“The miles is the goal” says Ryan Bingham (George Clooney) in the movie “Up In The Air”. He is talking about the frequent flier miles he aggregates on living life out of a suitcase, as he travels across the states in air. When I say “the miles is the goal”, I am on the ground and I refer it to the miles I accumulate for my monthly runs :).
I owe it to my elder brother Yogesh, who inspired me to take up running as a sport. I was never a runner, per se. The two sports that I played in my school days were tennis and soccer. And it does involve running, lots of it. These sports took up a back seat when the academics came into forefront, reducing the once passionate sports to once-in-a-blue-moon events.
I took up running after I bid goodbye to the Midwest weather and landed up in a cheerful spring in Texas. Running was completely new to me. I started off by walking, and then to brisk jog – discovering that my shoes, my sheen and heels were not in the right shape to get me running. The greatest challenge for the first two weeks was to run a distance of 0.25 miles (0.4 kilometer).
Last year, I went on a month-long trip to Pune (India), my home town. One day, on an early morning run, I was stopped by a very old man. I had seen him run the previous day. He asked me if I was training for the international marathon (held in Pune every December). I said I was not. He said “You should try. I am hoping to better to my record for 10K race. My age is 73”.
Last month, I ran the half marathon distance (13.1 miles = 21 kilometers) in 2 hours 1 minutes 33 seconds. Series of long and short runs helped me to achieve this milestone.
Every month, my target is complete 100 miles. Depending upon the time I have, my travel and weather outside, I plan runs and reach the goal. I am often asked by my family members when will I be able to complete a marathon. I don’t know. It took me a year to complete the half marathon distance. Perhaps, soon.
Two books have helped me understand different aspects of running. The book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall is a non-technical, non step-by-step guide and yet an informative read about human origins of running to the latest ultra-marathon species called Tarahumara Indians. “Running with the mind of meditation” by Sakyong Mipham offers another compelling view of running practiced in conjunction with meditation.
Nike+ app is a good way to record your running activities. Its fairly accurate, comes on Android and iOS devices. I would love to connect with fellow runners. If you are using Nike+ app, can add me to your friends list.
Based on the app usage, I have created a concept for a running app. I am sure it will undergo iterations, I am presenting the first draft.