I run. Why-o-Why ?

More often than I care, queried, the reasons endured,
Injury and therapy, without weary, managed, amidst muscles sore.
Two screws, titanium strong, sustain movement, each knees tried,
Unprofessional weakling forlorn, strengths born, in stride.

After conquering tasks, men abhorred,
I remember once again, reasons I run for;
It nourishes movement, a sloth died,
Pumps through my veins, makes me feel pride,
Slowly but surely, winds of change, pure,
A feeling lucidly reassured.

It moves me forward, to a future I see,
Teaches no regret for the expired,
I’ve left behind, retired,
And ahead the beautiful seasons before me.
Hope provided, life we think is sure,
It is yet more brittle and pure.

She wages, provides meaning once more
Subtler than words from a mind obscure.
Blatant the health revived, with sweat,
Sublime still the reasons, yet.
A final thought thus evolves,
Run thyself and realize my resolve.

For my writing, shy and barren,
do injustice to the feeling matured;
For the mind’ eye perceives,
an infinite unique possibilities.
Far more to be said, miles to be conquered,
races to be defeated, running life to be fulfilled.

Its all for the good.

Yes. I was hurt recently. Not mentally. Its been a while since I’ve taken that punishment. But physically. And that still hurts. On top of that, being told that you need another surgery, something you went through already (although not the same one) does not bring one up. Given the depressing weather, it doesn’t help either.

But cooking. The divine smell, the transcendent taste of food, the 6 inches of space that controlled man’s fate so far, eventhough unrealized, still changes my fate. I’ve been told that I’m a good cook but its unrealized until it brings you back up with making a grand dinner on a depressing day. In my opinion, very few people share the same passion towards two different aspirations but for some reason, I contradict this in some way. If I was not good at what I do right now (along the lines of applied physics/mathematics), I would be a chef, or an adrenaline junkie. And all of them elate me equally. Unfortunate ?

The beauty about life is that it seems so complicated, with unimaginable results but given enough simple assumptions, it is completely predictable. But of course, this is hindsight. I have run so far, still long to run another million miles but limited by the endurance. Unfortunate, yes. But the reality outweighs the thought. I will run again. Another surgery or not. I shall run another 10 marathons until I hit 3:10. And I shall run that Boston marathon with pride, with a screw in each of my leg. Take that Life !

Its cliched, yes. “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”. Time will tell. Until then, I will rest and enjoy the unpredictable, beautiful chaotic events that elate me…

Unfortunate, but inevitable

I have been training quite hard the past few months, on my quest to push myself beyond the limitations I had for myself. Believe me, I don’t set my limits that easily and the past 6 races have pushed them recursively, as I thought would the next two. Unfortunately, my pickup soccer routine has gotten in the way of reaching there.

Last Wednesday, while playing a friendly, I fucked up my knee. Needless to say, I am very disappointed. Unfortunate, true. Inevitable, probably yes. Considering the amount of things I was trying to do simultaneously, I am happy it took this long to bring me down.

Now, my knee is swollen up the size of a football, I cant run my Austin marathon and can’t play soccer for at least 2 more months. Adding this on top of losing all my past data (6 years worth of research), it just makes this new year as one to be remembered. OR one to be despised… Let’s just hope that the rest of the year will make up for all this bad spin on the year…

My running spree..

Not often you find yourself in a deluge of things to do. Even if it is something you love doing. In this case, running till my legs feel numb and my mind can no longer contain the pain emanating through my body. Hopefully, it is my silver bullet that will bring me back to shape that I’ve been yearning for so long.

So anyway, my schedule for this crazy upcoming year goes like this:

September 12, 2010: Chicago Half Marathon
October 10, 2010: Chicago Full Marathon
October 30, 2010: Chicago Monster Half Marathon (A costumed fun run ?!)
November 14, 2010: Sears tower climb (103 floors!)
February 20, 2011: Austin Marathon
May 01, 2011: Big Sur international Marathon

And that should conclude my running spree for the next 2 years. I only hope that the training and my passion for my runs continue long enough to keep my body in shape and injury-free. Time will tell but like all things I do, my obsession has again got the better of me …

Comrades marathon: Can I conquer ?

I recently came across this amazing Ultra marathon and have been unable to take my mind off it. I follow Bart Yasso on Twitter and got the first introduction there to this long endurance race. And a great first hand account of the race and its challenges by someone who completed it, is here at runnersworld. Remarkable !

My body is far from being ready to face 55 miles right now but I want to do this some day. In the next few years. Before the years wither and wane this body I carry around. 2011 might be the magic year and I’ll hopefully be able to conquer this distance. Time will tell …

George Hirsch Runs 4:06:14

Every now and then, you find something so insane and mind boggling that just freezes you on your tracks. I came across this article today and couldn’t help but remember that I passed Hirsch around my 20th mile. And I thought to myself then, “Wow. How did he get here so fast” while little did I know that he was 75. Holy mother of God.

Seriously, if I live that long, I’d be happy to walk around the block without pain in my knees and back. Kudos to pushing the limits George Hirsch !

NYC marathon.

Finally, the day came and I conquered the 26.2 miles. There was no turning back, no stopping now. No matter how many hurdles were thrown, with increasing/decreasing elevations and with beers the day before, or with sombre thoughts on finishing research, these legs are not going to wear out today. And that’s exactly what happened.

Chicago was great last year but this time, NYC marathon was a whole new experience. I never forgot the agony of the first marathon but somehow, I enjoyed it this time around and that pushed me to make a personal record (PR). In 3:54 hours (unofficially) and 4:02 (officially), I broke my previous time and have increased the confidence in my training methods. Maybe couple more marathons will prepare me a lot better, both physically and mentally to have the endurance to face what may come unexpected. Pressure is the only thing that always streamlines my mind and it is good to know, that this is still the case.

Anyway, apart from that rant, this is a shout out to all those people who showed up to cheer the runners, all those who ran along with me, and my friends who spared me from getting drunk the day before ! Until the next 26.2 miles, I’m out to take some rest. A triathlon does sound good right now but if only I can swim well …

Update: Got an email today with pictures of my running during the marathon. I uploaded them online. Here is the link and some images where I do look like I’m enjoying the run !!

A runners philosophy.

Every time there is a self deprecating sensation to give up, there always is that one aspiration that brings you back on your foot, giving life to lost senses. Most often, it is hard to realize what ticks you, even though latently you believe in it, and it driving you through the mundane and hardships that the universe conjures. But when you do reach deep down and find that reminiscent feeling, it is worth a thousand unfulfilled lives.

There have been some real tough situations, when the pressure is getting to your head, I’ve managed to thread out the strength to move forward but never has it been more apparent to me, the source of this strength, than when I’m running. The long distances, however painful they might be, brings out a beast, tamed and strong, with a resolve to push the body beyond your preconceived perception of limits. And that is worth the physical pain, I believe, and brings me back to doing more of these over and over. Endurance although intuitively physical, is a lot more mental at its core, a similarity that I think true yoga and a marathon share…

If my body can take more of this abuse, I sure hope to continue running till my heart gives out …

I salute Team Hoyt

There are several inspiring moments that motivate me everyday, to run and push myself, greater and beyond what I thought was physically possible, for me. But this story about a father and son, who have run 60 marathons (25 of them the Boston Marathon), 6 Ironman Triathlons (composed of 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 116 mile bike ride and then a 26 mile maraton), and other races for a total of nearly 1000 events, takes pushing the limits, to a whole new level.

Kudos to Team Hoyt.

I run. And I love it.

In case you have not known, or I haven’t updated, I have successfully completed the Chicago Marathon before and a half marathon now called the Armadillo Dash recently. Of course, both the times, I was kind of disappointed with my timings because I was aiming for a faster pace but fell short. Not too terrible considering that this was my first shot at a gargantuan task (IMO) for my body, but nevertheless, I’ve learnt things about myself through these experiences.

And like most things that I love, running has become an addiction to me … It could be the release of endorphins after the run or may be the weak body pushed to its limits transcends into an exhilarating feeling following the finish. I do not know. But I have realized that you can extend the threshold on how much pain your body can endure. All the meditation, the focus, the will, the perseverance is what challenges you during those last miles and no matter how prepared you feel, for any race, the final sprint on the last mile, is beautiful.

I felt like rambling about running and so there it is … Anyway, the point being, I am hooked. And am not searching to cure this addiction !