Of Half marathons, lizards and type A

Recently if you have been around him, you would have come across him repeating type A personality, almost as a leitmotif : Type A’s are this, type A’s are that. Type A’s  had  this system of competition, where they challenged themselves and others to around 100km per month, nike running challenge. He usually tried to keep it easy and disciplined, like 2km per day , would garner him, 14km /week. But math worked that way, not his  fickle self. Inadvertently after every two weeks or so ,he would always be short of 10-15km, after 2 weeks. That was when his type A kicked in , fuelled by the incoming losing challenge , and a will to lose unwanted calories from weekend bashes. Along with it came his faithful 2L hydration backpack, Asics gel running shoes, and determination to run for at least 10km.

– One round around Macritchie would be 12km , and may be if I   can just sustain for another one hour or so, I am set for a half marathon distance, and a second place.

Somehow the weather was good, his knee supportive , and he ran-walked-sprinted through first round, and by the time he was at hydration point of café at Macritchie , his app read 14.0kms,

– so another 7kms to do, And if I am lucky enough I will break PR of 2:50hrs, which means 7km in 50 mins.

He buckled on his knee brace, and refreshed by an from isotonic drink, he started off pacing after 14kms, tired yet determined to beat his PR. After 2km he was out of breath, shins revolting and heart beating faster.

-May be not today, just finish off 21km, and you would be back in challenge.

There was a gigantic monitor lizard on the plank ahead, twice the size of breadth of plank, probably out thinking

Monitor Lizard : “ahh all them humans would be off now, I can venture for my Sunday evening stroll, or might as well go skinny dipping.”

 

Him : “Wtf , this one is huge and menacing, do I wait for it to go , or just keep pacing, with heavy footfall, and shoo it off “

 

M.L. : “Is this runner dude gonna come over, OMG, I am scared, may be if I can just jump off in water and swim away quickly . What if this predator follows me in water, they sure can swim. OMG OMG “

 

Him: “Get over your fear !  monitor lizards are as scared of you as you are of them. We have similar self-doubt about one another. Continue running ”

 

M.L.: “ bastard !, he is coming this way, forget the swim, just get back to the jungle”

It moved back, and got in quickly behind the bushes. He kept running with heavy footfalls, unsure of himself and of the monitor lizard.

 

Him: “I hope it isn’t lurking behind, and will pounce with its bare teeth on my poor naked shins, just imagine its teeth sinking in my flesh. Oh dear, just fucking run ”

 

M.L.: “ I hope he doesn’t follow me in the bushes. Fuck he is running faster, run for your dear life. Great komodo , help your disciple”

 

And faster it ran inside the jungle, over rustling leaves , and faster he ran off the wooden planks , and continued running till he was some 100m faraway.

 

Him: sigh, I should just come back fast enough before it’s total dark, faster ! “

 

M.L.: “ oh dear, that was close, that bugger will probably come back again, sigh !”

 

Nonetheless , he finished off his half marathon distance – first half for this year –  still not able to beat his PB of 2:50hrs. Back in his condominium hall, stretching with ice pack, lemon ice-cream, and 4 glasses of guava juice mixed with rock salt, and promise of social validation through an instagram post.

Nonetheless, it finished off its Sunday evening stroll distance, and skinny dip across the lake. Back in its nest, it lay stretched calm and quiet, near the moist corner of lake, marvelling at the stars above, and the fish it just had consumed, and promise of its survival through nature.

Until next time, when he would again slack on his training schedule, and feel guilt over calories consumed from drinking wine and that particular German erdinger beer.

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On running …

#nikeplus finally got sub30 #5k 😃 #asics #nikerunning #nussingapore

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It was a lazy Sunday afternoon, he woke up early and there was a missed call from his old founder’s institute friend, he asked him to come over for a hike across MacRithchie reservoir . Well, he was up for anything that involved hiking and running.
His nike running app had said 999.1 Km, he was 900 mts away from completing his 1000 kilometres.

One thousand kilometres is a lot , isn’t it ? Exactly thats what he thought too.Even he did not remembered when he started liking running, he started off as a mere 1-2 km jog around in NUS(National University Of Singapore) – his postgraduate university, and then before he knew he was clocking 5kms, 10 kms. And then he started pushing for 15kms, that was like one round of the pet macritchie grounds to and from from his house. One round of macritchie was 11.5kms. And like that suddenly he started running more frequently like twice or thrice a week , and then adding a long run over the weekend. He bought a north face hydration bag , and as an ode promised himself to get 13 miles under his shoes, and so he finished 21.5 kilometres. The fabled half marathon distance.
Seeing his data he started running in January 2013 , it was 3 years of running now.

2013 = 167.9 kms
2014 = 174.9 kms
2015 = 618.2 kms

As one can see Year 2015 was a real deal breaker, he clocked 5 half marathons and a marathon.Initially around February , it was preparing to climb kota kinabalu, and then trying to get 42kms in a week, for Kilimanjaro trek preparation .

Running gave him wings, when he was sprinting he could hear wind gushing across his ears, on his face, his feets in air, his mind focussed. It was his moksha from all things worldly, his 9 to 5 job laziness, that was when he raced ahead his old demons of breakup and complacence and mediocrity.  And when he was not sprinting, it was slow rhythm, the pleasant pace , slow right then left, easy breathing , mind numb, it was like getting in the zone. Probably that was the point when someone gets a runner’s high. Those endorphins start kicking in and you have this elation, this sense of wonder and wander too.

He soon realised that running on tracks gave best PB (personal best) timings. So he started getting crazy with 5k-10k sprints, and although it was not close to world record or something, it was better than his old self.

Around november last year he got inspired by his brother in law coming to run half marathon from Philippines, he signed up for his first marathon running. It was like butterflies in stomach again, that anxiety, that nervousness. Why the fuck did I signed up for this ? Forty two kilometres is a lot if you think about it, and that too within 8 hours.

Only way to face your fear , is may be prepare for it. So in went from hundred bucks for those compression socks, Garmin GPS watch, some more lighter runs. long excel sheets of logging in runs based on weeks and months. Sleeping early so as to get in waking before five rhythm.

And race day came and he conquered it.

And today after two months, he was sitting on couch, netflixing and thinking this is the good time to get this running blog up, for the sake of that 1000kms.

May be now that he had written, he would not be googling things like “why run ” or “why run marathon ” or “top 10 reasons to run “.

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Since he now moved to data and his engineering faculties have kicked in and overpowered the writer, Garmin has a quite impressive data crunching in its small watch.

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