Sunday, 30 November 2008

Treadmill Half Marathon

I have only run a single race till date and that was a half marathon. This is of course excluding all the embarrassing races I had run in school. I still remember the 400 m race which I ran when I was in 12th. I came last and was almost lapped by the winner.

So where was I ... yes, only one race till date.

So, RFL organizes these fortnightly runs and I had never been to any of them. They had one today and I had decided to go. The only problem being it was starting at 6 AM. I set an alarm for 4 AM yesterday night and went to sleep at 9:30 PM (we runners need a good night's sleep .. eh?)

When the alarm started ringing I hit the snooze button. When it rang again, I hit it again. This kept on happening; I no longer needed to open my eyes to shut the alarm. My reflexes did not want me to wake up. My phone finally gave up after an hour or so and when I woke up it was 8:30 in the morning.

Dissappointed, I went through my usual routine. Went to the nearby Darshini; had an idly-vada and filter coffee. Read the newspaper. Went online. Checked mail. Checked orkut/facebook. Checked mail again. Looked at who all were on IM.

After four or five loops of the above I Started feeling guilty of not having gone for the run. I thought I could maybe run somewhere nearby: Agara Lake? Then I had an idea: Why not run a half marathon on the office treadmill? It was a challenge not just because of the distance, but because running on a treadmill for so long is DAMN boring. So that's what it was going to be.

I went to the office and long story short ran for 2 hours 10 minutes, covering a distance of 21.1 KM. My Garmin Forerunner acted as the stop watch and I had the Sansa Clip for musical harmony.

I shaved off 4 minutes from my previous half marathon time. I think I have also recovered well: I just have a blister on my right foot and no major knee pain. Tomorrow should give me a better idea.

Anyway ... YAY!

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Has it ended?

It had stopped raining. The sun was out. Two hundred people had died in the Mumbai terror attacks. The news agencies have fuel to feed themselves for weeks maybe months now. Speculation is and will be rife. People will dole out their quick fix solutions -- I have been guilty of that myself. But as Indians we have seen and have pointed it out before: we might end up forgetting this soon.

People commend the Mumbai spirit; getting back to business. I being a cynic, though please let me know if you think I'm wrong, don't think it has much to do with the spirit as much it has to do with how densely Mumbai is populated. When you have so many people, you only care about those who are in your tribe: people whom you know and interact with, not the faceless strangers whom you see everyday. And if you don't know anyone, or are not yourself impacted by such an attack, it is easy to forget.

The question really is this: do you want to wait for any such future attack to impact you and then take action, or should you take those steps now and prevent you and your loved ones from being affected?

As an individual what can you do? What powers do you have? The answers to both these questions, though many people might tell you otherwise, is NOT "Nothing". I don't know the answers myself but I'm trying to find out. Light a candle, donate blood, donate money, but that's not all that you can do. There has to be more.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Another terrorist attack

I woke up today morning. It was raining. Terror had struck Mumbai. Once again.

In the past one year we have witnessed multiple terror strikes in different parts of India. I can't remember a single terror attack in the U.S. after 9/11. Where are we falling short? Every time this happens I get riled up. The security guards at our office start checking our badges more rigorously. That lasts for a fortnight, maybe a month and it all fades away. This time around, I want to find out how I can help and not be a (im)passive observer.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

500 KM

I still faintly remember the first day I joined the office gym. I was supposed to undergo a fitness test. After asking some questions and taking some measurements (weight, height), the physio asked me to hop on to the treadmill. I was given an option of either covering 1 KM, or run/walk on it for 6 minutes. Me being a smart lazy fellow, took the second option: 6 minutes. I managed 700 meters in the allotted time and almost collapsed. I was struggling to breathe; my heart was pounding. I struggled back to my cubicle.

That was 6 months ago.

Today I look at how far I have come. Over the period of the last 4 months [1], I have run 500 KM.

I'm patting my own back, but consider this. I had no company to run. My shoes, until recently, were in very bad shape. Due to my foot size I couldn't get a new pair in India. I used to run mostly on the treadmill because I didn't have proper shoes, and that is not the most entertaining thing unless you are a hamster. I religiously trained for the half-marathon and even when I finished it, still kept running. I had enough excuses to stop, but I didn't. I'm proud of that.


Not counting the first two months; I had not started maintaining my log then.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Flight Of The Conchords

Flight of the Conchords is a two man band from New Zealand. They both play acoustic guitars and their "songs" are hilarious.

"A sample please", you say. "Sure, sir. This one is called 'Frodo, Don't Wear the Ring'", I respond.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

A script a week

Amongst my many goals in life, I want to work less and automate more. There are many things which I do as part of my daily work/play which can be automated. So I have set myself a new goal: create a script, at least once a week, which takes one of the mechanical activities in my life and automate it. I am aiming at a variety of tools/languages: python, perl, elisp, powershell and ruby. I have few ideas already, hope I allocate the time and actually do it. Let's see how this goes.

Saturday, 8 November 2008


I'm not saying there's no such thing as genius. But if you're trying to choose between two theories and one gives you an excuse for being lazy, the other one is probably right.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Kartaar may be king

Photography by bro.