Friday, 27 April 2012

Exploring new lands

(Footprint in the sand in the Andamans last year in my most loved vibrams)

Same old boring running. Whats the big deal about running. One foot in front of the other. Why does this one go on and on about this running? Not as if she is some super elite Usain Bolt types. You are thinking, right?

Well it is true. This post is also about super boring running. So there is a chance that this one is not going to connect with you at all. But hey. Has that ever stopped me? How many books have I dismissed, with snide remarks about 'playing too much to the gallery?' I obviously indulge in the opposite of that. Meaning, doing my best *not* to keep my audience in mind...

In the past several months my relationship with running has taken on a new and more wonderful flavour. And the time seems ripe to share that here. To the (possibly disinterested) gallery of Party People. There are stories and incidents to share from my 2012 life!

  • On April 7th, my dear friend Bala ran this phenomenal run of 46 kms. One for each year of his birth, and an appealing new way of celebrating a birthday! Prior to that, he had run 21 kms each on 21 consecutive days. Yes, you read it right. 21 half marathons in as many days. The mind is still boggling at the thought of that. The thing about Bala is that he is so humble, and so very unassuming. The 46 years lie lightly on him, for sure! He did this to raise awareness about cancer and to test the limits of his (super) human body. And boy. I swear the city changed.
  • Coincidentally, I call him my birthday brother because a long time ago when Bala was celebrating his 8th birthday (and possibly doing something equally awesomely crazy), in another part of the country and completely unknown to him, I was born. I joined him on his quest this year but ran only 26 kms - joking that I would run my 'apparent age' rather than 'real age' I cannot think of a better way to celebrate birthdays. 
  • On the other end of the spectrum (in terms of age), are these two 'crazies' as I call them lovingly - running buddies of mine. They are training for a 10k race in the near future. And goodness me. Super disciplined training. They feed off each others enthusiasm and drive, and are constantly pushing themselves. When I saw how much they seem to enjoy their training, I decided to jump in with them too (although I am not running the short race). 
  • I am scared of things that go by the names tempo, interval, short tempo, goal pace, Yassos, mile repeats etc. I have done them a few times early on in my running career and it always seems to result in some weird pain that dogs me for days and makes everything uncomfortable. Yeah well, not any more. I have run two crazy tempo runs with these friends of mine, and it has been a spectacularly awesome experience! Oh yes, I really enjoy these and will go for it again.
  • I was lying around all pissy mooded after the Mumbai Marathon when I read emails about the Republic day half marathon. I had managed to twist my ankle walking - but went anyway to the race. I am glad I did because that was a race that I am going to remember for a while. And not just for the Personal Best HM time but generally, for how great I felt. This was a huge party.
  • I did pay the price for ignoring my ankle though, in fact, I am still paying the price. I was on a long run in early March (maybe Feb), singing and feeling genuinely happy. It was early morning I was sweating buckets and had run about 8 km. I tripped on the uneven pavement, and, didn't fall. But my ankle went. I walked for a long while hoping it would fix itself. I swam, I compressed, I iced, I ignored for the next several weeks. Its still not fully happy. 
  • The vibrams experiment started in summer 2011 after my Boston trip. I eased myself into it. It felt like my form was neutral enough that there was no marked difference between asics and vibrams for me. I neither felt less or more pain, was neither faster nor slower. Given my unhappy ankle, I am trying a new experiment. And that is a more vibram dependent training. At least I don't need socks. 
  • Another running friend runs what he calls the 'Walmart' adventure. Meaning, he runs less. Does more. Strength and mobility and core and stuff like that. He steadfastly refuses invitations to crazy runs involving logging indeterminate number of miles. Has this spreadsheet. And a terrace where he works out. I joined him on what we have termed the 'motta maadi' workout (Tamil word for terrace). My thighs cried for days but it was wonderful. Bear crawls are my favourite exercise now! 
  • A close friend for years, and a self-proclaimed 'anti-runner' and when he does run, an 'anti-social runner' this giant who is my husband is running these days. Equilibrium has been achieved wherein he runs and I run, completely separately, and we high five when we meet going in opposite directions. He sets his own targets, I set my own, and we compare and since both of us are disciplined like that, we usually meet them and we feel happy for ourselves and each other. Decoupling rocks!
So many different things have happened to me already in 2012! I am loving it! New friends, old friends, new ideas, old ideas, inspirational stories, all mixed up in the bag. The weather, my injuries, the busy schedules at work & at home, these are only incidental to my running life now. There. I am done. 


Choxbox said...

totale coolness wonly.
and mini-sarayu meet happening tomorrow - coming? seriously, pop over, it'll be a huge surprise to the others (airspy you did not read this okay?)
you can go running in the morning when e are all snoring away.

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

Chox sorry ma. Super busy time of life. Next time for sure!

dipali said...

Fascinating, even to total non-runners like me:)