This blog as might be apparent from the title has to do with running, biking and basically other outdoor individualistic sports, sometimes extreme, such as rock climbing . But don't be surprised if you find articles on work, personal life, music and even philosophy, this blog is an exception in this aspect in the blogosphere of running blogs and I am trying to revamp the blog to make it more runner friendly. You might want to look at the sidebar titled 'categorised', which as is obvious, categorizes my posts into different areas of interest.
The other thing that might interest many people is a section on 'running videos' and 'general videos' on the side bar, which I keep updating now and then.
I plan to bring in more posts on running and biking, with some added colour, so as to make them 'complete'. That's about it for now.
As a post-note, I have run a half-marathon, but I am yet to attempt a marathon, which through some concerted effort and time should happen in the future, but that ofcourse is not the culmination of this blog, it would on the contrary be something to jumpstart this blog onto new vistas.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Grad life rocks

It really does. I got to blog for 23+-(+-10) seconds.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


There was sun out today. A rare event in seattle. And the sun was out on a sunday, what's the probability of that happenening. Assuming independence, Prob(sun coming out)*Prob(a day being sunday). But there is some correlation as I have noticed, so the previous assumption doesn't hold true, its like Seattle telling its people, I may be cloudy on weekdays, but I will clear the turf when you wanna play.
Anyway, I ran in the morning and saw people run the dawg's dash 5k/10k. Post running, I went around green lake (a beautiful place and a hotspot for runners) to check out a store. I met a Pakistani woman, exchanged a few words. I bumped into someone who was looking for a canoeing partner, so I was game and we did that for an hour in Lake washington. And to finish off, I did some rock-climbing at the monolithic structures adjacent to the husky stadium. How much better can it get?(reminds me of metallica's tune for the line 'How sweet are you? How sweet does it get?' in sweet amber, st. anger)

Friday, October 20, 2006

More videos

I frequent the coolrunning forum now and then. My frequency increases exponentially when I have run in the recent past, partly because I maintain a running log at their site and having done some data analysis, I proceed to the forums.
So here are some cool videos:
Kenyans training in Newyork - You can see the sheer pace of their run and the form they maintain..They are damn relaxed when they run..a good indicator of your fitness level.

Paul Tergat's last minute of his 2:04:55 world record marathon - The commentary is in german

Thursday, October 19, 2006

kutty milestone

Today's kind of a kutty(small) milestone on the comeback trail. I ran 6kms today. Nothing to brag about, but its been a struggle the last few months to get back to running..from where I left off, and considering all that, its good that I am running atleast twice a week on an average and improving. The last time I ran longer than 6kms was on 21st January 2006 according to my running log..which was around 11kms..Yeah I was running big time that time..But somehow lost focus and ended up not running for months till July, when I started running again. My runs in July were a mere 2kms, you can imagine how much of a fitness I must have lost to be able to run 10 kms every other day to just be able to run 2 kms..That's what not running for 6 months does..And there is the psychological aspect to this of how bad a shape I am in..Its tough to go out and run when you are really low on would start comparing your fitness now and back then and that's not good at all. Anyway, I am trying to regularise my runs and making it a way of life again, so that I don't go off track in the future.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Downtown seattle

I had to go to downtown seattle last weekend and the reason being the shop(R&M) that I usually buy maggi noodles from, was out of stock. So I decided to check out an Indian store called Souk, located downtown seattle at pikes' place.
Little did I know that a trivial shopping trip would turn out to be a fun-filled and exciting sight-seeing trip....

1) The pikes place market place
2) The fish market here is actually a source of entertainment
3) Souk was a small shop, but I found what I want
4) The scrapers overlooking pikes place
5) A lot of people sing around the pikes place and are pretty good at that
10) The gigantic cranes at the seattle port, amazing to look at from close quarters
15) A lot of people use the ferry to get across to the vessel and bike/drive out of the vessel at the other end.

Scheduling and priorities

I am NOT running the seattle half marathon. In an earlier blog, I had contemplated running the half provided I put in effort during the "test period". It so happened that I didn't run at all the whole of last where and when I run my second half mary is not known. The thing about grad life is that if you are doing moderate portions of different activities(work, play, state of joblessness, etc), you are doing great! Once one of these activities gets sidelined, things become frustrating.
Excess work -> stressful -> Need for an outlet.
Excess joblessness -> Need to make up for lost time -> Excess work ->stressful->Need for an outlet.
The first chain shows the effect of excess work and its ramifications.
The second chain shows why excess work may arise in the first place.
Now you might argue that one might genuinely be hard-pressed for time. But given that everyone is busy in this fast-paced world, the schedule of any activity in the purview of ones influence area(activities one might be likely to do) is known much before hand to make meaningful schedules that could be followed without real stress.
As in, if I know that I got to do such and such activities within such and such time periods on different days, and if I were to perfectly follow the schedule, there will always be room to be jobless. I.e. my being jobless is integrated into the schedule, reducing stress. So it all boils down to the optimum amount of being jobless, being involved in work and play, i.e. scheduling your activities to meet your priorities in life.

My first night... the new apartment to which I shifted yesterday was uneventful.

Monday, October 16, 2006

What do you......think

I dont care what others think of what I dont think of them..but I do care of what others think of, when it is what I want them to think of.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Seattle pics

1)Drumheller fountain in the university and Mt. Rainier in the background
2)The interstate-5 as seen from the university bridge. The bikes' not allowed on interstates..:(
3)The bridge folds up when a large ship has to pass through...This happens 8-10 times a day.
4) The union bay as seen from the university bridge. The university buildings on the top left and the cascade ranges are right ahead..east of seattle.
5) Union bay and capitol hill in the background..south/downtown seattle.
6) The bike.

We are the robots

I chanced upon Kraftwerks' video on the net. Here's the film on the video and the tube. Its been 10 years since I heard the song.
The lyrics are well..robotic, but the music is pretty good.

We're charging our battery
And now we're full of energy
We are the robots

We're functioning automatik
And we are dancing mechanik
We are the robots

Ja tvoi sluga (=I'm your slave)
Ja tvoi Rabotnik robotnik (=I'm your worker)

We are programmed just to do
anything you want us to
we are the robots

We're functioning automatic
and we are dancing mechanic
we are the robots

Ja tvoi sluga (=I'm your slave)
Ja tvoi Rabotnik robotnik (=I'm your worker)

We are the robots

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Amazing Indian guy

"The Amazing Indian Guy(AIG) runs in the night. AIG is also crazy about biking and did a rapid fire bike dash between more hall and safeway, thus combining exercise and shopping. AIG is a vegetarian and is wondering what to have for grub, channa batura at Shalimar or bread and jelly, fruits he bought at safeway. Amazing Indian guy is also smart but lazy to work: he pulls an all nighter to browse on running. AIG does speak english. From the above summary, I conclude that my lab mate is indeed an AIG, as I like to call him every now and then." - AIGs taiwanese lab mate.

We're Lost

This video is pretty funny and is dedicated to KG et al.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Time management

I look at my running log and I find that the frequency of my runs have been consistent across the last two-three weeks, i.e. 2-3 runs/week. This is definitely not enough but I am not able to fit in more runs into a week that has only 7 days. The grad school is definitely a learning experience on how tight schedules could get. Now that I have gotten adjusted to the demands of the grad school, I just need to bring out my time management skills and get those elusive runs in.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Arbit pic

This pic was lifted of a folder on my comp called 'arbit pics'

The elderly gentleman in the pic below is running a 5k race. He ran it in 19:15!!.This pace is close to 16kmph(thrice the speed of the average walker and twice the speed of the average slow jogger). And his age is close to the number pinned on his chest. Go figure.

Tempogression run

Todays run started off as a normal run. My last run was on tuesday and today I needed to run for more than one reason: I needed to get something going in my life other than classes and research; I needed to regularise my runs. So coming back to todays run, I started off at my department and went on along the gilman trail. I have found that I can't run on roads on a regular basis, so the trail serves the purpose of giving my legs lesser pounding when I run. My pace from the start was fast: 7:30/mile to 8:00/mile and then as I progressed I got faster. My return was even faster and at the end, the last 1 km or so, I was touching 6:00 - 6:30 min/mile.
Normally my runs start out slow(say jogging pace of 9:00/mile) and progress to a faster pace as I get warmed up and finish fast - a la progression run. Today's run was definitely a progression run but with a twist..I started fast and the run was fairly intense and was of a shorter duration(tempo run): 22 minutes. So I would classify this run as a tempo+progression run or a tempogression run.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The deadly cycling and running combo

I got a cycle here two weeks back, four days after I landed in seattle, i.e. on 16th sept I guess. And the cycle's proved a good friend so far in taking care of my travel needs and letting me have a flexible schedule. For instance, I don't have to worry about missing the last bus from the university or having to walk three times to and from the university, given that I have stayed at a place that's atleast 30 mins by walk to the university. And more importantly, it has given me the best cross training I can have - the training on the steep seattle roads. I am more comfortable now on going up steep slopes than before. Previously if another biker zoomed past me, I had have a difficult time playing catch up with him/her, but today I had the satisfaction of overtaking a biker who I assume was seriously biking(a bike fitted with two bottles of water plus lubrication bottles), while I was having a heavy bag on the back and was wearing a formal dress!

Also, since I have not been running well(read: zuk running) in the past few months, I didn't feel motivated to run at my current level of fitness. But all the riding I do on the bike has not gone awaste and this cross training has seen my runs, which I currently do once or twice a week, improve a lot. That is to say running and cycling complement each other pretty well.
So today I ran from my department to 60th avenue, I think and back. I planned my run so that I go 15 minutes out and 15 minutes back. Ofcourse, most of the times, the later half of my runs tend to be faster and that was the case today. It took around 15 minutes out and 13 minutes back!!
And google earth told me that the total distance was 5.5 kms. So that's around 5 min/km or 8 min/mile pace, which is great! I am kind of back in form, all I need to do is continue the good work and stay off injuries that may arise from running on hard pavements and/or my need for speed.

I can't believe how I let my fitness fall down so much. This year so far has been my worst in terms of running mileage. Heck, I was running 8kms almost daily 1.5 years back. I guess, I need a race to channel my effort and motivate me more than anythingelse to get my runs in. How does Seattle half marathon on November 26th sound? I am not sure, I am thinking about it. The last date to register so that I shell out only 70$ is october 15th. So I have time to think till then if I really want to run this half marathon. I mean there's no point in running a race, if you don't train well for it. Yeah, you would finish it, but it would be miserable like my first half marathon in India in 2002. I don't want that experience repeated, so my decision to participate in the half mary will depend on whether I keep up the good work between now and october 15th.

The only Indian ultra runner

I am copy-pasting the italicised text below from another blog. I have made a mention of Arun Kumar Bharadwaj in this blog before, here and here. Mr Bharadwaj is so inspired by Yiannis Kouros (the greek ultra running legend), that he has named his son Yiannis!!!
I liked one of the quotes he mentions below.."I’ll want to quit, I’ll want to die. Let me die, don’t let me quit."

Dear friends,
I am an ultramarathon runner and can understand it in a better way being in a state of my present situation. I think people writing here would like my little bio data. It is : How can we transcend ourselves
If we do not challenge
Our Capacities?

Name: Arun Kumar Bhardwaj
Email :
Cell Phone : 9213 964 901
Postal Address: Planning Commission, Parliament Street, New Delhi 110001.
DoB: 2 February 1969
Birth Place: Village Baoli, Distt. Baghpat. UP.
Education: B. Com. from Delhi University
Occupation: Govt. Service (Planning Commission, New Delhi) India
Height: 5 feet 8 inch, Weight: 68 kg
Family: Wife :Sangeeta, teacher in Central School. Daughters: Zola & Sofia (DoB 23.9.1998&12.1.2001), Son : Yiannis (12.7.2002).
Years running: On & off for 15 years. Ultras: 6 years

Personal Bests:
1. 180 km in 23.25 hours on 28-29 July 2000 (solo run from Haridwar to Baghpat, UP)
2. 270 km in 33.10 hr on 7-8 November 2001(solo run from Yojana Bhavan, New Delhi to National Ayurved Institute, Jorawar Singh Gate, Jaipur). Indian Record for the distance w.r.t. time taken.
3. 138.172 km in IAU Asia 24 hr Track Championships in Taiwan on 2-3 March 2002.(9th place). First Indian representative in any 24 hr Ultra Marathon.
4. 492 km in Australian 6-Day Race 17-23 Nov. 2002 & broke former Indian national record for 6 days race of 478 km made by Tirtha Kumar Phani in 1987. Thus, became first ever Indian to cross 300 miles in six days race (15th Place).
5. 516 km in Self-Transcendence 6-Days race, New York 27 April -3 May 2003 and became the first Indian to cross 500 km in a 6-Days race (7th Place).
6. 520 km in Copenhagen 6-Days challenge, Denmark 3 – 9 August 2003 (4TH place).
Became first Asian to complete three 6-Days races within one year, and every time with a new national record.
7. Finished IAU 100 Km World Cup 2003, Taiwan 16.11.2003. Became first ever Indian to participate and finish any 100 Km World Cup.
8. 501 km in International Six Days Running Championship, Mexico on 22-28 March 2004 (4th place in age category and 8th Place in general). First Indian representation in any Mexican ultramarathon championship.
10.532.8 km in German International 6-day race, 1-8 August 2004. Placed 15th. New Indian Record.
11. 550 km in 122.45 hr Delhi to Chandigarh and back. Appeared in Limca Book of Record 2005.
12. MIR Marathon, Moscow, finished in 3.56.45 in –4 Deg. Celsius and Rain.
13. 153 km in 24 hr Open Championship of Russia, 7-8 May 2005. Became the only Indian in the history of Russian Ultramarathon.
14. 556.45 km in 20th Australian Six Days Race, 20-26 Nov. 2005. New Indian & South Asian Record. (14th place out of 36 runners from 12 nations, after arriving only 20 hours before the start of the race and ran without any support crew).
15. 521 km Loutraki 7-Days International Race, Greece, 1-8 April 2006 (on a hilly course).

Typical training: It varies but normally 160 - 200 km/week. I sleep 4 hours only i.e. 12 mid night to 4 am and one night sleepless per week.
Injury history: None relating to running. Have undergone four major surgeries of Parotid Tumor between 14 and 17 years of age. I was very weak from my childhood, from the age of 6 to 19 yrs, I was a victim of malaria every year in rainy season. My body weight was only 26 kg when I was 14 years of age and 35 kg at 17 yrs. I, always, was the weakest boy of the class in my school time.
Favourite ultra foods: Totally vegetarian & teetotaler. Honey, fruit juice, banana and sugar cane.
Things I like most about ultra: Traveling, getting to make new friends. It gives opportunity to explore the unknown inner world and give spiritual ecstasy. I like my tears most during my ultras, I love them.
Things I hate most about ultras: Leaving my family waiting for me.
What got me started doing ultras: To produce myself as an example before my daughter that Everything is Possible for a willing heart..
Why I do ultras: I enjoy pushing myself to my limits. I am the only ultramarathon runner in India, a country of more than 1 billion people and that’s why I am facing very difficulty in continuing it. But I know that in future my story will become a great source of inspiration for coming generations and I would be satisfied by that reward. Also, the pure spirit I found in Ultra Marathoners is matchless, celestial and I want to be a part of them. When you run beyond the imagination, it gives a special sense of exceeding.
Ultra goals: 276+ in 24 hours. 400+ in 48 hours. 1000+ in 6 days. I aspire to finish and win every race of SCMT (upto 3100 miler). I also wish to run all state capitals of Indian states from New Delhi with a minimum recorded time.
Favourite ultra quotes: “Never Give Up”.
“If you have indomitable will-power then Impossibility-gate is not an obstruction.”
“When you believe then you can do it. Do you believe?”
I’ll want to quit, I’ll want to die. Let me die, don’t let me quit.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Free running

I saw some videos on free running the other day and found the concept pretty interesting.
To quote wikipedia: "Free running is a physical discipline, in which participants (Free runners) attempt to pass all obstacles in their path in a smooth and fluid way. Free runners interact with their environment using movements such as vaulting, jumping, sommersaults and other acrobatic movements, creating an athletic and aesthetically pleasing way of moving."
People on some 'free running' forums claim that free running is an expression of the soul through supreme athleticism.

There are many videos available on both google videos and you tube.
Here are some of the videos that I saw:

Free running

More of acrobatics than running

Here's a video that includes the founder of this sport, Sebastien Foucan.

So I saw these videos and got a little inspired by them and went out for an amateurish barefoot free running attempt..Ofcourse I wasn't jumping off buildings or walls, I was just clearing some small obstacles on my running route as fluidly as possible.
Now, are there any free runners out here or has anyone tried this out?

Kennenisa Bekele with the WR

Robbie Mcewen and steve o'grady - The 'Nudge'