October 2009 Archives
As an aspiring runner, it is always the motivation factor that keeping me going. I always think I am mentally strong to accept and face challenges. But running is a different ballgame altogether. As in any other group activity, people draw energy from one another and motivate one another. Hence, while running at the Nike Run Club, there is no dearth of motivation. But there are times when I don’t have company. One of the biggest problems when running alone is the boredom that creeps in. I still have the energy to do another couple of KM but feel like stopping. Like last week, when I started off planning for a 15K, I had all the enthusiasm but into the second KM, I wanted to stop. The music player in my phone complained of corrupt files and stopped. I had no inclination to continue. I was figuring out ways of keeping my mind busy and the idea for this blog post was born.
When I used to run on the treadmill, usually my goal was to run as much as the person next to me runs. If the person started running before me, I will try to do the same distance he/she does in a minute or two less. If the person starts running after me, I usually try to run as long as he runs. I remember an incident that occurred a while back in Fitness One. Another guy and me started running around the same time. We had completed around 22 minutes at a decent pace. I did not want to give up until the other guy stopped but I was unable to go any further. After another couple of minutes, I pressed the emergency stop button and stopped. The other guy also did the same almost around the same time. After he stopped, I told him that I was trying to run until he stopped, but could not and he said he also usually does the same thing and he was waiting for me to stop :-)
Another trick I do is to find someone who runs at a decent pace and try to maintain the same distance. A friend once said that, he clocks his runs by the number of songs that play in the gym. One song is normally 4 minutes, so on an average he does about 5 songs for 20 minutes.
My wife has just started cycling and her biggest challenges are the uphill paths. She pants and puffs her way through them. She says, when she sees an uphill, she diverts her mind by thinking philosophy or tries to recollect lyrics of songs she learnt as a child. Sometimes, she says, she also sings aloud or smiles or waves at strangers. This diverts her mind, and she gets through easily.
Unless you're not pushing yourself, you're not living to the fullest. You can't be afraid to fail, but unless you fail, you haven't pushed hard enough.
-- Dean Karnazes
It was the usual, "You look familiar" dialogue that started the conversation and after a few minutes, I asked him, "What do you do?". Coolly he said, "I run a chain of beauty salon and spa in Bangalore". I was taken aback and did not expect this from someone who passed out of IIT 20 years ago and just returned back to Bangalore. Another interesting conversation was with a gentleman showing some magic tracks. I first thought he was an assistant helping out with the sound system in the room. I was pleasantly surprised when he said he used to work as a traffic constable attached to the Indirinagar Police station and he has taken leave of absence from work.
It was a colleague's 15th marriage anniversary dinner. I had to coax my wife to go since she was tired after work yesterday. All I told her was that he was in interesting personality (there will be a dozen or more who will disagree to that) and is fun to chat with. The side show of pictures showcasing the couple's 15 years of life was interesting and sometimes funny. The dinner was decent and the music was very good. Naren and Jyothi did a wonderful job with the Karoke, singing old hindi songs. And Had an awesome time.
Someone asked me at the NRC this morning: What is the difference between running on a treadmill and running in a community? I blurbed along the lines of this is more fun, yada yada. I might not have said what I wanted to express and hence this post.
A few weeks before the Sunfeast 10K, when coach Beedu used to ask how many of us would run the 10k, a few hands would come up reluctantly. After a little prodding, a few more would raise their hands. Interestingly at the Nike lounge after the run, a lot of people were congratulating each other on their successful completion and timings. Contrast that with today. After Nike announced the registrations for the Human race on Oct 24th, the conversation has been completely different. Everyone is talking about completing the 10K, bettering their time. Today, I met a couple of folks who completed the Chennai half marathon in approx 2 hours and discussing about their experience and providing tips. Both of them started running less than six months ago. You will not find this companionship when you run on a treadmill. You will not find some one patting on your back and pace you up and ask you to push a bit and cheer you.
Running on treadmill is helpful when you want to time your runs properly in a controlled environment. But it is not so much fun. Get out on the streets and you will enjoy every bit of it. If you want to run with some greenery around, go to either Cubbon park or Lalbagh. Cubbon park is the best thing that could have happened to runners in Bangalore.
"There are clubs you can't belong to, neighborhoods you can't live in, schools you can't get into, but the roads are always open."