What’s on your running playlist? HIGHWAY TO HELL

This is yet another fab track from the 70s, all you kids out there.

It’s also another of those songs to which I have to sing out loud to as I run, thus further re-enforcing the dotty old lady image.

But all that powerful thumping beat at the beginning and all those hypnotic “Highway to hell”s (so totally appropriate if it’s a bit of a bu**er of a run)…great stuff.

bpm = 127, so not that fast, but just listen to the intro.  How can you NOT run to this?

If for any reason you don’t have this great track on your playlist, you owe it to yourself to rectify the omission right away 🙂

What’s on your running playlist? “YOU ARE THE DANCING QUEEN…”

OK.
I’m old.
AND I like Abba.  I mean, just LOOK at the way they dressed, people.  How can you not love that look?!

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And yes, I have loads of Abba on my running playlist.  Go on, mock away.  Sticks & stones etc etc.

(I also recognise that I am, and probably will be, friendless in the Delhi running community, due to all this mad old lady warbling out loud to 1970s hits 😉 )

But they were such good songs.  With such jolly sing-a-long words…

“…You can dance, you can jive, having the time of your life
See that girl, watch that scene, digging the Dancing Queen…”

Come on, admit it, you know you love to run to this song (125 bpm)

Don’t be ashamed of your 1970s retro taste!  Download this song right now:

Never count your chickens before they’ve hatched

Or whatever the running equivalent of this age-old saying is.

One poor young lady has just learned this lesson the hard way.

American runner Molly Huddle, convinced she was on track to win a bronze in the 10,000metres in Beijing yesterday, raised her arms high in celebration as she approached the finish line.

But.

Watch this clip, and see how the poor girl gets pipped to the post, literally. She raises her arms in a victory celebration, which slowed her down, and sadly, cost her the bronze medal.

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Nothing like a good run in the rain

I tell ya, there’s nothing quite like a good run in a monsoon downpour to set you up for the day.

Bright and early this Sunday morning, we were quite a goodly number of runners to converge on the Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium, all there for a 10k Shriram Bengaluru Marathon – Delhi Promo Run.

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Said hello to the folks I know, including my guru Rajat Chauhan.  Got my bib & T shirt, and joined the (now what was that brilliant expression I learned last week?) enthu cutlets warming up.  Love that phrase!

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At which point, the heavens opened & everyone fled to the stands.  But only for a few minutes.

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Then the rain sportingly eased off, so we all squelched our way to the starting line, and off we went splashing through puddles and nice cool air.

Out of the stadium down the road past the temple, turn left onto Lodhi Road, run as far as the u-turn before Safdarjung’s Tomb, and then head back.

On the return stretch along Lodhi Road, the heavens opened Mark II, so much so that I had to resort to taking my specs off, cos they were so rain streaked, & I couldn’t see anything through them.

Paddling happily along in the rain, I was chivvied along by Tanvir & co, whom I only recognised from their voices, blind as a bat that I am.

(Pretty thrillingly Tanvir told me that he was pacing others at 6 mins, which meant I had been going faster than that till the rain came down.)  Anyway I trotted back with them, and finished the race, and splashed my way home to a still sleeping household.

Gotta love the world of early morning running.

A whole life lived, and it’s still only 8 in the morning.

Anyway, there I am post-race-Facebook-chatting to some of my running mates (as one does) and I mentioned the glasses-being-useless-in-the-rain scenario.

Quick as a flash, the ever resourceful Harminder Singh has a solution for me…

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I am SO tempted to get this, and then deliberately run with Harminder at all the big sexy races, telling everyone he’s my running buddy, & embarrassing the heck out of him 🙂 Ruin all his race photos!

And –  yaay –  Delhi is now going to get its very own full marathon, thanks to the good folks who organised the promo run today.

You could almost say that it never rains but it pours!

My track log –  in the end it wasn’t 10k though I do know there were some keen runners who ran enough 400m laps round & round the stadium to make the full distance.

Guilty as charged.

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What’s on your running playlist? WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS (Of course it is)

As you may have gathered by now, I love love love Queen.

Don’t care if it shows my age.

Having been turned down as a blood donor this morning in Nehru Park (“Sorry madam, over 45 not allowed”) I am feeling defiantly old.

So yes, folks, never forget that wrinklies like me are from a generation for whom Queen was, and always will be, OUR music.

So here’s another golden oldie from an oldie.

Not your traditional fast tempo beat, I agree, but you know what?  This song is SO good to sing out loud to.  And since I have no friends 🙂 and am so old, I can sing along, warbling my head off:

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I cannot believe anyone doesn’t have already all the Queen hits on their playlist (judgemental?  moi?) but just in case, here are the links you need to remedy that:

What’s on your running playlist? ADELE’S “ROLLING IN THE DEEP”

Said it before, saying it again.

One of the unexpected by-products (& joys) of running is discovering new music for my playlist.  There are singers I’d never even heard of until I started combing through the internet seeking pointers.

Then there are singers like Adele whom I’d heard of, of course, but not really listened to very much.

Now I listen to this every day, as I pound the pavements

Great tempo,but as to the bpm for this song…the widget I use has come up with some odd readings, ranging from 105, through 106 to 201.  Weird.

If you’d like Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” on your playlist, too, it couldn’t be easier.

Just click here:



#200days of running

This is a guest post from the charming, talented & newly-wed Kathakoli Dasgupta.

Katha has just finished 200 days of daily running which, as she shares below, included running through international travel, hectic work schedules and family medical issues.

What she sweetly omits is that she also found time to run on her wedding day.

Here she is, the glowing bride-to-be, out for a pre-wedding run:

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Anyway, let’s now hand the blog over to Katha.

In her own words.

 

This Blog was to happen yesterday.

I had thought it all out in my mind–the celebratory tone, the pictures to go with it–everything.

I knew it wasn’t a coincidence that my last day at Prevention magazine – the one that gave me running and all things beautiful it has brought in my life-  was also the landmark 200th day, when I intended to stop the streak runner in me. (I had challenged myself with an-at least 2-miles-a-day run daily, no matter what.)

But cross checking the ticks on my calendar revealed a big goof up. I was one day short.

It was day 199! Bummer!

A little disappointed, the mind raked here and drilled there to find some big picture meaning in it as a consolation.

What it found instead was motivation to keep going.

When I woke up this morning and didn’t have an office to get ready for, the thought of running made me look forward to the day, honestly.

Would I have been as excited if it weren’t a milestone running day? Yes, I would.

Will I run again tomorrow? I will.

Will I continue to run every day–come rain, shine, frost, work deadlines, flu, diarrhoea, travel, late nights, family responsibilities, social commitments, bizarre hurdles? I am not sure.

But one thing I know, I will take out time for some form of physical activity daily.

That’s what these 200 days of dedication has taught me.

If you make up your mind, you can steal time out of the most crammed schedule.

I have run carrying shopping bags on days I was having guests over. I have run while waiting for the tailor to give finishing touches to my wedding outfit. I have woken up at 4 am to run before catching a flight. I have run at midnight after a 13 hour work shift. I have run while my dad was in the OT having his cataract removed…

I can’t, I won’t give up running. I owe it to myself. I owe it to every happiness running has brought in my life. And I owe it to every person who inspires me to get out there and run, run, run…

 

Thank you SO much Katha, and good luck with your new life in England.  We look forward to all your running photos from your new home.

 

And, yes, of course – well done on your #200daysofrunning.

 

Meet some crazy wonderful, crazy adventurous, crazy strong runners

I have been talking to you of late about a high altitude ultra-marathon that takes place in Ladakh every August.  La Ultra.

Many of you in the Indian running community already know Dr Rajat Chauhan, the organiser.

Those of you who know Ladakh will know the challenges of simply breathing and walking up there in the rarified air.  Just look at the race profile – up and down, crossing the 2 highest motor-able passes in the world while you do so.

So the thought of combining such high altitudes + a race of 333km within 72 hours…yes, quite.

I am sharing with you Doc’s FB post from this morning.

No commentary needed, really, other than speechless admiration.

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Final results of 333 km at 6th edition of La Ultra – The High
1. Sean (UK) : 64 hrs 3 min 35 seconds
2. Stuart (UK) : 65 hrs 23 min
3. Ferenc (Hungary) : 66 hrs 21 min 10 sec
4. Chris (Singapore) : 69 hrs 38 min
5. Mark (UK) : 72 hrs 54 min (cut-off 72 hrs)
6. William (UK) : dropped out at 278 km

 

PS:  If you want to get an idea of the reality of running La Ultra, then watch an exciting documentary made about the first edition of the race, in 2010.

“The High”. A documentary by Barry Walton

If you love an exciting tale of extraordinary people doing even more extraordinary things and doing them in extraordinary scenery to boot –  then get yourself a copy of “The High”, a documentary about the toughest race on earth.  Settle down and prepare to be blown away by the crazy dreams and the lovely, crazy people you will meet.

I say this advisedly, since Dr. Rajat Chauhan, the man who dreamed up the idea and is the race director, is my running guru and a friend, so I can take liberties and describe him as a crazy dreamer and I know he will smile and say his trademark “Awesome ma’am.”

A few years ago, Doc Chauhan had a decidedly crazy idea.  How about organising a race high up in the Himalayas, one that would take in the highest motorable pass in the world?

Why ever not?

And actually why not make the race a nice jazzy length of 111km?  (Inevitably a second race of 222km was added.  And, yes, how did you guess, as of last year, there’s now a 333km…)

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Crazy.

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Everyone said it couldn’t be done, including the army, who pretty much run things up in Ladakh, a high altitude sensitive border area, but Doc was having none of it.

The first edition of Ultra the High in 2010 had 3 runners and only one finisher, and this is their story.  And it is a gripping tale of huge physical effort, commitment, and –  yes, let’s not deny it –  physical danger.

I already knew quite a bit about this extraordinary high altitude ultra marathon, having spent time with the 2014 team up in Leh.  Several girls from my running group were crewing for the race last year, and since I was up there acclimatising before attempting a 6300m peak, we all hung out.

So I knew the background and some of the players in this amazing story, and yet, even so, I was gripped watching Barry Walton’s documentary.  Just seeing the struggles and the pushing through the mental and physical barriers of these ultra runners is so exciting.

The runners, the organisers, the crew –  everyone is so committed, so laid back, and so low-key about their achievements.

Ladakh looks as stupendously gorgeous as it is.

A great way to share in the drama of what is, after just 6 editions, already known as the toughest race on earth.  Well, the 6th edition is still on as I write, but you know what I mean.

Awesome.

To buy the DVD, follow the instructions on the website.

To run in this race…ah well, now, that’s a different matter altogether…

Breaking running records. At 95. As one does

 

This is one of those stories that I love, absolutely love, and for obvious reasons.

Yes, exactly, it’s because I am no spring chicken, having started running a few days after my 60th birthday, so anything that makes me feel less of an oddity is welcome.

I adore the group of young ladies with whom I started running, but “young” is the operative word here – not to imply that they are not ladies, I hasten to add 🙂

Oh dear, getting myself all tangled up here.

Let’s start again shall we?

I love my running group, but I am always conscious of the enormous age gap.

Equally, I was really chuffed to meet my fellow #100daysofrunning participants last weekend, but they are all so young.  Heck, everyone seems young these days.

I honestly don’t feel my age when I run, but then I sometimes stop and think, “Christine, who are you fooling?  You’re a senior citizen, not a youngster anymore.  So why all this training and running and yet more running?”  On less confident days, when I hear comments about the foolishness of running “at your age,” I wonder…is it true?  Is this all rather silly?

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And then one comes across a story like this, about 95 year old Charles Eugster running and setting records, and it’s “Yes!!!”

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Just read this amazing story, and watch the video of him setting a world record.

Too fabulous.  And I love his comments:

‘I hoped getting fit would stop me ageing,’ he told The Telegraph in 2013.

‘It was pure vanity, really. I looked a mess and I was having a late-life crisis. My body was degenerating.

‘I thought: ‘Who knows about muscles?’ So, when I was 87, I joined a bodybuilding club.’

What a rockstar.

Love the expression “late life crisis.”

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