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NOVEMBER RUN, the game of numbers..

After my exhilarating ultra-run of 80kms in Malnad I was tempted to keep the zeal at the fullest.  I have decided to run till I would fly… Sky above me, earth below me and fire within me- I shall run, was the only thought in my mind for this November.. The comments and feedback on my previous blog instigated me to pen down my triumphs conquered in November here again, hence the birth of this blog. It’s a dopamine for me to note my name in the run-keeper app… The feeling of the distance being captured in the app and the various location of my run being registered on my mobile screen is indeed blissful. Every such milestone will remain as a cherished memory within me..

Regardless of how thick the mental fog may be- it dissipates just after couple of minutes of my run, as the endorphins start spreading in my body which is the most effective and natural chemical to provide the best perspective for a new day. The residues of yesterday’s problems are shaken off along with my run and gets replaced with fresh positive perspective for the new day. This emerges a new belief within me that there can not be any insurmountable obstacles or can not be any unsolvable problems which I can’t conquer. When I begin to run, my body becomes the master of my mind.  My body tells me when to get up, when to quit when it hurts.  The discipline of running has been the coup of mind over my body as I learned how to push my limits and beyond, during my run. This in-turn has enlightened me that I could do this in every areas of my life(may it be work or personal life) and win any battles, any difficult situations, any challenges. I thoroughly enjoy mastering the art of pushing limits.

Well, the concept of November run started from a comment by a close friend of mine mentioning that he too wished that he could run but his busy work schedule chained him down and hence the curtailment at his end. This blog was the best from my point of view to answer this distressed situation. Being a live example could have been the only tool to understand how I would succeed in such a situation.

I checked my Nov work travel calendar and as always had the 3 days of travel in each of the week. Almost half of the month was on outstation travel. Wallah, this brought joy and a crazy thought of exploring the different soil across the country. “If there is a way there is a run” this was bubbling in my mind and I was RUNGRY this November.

delhi-run8th of November, probably Entire India would remember this day when this word called demonetization got glorified – reached Delhi early morning of 8th & with back to back meetings and follow ups, the day ended after a tiring 18 long strenuous hours. Waking up fresh the next day was not a concern as it was all about a run where I lived for 10 years that was almost like an home for me. That joy woke me up without an alarm at 4:30 am, all set to catch up with the Delhi weather. On the contrary, the smog fever had yet not settled in & hence had to pull up a crazy mask for my run. It was an exciting experience running in the borders of hauz khas & greater kailash as early as 5am. Remembering my good old days of run in this soil, I did about 12.12 kms which was the 1st drizzle of my November run. Had to rush back to the hotel as I had to take the flight to Jaipur at 10am. An incredible learning experience to plan the day backwards with a tight schedule and still enjoying every inch of it, will stay firm in my memory.

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10th November Run @ Jaipur: After a tiring day of outlet visits in Jaipur crashed out late night after covering almost 200+ kms. Was little worried to start the run for the 2nd consecutive day, that too a new terrain which was never experienced before. Owing to the early flight from Jaipur to Udaipur had to start my run at 4:30 am. Grabbed some zeal and stepped out of my hotel on the dark streets of Jaipur. An experience unforgettable, where I was chased by few street dogs which in turn helped my pace to get much faster. Giving the dogs a chase( J vice-a-versa ) missed my way back to the hotel. Managed the route with the help of google and

finally completed my 2nd day run of 13.13 kms

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My 3rd consecutive day run in Udaipur on 11th November

Was an awesome experience to run around the famous Fateh sagar lake. Enjoyed the whole run circling the lake twice. The joy of experiencing the sun rise inn the terrific location was quite incredible. The early hours of the day, just for myself is so worthwhile. This long run of 14.14kms was again after a tiring previous day of my travel to mount abu and café visits in Udaipur.

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This 3rd run completes my goal of the 1st week run of 12.12km then 13.13 kms and finally 14.14 kms in 3 consecutive days. Experiencing back to back continuous run was exhilarating, was tiring, was painful, was hectic but thoroughly enjoyed every bit of these 3 days. From early hours of sun rise runs to late hours of work load, everything has taught me to get stronger and healthier..

13th nov – All set for the upcoming BENGALURU ULTRA RUN within the next 48 hours.

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Was excited about ultra run as I remembered my run in this trail, when I was an amateur in running 6 years back. Running 25kms those days used to be challenging however was eagerly waiting to set my feet on the 10th edition of Ultra at Hennur, bangalore. Starting my run managed the fastest 25.25 kms of mine in less than 2.25 hrs with humming songs. Completely enjoyed the run. Rough terrain and the loop was exciting to keep up my pace. Completing the 4th run of this month at such a pace was indeed blissful. The craving for an hearty breakfast post the run was quenched to the best.

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16th Novtook an early morning flight to Hyderabad.

Traveling almost 700 kms on the highway reached vizag around 2am. Girish my colleague who heads the AP / TS belt was the one who drove me till this beautiful location of vizag. A long drive and an hectic schedule of outlet visits was little strenuous however this never was a deterrent for my next morning run. It could not have been possible that there is a beach and I do not run on the loose sand. A tough track but an endearing run. After 12:12 kms then 13:13 followed by 14:14, I had to cover a distance of 15:15 and there you go – the exhilarating RUN took about 1:44 hrs.

My foot prints at the vizag beach may get erased by the tide but the firm impression of the joy within me will remain forever.

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24th November – 16:16 kms dash – The Orange run at Nagpur

Again a new terrain but this time had to do a little bit of more mile considering the chalked plan. With my confusing state on the route at Jaipur previously did a little homework this time. Chalked the track keeping in mind the final destination of this run. Nothing else could have been a landmark run in this city other than touching the ZERO MILE of India.

THE ZERO MILE RUN FROM HOTEL TO THE CENTER OF INDIA, the run from the hotel to this destination was on a straight track. Couple of flyovers made the run little difficult but the uphill made my practice much stronger. Post my 16:16 kms run enjoyed the early morning sun rays, closed my eyes to feel the rays..  Stretched almost 30 minutes with sun rise. The orange colored sensation when you close your eyelids AND feel the early morning sun rise is so soothing..

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25th Nov @ Shirdi

A long drive of almost 600kms from nagpur via amaravati / aurangabad and then reached the holy city of Sai Baba late night. Reached about 2am but as always these busy schedules / long drives / hectic café visits which are a part of my life could not have deterred my passion towards running.

Started my run at 5:30 am – crossing the temple took the blessings of Shirdi Sai Baba during my run. Was happy to run in such a holy city. Had to rush back to the hotel as I had to drive my way back Nashik and the café visits and from there a long drive to Mumbai for my return to bangalore. Indeed a lovely and sooting experience in this holy city.

27th Nov – The final call @ Srirangapatnam

Well, nothing would have been as blissful as this thought where I could set my foot prints in the Kaveri trail of srirangapatnam. The long wanting run of my life.. Been craving to run this trail from the time I knew what Marathon is… The run started at 6 am hence I had to leave home around 2am owing to the long drive of almost 130 kms.. The drive in the darkness will never be forgotten. Anyways reached well before in time. Met up with few connoisseurs of running. Completely charged up and inspired hearing few achievements of my fellow runners. I was all set to make a record for myself in this run..

My pre-race dinner

Well once the gun shot then there was no looking back. Ran like crazy. Wanted to run my fastest pace ever. Great experience during the run. Was quite happy to hear my name being called out by multiple people during the run..(Friends of mine from earlier marathons.. ) It’s a great feeling to know that many veterans knew me by my name and this certainly was different kick altogether.

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Was proud to have completed the 21.21 kms in less than 1.50 hrs. This will be a milestone for me and will be the beginning of my next challenge. Finished my run and drove back to Bangalore with complete contentment and pride.

Well, that completes my November Run, totaling the distance covered this month of November was an awesome feeling. In total did about 130.4 kms as per the below table across various parts of India.

Apparently this number (13 04) was and will be close to me..

Coincidentally this numbers matches with my date of birth that being 13th of April…

City Date Kms
Delhi 9th nov 12.12
Jaipur 10th nov 13.13
Udaipur 11th nov 14.14
Bangalore 13th nov 25.25
Vizag 17th nov 15.15
Nagpur 24th nov 16.16
Shirdi 25th nov 13.24
Mysore 27th nov 21.21
TOTAL KMS 130.4

The Game of numbers concludes with this feat conquered at my end BUT with a promise to myself to score bigger milestones, grander happiness in the days to come ahead. Have a thought of doing, one full marathon every month in the forthcoming year of 2017.. (I have registered for Std chartered Mumbai in January for 42.195 km and also I am in the game for the great Pondicherry Auroville run of 42.195 kms in February… March I shall set this shortly… and so on) without forgetting my ultimate ULTRA MALNAD RUN IN OCTOBER WHICH WOULD BE FOR 110 KMS…

For me run begins the moment, I forget that I am running. Running indeed has transformed me physically as well as mentally – it can SIMPLY transform any… it’s just that you need to convince, convince your mind that your body can withstand almost anything….

The voice in your head that says that you can’t, is a Big Liar.. Do not listen to that.

why

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When you lose excuses, you will certainly find results..

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Go for it..!

Sunil Nair

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Running 80 kms… The Malnad Ultra

The miracle is NOT that I finished the course of 80k Malnad ultra but it’s that I had the courage to start…..!

Phew…!! The pain I experienced after the exhilarating ultra is quite pleasurable. Craved deeply for that sensational feeling from the day I registered myself to this blissful course of 80 k. My first longest and continuous run ever… Before this was few full marathon (42k) and that too on a normal road. Unlike this terrain which majorly had ONLY ascends and descends however when registered for the Malnad ultra run I had nothing else in mind other than completing the course strong and fit, in health.

The more I sweat in the practice, the less I bleed in the battle was the only classic thought during the last few months of my training for this course.

Well, this memorable journey was only possible owing to the religious discipline and rigorous training at my end. I very well remember those days of my practice runs, all I just needed was a road to feel and there I was enjoying every bit of my every run.

Best of all was the day when there was a Bengaluru bandh and had to reach office for an official meeting… This was the time I experimented to experience the feeling of running post lunch and in the shining sun..(Always avoided owing to the fear of being tanned ) There you go, took the laptop in one hand and had a shoulder bag (which had my white formal shirt )- I ran from home to office non stop – completed the meeting and then ran back experiencing joyfully all the flyovers( which gave me the 1st experience of ascends and descends)

Apart from the regular routine endurance run to build my mileage and stamina, doing the 10 floors of the office 10 times, taking the count of 100 floors at one stretch will always be registered quite firmly in my mind.

This 80 K run could not have been better for me if not of my 3 months of rigorous training without a schedule. This was supported by Vij (close friend + coach ) who chalked a plan of training. The plan, most of the times was missed owing to my weekly busy outstation travel. However Vij ensured a vigorous alternate day run of 15km was followed which ver part of the country I was. This will go a long way for the success of this esteemed course..

At times it used to be the run from Saket (Delhi) to Inida gate and the other week it used to be at the Juhu beach(Mumbai) and the following week used to be at the busy roads of kolkatta… Must mention about my run on the steep hills of katra shrine where i took the the blessings from Ma Durga that made me strong mentally and physically. Training on different locations was exciting to explore and an amazing learning experience.

My routine, lalbagh run and cubbon park run in the early hours of the day (despite late night arrivals from outstations) will also go a strong way strengthening my practices.

Well, all these training run was limited to less than 20 to 25km and never ventured more than that until sep midweek where I gathered some courage to experiment a longer run.. Saji (my close friend + my running partner) and I decided to run from home till Bengaluru airport. After a breath taking run of ascends and descends the next day I fell ill with a 101 degree temp. (dry cough and running nose added to the misery..) This Shook my confidence completely but decided to fight this my way. Had some rum+honey+pepper with hot water and slept under the blanket with just one ray of hope to wake up as fresh and lively as possible the next day. Hmmmm…., this home remedy indeed worked and I was complete ready to step into the battle field the very next morning. Most times its worked for me, when I do NOT let my hardship affect my mind. Positive thinking always took me a step ahead towards my goal.

In fact, when it comes to achieving a goal, wish to share a secret of mine.. I cultivated the habit of telling the entire world about the milestone I wish to achieve.. In this case, never missed an opportunity to mention about my venture of running the 80 km mark to every person I met the whole of the last 3 months. I remember one such mention of mine, in a school gathering at Jammu with almost 100+ kids. I challenged them and stated that if ever I would try to give up the run during the 80k, I will remember each of their face and that challenge would never let me succumb to failure. Every such mention was firm in my mind through out the race on THE day…

The day – my run started at 6am – with complete excitement and anxiety – kissed the ground and started the glory run.

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Made some great friends En-route, who were all set to help the fellow runners at any given time.. Remembering (Soles of Cochin) Kumar Sir as I write this, who I accompanied in the beginning of the course. His journey of marathon was inspiring. Will never forget his advice on ensuring to always maintain one’s own pace along with the co-runner.. If one slows down then the other should follow his own pace rather than slowing down. This would help the other runner behind to catch up with his co-partner as he will never let the runner ahead of him go out of sight. Well my run was memorable as I got myself tagged along with the gang of Goa runners.. After a stretch of almost 20+ km, Nagesh who was running along with me tumbled and injured his shoulder and hurt his knee badly owing to the uneven terrain. This injury of Nagesh shook me all over, made me think twice if I should continue and will I be able to complete this course but albeit Nagesh’s passion and courage to fight this odd was inspiring, bagged some confidence with that and continued my run. Ensuring to refuel myself, with a sip of electoral and water. Kept the rhythm in the most spirited action till I hit the 30 km mark at Lalbagh estate around 10 am. Was expecting my folks to be there as I had given the 30k kit which contained some dry fruits and my favorite chikki and a pair of socks. Disappointed not to see my friends and folks at this junction, gobbled an egg and sipped mouthful of energy drink and started the run again in few minutes… The trail after this was quite adventurous and punitive owing to the rough terrain. After the 4 hrs of continuous run, body at times gives up if confidence is stumpy. Fought this thought and kept my pace constant..
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The most exciting part was the journey after 44th km uptill 48th km which was the show stopper of OUR course..

The path way to this highest elevation of a mountain was barely 2 feet in width and shaky barricades made it worse as these barricades fades off as you reach the tip of the mountain.

 

Battling my fear of heights, climbed the highest peak to witness the most awesome picturesque view of the entire Malnad which was almost equivalent to the feeling of being in a paradise.

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Requested Kuber, who was a race volunteer from the estates on the tip of the mountain asking him to assist me the descend. My sincere thanks to him if not him I would not have won over my biggest fear of heights.

With the fullest of enthusiasm started the run back into the deep estates – One of the technique I practiced thrugh out the run was to say THANK YOU to every person, who were all out to cheer the runners of the course. The estate workers, the villagers, the kids, the passerby, everyone I met en-route was greeted with a HI-FI and a THANK YOU. This act of mine brought a positive smile on my face and this smile let me forget all the pain and the cramps during my run.

Continuing my run and gathering a bunch of positive energy in me clocked the 58 km mark approx. around 5:30 pm.

After few steps further, the sun vanished in a jiffy and alas there was complete darkness.. untitled1

Till here, ran with absolute no distress or pain but the darkness hit my nerve and there I was dumb struck to witness this silent moment within me. Could not have imagined myself in this situation of being alone in the lap of dusk. I turned back for the 1st time in the entire race just to see my fellow runner who was nowhere around.

With the intention of not taking the step back decided to move ahead, making friends with darkness, walked the next 30 minutes stretch experiencing the scary sirens of birds, the buzzing sound of cicada and the cobwebs gave me the creepiest experience of encountering the biggest fears of my life. One small rattle of leaves was enough to stop my breath for few seconds. I must have prayed every God I knew, for that 30 minutes of being alone in that trail.

After almost 3-4 kms of slow walking, I gazed the flare of a fire in the far stretch of my sight. This bonfire spirited me and with that, ran the fastest to reach that aid station. Wiping my tears and sweat, thanked God for helping me reach safe and fit till this point. Had to stop over to wait for few other runners to join-in to continue the rest of the journey. Completely tired and scared jogged slow along with my fellow runners on the dark rough terrain up-till I found the 70th KM mark.

Looked at the watch and had done almost 14 hrs, wanted to complete the next 10 km in less than 1 hr is when I heard Biju (friend of mine) shouting my name who had come in search of me inside the dark estates. This was a great relief to win the last stretch of this battle..

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With my friend around ran as fast as possible to see Lakshmy(wify) and Vipasha(daughter) waiting for me at the 79th km who ran the last km along with me…

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It was bad of me to leave my fellow runners but at that moment of excitement did not realize anything.. Just wanted to complete the course.

Reaching the finish line strong after the 80th km was a bliss and the adrenaline rush at that point of time is worth millions for me..

That 15hrs will always bring tears of joy whenever I will remember these moments…

The unforgettable course of mine…

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Next year, I shall the kiss the finish line at 110 kms….

With this experience, I wish to mention that running is my sport which has transformed me completely. Any sport in fact can transform any if that becomes an habit..

Once you are in – I bet you will enjoy the every moment.

BELIEVE ME, HIDDEN POTENTIAL CAN BE EXPLORED EVEN TODAY, EVEN NOW..

No one can stop any one of us from our esteemed success, except self…

 

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