Sunday, September 28, 2008

Haile breaks the marathon world record again

2:03:59
Read this and see Berlin Marathon for more details.

I had thought that Sammy Wanjiru would be running this year and hence expected a record breaking attempt. I got it wrong by a year, but Haile broke it anyways. Expect a tough race next year as well.

I tip Wanjiru to break this record unless Kenenisa Bekele starts running marathons earlier than I think I will. While Wanjiru seems to have the talent required (and so far, he has shown mostly that while being short of marathon experience), Bekele is the big race man.

Unless, Haile does it again!

Third Time Lucky at Landmark

And no! I am not talking of the quiz.

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

were bought in a late burst of desperation that the Landmark sale was ending today and also since I had Landmark fellowship points to redeem.

We will ignore here that I forgot to take the card in question and hence paid by cash and also that the two books above were not on discount!

Spaghetti every Friday by Bob Fletcher...

tells the amazing story of Bob Fletcher who at the fine young age of 50, decides (actually he decided a little earlier) to run 50 marathons in 50 weeks (revising it from his earlier plan of 50 marathons in a year). He traverses the United States like no other maniac before, in the process driving more than 36,000 miles, while ticking off each of his marathons. He also collects 1st, 2nd or 3rd place finishes in more than half of those marathons (for his age group), including one of 11 competitors.

Incredible athlete, that he is, Bob tells his story well, (although the book is not edited well, with typos and missing words in a few places) describing the mental troubles of this stupendous feat as well. He trains hard and describes it in some detail.

The most amazing feature of Bob's story is not the feat itself (it is superhuman, no doubt) but that all of this was accomplished in 1983!!! In an era of little or no internet access and manual form filling (writing to organizers for details of race. getting the form, sending the form, getting to the race..) Bob's feat stands out also because in one case, he had to convince the organizers to not abandon the race in a hurricane-hit town. Eventually the race (or atleast its replacement) had to be done on a track, where they ran what seems like endless laps, clockwise and then anti-clockwise to finish a marathon! This and other such anecdotes pepper the book. Must read.

Amazing heady stuff, if you are setting out out on a running feat yourself.
Hat tip to Bhasker for lending the book

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The morning after...

the party ;)
Ran 20K in a little over 2 hrs running with M for 2 laps. In fact ran 4K more than I planned since I was feeling great after 10 miles.
Am getting the chills reading Spaghetti Every Friday. Should finish it today and perhaps post a few comments on it

Friday, September 26, 2008

Party time

Tonight is party night! woo hoo...
Ran 20K in 1:56. Not bad at all, considering I ran only 1 lap at a fast clip with Manoj to push me.
Ended up running 4 laps of Cubbon before traffic opened and completed the rest in Queen's Park, even doing 2:50 for 770m (each lap of Queen's is 770m). I have stopped labeling every running post as part of the Mission Boston sequence since I am not putting honest effort and have still not resumed my 3rd day of running.
But when I do, I aim to break 1:20 for 400 m and see fast I can go, since the 3rd day will essentially be a tempo run

two-timing the landmark sale

more loot from the landmark sale
1968 by mark kurlansky (based on jk's reco that anything by the author is good...)
imperial life in the emerald city by rajeev chandrasekaran (mentioned a long time ago thru a podcast)
candy is dandy by ogden nash
white feathers by woody allen
the tolkien reader by jrr tolkien
the grand tour by tim moore (his other book was good, this one better be...)
wild ducks flying backwards by tom robbins
didn't spend a penny of my own money, thanks to more credit card points

Sunday, September 21, 2008

IIT alumni to take up attack on former student by oil mafia

Looks like the spectre of the oil mafia continues to dog our country.
Embarassingly I didn't even know of this, did you?
Thanks to the IIT-IIM.com newsletter.

p.s. For those who didn't know of Manju, this is yet another opportunity to revisit his story here

Long Run, Running Books and other stuff on a Sunday


Wake up at 4:30 am, get ready, smear liberal amounts of Vaseline all over myself. Do a bottoms-up on a filter coffee and I am ready to go.


As planned for about 2 weeks, ran 29.5 km this morning at Kanakapura on what was a tougher than expected route. Finished in about 2:58. Then did a walk for about a mile to cool off.

Check out the route above.


It was one of the loveliest I have run, what with part of the route on the bank of a lake. Will return someday soon. Did consider doing another lap, but decided not to risk injury. I had about 90 min to do 12K and should have managed, but I am in no hurry.

In the meanwhile, the sagely, steady B completed his 2nd marathon in as many months as part of his 12 marathons in 12 months to celebrate his 50th b'day last month.


Am getting goosebumps reading "Spaghetti every Friday" by Bob Fletcher and "Za-to-pek Za-to-pek Za-to-pek" by Bob Philips


Boston will be one hard climb, it seems.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Moon and Sixpence by Somerset Maugham

...joined the evergrowing bunch of books without a shelf today, thanks to the coupon from the book quiz last week.
The wise old man at Premier recommended 2 books, one of which was a collection put together by the Paris Review of Books and another which was a collection of stories set in France (sort of like "find your way around France using famous stories set in France" kind of a book). Given my current ascetic approach to book buying, I held myself :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Yet another Sunday, but hey wait...

I ran less than I wanted to not only since I had some quizzes planned, but also since I have a long run planned for the coming Sunday.
Ended up in 3 quizzes by the KQA - 2 solo quizzes and my favourite - the book quiz. The star member on my team helped us qualify for the book quiz and all my reading came to my aid, with my answering questions on poetry, self help books and Booker winners! We tied for 2nd place (1st place being so far away due to the incomparable Dr. Cherian) but lost on a tiebreak. Still very happy! It is immensely gratifying to win something at a book quiz, not onlybecause it yielded yet another book coupon but also since I made some use of what I read, beyond just enjoying myself :)
As my pal at work says, Tremendous!
P.S. The latest Bond novel is turning out to be a decent read while the Lahiri novel sucks to say the least!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Going the Extra Mile

Had planned to run 10 miles. Ran atleast another mile with our very version of a Kenyan, the gentle C. Finished in about 1 hr, 40 min.
Not bad. Will need to do some tempo training. Basically, need to get my 3rd day of running again. Am struggling to keep the 8 min mile pace I want to cross. Can't expect much with 2 days of running, I guess.

Plan abt a half t'row and as close to a full as I can get next Sunday. Lets see. Work is turning out to be quite a bitch in my life, right now. The upside is I have 2 books being read out to me currently - Nice Pulp... Watch this space

Monday, September 08, 2008

Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan RIP

A much beloved musician, passed away y'day. I have spent several evenings watching him perform live at the concerts as part of Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations in Basavangudi and was a little sad to see that he wasn't part of this year's schedule. I guess his being unwell was perhaps the reason.
Have never seen someone so gifted so happy to perform and entertain the audience and be one with them.
God bless his merry soul

Saturday, September 06, 2008

What need I have for this...

...what need I have for that. I am dancing at the feet of my lord. All is bliss. All is bliss
Ran 28.5 km in about 2:38 today. 
Haven't run this much and this fast in quite a long time.

Thanks to Hari and Manoj, both of whom patiently bided their time till the last mile or so, when they raced to the finish. We ran together for almost the entire race. They built a lead of about 2 mins in about a mile. Shows how much ground I need to cover. But then, Boston qualification can't be done in a day...

Rock On, Wall-E

The movies were seen in reverse order of mention in the title of this post. We hope to post in detail, but we must summarize and say that we loved Wall-E and liked Rock On.

Just the slow "Evaa" will do for us. We see ourselves getting married to a robot now :)

Please see both movies even before we get around to posting in detail

Loot from Landmark Sale

Its been quite sometime since I felt privileged, to be invited to a sneak preview of anything! This time being a Landmark fellowship cardholder, I got special entrance an hour before the sale was open to ordinary public, giving you better chances at spotting the fantastic bargains. And good use was made of my desperation :)

The Well of Lost Plots by Jasper Fforde *
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde *
The Summons, The King of Torts (John Grisham double book)
A man of my words by Richard Lederer **
You cannot be Serious by John McEnroe

Six books for a grand total of Rs. 605 is awesome, considering all books are legitimate originals (despite the title of this post, I don't steal books!) and in "as good as new" condition. Here is a tip for those of you who can make it to the sale. Stephen Fry's The Ode Less Travelled and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrell are both available for Rs.200/- each, amongst several good bargains to be had. Kudos to Landmark for offering a good deal. Clearly missing are popular authors like Bryson, Tolkien, etc. But then again, maybe, it is the recession stupid!

Anyone got a cheap bookshelf that can hold about a 100 books? Gifts are welcome too! ;)

Am happy as can be, after a 10 mile run in the morning. 

*hardbound edition, Viking, with a color panel inside and excellent quality thick paper!
** who first appeared on this blog when I bought his Literary Trivia book

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Bangalore to Berkeley

My chum at Berkeley has generously invited me to join a new blog on Running on which he and 2 other chums will post.

So I will be posting/cross posting on it from time to time on running.