Monthly Archives for January 2016

The Marathon Man

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - January 28, 2016

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Last Sunday I had the honor of meeting Nitendra Rawat, who has created a course record (by an Indian) at SCMM this year with a timing of 2:15:48.  And after reading quite a few articles on him, I went with an expectation of meeting someone a bit cocky and smug. But I was so wrong.  At the shoe store where I accompanied him, the store assistant started showing off his knowledge about heel drop and mid foot landing, unaware of the fact that he was talking to the best Indian elite runner. Nitin didn’t utter a word or get worked up, just tried his shoes and moved on to buy them. His shoes usually last up to two weeks due to the intensity of training, about 270km of running per week. That’s him confident, emphatic yet humble. He answered all my questions without any hint of superiority.

While most articles I read mentioned how he has broken the course record, qualified for Olympics, his Oakleys and ponytail, not much was said about the lack of facilities at the National Camp. Case in point, the three Olympic qualifiers don’t even have a dedicated physiotherapist! Even though the ASI, Pune is a state of the art institute with all facilities, these athletes have to train at the National Camp for most part of the year.12631519_957329514303978_1212204902924277503_n

There has also not been a word about his nutrition needs either. If only this one aspect is taken care of, it alone can shave off a couple of minutes from the overall marathon time – as per a renowned sports doctor. Imagine then, what he could do if all the international standard facilities, training and nutrition were available to him. Imagine if the media had concentrated on this, how much more attention these causes would have received – Just like his adidas sponsorship. When the media reported that Nitin had to pay for shoes out of his own pocket, adidas picked it up and offered him a sponsorship.I asked him what about adidas excites you and he said “with proper sponsorship, I will get the exposure of running in other countries, which also means I can choose more favorable marathons. And right now my target is to break the national record of 2:12 which hasn’t been broken since 1978.”

But we can’t blame the media alone, can we? This is the kind of information we want to consume.

Also, I feel as a part of the running community we need to give much deserved attention and love to our athletes.

You can like his FB page at https://www.facebook.com/nitinrawat2012/?pnref=story

Read further if you are interested in a bit of trivia, his diet and training regimen.

A bit of trivia

Nitin came to know that he could run well when he joined the army when at the age of 19 and started representing his regiment in various cross country events. But he didn’t take his talent too seriously till he got posted to LoC in 2006 and didn’t like being there one bit.  That’s when he began training a bit seriously for mid distances and cross country at the Army Sports Institute, Pune. The turning point for him was when he won the national medal for cross country in 2011. But he knew he wasn’t fast enough, so he decided to give longer distances a shot, SCMM being only his second full marathon at the age of 29!

Training regimen

He runs 6 days a week at the National Camp with about 5-6 hours of training (split into two) every day. Wednesdays are meant for circuit training and he does strength training 2 days a week. He doesn’t do weight training at all. A lot of his strength training involves the exercises he learned when he went to run a marathon at South Korea.

His diet

Pre run – 3 slices bread, 1 banana and green tea

Breakfast – Daliya, bread and 2 egg whites

Lunch – A bowl of dal, a bowl of sabzi, I roti and 2 spoons of rice, lots of salad and green tea

Before training (evening) – lots of fruits

Dinner – A bowl boiled chicken (no salt), 1 bowl dal, 1 roti and lot of green salad.

*No butter/ghee and sugar

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The 5 stages of grief!

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons, Running Related Injuries - Anupriya kapur - January 22, 2016

I think over the last few years I have made all sort of mistakes – over-training, not training enough, wrong shoes, not enough strength training, no foam rolling. And I have been injured time and again except last year (when I behaved). No matter how many times I get injured, it always seems to follow the same cycle, just the time spent on different stages varies. So, it goes like this (inspired from the Kubler-Ross model)  –

Denial – Nah, it’s just a niggle .Oh! this pain is temporary, it will go. My head is making up this pain as it wants my body to stop. Yes, I’m living in denial.

Anger – Is it really happening to me? – It’s been a few days and let me press where it’s hurting and see. Damn, the pain is for real. And it’s here to stay. Why me? I have a run coming up?

Bargaining –  Let me just do short runs. No harm really. This is the worst stage where I’m trying to fool myself in to believing that short runs won’t worsen the injury. But they actually do. Let me try, ice and foam roll, which I should have done after stage one!

Depression – Too late, shit has happened. Now what! Physio asks me to take a couple of weeks off. With too much time in my hand, I don’t know what to do. I’m already perceived as anti-social, how will I explain myself? I will put on weight. Worse still, I will forget how to run! Damn, it’s the end of the world.

Acceptance – It is what it is. After a few days of sulking, loitering around without any sense of purpose, I get into the yoga and do-any-exercise-to-stay-active mode. Only once I accept it’s going to take time, do I relax before getting restless again.

 

What is it like for you?

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Date Walnut Cake

For the soul, Recipes - Anupriya kapur - January 21, 2016

I had promised long back on Facebook that I’m going to share the Date Walnut cake recipe. I don’t know who to give credit for this recipe as I had noted it down from the internet a couple of years back. It’s one of the easiest and foolproof recipes I have ever come across.

This cake tastes better the next day when the date flavor has sunk in. It’s a dense cake as it’s eggless. But trust me a big slice of this cake with tea is perfect for a morning snack or a pre run snack. I usually have it any time of the day 🙂

Maida/Flour – 135 gms
Dates – 18-20 pieces
Milk – 185 ml (3/4th cup)
Sugar – 165 gms (grind it after weighing)
Oil – 1/2 cup
Baking Soda – 1 teaspoon
Walntus – 50 gms

Optional –

Cinnamon – a pinch

Place walnuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes at 180 degrees C or until lightly brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and coarsely chop.

1) Soak the dates (without seeds) in warm milk for half an hour. Once it cools down, make a smooth paste in the blender.
2) Sieve the flour and baking soda together to ensure even mixing.
3) Whisk together oil, sugar and flour mixture with the date and milk mixture.
4)  Add the chopped walnuts.
5) Pour the mixture in a greased pan lined with butter paper.
5) Bake for 30-40 minutes (mine was done in about 35 minutes) at 180 degrees C in a 8 inch square or round baking pan.

Note – The color of the cake would depend on the dates you used. Don’t substitute baking powder with baking soda.

You can thank me 🙂

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Fifteen for the road

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - January 14, 2016

I have been running for a few years now. When I look back, it’s tough to believe how clueless I was about everything running. I used to run in “lifestyle” shoes, wear regular cotton shorts, a regular bra and called my first 5km a “marathon”. (don’t believe me? check my FB post!)

Here are some things I thought can help you if you are new to running –

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My first 5 km ‘marathon’

1) You can start running whenever you want to, it doesn’t require any skill or technique, at least not in the beginning and if you are only doing it to maintain basic fitness levels.

2) Find running buddies – Running in groups or with friends makes it easier and definitely more fun. But do run alone at times (only if you are running in a safe place), it’s meditative.

3) Running gear – Buy some bright and good fitting running gear. It always peps you up.

4) Invest in the right stuff – Invest in a good sports bra and the right pair of running shoes. Trust me it’s an investment.

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The gear! adidas supernova tights and Boston Boost shoes

5) Run-Walk-Run is perfectly normal and at times desirable. It’s not something to be ashamed of.

6) Register for a 5km/10km, 3-4 months in advance as it will motivate you to keep at it.

7) One doesn’t necessarily have to graduate to a half marathon. Don’t feel the pressure of doing one. There are enough and more exciting 5km and 10km events. And that’s enough to maintain basic fitness levels.

8) Remember no one looks like a “runner”. One doesn’t have to look like one to run. Shed your inhibitions. Stop thinking about how you look while running. Trust me all non-runners will be in awe of the fact that you had the courage to get started.

9) Be shameless in flaunting that you ran a certain distance. How many people can say they ran a 5/10/15/21km? Remember you earned your bragging rights.

10) Create an awesome playlist of your favourite songs to carry along with you on the run. But at times listen to the sound of your foot pounding the ground, it’s beautiful. (But get rid of the head phones if you are running in a secluded place or where there is too much traffic. You need to be alert).

11) There is nothing called a “fast” runner. You will always be faster than someone and slower than someone.

12) One doesn’t need to run everyday. I run only 3 times a week even when training for a half/full marathon. But I do yoga and bit of strength training whenever time permits.

13) Eat a banana/dates 45 minutes before a run. Drink electral/ORS on hot days.

14) There are days when you will be super charged and there will be days when you feel completely sluggish. Run anyways.

15) Respect your body. If pain persists for more than 2 days, it needs your attention.

As you begin your journey, you will learn a lot about yourself and your body on the run. It will make you curious and you will wonder why you were not doing it all this while but it’s never too late. Attaching a video of a nun who started running at the age of 48 and is the oldest person to have completed a Ironman (run/bike/swim) within 16 hours.

Iron Nun on the Run

You might also like https://momontherun.in/thisgirlcan-so-can-we/

 

 

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Get your brave on

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Parenting - Anupriya kapur - January 2, 2016

When I became a mother 8 years back, it was a validation of my existence. It was as if I got to justify my right to occupy space on this earth in that very moment. And I lost myself in motherhood. The best way to describe it would be that I started “decaying in the gentle state of happiness” (quote borrowed from my favourite book). The only thing was that I wasn’t happy. I was making myself believe that I was. This realisation made me restless and I didn’t know what to do. To a lot of people, my life might have even seemed ideal. But I was being pulled in to a deep dark hole of misery and self pity. And I started finding comfort there. I saw myself as completely worthless once my son started spending more time in school and the park. I became extremely negative and didn’t think I was capable of anything including being a good mother.

Running saved me a lot of times but an injury took that away from me (for a few months) and that’s when I hit rock bottom. I realised that my home baking venture which had started as love for baking turned into waiting for appreciation from others. So when anyone smirked at my idea of baking as a business, it deeply affected me. I had never believed in New Year resolutions till then and was one of those people who make light of it. But two years back on this day, I decided that the only way to save myself was to turn my life around. I didn’t share my resolve with anyone as I was scared of being made fun of. No one took me seriously in any case. I was supposed to be this happy-go-lucky person with whom nothing could ever go wrong and could never be lost. It was a tough call to give up baking. I started meditating at home for 20 minutes on my own every day (Pranic Healing). I used to think meditation is a fancy thing rich people did. I don’t think I have ever been more wrong about anything in my life. I started forgiving people and myself for everything wrong that had happened in the past. I cried a whole lot. But I felt strangely light. It’s tough to describe that feeling unless you go through it yourself. I started looking at myself and situations more objectively, became less critical of myself and prepared to fail.

Around that time, I also started my blog with the hope of inspiring women like me to do something for themselves and to save themselves. The blog got noticed in more than one way and I started getting a bit of content writing work. It is a constant struggle to write when you are low but I didn’t want to give up this time, this was my only chance. I started receiving mails/messages from a lot of people(men and women both) that my blog is inspiring them to take up fitness/running and to revive their passion, which inspired me further to keep at it. I also realised that with so much happening I started to become a more understanding mother. And now all I want for my son is to feel loved and create his own journey.

In 2015, I got a lot of content writing work, I blogged more frequently, took good care of my son, have done several races (injury free!) – 2 full marathons, several half marathons, several 10kms, paced at Bengaluru marathon and my blog got covered in a national daily 🙂

I might not have achieved anything significant but enough to keep me going. At times, I feel a strong pull to go back in to the dark hole and trust me it’s very tempting but I have managed to kick its butt on most occasions and will continue to do so.  But it all started with one resolution on a cold winter evening and some very supportive people.

You might also like https://momontherun.in/a-33-year-old-monk/

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