Last few weeks, I have not had as many runs during the week as I normally do. A little too hectic travel and somewhat of laziness 🙂 is responsible. To get myself slapped back to routine, decided to go for a long run today. Should have joined the group and finished it off early morning. Instead, I waited till it had warmed up to the fifties. Took a lot more energy than I was bargaining for. 10 miles in the hills in just a shade under 100 minutes….
After a hiatus of a week – thanks to all that late night partying – the Sunday morning Bengali run was revived! It helped that we set the clocks back last night – gave the partyers some more time to sleep in 🙂 And yet only Amitesh and I showed up 🙁
On the other hand, we took full advantage of the crisp cold weather with very little wind and flat surface to post our best group run. 5K at 8:36 pace (total of 26 minutes 38 seconds). Best part was we were able to do this with negative splits (8:59, 8:39, 8:13 and 7:57).
Awesome! and Thanks Amitesh for the run and the coffee thereafter!
When I checked the local weather, it said 39 degrees and with wind chill it was 30 degrees. So, I did what any sane person would do – I dressed up for December and went out for a run. It was not half as cold as that and I was certainly overdressed 🙁 Within one mile, I had to start taking layers out. All in all, a good – if somewhat uncomfortable – run on a cold, very windy morning. To cool down, I put in 2K of rowing in the gym. I love the idea of the cold weather coming upon us. Nothing is more fun than daring the elements to go out for a run. Till people consider you insane, it is not worth doing it 🙂
It has been a tough time travel wise. Always weird when you fly back to home town for a few hours and not see your family. Anyways, on to more important things.. puzzle time…
Imagine a vertical tree 80 ft tall and a crow sitting right on the top of it. Now imagine a vertical tree 60 ft tall about 100 ft away from the first tree. The crow wants to fly to the top of the second tree BUT has to hit the ground once first enroute (essentially flying in two straight lines). What is the point on the ground it should hit so that it has to fly the least distance in all?
Don’t worry about the dimensions. Think about the intuitive answers…
Now is the Durga Puja time – the biggest celebration for Bengalis worldwide sans when Sourav hit a century. Yesterday, I thought I will explain some tidbits about Puja to 8-year old Nikita. So, at the Puja hall, I grabbed Nikita and her two friends who were running around and took them to where the idols were and asked them if they can find the vehicles of the gods. Now, for the uninitiated (which broadly includes me too 🙂 ), by our culture and religion, we have a lot of gods and goddesses. (and that is not even counting the fact that every Bengali parent thinks their sons and daughters are gods and goddesses by their own right 🙂 ). I think all of them (at least the most prominent ones) have a “vehicle” that they use to go around in.
About five of them are celebrated during Durga Puja. In of itself, if I remember correctly, the celebration is of the seniormost goddess Durga (representing the good force) killing the villain Mahisasur (representing the evil force). She did have an unfair advantage in that she had ten arms – so she could carry a lot more arms and ammunition than Mahisasur. In the Puja, she is graced by her two sons – Ganesh (who has an elephant’s head – that is a whole another story) who represents prosperity, success, general well being and such, Karthik (I think he is the god of handsomeness or something like that) and two daughters – Saraswati (goddess of music, art and literature) and Lakshmi (goddess of wealth).
Enough of the background. So, I asked them to find out the “vehicles” for the gods. Hint was to find the idols of small animals laying around the feet of the gods and goddesses.They were delighted to find out that Ganesh went around on a mouse, Lakshmi on an owl, Durga on a lion, Saraswati on a swan and Karthik on a peacock. Finally, they asked about a slain buffalo that was lying around. And they learnt that that was the vehicle for Mahisasur.
At night, I quizzed Nikita on the gods and vehicles and this is what she said (word for word) …
“The elephant god has a mouse. The goddess that makes all the money has an owl. Durga has a lion. The good looking god as a peacock and the goddess with the guitar has a swan”. Thought for a few more seconds and added: “… and the bad guys went around on buffaloes”
That was hilarious!
Aschhe bochhor abar hobey!!
Since most of my Bengali friends were sleeping in this morning after the Puja celebrations last night, I went ahead and ran in Fowler Park for a 10K run. It was really cool temperatures (mid forties) and I was not dressed for it – specially in the shaded parts of the run. Which was good – since that forced me run fast enough to warm myself up. I think I was the only one running in shorts and half sleeves. That and the fact it was flat surface was enough to make a big difference compared to my 10K hill runs yesterday. Almost 100 seconds per mile difference. Yesterday was 9:53 min/mile while today was 8:16!!
The run was extremely enjoyable. The Starbucks coffee all by myself after that – no so much 🙂
10K run in between dropping and picking up Nikita at her friend’s birthday party. The north Roswell hills were very pretty but very punishing. Slowed down to 10min/mile. Beautiful cool day with the sun shining bright. Now enjoying a strawberry smoothie at Starbucks waiting for the birthday party to get over…
Today I went to midtown Atlanta. It was cool (43 degrees) and the wind was stronger than I and bargained for. After a few minutes, I avoided my usual route and started heading down north-south streets (the wind was from the west). Other than that, it was a enjoyable run. The chapped lips and sniffles notwithstanding 🙂
I chanced upon one of those endless fights between Sharmila and our 14-year old Natasha. Except, this time I walked up to Tasha and asked her – “See what I go thru? It has been only 14 years for you. It has been 20 years for me”, hoping to get some sympathy from her.
Without even as much as batting an eyelid she said “Tough luck! I will out of here in 4 years. You have another 20 years to go” 🙂
Now I am worried 🙂 🙂
I have always been worried about my upper body strength as I grow older. (To be honest, I have been worried about a lot of things about myself as I grow older 🙂 But, I digress.). For sure, I am aware that upper body strength makes running easier. But I just cannot seem to get myself to go to the gym. If it is not out in nature, I get bored quickly. And if does not involve some gadgets showing speeds, distance and such other digital numbers, I am downright disappointed 🙂
However, I have gained 6 pounds 🙁 Once upon a time, a friend of mine – Rachel Stark had asked me to try out rowing. Which actually intrigued me. It would be cool to go row in the river. Of course, I have to first finetune my swimming skills. Which I am not good at, do not want to do it in a gym and does not involve too many digital devices 🙂 You get the drift 🙂
To play safe (and not drown) I started doing it in the gym. I know I know – it is in the gym. In my defense, there is a cool display showing my strokes per minute, speed, distance etc 🙂 On the flipside, the Nike Fuel Band and the Fitbit does not recognize the amount of work I have to do (I guess those accelerometers are more tuned for activities that give you a jerk – like stepping).
Well, so far this week, it has been 5K run followed by 2K rowing each day. Let’s see how long this lasts… The temperatures outside have been awesome – 46 degrees. I just wish I could do the rowing in a river…