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Unspoken fears of a runner …

As a runner I feel everyone has some sort of inside fear for running a Marathon be it your maiden marathon or you are running your “nth” marathon. Basis on my experience I have listed few of them.

Unspoken fears of a runner …

  1. First and foremost … will the alarm buzzer wake me up next day morning?
    Will I be able to get up and reach the venue on time?
  2. Fitness watch betraying …
    Be it Garmin or fitbit or any app in the mobile phone not staring or dying mid run. If your race is not recorded in any form means you did not run that day wink
  3. Using the washrooms during the race
    It is ok to use washroom before the race starts and get yourself lighter but using it during the race can cost your PB (Personal best) by few seconds which you would not like to even think about it.
  4. Will I be able to do my PB in this race?
    All the pre race efforts and hardwork should be result oriented. And incase it fails, you kick yourself.
  5. Not finding any race photos of yourself
    1st day, 2nd day after the race and still you are trying hard to search your race pics with no luck. This again means you did not run lol
  6. Looking weird in your race photos
    Finally you manage to find couple of pics and you are looking weird in running poses which means you cannot share your pics on any social media and which also means you did not run biggrin
  7. Your startup line section is not what you had expected
    All the practice runs and your app shows that you should be in section C instead of section F and now you can’t do anything to change it sad
  8. Your running app judging you
    Overcoming all the cramps and pains in each and every part of your body, finally you manage to reach the finish line and your app says you are 3.49 seconds slower than your usual runs. This is the time you feel like hitting the lady (for male runners and vice versa for female runners) who announces loudly in middle of so many co-runners smile emoticon

As a runner, what other fears do you have?

Drop them in the comments sections, let’s laugh together.

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Girl on train

I was consumed with thoughts of her, the model on the magazine laying in front of me reminded me of her smile. I remember everything about her, the way she moved her hands while explaining something, the way she tilted her head while laughing, and the endless conversations we had while traveling in the train. I slipped into this imaginary world, where only the both of us existed, I’d take her on coffee dates where we’d share one cup and then hold hands while watching the sunset. My train of thoughts abruptly stopped as I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder, my heart skipped a beat and with butterflies in my stomach I turned hoping to see her beautiful face with honey like eyes and dimples that complemented her smile. Unfortunately the face I saw after turning was my manager’s, he stood there with his hands on his hips – his favorite stance when he’s angry – I looked around and realized I was in a tech meeting and by the looks of it my clients and colleagues were waiting for me to snap out of my dreams for a while.

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Two months back my manager decided to start work earlier; hence I have started taking the earlier train. Since my station is the starting point for the train, I get to choose my seat , which is generally the window seat, but a few weeks back I was late and I was pretty sure that my preferred seat would be taken.

As expected there was a handkerchief laying on my seat, in suburban trains there’s no pre-booking of seats hence people keep their handkerchief to indicate that the seat has been taken. I turned to find another seat and suddenly heard a voice saying “the seat is reserved for you” surprised and unsure if the pleasant voice was addressing me, I turned realizing that the woman had in fact saved the seat for me.

As I sat down she explained how she noticed that I occupied the same seat everyday and saved the seat realizing I was probably late for work. The truth be told is I sat opposite this beautiful lady everyday and I tried finding ways to start up a conversation but I never had the courage to do so.

Ever since that interaction I’ve been thinking about her, hence I drifted into space during the meeting. All I can think about is when will i get to see her ……..

Things that ease me…..

Some days are just not our days, sometimes things don’t go as planned no matter how hard you try. There are days where we wish we could travel back in time to start all over again, on such days it is best to stay calm and take a few minutes to get a hold of your thoughts and feelings.  Although if you work for an organisation it may be hard to take a break, during such times you should focus on the positives of the scenario and wait patiently for the storm to pass.

I know everyone has different feelings and ways of handling situations, and I’m sure a lot of us think of doing terrible stuff under pressure, things that we would generally not think of with a cool mind.

Listed below are the four things I like to do on such days to comfort and bring peace to my mind.

  • Writing – no matter how bad my day is, writing always helps to make me feel better. After a long and trying day penning down all my emotions brings sort of relief. Pouring my heart out is the best possible remedy for a bad day.
  • Reading – reading is one of the best ways to escape from all the negativity you have faced in the day. Personally, it helps me escape the real world and focus on something more positive.
  • Music – listening to music is proven to be extremely soothing, it’s one of the most effective ways to calm yourself. I often do this at office as it’s the quickest and easiest method to apply. Trust me, just plug-in your headphones and listen to some slow and comforting music to ease the tension.
  • Running – Although running is not an easily accessible method, it does help in calming my nerves. My daily dose of running has proven to help me stay focused and calm in trying times. It also helps in getting rid of your laziness and gives you a healthier lifestyle.

So what are the things you do in order to calm yourself on a bad day? I’m eager to read your replies 🙂

A revisit …..

A few weeks back after a very long time I had the opportunity to travel to Pune by train. As soon as I reached my seat and as the train gave a loud whistle indicating it was time to leave the station, it brought back old memories, of around 20 years ago when I used to travel on a regular basis to Pune from Mumbai during my Post Graduation. Well, those were the days which I really cherish and will never forget.

Waking up during wee hours of the morning and leaving in a hurry from home to catch the early morning train to Pune. This was my routine at the start of every week for about a year. I made many friends who also had a similar schedule and travelled to Pune by the same train. I recollect that I had got a monthly train pass and how we used to meet up at a designated spot to catch the train (as during those days there were no mobiles).

For this trip, I got my seat reserved and was more at ease as compared to my earlier travel days. So here started another mesmerizing journey to Pune. Sitting by the window, watching the greenery, the hill-tops, blue sky passing by as the train sped up and the parallel railway track which are always running with me irrespective of the train speed took me 2 decades back.

I still recollect that we (including my friends) used to catch a fixed coach and mostly a fixed seat. It was like we owned that coach J As soon as the train started we used to chit chat, pulling each other’s legs and sharing our snack boxes. Then it was time for a small nap as the train passed through the hills of Khandala (Mumbaikar’s favorite hill station to visit) with cool breeze hitting you. This had become our routine schedule during our to & fro journey to Pune.

Now I was travelling alone and I did miss my friends. I made a mental note to get intouch with all of them and plan for a revisit to Pune the same way which we all used to do before. But alas! I wish we all could do that as most of my friends (the Pune train friends) are working out of the country and hence it is next to impossible to make all of them come together.

A little jerk from the train brought me back to into the present. There was hustle and bustle in the coach with people pulling their bags from the side stand. The train had slowed as it was entering the station. Old memories are always sweet and I never realized that it was time for me to get down at my destination.

21 it is ….

No no … neither I am not referring to the legal age in India nor its my age 🙂

Today. I completed my first half marathon i.e. 21 kms (13 miles). The madness in me of running and to stay fit which started this Jan 2017, I managed to complete my first half marathon with ease.

The strong determination of mine to go for regular practice, getting up as early as 4.45 am everyday helped me to cross the finishing line comfortably. Also thanks to my co-runner and my inspirational lady Kamakshi Soni without whom I would not have dared to run today’s half marathon. She is truly an inspiring person. I really cherish the early morning runs which we do on roads and the long runs on weekends which has brought a complete change in my lifestyle. And we proudly say that we are Mumbai Road Runners 🙂

Well, till yesterday the anxiety in me was clearly visible on my face. Will I be able to complete the half marathon with ease and that too injury free were my main concerns. But today morning when I got up and geared up with the race t-shirt along with the BIB, the confidence level inside me started rising up and more over I had my co-partners running with me too. We reached the venue well on time, did the warm ups and was all set to roll out 🙂

The atmosphere was electrifying (well this was not my first marathon, I earlier have run for 5 marathons of 10 kms) and we started running under moonlight (shining bright white). So the journey of 21 km started. I was off with steady pace with local crowd including school students cheering us all the way to the finishing line. The climate was humid (not as expected) but this did not dampen our spirits.

I had been thinking to participate in marathons from last 2-3 years but due to some reasons I had to back off. But this time I was very firm and nothing would have stopped  me.

My timing and road map of today’s run.

 

It’s all about choosing the right person

Be it a friend, life partner, colleague, associate or even your boss (well if you have a choice to do so 🙂 ), you have to be careful whom you are choosing and for what purpose in your life.

One can find many besties in life but it’s important who stays with you till the end. At some point of time I am sure everyone must have come across a situation or situations wherein you have been betrayed by the person whom you trusted the most. It was this person for whom you can swear to be the most faithful person in your life. This was the person whom you had placed all your trust in him/her whom you thought is the best of the best in your life.

And all of a sudden, one day you come to know that this most trustworthy person has stopped responding to you with some reason known only to him/her. This is the person who now starts talking ill about you to others. And you get into depression mode, the worst phase in life. You now only see the past and reminisce about what all you did for that person. You start blaming yourself for the terrible mistake you did of trusting that person, to open up yourself and most importantly keeping faith on him/her. And you make a wow to yourself that you will never again get close to anyone.

In simple words one cannot buy an “insurance” for any relationship. There are no safety nets in it. Only precautionary steps which one can take.

The core point in any relationship is a 2 way handshake. If you are simply chasing the other person and that other person does not have time for you then you need to put an end to this relationship. If you think you are being “used” by that person then it’s time for you to give some space to this relationship till that person gets the message. If you really do matter or if your relationship does make a difference to the opposite person then he/she will notice the distance from your side and will try to reconnect. However, if that does not happen it’s a clear message that maybe the relationship and closeness was not what you thought or expected it to be.

Cutting-off from that person may be easier said than done, however in the long run it will be all for the best and you will soon be a free bird with many more cheerful people around you which will bring a smile back on your face. I personally feel it’s better to be alone than to have such people in life and most importantly start loving your own company.

 

PS. It was after a long discussion I had with one of my office colleague which made me pen down the above post.

 

Runner’s stories

This post is little different from my other posts till now. Well, I have started to like jogging and from last few months I have been regularly practicing and taking part in Marathons of 10 kms. Thanks to one of my ex-colleague as thru him I made new friends and a new group of runners whom I adore and am happy to have them as part of my life. My aim to jogging is to stay fit and healthy. I am posting few thoughts of theirs.

MRManish Rambhia (MR) – I call him “Gurudev” (Teacher) as he is the person who helps with all different types of stretching exercises in our practice sessions and constantly thinking of innovative ways to enjoy exercising. He is the person who pulls me to long distances with his constant motivational words.  The day he is takes a break for the practice session that day no one turns up 🙂 .

 

Me : Which time do you prefer to jog and any reason for it ?
MR: I prefer early morning time (mostly before Sunrise) to jog as the atmosphere during that time is awesome with fresh healthy (less polluted) air.

Me: Which route do you prefer and why ?
MR: I prefer going to back road from Infinity end to Hyper city end (this is in Malad West, Mumbai). This route is idle track for runners. Less number of vehicles around and many other co runners to boost up energy.

Me: What made you get into jogging
MR: I love participating in many sports which include athletics. I was keen to improve my running capability. I participated in SCMM – Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon in 2010 without a single day practice.  After completion of the race it was too painful for me, which made me start jogging on regular basis thereby improvising my running capabilities.

Me: Tips for the readers
MR: Atleast try one day to wake up early in the morning and go for walk. You will find that day different from all other days being full of energy. I always say “If you think fitness is costlier, than try illness”.

KSKamakshi Soni (KS) – A long distance runner (time plus kilometers) and a part of Pinkathon group. She is my inspiration personality. I always admire her runs and her love for jogging. Nothing can hold her back from jogging on her schedule days and the goals she sets for herself are always above the sky. I always feel privilege to run along with her.  Recently she has been writing articles too and one of them is as below publishing with her permission :-

 

KS: Just sitting had a thought on this today…. how Pinkathon and running has changed my life:-

  1. Shopping — women is fascinated about wearing trendy dresses, kurtis, tops but when I go to malls; I look around for sportswear now.
  2. Fashion accessories — girls always beautified themselves with wearing long earrings, bangles, Bindis but I look around for running accessories which makes my run comfortable.
  3. Footwear — all those heels and occasional wear are way behind and I look around for sport shoes for my feet.
  4. Chats and gossips — all my talks (gossips) have now turned into kilometers, distances, events and pace timings.
  5. Calendar schedules — earlier I use to make plans for upcoming festivals… I now look around for Marathon events with their dates to mark it in my calendar.
  6. Friends — almost 70% of my FB feeds are from running community–my friends list have changed and now have more running groups on Whatsapp.
  7. Sharing tagging — instead of uploading selfie pics like a model … I now share and upload my running activity pics to all.
  8. Make up and looks — looking at the mirror earlier was to make myself look beautiful but now I look upon myself to be more fit and instead of buying lipsticks and pan cakes; I now buy Enerzals and bananas.
  9. Apps — downloading stupid apps of pic collage or editor or games … I now download Runkeeper
  10. Milind Soman:- My motivational celebrity whom I always use to see him as a Model /Actor has now changed to “RUNNER’S GOD ULTRAMAN IRONMAN”

 

ZS1Zubin Shah (ZS) – People have partner in crime but i have partner in run during our practice sessions as well as in Marathon races. Zubin is always a sports loving person and we both are school friends. He is a champ in badminton and also plays football on weekends. Junk food is not a part of Zubin’s diet and he is more inclined for healthy intakes.

 

 

Me: Which time do you prefer to jog and any reason for it ?
ZS: I would generally prefer the early morning hours for running/any physical exercise, as you can adhere to the same time every single day before one gets busy with hassle bustle of the workload.

Me: Which route do you prefer and why ?
ZS: I prefer running on the beach as it strains less on your knees, increase your stamina multi-folds and gives you the feeling of vastness/openness to your mind & thoughts.

Me: What made you get into jogging.
ZS: I use to love sports from the very beginning, right from my childhood days. But over a period of time and aging factor I started facing injuries related to sports activities. That is when I took up jogging.. it gives you the same energy boost, stamina, endurance, etc, but at the same time less taxing on your joints.

Me: Tips for the readers
ZS: Try out different physical activities which can help you recover from your injuries but at the same time keeps you physically fit & active and jogging is one of such activity.

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Thanks to all the above people plus all my group members with whom I enjoy my practice sessions plus all the Marathons we had till now. Looking forward for more in future.