Monday, July 27, 2009

Being A Passenger

Yesterday, I donned by boots in place of my running shoes and hopped on the back of my husband's bike for a much-awaited, long delayed, bike ride. Prior to having the kids, I was a fixture on the pillion seat of his Cagiva Elefant and we have some super memories of having to use a glue stripper to get me off it! But once the kids came along, the pillion seat gathered dust as my husband zipped off to work and back and the occasional exploratory round, without me.

So yesterday was a special treat and I must say that now I've tasted freedom on the back seat once again, it's going to be hard to go without!

Here's me as my son says, 'pretending to ride the bike'!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A Run Around The Block!

I haven't blogged on this site for awhile, not because I haven't been out running or don't have much to say; but because it's been busy!

Summer is a crazy season (no, am not complaining)! What with planning holidays to visit family, hauling the kids to waterparks and swimming pools and trying to get work done; there's not much time to write. There is however always time to run! I find myself in such a better mood when I take off for a half hour plod along the block. Am not sure if it's the scientific explanation that most avid athletes would give you or the fact that I'm kids-free for 30 minutes! Whatever the reason, I'm loving it!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

River jogging in Hradec

After a couple of rainy, gloomy days and really heavy workloads, the sun finally shone bright and clear today as I donned by jogging shoes and set out on a brisk morning run.

It wasn't very late by any standards; around 9:30am, but the roads were deserted the morning joggers and power walkers too had for some reason, decided to give this morning a skip. So I was alone with my thoughts and it reminded me of another morning jog a year ago, in a little town by the river called Hradec Nad Moravici. Located on the banks of the Hradec River in Moravia in the Czech Republic, this town holds a special place in my heart as my husband and I got married in the 'Red Castle' there, 8 years ago. There was no jogging then, but when we revisited it last year and in fact, stayed in a chalupa (cottage) by the river for a couple of weeks, I did take my shorts and trainers. And I managed to fit in some excellent morning runs with my sister in law who was also visiting with her family. She's an excellent runner and I have to admit I had to try really hard to keep up with her long strides and fluent gait, but it was well worth the effort. Jogging through verdant fields and shady forested glens with no one but the occasional dog walker (and dog) in sight was really special. So was the fresh smell and the healthy river air that the locals enjoy all year round. And sipping on a chilled Pilzen (beer) and eating wood grilled meat at the end of the day did not make me feel guilty in the least bit, thanks to all those early morning runs we did.

My husband revisits Czech this summer, but there's no possibility that he runs those trails (or any others) My husband is not a jogger or even a walker ;) As for me, I look forward to packing my shoes for my next trip, a two week holiday in California next month!

Till then, I'll stick to my morning runs along the usually busy, but occasionally deserted roads around my home!

Happy running!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Runners Of The World Unite

It's amazing how runners seem to gravitate towards each other. A couple of weeks ago, I began hunting for apartments for our upcoming trip to San Francisco. We had sent out a number of requests and it seemed that most of the places have already been booked. But one gentleman called me back and we got talking- mostly about what a lovely city Vancouver is (I agree), how San Francisco is great in summer (I agree), how cyclists are taking over both cities (I reserve comment on that) and how both cities have marathons; the reason of his visit to Vancouver in the first place. So, our talk moved to running and the great cities we've both run in...and after 10 minutes, he actually offered me a discount on his place.

Are we taking it? Probably not. My ever finicky mother from whom I obviously inherited my ever finicky habits does not recommend the area (and she's a true San Francisco veteran), but it was nice to connect with another like-minded soul, even if it was for a few minutes!

Happy running!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Colaba Woods Circuit

It's funny how your body adapts to running in different climates. In the 80's, I lived in India and that's where I first started running. Our apartment building (or flats as we called them) was in a very exclusive location (Cuffe Parade for those familiar with Bombay as it was then, not Mumbai, as it's now) and we had a newly developed park next to it, christened Colaba Woods by the locals who used it. There was nothing woodsy about it- it was a large oval park, ringed by trees, with bushes and smallers plants strategically placed throughout the park. There were wooden benches and bricked walls. But the best part of it all was the long-winding 'jogging' path, which ran the entire gamut of the park's circumferance! On it, comfortable middle aged men and women took their 'evening constitution'; young kids chased after stray puppies; elderly gentlemen walked with their friends and neighbours while their wives trailed behind them; and young girls and boys huffed and puffed their way into a new world of fashion and fitness!

This then was the first path I used to try on my new 'running' shoes. I progressed from one round to four rounds in a couple of months. And I was hooked.

I have since then run in Dubai, Hong Kong, Cyprus, London, The Czech Republic and now don my shoes in Vancouver. I've used treadmills in Russia, Hungary, Poland, Indonesia, Greece and Turkey. But I will never forget the feelings of exhilaration and accomplishment I experienced when I ran the 'Colaba Woods' circuit!

Happy running!

Friday, April 10, 2009

How To Deflect Unwanted Attention- Of The Two And Four Legged Variety!

So far, my blogs have been rather serious. But the fact is, I'm not a serious person. Nor am I, I have sadly discovered, a serious runner. I do love running- it gives me the freedom and exhilaration no other sports does! But with two young children and a new career, it leaves me little time to jog on a daily basis; much less blog about it. So I'm going to leave the serious running and blogging to those who do a better job than I do.

My running is all about fun running, running to lose the extra baby fat, running to remember my '5 minutes of no-fame' when I completed the Dubai marathon and running to get away from it all- and I guess that what this blog needs to reflect. So here goes!

Yesterday I did get to run and as I run along the neighbourhood roads, I've become adept as dissuading 'followers' from joining me. I refer to both the two and the four legged variety. I appreciate that dog walkers have their dogs on a leash. But a lot of them don't bother to tighten them when they see a jogger approaching! The worst offenders are the smaller pooches who believe that anyone running past is fair game! But if you do know that your dogsy wogsy is going to attempt to grab a chunk off my ankle, then wouldn't you want to do something about it?? Like maybe hold him off? So I have to confess to slowing down and sometimes even stopping when passing alongside a furry friend. If I'm tired and need to perhaps,gasp, stop!- then this works out well. But if I'm following a rhythm and doing rather well, then this is not always the best possible idea and I'm working on alternative solutions. Any ideas??

A worse threat is of course that of the two legged variety. Most women joggers would have experienced them at some point or the other. The 'hello' whispered in your ear as you breeze past; the unwanted comments which hopefully get lost in the wind, and the horrible eye-contact which you wish you never made coz it results in your needing to go home and have a shower immediately...and that's not because you've worked up a sweat!

My solution- the largest pair of glasses and a cap! I feel much better jogging incognito. That way, I can observe, hopefully before I am observed!

Happy jogging!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jogging and spring allergies

Spring is not only about warmer, longer days, bluer skies, greener trees and happier people. Spring unfortunately is also about pollen and spring allergies! And for those who suffer from these allergies, jogging (or having a partner or family member who jogs) in the great outdoors can be quite difficult.

However, as they say, nothing is impossible and with a little care, you don't have to hide indoors till summer arrives.

Know your pollen count and keep indoors when it's high: Pollen counts calculate the given amount of a particular pollen in a specific amount of air during a given time frame. Learn from your MD what you are allergic to and when this count is the highest and stay indoors during this period.

Avoid jogging in the mornings and when it's very windy: Usually you will experience a higher pollen count in the mornings (from 5am-9am, when plant pollinate), and it's best to avoid jogging during this period. You should also avoid jogging when it's very windy.

Keep Rover at home: If you must go out for a jog in the mornings, try and avoid taking your pets with you. Pollen can stick to dog fur and be brought back indoors.

Shower immediately when you return home: Get rid of any possible pollen on your body and clothes by showering and changing as soon as you get back from your jog.

And finally, take your medicine before you leave for your jog. This will help protect yourself from any oncoming allergy attacks.