Sunday, January 5, 2014
Saturday, October 12, 2013
Next step - dinner at Hotel du Parc. Looked like a daunting task but nothing we couldn't wash down with a couple of beers. You heard right, we didn't go with conventional wisdom on that one.
The race itself was pretty uneventful. We both got done in the 2:20s and were off to carb reload at Adyar Anand Bhavan.
(PS : I think I've spent more time managing these jumping pictures in writing this post than in training for the half-marathon. Damn you blogspot!)
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Goa is possibly the world's best destination, unless of course, you get conned by those bike rentals and end up with a wobbly Pulsar. The stability of the rented bike plays a critical role as you churn down hundreds of miles, trying to find a beach that turns out to be identical to the one you were staying in anyway. The roads are awesome though, so it works if you are one of those 'life is a journey' types. If not there's cheap beer at either side of the drive.
If you are a regular reader of this blog (yes - i mean you two co-authors), you are probably a lazy sort of person who would like to complete a half-marathon in a decent time, with very little training and that too of the mental/psychological/auto-suggestion type. You are cynical about high achievement ('look at those Kenyans going at thrice our pace - losers') and dismissive of very low achievement ('fat slobs taking 5 hours to complete half marathon - fail'). You probably picked up a niggle at one of these events (ok, that was just me) and this Goa River Marathon was the big comeback.
All eyes on me, I jogged gingerly to the start line. And beyond. And that was the secret, jogging gingerly.
To summarise - if you are running after recovering from a niggle, go slow.
Dude, s-l-o-w. Don't you get it?
So I decided to block everything out and jogged at a constant speed. This is incredibly hard to do if you are competitive, because there are always the sprinter idiots who plan to sprint the first 10 km and then relax. They manage about 500 metres and then walk the rest usually. But it's worrisome to see people take off like that and you are stuck with the chaff of the running world within 2 minutes. Then you meet the Kenyans on their way back to the title at kilometer number 6 (which means they are on km number 15). Ignore.
I think I did some other things right - I ate a hearty breakfast of 8 biscuits, twice, during the run, along with downing electral and water at every opportunity (every 2 km). I changed over to Vibram shoes (how do we monetise this blog incidentally?) from a big-cushion sole. And got done in 2:38. At least the Kenyans hadn't left the venue yet, unlike the last time, when it felt like I was at a different event altogether. They were dancing to a live band at the finish line. Well, it's Goa after all.
Monday, February 28, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Self-Confidence: It is a way of feeling. One can develop self-confidence with practice. The key ingredient is belief in self. You develop self-confidence by elevation of self-image, learning to stay calm, goal setting, positive thinking, self discipline and reviewing performance.
Self-Motivation: It is a source of positive energy. It helps to endure pain, discomfort and self-sacrifice. To overcome low self-motivation, set meaningful long-term goals, commit the goals on a training book, keep a daily record, associate with self-motivated players, enjoy the activity.
Negative Energy Control: Controlling negative emotions like fear, anger, envy, frustration and temper. Performing with negative energy results in inconsistency. To overcome negative energy, increase awareness, psycho, regulation, physical exercise and stimulate competitive situations.
Positive Energy Control: It is the ability to become energized with joy, determination and team spirit. It helps players to maintain the required arousal level to achieve peak performance. To overcome low positive energy control, increase awareness, develop enthusiasm, start feeling good and ensure physical fitness.
Attention Control: It is the ability to tune what is important and what is not important (i. e., to disassociate from what is irrelevant). Improve calming and quieting skills, time awareness, get the positive energy flowing and concentration training.
Visual/Imagery Skills: It is process of creating pictures or images in mind (i. e., thinking in pictures) This is one of the most powerful techniques to develop mental toughness as it is the connecting link between the mind and body. To overcome low visual/imagery skills- practice visualization with all the senses, ensure internal calmness, use photographs and start rehearsing mentally in advance.
Attitude Control: It is a reflection of the player's habits of thoughts. The right attitude produces emotional control and right flow of energy. To overcome low attitude control, identify positive and negative attitudes. Positive affirmation reinforces positive attitude, keep records and have a vision or commitment.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Let's do more tomorrow.
I think I agreed to go on a run again the next day, out of shame more than anything else, at not being able to run 2 km without dying at the end. So the exact same sequence of events repeated the next day. Not a meter more than 2 km. Death at the end of it. 20 minutes to normal heartbeat and ability to speak in full sentences. I think my innate competitive spirit was alive by now and it recognised that my roomie was too far ahead in fitness and so this was just competition with the self.
One more day, one more 2k run. At about 1800 meters, my lungs would cry for mercy and paradoxically, that would scare me into thinking I had only 10 seconds to go and run faster and break down quicker. Or if my lungs were in form, the moment I started thinking 'Only so much more to go' they would die on me as if on purpose. Thinking about the run and the goal while running, in general, was not helping. And one fine day, I was perhaps distracted with thoughts of work or something else. The first time I snapped back into reality from drifting, I had run 2.5 and my lungs were silent. No appeal from them to slow down or stop. I ran 3.5 before my lungs went like 'dude, let's not push it now, ok?'
So the secret was that there was no secret. You just keep running 2km every few days and dying at the end of your runs and cussing for taking up this insane hobby. And one day you will run 3.5 km and not even notice. And then another day will come when you can run 7. And then 10 and 15 and 17 and 21.
So whether you have had a good run or a bad run or a humiliating-will-never-eva-try-this-again run, just go home and do more the next time around.
* roomie = aseem kohli who is still fitter than most of us and can run at will