Sunday, March 20, 2011

Run in the Hail

Its about 3 weeks since I last wrote here, but that doesnt mean I have stopped running. I dint go run for about a week starting my birthday, but then I went back to the Thursday Track on a rainy day and set it right.

March 3:
Track work out. I think we did like 4 laps - the rule was to do the second one little faster than the first and so forth. And then another mile which will be same or less time than the first mile - which I faltered - I was late by like 30 seconds.

March 5:
Whisman Park in Mountain View: I kind of accepted that i am a slow runner and wanted to go into the track by 7:30 but I was lost when searching for Whisman park. Somehow, my GPS dint know Whismnan park and I dint expect such a big trail in the middle of residential and office area in Mountain View. When I found the park, I was ontime for the 8:00 AM runners. I did this 8 mile course and surprisingly in 2 hours. It was the first time I did 8 miles and every part of the body was aching for the next day or two, but it felt good.

March 8:
Buddy Run with Chris Walker. I was all charged up for the walk, but no one else turned out on this tuesday and me and Chris ended up walking for 3.5 miles. We did it very slow - about 1 hour for the whole thing, but it was worth it.

March 10:
Track and hang with the gang. Track started late due to some school event, but it was good. I somehow forgot to prep my running clothes bag with my sports bra and ended up with a bad upper back ache on Thursday night. I felt it difficult to breath or sleep and had to sleep on two advil. The next day, I had a nice hot bath and got myself ready for Saturday's long run.

March 12:
It was the day before the "Go Green" Event and hence our Rivermark Plaza run was cancelled. I had to go to Campbell Park - late as usual but I caught up with the sisters Sheetal and Shalin and did 6 miles - 2 hours this time. I introduced the hobees brunch to Shalin and Sheetal and then went to buy a good sports bra at Running Revolution.

March 15:
Buddy run at Rivermark. I tried the 6-2 interval with Chris Walker and surprisingly, it turned out that I can do it!

March 17:
Track again. Today, we were asked to do a full 4 miles with a buddy - from fast running team, and guess the time we would take and see if we reach it. I bumped into Shyam whom I had met only once during the first few days and he is just coming back to the running group. Shyam was a fast runner and can do a mile under 10 minutes. My pace was about 13-15 mins /mile and we did some calculations and put 48 min as our total time. We did 2 miles each and finished in about 38 minutes - well before our prediction- dint win though!

March 19:
I was a bit excited when i heard the run is at Santa Cruz, CA. It turned out to be a very rough weather day with rain all day. Myself, Shalin and Sheetal car pooled to the Natural Bridges, Santa Cruz. Very beautiful trail -as it was - was also full of rain. When we started walking, it slowly drizzled, and slowly it became a rain and then we saw hail storms... I have never seen such ice rain. ஆலங்கட்டி மழை (aalangatti mazhai) as we say in Tamil, is a very rare happening in Chennai, my home town. The ice particles that fell here, did not become ice for a long time. I first thought its probably salt crystals, since we are so close to Ocean. The ice crystals fell down and on us and everywhere, like about 3 or 4 times in the whole 2 hours that we ran. The weather was as is freezing and the rain made it worse. All the layers of cloth that I had worn to secure myself, had already drenched. I felt numb on my legs, hand and cheeks. My new wind shielding gloves were wet by the time we covered the 3 miles and when I was walking back, I was feeling numb with or without the gloves.
We did only 6 miles in 2 hours and that too mostly walking and chatting with Sheetal. This was probably my first long run where I brought back my water bottle almost full. After we finished the run, we came back to join Shalin where she was selling her sandwiches for the fund raising and helped her. After a brunch in Santa Cruz Ideal Bar, we headed back to San Jose - all exhausted, but feeling good since even the hail was unable to stop us!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Duck Walking - Luv Ya..

OK. Two weeks! Please dont think I was in my warm couch sipping some hot tea, since its raining heavily..

Rain or Shine - Together to train!

Ofcourse, I need to admit that I was lazying around on Tuesday 15th, Feb, dint want to go run after a long day at work..

Thursday - Feb 16 - it was raining, but we had a good workout. I was in the track running and sweating. We did multiple laps. Many people whom I had known, dint turn out due to rain I guess.

Saturday Feb 19 - I was late as usual, and I was searching for parking.. The day was very beautiful when I got up, sunny and warm, but as I drove to the Los Gatos Creek Trail, it was drizzling already! I did the way forward all by myself, Coach Tim asked me to do only a 5 miles, but by the time I was in near the 2.5 mile water station, I was all set to touch the 3 mile mark.. I met Mike at the 3 mile mark and we waited for Ashoken and came back as a Team - all three of us!.. We met Rol on our way back and we were one of the last teams to finish I guess :-) In all, 6 miles took 1:40 hours for me..

Tuesday Feb 22 - Buddy training again - I was tempted to bunk this session today again, and then I thought its better to go run so that I can save my momentum. So, i went to the Rivermark Plaza, to see Thersa, Suresh and Chris waiting to start running. I paired up with Theresa for a walk/run and we did 2.5 miles - it felt so good.

Thursday Feb 24 - Yesterday it was another train in the rain! We did track work outs.. I was a little disappointed to hear I am in the slow runners/ walkers group but ofcourse, the main intent of my run is to finish the distance with no injuries. So, I am not going to push myself very hard to be part of the faster group.. As a group of four, we did duck walking - means we walk in a line, and the fourth person will walk faster to come to the first position and then the last person now again walks past the first one to be come the new first one.. it was great and the fun element was Theresa. She was finding new new things to say and share between us and it turned out to be a fun walk.. When we finished the 4 laps, i wanted to do more!

I am not going to be running during the weekend.. I would have loved to try it in Snow ;-) but may be i would do something on Monday.. try to do a long run sometime to catch up.. till then..


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Long time!

I dint write for a long time.. not a very eventful week..

Went to the rivermark again with Aaron's team. I met a honoree- Theresa. It was inspiring to hear about her cancer and how she came out of it.. These people are really inspirations - First Ron and now Theresa. They easily say that they had cancer about a year or two ago and then they are able to do whatever they are doing - Run or walk and going on with life as if its all a simple cold! And here I am who complains when I have a small cut on my finger while cooking..

Thursday : Track Workout
Wanted to do some car pooling, but dint find anyone to do it, so went out on my own.. long way to Los Gatos High School. I just thought of accompanying the walking sisters - Shalin and Sheetal and missed what the coach said. I started my first lap very late and finished as the last even in walk team :(.. we did 2 miles in all - running and walking.

Made new friends - Suresh who works in my own building - ready for a car pool on Thursdays and met Ashoken and Ritu.

Saturday : OYO at Rivermark
We had a small group for the OYO runs. Chris was there with his dogs - Sasha and Timber. I was tempted to adopt a dog after seeing them.. I started off with the group but ended up being the slowest again and finished as the last. It was a 3.5 miles and i was also playing with my GPS watch.

Water pouch, GPS Watch, head band - I am getting bulky with all my accessories. I need to see how I can really speed up.

I should also start with all my cross training. My fundraising has hit a plateau. I need to see if i can find more people to ask money from.. I think the enthusiasm is slowing down a bit - except for the energy I have when I come back from my runs! I think i can motivate myself to run all along even in next seasons!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The awesome Almaden Lake

Today I got up around 7:15 am with a "Oh My God! I am late!". I think if its not for the TEAM, I would have just slept back and it would have been another "No-running day".

Thanks to the TEAM and my commitment, I got up and was in my car by 7:40 with a cup of coffee. It was almost the first time I was going to Almaden Lake park - I dint know where this existed, but I was there by 8:05 and was all inspired to see a group of people already ready to run!

We ran 4 miles - 2 miles one way and then return. I did the first 2 miles in 25.41 mins and slowed down when I got back. I had a few cramps on my leg - near ankle and hence slowed down when I came back. I made quite a lot of friends though!

Ashokan(Ken) from Coimbatore, he is a long timer in San Jose though - been here for last 19 years. He was running after a long time and it was good to know so much history about the place we live. He was practically the only person whom I know of who was going to do the Avenue of Giants with me!

Michael, the first-timer for Marathon - was all inspiring, we were having small quick race with some intermediate destinations.

Shyam, he just joined, and was going to do the half marathon at San Diego. He had already been through the half-marathon so I guess he was going to be ahead of us in the game!

The team captain Rachel brought bottles for people who have collected $500, and when I grabbed one for I had already collected $500 along with the grants I would be getting, it was surprising to see that I was one among a handful of people who had completed that goal!

I also met Rol Chapman - who was one of our Honorees, old man as he was, he had run for about 19-20 years now! Its true when they say he is the Team in Training Institution! He is originally from Oregan and then moved to Cal, he knows more about India and Indians than I do.. he said his neighbors are from my country! Rol had survived cancer and is still running with us every week we go run!

When we were just going back, Lora wanted a ride back to the other parking lot where she put her car and I was so happy to do that.. Lora is from Vietnam and is a mentor.. I think i am going to talk to her about the experience of being a war refugee from Vietnam, since I always wanted to know how it would be.. Sometimes, I think about all those people who moved from another country as a refugee, unlike us, they cant just go back to the place they were born and brought up... its a great loss.. I would like to know what is their perspective!

It was a good run altogether, ofcourse it is a little painful after reaching home, but it was worth the effort as I am still bubbling with all the adrenalin rush it has injected in me!

Friday, February 4, 2011

First Workout

This is my first Workout day. I was late by couple of minutes when I reached the Los Gatos High School for the workout session, but then it was ok since as soon as I joined, we had to move to take positions for the workout.

For the first 30 minutes we did various exercises - squats, jumps, swinging one leg and hands, downward dogs, pushups etc. Everything was done as a team - and we were asked to keep up the pace with others. I found that my body was lot more flexible than I thought!

The Next 30 minutes was run - actual running in the track. We ran around the track first time in a conversational pace. And then we did a real run - panting for breath. Third lap was just a walk. Fourth lap was a run. So, we repeated this run and walk for about 6 laps.

There were people joining late and later!.

After this, we went to the Willow Street Wood fired pizza. I did the "Hang with the Gang" only because it was pizzzzza! They had booked for a table of 30, but then it turned out we were about 40, and others had to adjust. Some did timeshare spaces, some took another nearby table.. I ordered a Mediterrean Pizza. I met a few new people - Rina, a Canadian who is a teacher for small kids in San Jose. Shalin and Sheetal from Kerala, Sheetal is into Wind energy domain and Shalin is looking to get into some Semiconductor company.. It was good to see new faces and talk to them.

I went home thinking about my 9:00 PM meeting!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

First Buddy Run

Saturday - 29-Jan-2011:
I went to the Running Revolution in a hurry thinking I am going to be late, but when went there by 8:10 am, the gear workshop had just started. I got a plenty of information about the various dresses, shoes, and all other kind of things I have never known why they are there in the sports goods shops!

We then came together with Aaron and then started running into the Campbell Park. We did a 2 mile run on the trail, and it was very refreshing as the day was slowly beginning to get warm. Initially i felt very cold, but it was better off slowly. Ron, also one of Aaron's Mentees, was keeping pace with me and we both did the full 2 mile talking to each other and keeping the encouragement going.. It was definetly a good run and I was back to sign out!

Monday 31-Jan-2011:
I did send out a few fund raising emails to friends, great response! Thank you guys!

Tuesday 1-Feb-2011:
6:30 PM was the time for a buddy run and plan was to meet up in the Rivermark plaza. My husband suddenly said he would be there with me for the run and we both reached the place by 6:15. It was too cold and we dint want to go out and wait. Around 6:25, when we went to the spot that we had agreed upon, there was literally no one waiting for us.. Aaron joined us at 6:30 sharp and we waited for a couple of minutes and then started to run as just the three of us! The plan was a 3 mile on the trail.. Initially, I was able to keep the momentum when we just started and went till a few miles, and slowly when it was 1.5 miles, I had started to walk! I did most of the return as a walk + run while Aaron was trying to jog to keep pace with me..

I thought the buddy runs are going to eat up my day and I am not going to have any time, but when were done with the dinner, it was just 8:00 and I felt like I had plenty of time in hand and so much energy due to all that running, it was a great feeling!

I think I am going to do the 13.6 miles easily! Let me see how it goes!

Friday, January 28, 2011


As a matter of fact, from my childhood days, I have been fascinated by the people who can run very long distances! When I was in School, I was not a great runner. My Younger sister used to win medals and cups at our school level games for running, while I would just watch her get the cups and most of the times be taking her pictures..

Life at the Jersey City - suburb of New York, I slowly discovered the runner in me. At that time, my marriage date was fixed and I wanted to look great for the big day. I googled out and joined a local runner's group and surprisingly I got two great friends - Ravi and Jithendra. Jithendra was a old-timer, he was in New York for really long time, He used to tell us stories of 70s and 80s, when we cruised around from Grove Street PATH station to Newport to Hoboken Station. Ravi was a experienced runner, who used to encourage me by trying to keep the pace with me. There were days when I used to skip the train and run all the way to Grove Street PATH and then joined this group.

Even if I am skipping a day or two, they used to wake me up at 6:30 am. Running kept me off from my very stressful office work and made me feel more divine. I never signed up for a marathon or 10K, while Ravi and Jithendra used to go run for half and full marathons every time.

After I came back to San Jose, I didn't like to go around all by myself. I needed company for my runs. I am a morning person while my husband preferred working out in the afternoon. We did go for some small 2 mile runs here and there but then we were never able to stick to a weekend running. I was unable to motivate myself to run all alone.

I was looking for a group, and a commitment while I came across a brochure from Team in Training. I just checked their website and signed up for the information meeting.

It was at this meeting that I was moved! These guys are helping doctors to find a medicine for cancer! I have had relatives who died of Cancer. On those days there was no cure for cancer. These days, not many people can afford to the therapies. Here there is someone who is trying to help the Cancer patients to live a normal and longer life!

I generally take a back seat when it comes to collecting fund for something. But this cause was very motivational that I had decided to join this group and run for saving lives from cancer. Ofcourse, they can easily ask the participant to cover this amount as a training fee, but they want it to be a fund raiser so that more people like me also get to know about this organization and its noble cause.

People in TNT are the real heroes, and we need your support to cross the ultimate finish line - a cure! Please make a donation to support my participation in Team In Training and help advance their mission.

I am going to keep blogging the events of my training every time I can. I am sure you would be following my progress and donate for this cause on this page as much as you can!

And Please do spread the word so that anyone in your acquaintance can get the much needed help as and when needed!