Monthly Archives for July 2014

Curious quirks of long distance runners

Marathons - Anupriya kapur - July 23, 2014

12 mad things all long distance runners experience when training for a long distance running event –

1) Social life! What’s that?
2) We start seeing life from a distance, a “long” distance. Everything else suddenly seems so trivial.
3) Boy! Can we eat! People regret inviting us over.
4) We whine and crib about black toenails but secretly want others to ask us how we got them.
5) If we find anything to talk about apart from running it seems superficial.
6) The house is messy. Well…isn’t that how a house lived in supposed to be? Running clothes are always well stacked.
7) We dream of reaching the finish line all the time.
8) We secretly fear – “If I have to, where will I dump my load?” Ughh, Portaloos!
9) We suddenly find ourselves connecting with (otherwise disconnected) distance runners on FB.
10) We often go back and read (portions of) “What I Talk About When I Talk About Running” and “Born to Run”.
11) We pray and hope that our non-runner friends will somehow get it.
12) Every new song we hear is evaluated on the good-run-song-or-not scale.

If you can think of more quirks, then feel free to add it to the comment box and I would edit the list 🙂

“If you want to run,  run a mile.  If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon. If you want to talk to God, run an Ultra.” – Dean Karnazes (American ultra runner, who has run 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 consecutive days).


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Sports Bra Basics

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - July 14, 2014

There are two essential must-haves for a female runner – a good sports bra and a pair of good running shoes – nothing else matters. Whether you want to wear running tracks, tights, shorts, skirts, cotton tee, racer backs, dri fits – all depends on your sensibilities, weather, place, event, whether you want to look cute, sexy, no-nonsense or just be practical etc.

Needless to say that I have burned my fingers on both accounts. Like most Indian women, I’m top heavy, despite my petite frame. I experienced a lot of pain (and bobbing!) when I started running in regular lingerie and picked up an encapsulation bra (these support each breast like everyday bras for but are geared for larger breasted runners). It definitely felt better than lingerie but my shoulders got chafed after each long run. I also started experiencing a sharp pinching pain on my rib where the thick band encased my lower chest. Considering I also had a fracture in the same area, I never attributed it to the bra. How could a piece of elastic band (which didn’t even feel too tight) cause so much pain?

I finally figured it can, did my research, and changed the brand of my sports bra – a compression bra this time around. These provide support by pressing the breasts against the chest. Sports bras are expensive but consider them as an investment. I compensate for that expense by not spending a bomb on running tees – I almost always run in the tees I get at various running events I participate in. And here is my two bits on how to choose the right support system –

A good sports bra should feel comfortable on, stay in place, and not chafe. The straps should not dig into the shoulders and the band around the lower chest should not shift or bind.

However silly it might sound but do jumping jacks, run in place, and swing your arms side to side to make sure what feels good on is comfortable and supportive when you’re in motion. Keep in mind that a good sports bra should fit more snugly than a lingerie bra to provide you with support, but should not be uncomfortable or restrict movement or breathing.

Look for breathable synthetic fabrics that have a gentle supportive stretch, they also help to minimize chaffing. Stay away from cotton and any sports bra with a zipper and rough seams.

It’s also very important to replace your sports bra every year, specially if you are using it frequently. As we exercise, our breast size also changes. It’s important to have a good support at all times.

Happy running 🙂

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7 things for my 33 years

For the soul - Anupriya kapur - July 3, 2014

7 things I’ve learned in my eventful 33 years –

1. A strong body is key to happiness, and running is the master key. If I was granted a wish to transfer just one learning, but completely, to people I care for most – this is it.

2. “Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!” – Dr Suess

I’m more than my long nose, thin lips, tiger stripes and cellulite. I feel more secure just being me and no longer feel threatened by other women and and its such a comfortable place to be in.

3. I have learned to forgive, bless, and move on. A relationship which saps too much energy out of me or gets too complicated is not worth it. No point investing time and emotions in people who take me for granted. I do not have to impress everybody. Letting them go may seem tough, but when you do, it leaves you feeling ah so light.

4. I feel good when I wear what I like to. I will keep it that way. I’m not certain if people do…but if they do discuss what I wear, then it must be important for them.

5. I should try everything that I feel up to without fear of seeming stupid. Life, in which you can actually do all what you want to, is short. I won’t let opportunities to try my hand at or experience something new just go by. I will grab them instead. Certain things that intimidate me – traveling alone, learning a musical instrument – I will try those too.

6. I’ve finally learned to say no when I know it’s the right answer. I’m so done saying yes just to make people happy. Of course, I’m not done saying yes to make people happy, if that makes me happy.

7. Meditation – I never thought it works. Till not many months ago, I used to think of meditation as a pass time of the complexed wealthy or occupation of the underemployed well offs. And yet I gave it a shot (see Learning # 5) and surprisingly found myself in better control of my reactions and more at peace with my grievances with self.

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