hibernation

I was looking at a friend’s blog roll on which this blog is listed when I realised it’s been eleven months since my last post. In fact, as I get ready to lace up my running shoes for my first full marathon on the 19th, the last blog I had posted was about the half marathon I had just run.

It’s funny, when you’re mother to a nine month old all you can think of is “When will I get time to do all these amazing wonderful things my child is holding me back from?” And then your nine month old starts going to playgroup and then is on the cusp of Nursery and you three year old has overnight morphed in to a soon to be first grader and that much desired time to do all those amazing things is finally there. And you draw a blank.

It’s January and as with all Januaries I have this amazing plan for myself this year. This will be the year I discover that great passion. This will be the year I stop whinging and just get down to it. This will be the year that everything magically falls in to place.

And then of course I realise nothing will every magically fall in to place. Everything takes hard work, dedication, tunnel vision. I emailed a group of friends the other day, that if I could apply the same dedication I have for running to other facets of my life… well nothing would hold me back. And yet something does hold me back. Is it because I don’t have anything else I am as drawn to as I am to running. Is it because I don’t really truly want those things, the way I want to run a marathon. Am I just a lazy cow. 

I want to revive this blog this year. I want to return to writing fiction and non fiction. But then I say that every year and then promptly forget about it. 

 

Can I ask you a favour? If I do forget… REMIND ME!

Speed Work

I’ve long known about speed work but haven’t really bothered with it. But recently, I was looking through some running forums on the net and it was suggested that we include a 10 1-minute speed runs, one minute apart and … Continue reading

Before I forget

I wanted to write this down before I forget how I felt today.

Today I ran my first half marathon. It was, as Barney Stinson would say “Legen…wait for it… dary”

After a sleepless night spent checking my watch obsessively every five minutes to see whether it was four am yet…I got up anything but refreshed and raring to go. I was sleepy, cranky and had phantom aches running up and down my legs.

But getting to the holding area for the half marathon runners in Bandra soon woke me up. It was amazing to see so many runners in one place, pulling up in taxis, walking there, getting dropped off in swish cars by their mums and pint sized dogs.

When I signed up for the half marathon, and in the months that followed I read about how this was the biggest SCMM yet in terms of number of participants, how amazing the atmosphere of a Bombay Marathon is… but that’s all an abstraction… you’re reading it and nodding your head … but when you get there. And you see that many people and you feel that pulsing anticipation… that is something else.

To run on the Bandra-Worli Sea link at 5.50 in the morning on a cold (by Bombay standards) Sunday morning and hear nothing but the steady ‘thudthudthud’ of thousands of sneakers, punctuated ever so often by the rousing cry of ‘Ganpati Bappa Moraya’ (this is Bombay after all) …that is something else.

To see strangers give up their sunday morning snooze in to line the roads and offer you water, biscuits, chocolates and oranges and to have their kids wave posters they’ve made telling you that ‘It’s your day in the sun’… that’s something else.

To be able to run down Marine Drive to the beat of ‘Faaavical se’ and the ‘Summer of 69’ and then ‘Take it Easy’ all in the stretch of a kilometer … that is something else.

Like almost every one else in this city I complain often and bitterly about what is wrong with it. But today…Bombay showed exactly what’s right with it. It’s people, it’s spirit and generosity overwhelmed and touched me. And it made me realise that I do love living here. The next time I’m in a traffic snarl, running down this city I will try to remember  the Aunty in her saree and sweater standing outside her apartment in Worli at 6:15am offering us a platter of jaggery and the runner carrying the tiranga and running with a prosthetic limb and the kids who jogged a little ways beside us and told us not to give up…and I will remember this is a good city at heart.

This last year training has taught me a lot about myself. I always thought I was someone who got bored of things easily. I thought I was someone who couldn’t always see something through to the end. Running proved me wrong. People ask me all the time.. why do you run? How do you run? Don’t you get bored? And I struggle to answer the question. But today I found my answer. As I crossed the finish line and looked up at my time and let out a whoop… I felt there was nothing I could not do. Nothing that was out of  reach if I desired it enough and put in the time and effort to get it. That’s why I love running. it makes me feel like anything is possible.

Thanks to the organizers, the volunteers, the pacers and the crowds that turned up. Thanks to my family and friends who always made me feel like this was something I could do. Thanks to family for being so ridiculously proud of me. Thanks to Anand who called me from work (sometimes four times a day) to check if I’d gone for a run yet. Thanks to Abhi, who got me running in the first place. Thanks to every one who ‘liked’ and commented on the running updates I’ve been putting up on facebook this year. Thanks to Educo who got me the half marathon bib. And finally, thanks to everyone who made a donation to Educo and supported run. I haven’t spoken to some of you in YEARS and you still reached out and supported my run. I cannot say how amazing that is and how much your gesture helped me get up and run every day.

What more can I say? I can’t wait for next year!

 

run run run

I am often asked why I like to run. I often find that motor mouth me is stuck for a convincing answer. Not that I don’t have a reason… it’s just I find it hard to articulate. Running is an intensely personal experience… I hate having to analyse why it makes me feel the way I do. this is also why I hate the idea of writing book reviews or joining a book club… the idea of exploring the ‘why’ of something as intimate as reading a book… it makes me break out in to a cold sweat. reading is sitting down alone and going somewhere far far away from your routine existence. to then have to share that with others… I just couldn’t.

And then this arrives in my inbox from a friend. I have to say I don’t like to think of running as an escape, as running away from one’s life…but I would add ‘run from your kids’ to it 🙂

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the universe is conspiring against me… and other such crap you tell yourself. (note to reader: written in a hurry. overlook rambling) (and typos)

This has not been my fortnight. A lackluster running week. PMS blighted cross training sessions. Aching thighs and glutes (that’s my ass by the way). And a general feeling of blah-ness I used to be fogged over with in London on the 1st November of every year. But there is no winter in Bombay (at least none worth talking about)… but I feel down. And low. I wonder… can I do this? The most I have run in my training for the half marathon is 12k…what am I thinking?

 

Yesterday, my younger son fell down and splattered his clothes and the floor with his blood. We are taking him to the hospital to have stitches today. This adds to my stress. I can feel my worries and doubts huddled together on my shoulders cackling away. I know the only thing that will make me feel better is a run… I actually crave for it… how strange are the ways of the world. I used to hate physical activity as a child. I still have no love for group sports. I used to feign dizziness to escape Sports day in school. And here I am at 32, craving a run just as my younger self craved candy and an arm chair.

 

And then the universe that I thought was conspiring against me… comes together to send me something of a more positive nature. A friend shares this with me on facebook. And I discover that I have touched 15,000 rupees in my fundraising efforts. I think… people think I can do this. I can do this. I CAN DO THIS. And I think of Rohit Brijnath’s wife and all the other runners out there, getting up every day and overcoming whatever it is trying to stand in the way of their run and going out there and just…well doing it.

 

And I think of a line in the piece “The road in front is only as hard as you make it out to be.”

I’m getting a t shirt with that line printed on it.

the week so far

A 45 min run on Monday.

A cross training session today that was severely hampered by pms. At the end of my second circuit, I told my green behind the ears trainer that I was done for the day.

“Why Madam?”

“I’m tired Sir.”

“But Madam, you are never tired.”

“I’m not well”

“But you are never not well.”

“I’m really not well.”

“Do you not like the routine? Are you bored? ”

By now my pms is making me fantasize about chucking his over toned butt over the side of the balcony.

“No, no it’s wonderful. There’s nothing I like more than doing lunges and squats and push ups. It’s the best. Don’t you dare change a thing.”

He seemed very pleased after I said that. I don’t think he has heard of sarcasm.

Tomorrow, pms or not a run is scheduled.

 

all is not lost

So I made up for the spectacularly poor week… somewhat. I had a particularly gruelling training session on Friday and did a dream speed run today. What is a dream speed run you ask… well I was running fast in my head. 

 

Tomorrow will be a long dream run… I’m sure you know what I mean.