late in our life (mine was when I was a year shy of turning 40) and I am sure we both needed the encouragement from each other. Over the years, he has grown his stamina much more than me and does many more long runs. I need to get to his stamina some day.

I always had wanted to put in a run with him! Saw him after 27 years and more importantly got to put in a run with him!! That was very satisfying!!!

As an added bonus, met his wife Sonia after the run over a delicious breakfast too!!

18 March 2018

I needed that run today…

As I confessed to a couple of my friends in the last two days, I have a fear that I am losing interest in running. Everyday, after a couple of miles, I feel like I want to give up and come back to the starting point. Somehow, I start convincing myself everyday that I am tired and out of breath.

I was starting to question if my running days were behind me. I had imagined that I would be prevented from running due to knee issues at some point of time, but I never thought that I would lose interest in it.

Then I met Lia a few days back on the trail. As we chatted, she mentioned that she was putting in a 100 mile run this weekend. Just the other day (in fact less than six months back), she had put another one. That is 100 miles!!! In about 27 hours!! That is running for more than a day!!

I came back from that conversation convinced that I needed to change up something in my run. I figured that my problem was I was running solo. Running by myself gave me tremendous flexibility on time. But running with somebody else or in a group (like I used to many moons back) put the peer pressure and had the added benefit of making it a social interaction too.

I woke up this morning worried if I was done with running.Then I told myself if Lia can do 100 miles, I can surely do 10 miles…

That was enough to push me to run a 10 mile solo run at a 9:30 pace on a wonderful, sunny, blue sky morning!

I needed that run. Just to reassure me that I am still fighting a mental battle not a physical one. Not yet, at least!