2015-11-25

Cochin Full Marathon 2015

Pre-Race Day

The day started early, we get out Cochin Club today and part our our ways for some time. While Pamela & Aarush goes back to Bangalore on Saturday itself I stay back for the big run on Sunday.

They had a train to catch around 9 from ERS. There was not a single auto around so had to walk and get one from Ferry station and as usual the price asked and agreed is way more than normal,

My running friends already reached from Bangalore while some checked in to Hotel other went ahead to Alleppey to check run route for December MTR run. There was many small plans and phone calls in the morning about how we meet up and spend our day, At the end I came to the hotel in Wellington Island around 10. After 11 we start from hotel for BIB collection which is another end of 

Ernakulam. The bus ride was very long and memorable one not a kind that you suggest. We were swinging …. the drives is rash and the roads are narrow and there is Metro construction going on forever.

The BIB collection was happening inside a newly opened mall. And we came to know there are not going to many runners around 200 registered for FM and another 800 for HM, After usual chit-chat with fellow runners and pictures we headed for food. We were told and warned about the bad road conditions due to rain and that might impact bare-foot runners most. Organizers were also offering early start at 3AM. But the regular start of 4 AM itself was too early for my standard.

While walking to the mall from bus stop spotted the restaurant ‘Dhe Puttu’ a place Pamela wanted to go but we did not. While entering the place we liked it but it usual a clean nice restaurant. But when they served the ‘Sulaimani Tea’ things changed drastically for good. We all must had 7/8 cups of tea and some may be more. It seems this restaurant belongs to one of Malaalam actor Dileep. We all loved the food. And the best part we were full. The puttu is very filling and restaurant guys service was excellent. Post lunch we again walked to bus stop and got a bus to our hotel. 

Pamela and Aarush Bangalore reached Bangalore safely in the evening. They mentioned about the rain and cold weather over there. Personally had a shower and nap in the afternoon. But that killed by sleep in the night as I could barely sleep. 

Race Day


Woke up at 3:15 or so and left hotel at 3:30 in Bus (thanks to soles of Cochin) for the venue. From our group few were doing FM and most were doing HM. In hotel met Balaji, one runners from Chennai who is of my kind of running speed. But he has ran many FM including last month Bangalore on in 4 hours where I took 14 more minutes. It was 3 in the beginning but soon around 6 KM mark I think we lost Patrick and me and Balali continued together. We were running side by side but once the road narrowed we started to follow each other. We completed the half way mark before 2 hours and headed back and crossed 30K around 2 hr 45 minutes or so. But once we were back to the Wellington Island we met up with the many slow HM and Family fun (5K) runners. While they had a turn to complete their race we had to continue on an isolated roads between shipyards and godowns. It was the last KMs that was very dull and boring. And now the gap between me and Balaji increased as I really lost the enthusiasm . Thankfully one Hyderabad runner came to rescue around last 500m to give company. And the race got over in 4 hours 7 minutes. The best part not much walking and stopping in the last 5 KMs but there is way to improve. May be I shouldI think I have 50KM Ultra to run while running those 5KM. 

Post-race as usual Bangalore runner specially Pacemakers were on the podium. And very thankful to two gentlemen who are working in Dubai but avid runners gave us lift to Hotel. We checkout and headed towards MG road and ended up going to Grand Hotel for lunch. This is the same place where we as a family met our Cochin host Gulshan and his family on Tuesday for dinner.

The service was not so great as we were a Bhukkad Gang. Rest of the journey back to Bangalore was fun filled with lots of chitchat which can be shared here ;) 




2015-10-24

Driving October 2015







2015-09-23

Satara HM 2015

Satara is located in Maharashtra  not very far from Pune, Mahabaleshwar located in western ghat. PaceMakers decided to run this HM instead of Hyderabad beginning of the year and booked a complete hotel in February itself. That caused a uproar in Indian armature running community. The registration for Satara HM for out station also got closed as there is a limited hotel accommodation in this town.  Personally I was not very keen to run to it given the remote location and no direct train and flight. So registered for Hyderabad HM which was only a week before.  Then one day there was a twist :) Satara HM opened additional 300 slots for outstation runners and I applied. The organizers came out with noble and unique idea to accommodate runners via home-stay(B&B).

Initially was supposed to travel in a XUV 500 which got cancelled at the last minute but being part of a bigger group was able to find a free slot in the Bus and traveled with the team. The journey was long and was tired and slept most of the Saturday afternoon as soon reached hotel. The team went to explore the famous Khas that i missed completely.

The race started at 6, the starting point was 800M from the hotel. The route profile is very simple UP to the half way half mark and down :). Between 4-7KM is the steep part. I was very unsure how the race will turn up after running AHM a week before. I started my own thinking not to collapse or doing something stupid during the race and also giving my best. Like last week had a GU Gel as pre-race and one around 9KM mark.

I am very happy and pleasantly surprised to see my result. I was on the top 10 of my age category. There were 3 from PaceMakers ahead of me :). As usual our group collected many silverware.




Some pictures from the trip


Hill Section Going Up

At the Start Line

Reaching Finish line 200M more
PaceMakers BIB collection
PaceMakers @ Start
PaceMakers leaving  hotel
Hill Section .. moving legs :)
Expo 
Evening 
Waiting for food
My Chicken Thali with Bajra Roti

2015-08-31

43 seconds and counting

Third year in a row ran Airtel Hyderabad half marathon yesterday. There was many things which were different from 2013. Looking back 2013 was my second outstation race with PaceMakers. We traveled in train and return journey was not a great one as we had to travel in sleeper class. The fun was most of us did not had bed linen as we forgot how it was to travel in sleeper class. So Last year though I went with group in train booked my flight ticket for returning and that way I was back home on Sunday itself.

Coming to 2015 booked air tickets for going as well. Left Bangalore in the Saturday evening as reached Hyderabad in time for an early dinner and heading to bed. My roommate was running full 42.2KM in the toughest city marathon of India. Did not had a good night sleep not from pre-race anxiety but due to poor room quality of WoodBridge Grand. This hotel is getting dropped from our Hyderabad running hotels.

In the morning all the autos were asking exorbitant price in the early to morning to take me to starting point which was only 2 KM away. SoI kept walking and good Samaritan offered a ride in his car to Necklace Road railway station.

Was delighted and surprised to meet up with Prithvi Reddy. It is great that he is running and this was his second year doing Half Marathon.

Did proper warm-up with few PaceMakers and was confident for a good enjoyable run. But my Garmin went off before even the race could start :) Not sure what went wrong as I recollect had charged it before leaving Bangalore. Had one large Banana at hotel around 4:45AM & Clif-Gel around 5:45. The digital clock went down before the race director could flag off the race so it was not just me having trouble with watch in the early morning.

Knew  I was running strong as was able to see Brojen in front of me even though the gap between us was widening. Till the first flyover I could see him but  after 5KM mark he really took off.  I had a glass of energy drink around 7/8KM mark and another gel around 11KM with water. I love my coffee. I tried my best to cover up on the downhill parts knowing the course my heart now. Naidu (another PaceMakers) caught up with me around 15KM mark. Asked him what speed he was running and he mentioned something around 5, did not bother with that data as I had only one thing in my mind the last 3 KMs with Gachibowli flyover. Last two years this is where had my trouble and had to walk for few steps. Surprisingly this year there were families with nice Bollywood numbers to cheer runners and I crossed it without much trouble.

But the at the end there was no mark of how much is left and once again there was surprise. As this year also the entry to the stadium was changed and I was not sure how much is left. Only once I saw the stadium entry I started sprinting to the finish line. The clock at the finish line was clicking 1:43:XX and my heart had no joy as at last I felt I cracked the 1:45 mark. I was not super confident with the clock as did not have my own watch to double confirm the same.

So with lots of selfies and groupies and chit chat with known runners we headed back for hotel. But getting taxi was not easy but at the end we managed one with bribe ;). The driver switched off his GPS phone with Uber. The uber guys caked him few times and he ensured to maintain a silence.
The lunch was HUGE at DineHill but these year we were very few runners there. But the whole celebration of 1:45 got busted as soon we reached hotel with SMS from TimingIndia. It said my provisional timing is 1:45:43.

Oh! Now you tell me the value of 43 seconds and the difficulties I had to explain the same to my non running friends.  It was great  to run at an average 5 KM pace for the whole distance. The weather helped big time but somehow feeling down. In three years my ranking and running had improved (2013 - 2:01, 2014 1:50) but I am no longer super excited.

At last and not the list, thanks a ton to Hyderabad Runners for their execution in a flawless running event. There were volunteers who were excited and enthusiastic not just holding glass of water. The post run arrangement was also great with zero waste. Even though there is nothing new after this 3rd edition for me might comeback one day to complete the ‘toughest city marathon’ one day. Till then À bientôt.












2015-08-26

Gujarat 2011 - Map




Need to write the 4 years old road trip before my memory fades away. The pictures are there to help but need lots of coffee to complete the writing.

Our itinerary to khushbu Gujarat ki

  • Day -1 By flight Bangalore- Bombay. We took a morning flight for Mumbai and reached around afternoon. Same day boarded train to Baroda from Mumbai Central. Reached Baroda by night around 9. It was a chair car train. 
  • Day-2: Went to see Champaner, Evening met with old friends of Pamela from school 
  • Day-3: Drive from Baroda to Ahmadabad, Went to Adalaj Stepwell, Sabarmati Ashram, 
  • Day-4: Early exit form Ahmadabad to avoid traffic to Modhera, Afternoon stop at Patan & Lothal on the way to  Palitana 
  • Day-5: Visit to Palitana hills and left for Diu
  • Day 6: Wanted to explore Gir (Asiatic Lion) but it was still closed and we wen to Junagadh via Somnath.
  • Day 7: Junagadh ; climbed Girinar hills. 
  • Day 8: Left Junagadh very early one to  Porbander (being 2nd Oct  could not do much) went to Dwarka and Bet – Dwarka and left for Bhuj. A long long day on road.
  • Day 9: Great Rann of kutch
  • Day 10: explore Bhuj and left for  little Rann of Kutch
  • Day 11: via Ahmadabad back to Mumbai by bus.



2015-06-08

Half early update


It is June. And honesty this year looks like going on faster speed then the previous ones. January was fun when we celebrated Aarush birthday with Misra Families. It was really great but that ended too soon. February and March was superfast with schools, exams and work. April We traveled to Durg, Pamela and Aarush sent 4 weeks there and here we are in end of May.

So just before school reopens we had out of Bangalore for 2 nights. We opted for something closer to home Coorg but on the southern side. We opted for this side as we been to more popular side near Madikeri in 2008 when Aarush was around 9 month old. Time do really fly.

We started at 8:30 from home, very late compared to our slandered but that day had Bangalore TCS 10K. We stopped for a break around 10:30 near Madur. We bypassed Mysore via Brindhavan Garden road and continued till Hunsur. Google Map was helpful and we took a bypass before Hunsur town and soon reached the gate of Nagarhole National Park. We need to make an entry in the logbook and were reminded no food, no music, no stopping and speed up to 30KMPH while crossing the park. We saw lots of spotted deer and few monkeys. But soon it started to rain heavily. The rain continued till our destination Kutta a small town. We stopped for a late lunch a placed called ‘Café Robusta’. Other than the name nothing was fancy and would suggest you might want to miss it but there are not many choices over there.

We easily found our homestay asking person on the road and following the sign to Irpu falls. After settled in in we went out for a stroll to nearby temple. The owner of the home stay has an excellent taste in maintaining her garden. Just to mention there were hundreds of flower pots of different times.

Next day we went to Irpu falls, only Aarush had a great time showering over there. After that we tried to stroll little mode but the weather was too hot. So we headed back to guest house and after shower had a big lunch and too a long nap. Evening we went out in search of ATM to nearby T.Shettigeri.

Next day after breakfast we headed out for Bangalore via Shrimangala & Gonikoppal . The road condition was great. We stopped at Mysore palace as Aarush said he wanted to see it. It was very crowded, And we did not enjoyed it so much. After lunch at Mysore we started back from there and experienced heavy storm and rain as we were about to reach home. Thankfully that rain just started and we were not stuck for long anywhere else it would been a different story at the end.

Now with school being open not sure when we will go out anywhere soon.

2014-12-17

Happy Baking Happy Holidays

We enter the last 2 weeks of the year 2014. This year I baked consistently at least one or two cake(s) a month and at times little more. I love baking and getting better with it as I practise more. There are few things which you learn about oven to other kitchen appliance and their unique characteristic.  Got a dedicated  simple cake book and hand mixer to experiment more. Some pictures from recent time. 

So far tried 

  • Normal Sponge Cake
  • Carrot walnut cake
  • Mocha pudding 
  • Date Cake
  • Honeyed Apple slice 

2014-12-07

What a Saturday

Woke up at 4:25 AM ; it was supposed it be a a long day for me  as I try to run 39 KM practice run in a easy pace. Though I am not going to participate in the upcoming SCMM (Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon) 2015 I decided to stick with the full marathoner group to see how grueling their preparation can be. 


Assembled at 4:45 in front of the NCBS gate and met an ultra marathoner from our running group who already covered 23KM starting from 02:30 AM. Oh! boy still trying to keep my eyes and mind open and then you see this great guy who is running with a BIG SMILE. Really he is a person with big heart and great smile. He has transitioned to braefoot and was holding a small flashlight as he keeps on running in dark.

Being December we  decided to run only in the lighted area till sky gets clear which is almost an hour away. We started at 5:15 sharp and continued till almost 12 KM. Somehow I was running alone though there were two just running behind me.  I realized  missed the first planned water break after an hour but continued with them. Now sky being clear went for the full round of GKVK and completed 22KM. Had a banana and water and went out for the next  round. Somehow in the mind I was determined for 35KM as was not sure on 39KM. A week before only could do  a 30KM of running around Jakkur lake

As I crossed 28KM I started to feel my calf is burning with pain and I am slowing down.  I kept on saying to myself there is no stopping before 35.  I completed 30KM in 2:50 which was a very impressive achievement in itself. And completed 5 more in 3:22 :)  but  had to stop with my legs.

Good thing now these cramps comes after 30/33K earlier may be 18/20K.

Came home with  a quick shower was back to normal. It was a school day for Pamela as they had big annual day for senior class. While me and Aarush decided to bake a cake (Mocha Pudding) of his choice. Aarush was real gentle he allowed me to take a proper nap in the afternoon and did not touched iPad ;) woke me up on the correct time. 

The cake was second one from the new cook book called "1 Mix 50 Cakes".  All went super smooth, cake came out nice. Pamela called saying she is on her way to home and I thought to clean up few tea cups and glasses from sink and BANG  I realized the glass I was holding slipped & hit the side of the sink and oh! no blood and blood all around. 

I had no choice and  tried to put turmeric powder from kitchen shelf to stop the flow, it slowed down but could not stopped it completely.   I prepare myself to drive down to hospital and luckily Pamela made her entry as an angel in the door. We three went to hospital emergency. Soon it was all about getting the wound cleaned and prepared for the stitch work.  Got four stitches on my little left finger and headed back home.  

Could not stop myself thinking about the definition of accident.... while in road many a times it is because two or  three person taking chance and they met an accident and later blame each other for the same. Here there was not a single soul around me. God knows how many times washed fragile items and nothing happened and today after cutting  so many wine bottles with perfection I am wounded without any anticipation. 

Still this Saturday will be remembered  as one of my best run and awesome cake :) 

2014-12-03

Sharat - when rains give way to the early autumn with blue skies, mid-August to mid-October.



Month of September 2014 was a unique one. It started like just another month of the year.

Honestly it has 17th September which is most times ‘Bishwakarma Puja’ and Pamela’s B’day and that is how I remember it. From childhood Bishwakarma puja has a special mention growing up in Tripura. After Saraswati puja in January/February there was no major festival till Bishwakarma Puja. And there used to pandals and people going out in the evening to visit those pandals. Also soon after Bishwakarma Puja the annual festival season starts where we celebrate Durga Puja and others. And normally the weather would be great where monsoon is over and climate were getting pleasant. 

But you ask about the weather for 2014 it is a mixed bag. The monsoon was delayed in Bangalore there was hardly much rain during June and July. The rain started to pick up in September and October and we had 2014 a one of the wettest year in recent time where there was traffic chaos and what now when it rained heavily for few days in September and October.

Personally was in a training plan to run my first Marathon(42.2KM) with practice with maiden Bengaluru Marathon. But my training came to grinding halt as suddenly things at family took a turn for worse. Pamela had to rush to Durg to take care of her father who was sadly hospitalized after a severe fall. Me and Aarush managed well in Bangalore. It was bit of a driving as I had to drop him early in the west of Bangalore and come to work in the east. 


End of September the price of IPhone 5 started to drop in Indian on-line stores. Last year (2013) I also noticed the same for one phone which I was willing to spend but ten realized the price starts to go up after the initial offer. So this year I made no mistake and booked one IPhone 5s for 33K and there was some cashback offers from leading credit card companies. Ironically the price of 5s now at 42K INR after the Iphone 6 came to market. Not sure who will buy a older product when the newer one is not that far off. A person who is willing to spent 42K Sure will justify a spent of 53K for the latest model. 

I am not an apple fan boy but have to admit the phone is what I was looking for ? and loving it so far so good.

The Durga puja was a special one as we celebrated the same in Bangalore with one of my beloved maternal-aunt and her family. So we have the usual pendal hopping eating outside. The 3 days just flew away. 

Now with all that came my birthday which was a very simple affair as things was not great again in Durg. And 4 days after that was Bangalore marathon. I had to make a hard choice of either run a Half Marathon or crawl a full marathon and after lot of deliberation I opted for the 1st one. It was an wise decision as I was struggling with 26 KM after coming back to running after an month. 

So here is my quick report on Bangalore Marathon. 

1:47:10 @ Avg 5:03!!

Enjoyed the race, did not had any target in mind at start other than finishing strong. Enjoyed the run and went with family for the Charity run after that. Here is my splits looks like if I practice well a 1:45 for HM in a good race is a possible target. Special thanks to Kothandapani Sir and my extended family of PaceMakers. UNfortunately the world media picked one news which was not great when lead pack of runners lost race route. The race organizers were great who shared the price money to these individuals in later days.

Thankfully I picked up long running again on the weekends and back to 30+KM on weekends but still a full marathon looks so daunting task.

2014-09-02

Airtel Hyderabad Half Marathon 2014


After Chennai DRHM event the event I signed up for was Airtel Hyderabad Half Marathon. This run is little special to me as received my first ever finisher T-shirt last year as a proof of my improvement in running. Also there is the big culinary charm of Dine-hill and Karachi biscuits as post run celebration.

Booked myself a return flight as soon as the dates for AHM 2014 was out. Few of my fellow runners also opted for the same as soon as I posted the same in our FaceBook group.

The initial count was around 40 people going from our group alone this year but pre-race almost half of them dropped out due to various reasons. Myself was in worst running form as I got a Viral beginning of August which kept me away from any physical activity for 2 weeks. Just before the race week restarted running and was not even in a position to complete an easy pace 20km before the race week.

The train journey on Garib-Rath was wonderful with all the fellow runners. This time I did not took any food for myself for own dinner but there was so much homemade food on the train from others. I did not get much sleep over night but it was OK.

We got down at Begaumpet railway station and another running group (BHUKMP) from Bangalore joined us. This time we were staying together in a super nice hotel called Marigold. It was a chatty walk from the railway station to the hotel. Hotel staffs were super-efficient as they managed to checked-in 60+ runners with ease and then we had a big breakfast. I had lots of healthy stuff lots of curd, fruits and muesli. 

We went to expo from hotel thanks to Uber for free ride ;)

The expo was mixed bag most counters were well-organized and we were handed our running BIB and goody bag promptly but few were not so lucky. Met with lots of great runners with full ‘Josh’ (enthusiasm) whom came from across the country. Realized there will be no finisher t-shirt for the top runners from Nike. In a way it took off lots of pressure from me as I was not really ready for a race yet.

After returning to the hotel I declined to join the group lunch as every one headed to Paradise for the famous biryani and ‘qubani ka meetha’

After watching TV and some nap I got up in the evening and joined the group again for a early dinner. Had a light dinner with lots of Dal (lenthil) and curd.

Race-day : Woke up around 4AM, had a quick shower and had two banana and couple of dates. Dressed myself for a hot and sunny day. Again thanks to Uber reached the starting point of Necklace road. By the time we finished warm-up could already feel it was going to be a very hot day. 

I ensured to take water break at 2KM and 6KM early on. Thanks to Metro work there was some shades from those safety partitions. But soon they were also gone. I was running alone all along as could not find any one with a similar pace to run along. Most of the time I was crossing someone but there were few who crossed me along the whole path. 

As I ran this race before I was mentally strong and was able to map the course mentally and pushed myself for the best. I was also ensure that I was enjoying the run I ensured to thank many volunteers and give them high-five as I crossed them The volunteers specially Waste Warriors did a superb job of ensuring the street remains clutter free. I had my Glue-Gel around 11KM mark I did not tried any pre-race gel. 

All was going fine and I knew the last fly-over will be a killer and it really killed me. It was the worst as I almost lost the battle with it 18 KM was my slowest when I reviewed my Garmin later. I tried my best to push myself as I was approaching G. M. C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium. But to my surprise the entry to the stadium was changed from last year and I was completely hear-broken as I did not have any energy in myself to push further. Somewhere I knew it was only 500m to complete the race but I also not sure if it was 700m as did not want to victim of heat, dehydration and another DNF at the last meters.

I did what I best could and finished the race at 1:50:29. It was huge improvement compared to last year the result below is the testimony. The heat and sun was a killer this year and my face tells that. 

In a way very happy that I finished strong but on the other hand I wished I had little extra energy and strategy to finish the same around 1:48 and wished to run along someone as it was a boring city roads and flyovers.

It was the last outstation race of the year 2014-15 for me. 














2014-07-21

Instant Coffee Bundt Cake

Instant Coffee cafe

Was looking for a simple instant coffee cake recipe and after reading few here and there, zeroed on this one from Nestlé. But as usual did not had many things at home and being a weekend decided to go with what ever  had and make a simple sponge cake with coffee flavor. Very surprised how simple and tasty it came out being a coffee lover would try it again :) 

Had a disastrous start when mixed baking powder and baking soda in the wet mix of butter and sugar. And at the end thought would put at-least few raisins in the middle but that too I forgot as you see them in the picture on the top layer.

But the best is when things goes right it goes RIGHT :) with all that the cake came out very perfect I wish had a picture from just out of oven , these are  pictures after cutting the cake. 

So here is my poor man recipe if you want to give a try.


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons NESCAFÉ instant Coffee
  • 1 cup milk ( warmed the milk and add the instant coffee and let it cool before mixing)
  • 1 teaspoons of vanilla 

Please ensure the oven is preheated enough with 20-25 minutes of heating time to get best result from oven.

2014-07-17

Indian Mobile scene and future ....

As you know the growth of mobile is one of BIG discussion point of any technology seminar or talk show you attend today. Everybody already predicting more and more people will use mobile to access internet/information/e-commerce compared to traditional desktop or laptop. And in a country like India there will be lots of users who will be "on-line" for the first time  and they will directly use a smart phone bypassing key-board and mice altogether, in numbers they might be larger than some European country.

Till date good mobile  phones used to cost an arm & leg. And if you like Apple it still does in India as we have to buy the device upfront. But  things are changing and changing fast. Starting with Moto-G we are now seeing great phones (only androids) coming to Indian market for $15K INR ( $250) . And now with Asus, Xiaomi coming it looks every one is going to feel the pinch where people are very sensitive to price  but looks for best ROI. News channel reported Asus sold 40K ZenPhone phone in 4 days.

It may be a great time for on-line retailers like Amazon, Myntra, Flipkart who are seeing high  growth in this country. I am sure the outcome  will be unknown may be at last we will have more non-cash transaction in India.  Any one having the crystal ball Still I recollect those hotted discussion had with my friends  about 1Mp and 2 MP digital camera and we never though companies like Kodak will be out of business  today and we will have 20MP camera in our phone.

Any company needs to have offering in HTML5 or native android to achieve significant market share of new and upcoming mobile users in these part of Asia. I know iPhone5 sold 20% more than the last one but the number we are taking here is huge. And HTML5 and hybrid model is better as every Android has different screen size.

2014-07-03

DRHM Chennai 2014

Enough is enough I said to myself before I started to write down my experience with 2014 Chennai Dream Runners Half marathon. After waiting for weeks and getting constant update on social media that my friends are being tagged in various albums I could not found a single picture of myself what a pity when everyone was clicking with those super sharp DSLRs and smart phones.

Like last year we travelled to Chennai in Shatabdi Express on Saturday starting  early morning from Bangalore. The train journey was fun there were many familiar faces along with few faces of our group. Some from the last year opted out this year but at the end it was almost same number of people. Had a good sleep on train this time and could not participate in 'Gupshap'. The journey to hotel this year was very smooth compared to last year as we had a local Chennaite with us. We got down from the bus right in front of our hotel in Adiyar.


Had a big tasty south Indian veg-lunch at Sangeetha; the walk from the hotel was little long as we got used to the hot & humid Chennai. I tried my best to skip sleeping in the afternoon, evening we had long chat over tea/coffee at Anand Bhavan about running and various upcoming events like how and when we are going to participate on those. Suddenly it started to  rain like cat and dog which was refreshing and brought down the temperature little bit but shooted  humidity to higher level. Dinner was a low key affair for us who opted to come back to Anand Bhavan. Some of our friends had the dinner at hotel and was not so delighted with their service.

There was the Iran Argentina group match for World Cup and I wanted to watch it so I kept myself glued to the TV till half-time. A great defense and tactical match from Iran where they blocked Argentina from scoring anything till the last minute.

I got up around 3:45 as we were supposed to assemble at hotel lobby at 4:15 ; I had one banana, one Parx chocolate some dates and some water. Remembering last year I tried to drink water previous day to hydrate my body and kept my food simple. The moment came out of the AC room realized this morning is going to be a tough one.  We jogged from hotel to the start line which was around 1.6KM, by the time we reached the starting pointed many of us were socked in sweat. Personally dressed very light in a super thin sleeveless vest to keep myself cool.

Started the run with fellow runners from my running group and by the time we crossed 2KM mark we were completley sweating. But the good part the sky was dark and we were doing around 5 minute a KM for first 8 or 9 KM. In that course me & my running buddy crossed few others from our running group who normally runs faster than us. It was a good and bad sign - definitely I did not had a target , its either a sign of running  fast now and having a  physical problem in the later part  or the weather is playing its part and we are coping  better than others.

Around 9 KM when we were running along the beach my running buddy slowed down a bit and I continued with the pace that I was comfortable and stopped looking at GARMIN.  Around 18th KM meet with all the slow runners / walkers from 10K race and had to navigate them as I passed. Around 19th KM near Adiyar bridge found the local Chennaite from our group running very strong and crossed me. That motivated me to follow him and I kept reminding myself how a 2KM feels like in our practice runs and tried to make my strides longer.  I did my best to finish strong and gave my best in last 500 meters or so.

As I was relatively faster this time there was not so much queue for post run breakfast I drank many cold bottle of water which were easily available that time. My roommate did a wonderful run of 10K and cut-down his previous best record by 4 min to complete the same in 42 minutes and was celebrating the same. Called Pamela to let her know I was fine and all went OK.

After 10/15 minutes or so when we as a group started to ensemble someone reported one of from our group is having health issue and need medical assistant. I went and was with him during the whole time he was dehydrated and collapsed after finishing the race & while waiting in breakfast queue. Any way he had a bad time with dehydration which caused his BP to go down and needed drip. Oh! tell you when you are in medical tent of a race you see the whole race and post-race celebration with a different lens.

Met with LilyDi  and SameerDaa for lunch at their home, wow what a yummy food it was with so many courses of fish.

As usual train ride back to Bangalore was less eventful and many had a nap after a hard  race day.

I  did a personal best this time which I realized little late, for me being able to run and enjoy the same was more important than the time. But I think these few things really helped me in getting there.


  • Train enough and train hard for race, as race has so many unknown.
  • Taper down your training .
  • Rest enough even it means watching TV or reading a book if you do not get proper sleep in hotel bed.
  • Try your best to keep mind away from ‘target’, ‘pace’ and ‘timing’ just  enjoy the run as much as you can unless your are professional runner.
  • Dress accordingly avoid experiment.
  • Hydrate enough but do not overdo it like I did last year where I was barely running the last 5KMs. So I kept a water bottle with myself 6KM onwards and had small gulp on regular intervals. But I did not stopped in many water station as I like to have water when I want.  Some cannot run with a bottle in their hand so it is better to stop at water station and drink , find out what works for you.
  • Do not try to eat too much or too fancy on previous day.
  • If you have friends or relatives to meetup keep it post-race.

And here are those 1000+ of pictures which I checked meticulously to find myself in vain :(

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.808014375885248.1073741831.548956021791086&type=1
https://www.facebook.com/hashtag/drhm2014
https://www.facebook.com/Runsters/photos_stream?tab=photos_albums
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.601614176603452.1073741872.286230918141781&type=1

2014-06-19

Facebook down - June 19th 2014


Wow that must generate more news later today when the social network site of the world took a plunge. Lets see how much time it takes them to fix the same. While some users are able to login they are not getting any updates and people like me are not able to login at all :(

2014-05-12

Wow what a coincidence!!

For the upcoming  2014 TCS Bangalore10K, I am running  for a cause.  I will be supporting an NGO called ILP (India Literacy Project) which I became familiar with through my running group. I also volunteered to raise funds for ILP through BangaloreCare.  

This is my humble effort to raise funds for a cause close to my heart.  ILP is working in 17 states and 850 villages of India to make this basic right available. More about ILP and Bangalore Care can be found in their website. There is no amount as small amount when it is comes to collective power.  To make my pledge more personal, I began growing a beard inspired from “Beard-a-thon” which I am going to keep till the race day.

Let’s make India 100% literate! Click here to help me raise funds: Fundraise Detail  Bangalorecares.in

After sending the initial mail  and Facebook requests to friends and colleagues, I left for a 2 weeks vacation in April.  When I came back from vacation on 26th April, I was disappointed to find there were not much funds raised at all.  I am now making another round of chat, mail and socializing the idea to my friends and colleagues to gain support and funds.

Fortunately, I have been blessed with a wonderful set of friends and family. As of today, I have collected 40K INR  via the Bangalore Care website in last 2 weeks and  received around another 15K in personal account, as Bangalore care does not accept International Credit Card. I also collected funds directly in-person from a floor walk in Technopolis and will continue till this Friday 16th May. I also plan to apply for  a Matching Gift  in the hopes that the ILP would essentially receive double the amount raised by me through a grant from Thomson Reuters at work.

But there is another very interesting fact - I always recollect the first organized run I ran back in USA in 2000. That was a small run organized for Literacy Project for India in Shoreline - Mountain view (close to Google Campus . Shoreline being my primary running course, it was very natural that I participated  and was very happy with same.  However, being the first race,  still remember that Sunday morning quite well and had that T-shirt for long time as a memorabilia. 

Now after 14 years, today morning I just did a quick search and wondering if there will be a  digital foot print from that race?  Look what  found in few seconds. I am really emotional to see that I was there. And, both these are races are connected by same NGO - ILP.  I feel that my running life suddenly came to a full circle.











2014-04-29

PaceMakers

Coach Kothandapani

Believe I shared it before  many times, my likeness of an active lifestyle. It was not  new to me but last year  found like minded group and joined them and now i can say i do exercise few times a week. A passion drives us to wake up at 4 AM twice on weekdays to reach stadium and start workout by sharp 5AM.  It is tough but once you reach there and start your day the whole day I find myself with plenty of positive energies.

This group is called PaceMakers and it is under the guidance of coach KC. He is a veteran runner  with many accolades. It also  feels like a being part of  big family.


Yesterday we had an awesome Birthday party celebrating coach’s birthday and sharing our new web site to the world. If you are looking for coach and a running group and stick with discipline you may want  try to run few times with us. Please take a moment to visit the  websites.

2014-04-26

Driving Himachal


View Larger Map

We are back to Bangalore from our first trip to Northern India. It was touching the dot of the "i"  in the amazing Incredible  India. The eco-friendly state of  Himachal Pradesh and Himalaya has so much to offer is just amazing.  Feeling proud to be Indian....really Amazing India! Abundance of natural beauty ranging from beautiful snow-capped and green mountains, at times rolling hills, valleys, mountains cut in mushroom shape to give way to narrow roads and tunnels, gushing river like Satluj, Beas, Ravi etc, meadows giving ways to rock around highest peak,waterfalls,apple orchards with great variation in climatic condition..... more said about it will be less....

2014-03-29

Tanflora -- Our own Keukenhof around Bangalore

Got an invite to visit a Rose farm from one of our running group member. Though this trip was long due it was like now or never as the season for roses almost comes to end with HOT Indian summer. From Bangalore we need to go via Sarjapur, Bagalur in Housr District of TamilNadu. Google name is Amuthugondapalli. Due to exam time many people could not come but it was still a sizable group of 30. 

Myself and Aarush joined another dad & son in car-pool to drive down there. Both the boys of same age became better and bitter friends quickly. The road was a long one for us as we have to travel on ORR to Sarjapur Junction and pass Decathlon and Sarjapur village till we reached Baglur Village. From there we took a right turn next to Police station and drive for 7+ KM to reach a place with a sign for Tenaflora. We were the first one to reach and as soon as Aarush and Abhinav got out of the car started to run and explore the vast open space. 

Soon we were joined with our hostess and other group members. She briefed us on a quick background the farm and how it works and we stared the guided tour. Roses are pretty but they needs lots of care and best resources to grow. The green houses are computer controlled to ensure the right level of temperature and humidity is maintained. The water that needs to be filtered and ensured right level of pH and EC maintained. If you are wondering what is this EC it is Electrical Conductivity of water may be we studied somewhere long time ago. There were those huge cold storage where unsorted and sorted roses are kept once they are picked form the green-house. The whole process is very tedious and labor intensive just like tea. Like tea garden ladies work with their delicate hands for sorting and ensuring right set of roses are packed together. The global standard is of 20 rose stems in one. We completed the post plucking production from un-sorted roses to a final packing and ready to be shipped in those big card-board box.

After that we had a stupendous lunch spread before us. The outside temperature was very hot but after a rest we walked towards green house. It was really hot out there. Inside greenhouse it was a great relief and it reminded us Shilshila. Growing up in India in 70/80s you it is kind of marked in your memory with permanent marker. Here we saw how they take care of each buds right from when they are in the size of peanuts. 

The best was kept for the last each of us were given a rose bouquet of different colors. Hope these pictures tell you the story better than me.

2014-03-18

A Weekend - supposed to be perfect

Aarush reminded me it's  Friday,  at breakfast table and that he should have the I-Pad with charger for the Weekend; somehow he remembers when it is Friday very well for his age. Well the weekend was supposed to be a just another weekend on the calendar with no specific plan. There were some weekend work/changes/releases at office but not a major ones. Nowadays my running group is doing long runs on Saturday instead of Sunday. And I thought to myself if I start sharp at 5 I should be able to  finish by 7:15  and back home before 7:30 so that I can take care of Aarush.

On Friday I headed to bed early put the alarm for 4:15 and I left home for GKVK at 4:30. It was bit spooky to reach there and be alone in the dark. The only street light was working was around gate of NCBS. So did few short rounds of quick jogging on the road luckily there were no stray dogs. As I was finishing up my warm up exercises one by one my running group members started to show up. Without much time at hand I started running alone in the dark. I was thinking the faster ones will cross me any time after 15-20 minutes and then the others will follow. But saw my running buddies almost when I completed first loop and was at 9.8+ KM mark. I joined them back and to complete the remaining part without a break as I was carrying a small water bottle. Soon the second loop almost started to get complete and finished 20K in 1:50. 

At 20KM mark reached back to car and had little water break and then started the last 3KM. Now the real challenge was supposed to be faster by 1 minute for the last 3 KMs. I did OK and finished them within target shared by coach. It was 7:12 and with that headed back home. By the time I reached home Pamela already left for work and our maid and cook were busy working. Aarush was still asleep. Complete the workout with some stretching exercise; it was a real achievement to run 20+3KM within the plan.

After that had a quite morning, Aarush woke up, we completed shower, breakfast &  homework. He played little bit of games on Ipad while I uploaded my running details in GARMIN. Around 11ish dropped Aarush to Abacus class this was his 3rd session, something to keep him away from TV and IPAD on the weekends. 

Picked Aarush and Pamela around 1PM, after lunch had a nice nap and whith my best try Aarush did not slept. But he was ready for some rounds of roller blades within our apartment complex. It was kind of boring so called even friends with a hope if they are free;  will catch up with them.

After 9:30 in the night there was some glitch at work so spent some time on that issue ; was thinking to join Nike Run Club with Pamela on Sunday Morning. 

Sunday morning the alarm went off on correct time but two of us were lazy to go out - a perfect Sunday morning finished Breakfast late then completed household chores. Had lunch on time followed by a nap. I really felt good after a long time that got a restful weekend. 

The following day being Holi – festival of colors. There was some celebration within our complex ; Pamela and Aarush stayed there while I came home to prepare dinner.

After 30 minutes or so Aarush came back home and said he is not going to have dinner and going for sleep. Got little irritated with this as how he can skip his dinner and go to sleep; called Pamela and spoke about the same. So after 3 min (precise time from phone call log) I went inside and asked Aarush to change his dress and I washed his hand and face. While pat drying his hand my almost perfect weekend came to an abrupt halt and left me jolted on seeing Aarush left  hand was completely broken and it was twisted. 

I ran got some first aid to support  his hand and called Pamela again informing her to return immediately. And we rushed to ER of hospital next door. 

Everyone at hospital was shocked that how this 6 year old was not crying or howling and showing a brave expressionless face. They called the on-call orthopedic and by the time completed his first round of X-ray.

The only sound that came from him was when they applied traction to straighten his hand. Again another round of x-ray to confirm whether the setting was OK and finally we came home. 

Well today is only Tuesday and tomorrow evening we need to visit hospital again for another round of x-ray to confirm all is OK before they put a complete hard cast on his hand for 6 weeks. 

Today, I feel bad not for his broken hand but for hiding this incident because of the fear of being scolded . Looks like I failed completely and still trying to find an answer what triggered him to behave like that as on the same evening I have spent a good time on the play ground with him before leaving for home to prepare his favorite dinner. 
the x

2014-02-17

Pinkathon

 Pinakthon is a initiative to encourage todays women of India to participate in active life style. Being  little active myself I know it is very difficult for modern urban Indian women to follow the same. There are many logistical issues staring from family, in-laws, sons, daughters, job and what not.

But the biggest block I think is they themselves as to take initiative of starting an active lifestyle and being committed to it which is not an easy commitment . Though I am not expecting them to run Full-Marathon in sub 3 hours but even if they can do atleast 30 minutes of speed walk or other cardiac activities on daily basis that would be great.

So this year, Pamela & Pixy signed up for the 5K events. Picture courtesy to Flashbulbzz.

Day 3 - Rishikesh

The weather looked gloomy with an overcast sky as we woke up. We had breakfast at the hotel and decided to visit Rishikesh today. Again we...