Friday, October 26, 2007

Off to the Nation's Capitol for my first 26.2!!

The big weekend is finally here....I am gonna be running my first ever 26.2 this coming Sunday...and I am extremely extremely excited!!

Amit Bhai sent me the following inspirational quotes and I just love 'em all!!

"Divide the race into thirds. Run the first part with your head, the middle part with your personality, and the last part with your heart"
-Mike Fanelli, club coach

"The body does not want you to do this. As you run, it tells you to stop but the mind must be strong. You always go too far for your body. You must handle the pain with strategy...It is not age; it is not diet. It is the will to succeed."
- Jacqueline Gareau, 1980 Boston Marathon champ

"Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired. When you were younger the mind could make you dance all night, and the body was never tired...You've always got to make the mind take over and keep going."
- George S. Patton, U.S. Army General and 1912 Olympian

And lastly....both his and my favorite!!

"You can quit and no one will ever know about it but YOU will ALWAYS know"
- The Blazeman aka Warrior Poet

Coach Amy also advised that I have index cards with some of my own personal key phrases written - and I have those ready as well!

"Start Easy....Finish Strong"

"I am WELL TRAINED and READY for this"

and of course....

"I can SO do this on my hands!!!" :)

Thanks to all of you for your emails, gifts and well-wishes!!
A special special thanks to Coach Amy for being such an inspiration and an awesome cheerleader!! :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

Respect versus Approval?

Friend: Would you have the courage to stand up for what you firmly believe in among a group of friends and people that you respect? I sometimes think that it's easier to stand firm in the face of adversity. But are we unsure what to do when we are among friends who don't believe in what we believe ?

Me: I try to do that as much as I can - and if I encounter some sort of resistance/mockery etc, I look at it objectively and ignore/address it as necessary.
If you think it's worth explaning your beliefs to someone who you know will listen objectively and you are comfortable enough to do so, it's definitely worth it. Else, there is no point.

It's sometimes frustrating to be among friends whom you love and respect who just don't really get you or your beliefs - in which case, you have to evaluate if the issue is important enough or bothers you enough to the level that you might need to reconsider the friendship. But I find that most friendships are temporary. Whereas beliefs are usually lifelong. So sometimes it just might not be worth it. And sometimes, you like/love people so much that you just put aside the fact that they don't believe in what you do.

In the face of adversities or when trying to make a life-changing decision (ex. marriage?), things can change.

Friend: A couple of good friends and I had a discussion about religion and spirituality last night. That's when I realized that it's harder to share opposing beliefs within a group of people I care about than with people who are not close. Is it because deep down we have a need to belong and seek approval?

Off late I try to live in such a way ... to only seek respect not approval. Does that make sense?

Me: Sometimes you like people for their personality, the fun/comfort level/chemistry you have with them. Sometime you like people for their beliefs/convictions. Very rarely will you find friends who you gel with for BOTH. And if you do find them, you have to try to keep them for life!! :)

Respect not approval is what I strive for as well. There's no way you can really get approval from everyone. Noone can.

What do you think?

Friday, October 12, 2007

FALL IS HERE..... least sort of.....AND MY SPIRITS ARE UP!! I just read through my last post with much disgust and I am glad to say that I am completely over being pathetic and whiny!!

To quote Amy, my coach, "OK, you can be bummed about it for 24 hours, but then that's it!"...:)

I just want to thank her and all of you guys who wrote in my scrapbook, wrote me personal emails and gave me a call to lecture me (!!!)....cos I defn won't be able to do this without all your support!!!

2 more weeks....and I'll be flying off to DC. Can't wait!!

Happy Fall!! Happy Navratri!! Happy Running!!!

Monday, October 08, 2007

A Training Low

Not the kind of feeling you want to have just 3 weeks before the big day, but it's exactly how I felt during my last 20 miler this past Saturday - LOW.

I am getting very very nervous. The long run last Saturday was just bad..really bad. It was nothing like how I did or felt the last time I ran a 20. I don't know if it was the weather, the humidity, or all the crazy hills...I don't know what! I felt physically fine - had no aches/pains, or all that sort of trouble. Only real problem I had was getting a consistent breathing going on. I kept running out of breath - not sure why though.

I finished the run, but overall felt very bummed out. I was just depressed during my whole drive home. I went through the motions of eating, taking an ice bath etc etc, but nothing really helped. I finally just went out and hung out with some friends to get my mind off the whole thing. The next morning, I went for my easy run, and around 4 miles, I tripped and now I don't just have a low morale...but I have close to 9 bandaids all over my hands and legs....usually when you are on the verging of tripping and falling, this adrenaline rushes through you and you try to prevent it if possible. What went through my head was "Crap...I can't believe I am falling!".... and I just let myself fall.

I don't know what's wrong with me. This is really unlike me to be getting upset about something like this. I've had more than 20 good weeks of running, but I just can't seem to put this one bad weekend behind me. I think it's because I am so close to the race day - and now am suddenly thinking of all the 101 things than can go wrong!!

Aww gawd....I need some inspiration....quick!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cheesecake Martini and Injera!!

So I've made a new resolution to check out someplace new in Austin - or revisit someplace old that I least once every 2 it a restaurant, bar, coffee shop, clothing store, book store...anything at all!! I've loved my six years so far in Austin, but have still alot...ALOT to explore....and who knows how much time I have left in this wonderful little city??...I gotta make the best of it while I'm here!!
This week, I explored not one, but two new places in Austin....they may not really be new to Austin....but defn. were new to me!! Here's a little review of both places!!

1. Ninety Proof

Ninety Proof is a small little bar tucked away in the corner of East 2nd street, kinda almost hidden between a bunch of pricey restaurants, right across the street from the Austin Convention Center. It has a really lovely decor - dark lighting and stylish+comfy of the main walls also has water kinda cascading down which is really cool....Ninety Proof is a more of a chillout kinda lounge more than a noisy least that's how it was last night when I went to check it out with El Vee, which is probably the ideal time to go there...I have a feeling it might be way too packed in the weekends, but I'm not sure...The bouncers+bartenders were really nice and very attentive!! The music, to be honest, wasn't that great. BUT the drinks....the drinks were awesome!!....They had a whole array of martinis....and the one that really appealed to me was the Cheesecake Martini!!....Oh yumm....I am drooling as I write this...This drink is served in a big martini glass lined with SUGAR, not salt on the rims....the actual drink has an initial ice-cream soda-ish taste but before you know it, the vodka hits's really delicious....and if the idea of a Cheesecake-Martini combination doesn't do anything for you - they have a bunch of other interesting flavors as well....defn a neat little place to check out if you live in Austin or visit sometime!!!

2. Asters
I've been craving Ethiopian food for a long long time. The best Ethiopian food I've ever had is in Georgetown - I think it's called Zed's! If you are ever in the DC area, defn go check that place out!!.....If you are in Austin though, go check out Asters. Asters is located along the junction of the I-35 Feeder and Dean's pretty much a little shack...I've seen this place a couple of times before on my way to campus and have been meaning to check it out - I finally headed there today for lunch with some colleagues...we took a long idyllic 2-hr lunch (a very rare occurrence where I work!!) and drove all the way from Round Rock....and well it was defn worth the long drive!!...I was extremely excited to see that there were as many vegetarian entrees as there were meat entrees, and every single one of those vege options sounded soooo good....I chose the lunch special #17..the Bedergan - which is "eggplant spiced and prepared with tomato sauce, garlic, onions, and special Ethiopian seasoning"....served of course with Injera and 2 more vege dishes (I got lentils and a potato dish)....and it was fantastic!!! I love eggplant in general and loved the flavoring that was added to this eggplant dish...Injera, for those who don't know, is a thin soft dosa-like bread which you eat with the main dish....but the injera here tasted so good that I ate it plain and totally loved it!....One thing I would probably do the next time I go is ask my entree to be extra spicy, but other than that, the food was great! My meat-eating colleague Andre totally loved his dish Doro Wott as well - Ethiopia's National dish! Definitely go check this place out the next time you go out for a meal and are looking to try something new and exotic!

So there you go - my 2 awesome Austin picks for the week!! Try 'em out sometime and let me know what you think!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

The trio that ran a marathon....

So after forming a 4-member relay team to run the Silicon Labs Relay Marathon, and having one member drop out, then adding a new member, then having that newly-added member drop out, then adding another member, then having one of the original members drop out, and adding a replacement for that member, and then finally having yet another member drop out.......wait hold on....I'm confused....ummmm.....:)

ANYWAYS....yeah...we finally went to the race yesterday morning as a 3-member all-gals group all set to run 5 legs of the relay - consisting of a 12k, 10k, 10k, 5k, 5k - which together make up a full-marathon!! Our team consisted of the 2 G3s and of course yours truly!

The weather was DECEPTIVELY gorgeous yesterday was slightly cool, cloudy and there was a hint of a slight breeze....I use the word "deceptively" however because when we actually started running the race, we realized how unbelievably HUMID it was - humid to the point that it was actually very uncomfortable when I started running the first 12k leg. I also had not hydrated well before the race and forgot to carry my gatorade with me.....and was dying of thirst within the first 2 miles....The usual hydrating at water stops doesn't really work for me....I usually need to have my liquids handy to keep sipping on a regular basis rather than down cups of water at intervals...I figured I'd be fine since it was just a 12k distance but then was soon missing being able to have a drink handy whenever I felt like I needed it....

The run along Congress was fun though....there's always a lot of interesting things to look at on both sides of the roads, and then of course there's the Capitol building, which is always a pretty sight....the last 5k of the race was an out and back along Cesar Chavez....running parallel to the Town Lake trail....and this part of the leg consisted of quite a few ups and downs which were a little tiring and all I kept thinking was "Where the heck is the turnaround???" was pretty funny later to discover that the other 2 had the exact same thought when running this part as well!!....

Amit bhai crossed me in the opposite direction 3 times during our 12k leg and each time cheered me on - it was always fun to see him cos it made me pick up my speed!! His team - The IndoChinese Dudes and AfroBritFrench Babes - did an amazing job yesterday and finished 152/373 overall and with an overall time of <4hours!!!>

Following my 12k, G32 ran her 10k....then handed over the "baton" to G31 for her 10k....both these girls did an amazing job yesterday....For G32, this was her first race EVER, and she ran her first 10k effortlessly like she has been running 10k races all her life....G31 aka Areille...barely trained for this, had the misfortune of having the sun show up as she started her leg and her shin started hurting within her first 2k...but still got to the finish line w/o giving up!! Bravo G31!!! I was very proud of both girls!!

G32 and me ran the last two 5ks...we were familiar with the course now and knew what to expect...but the weather had deteriorated since the first 2 legs we ran.....which wasn't fun...we did have some crazy volunteers at the very last water-stop pour water at us to refresh us which was pretty of the guys in particular was having waaay too much fun throwing h20 at all the women and his friend had to remind him that this wasn't a wet T-Shirt contest!!! :) This made all the women at the water-stop crack up....and we all ran the last mile of the race in high spirits!! was a tough, tiring, but fun made us all realize how much harder it is to run alone than with running partners/friends...BUT that it's not impossible either - as long as you still have their moral support!! This is definitely a race that I would love to do again next year!! I'm pretty sure both the G3s agree as well!! :)