Posts for pinkathon

You are still a runner

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Running Related Injuries - Anupriya kapur - August 4, 2017

The best part about running as a recreational sport is that it is inclusive. That probably explains its popularity the world over. Anybody can run, it’s that simple. And the more runners I meet, I realise how therapeutic it is and how it forces you to take note of yourself. For me, it was as if I connected with myself for the first time when I started running. Even pregnancy had failed to do that for me. However, nowadays it also comes with a lot of noise and commotion. There is pressure of what races are you signing up for, your finish time, how much you are running in a week etc. It feels good initially as a new runner but slowly the pressure builds up. Of course, it’s great if you want to improve continuously and important to strength train to remain injury free but it’s not ok to constantly compare yourself with others. Continue Reading

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Everyday Heroes – Inspirational Women Runners

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - March 9, 2016

Honestly, Women’s Day has no relevance for me as I feel everyday is everyone’s day irrespective of the gender. However, it definitely gave me an excuse and the push (lazy as I am) to pay an ode to ‘everyday’ women who are an inspiration to many. I have listed their profile in text below in case you want to look them up on social media and follow.

Manisha Khungar – A swimming coach for the last 20 years. Triathlons are new to India and she has coached some of the first triathletes from our country to achieve their dreams.

Christine Pemberton – She is a blogger and I love her very quirky sense of humor. She started running at the age of 60 and has already done two full marathons and several half marathons. And yes she is usually a podium finisher in her age category in most marathons.

Avani Vora – She is a mother of twins and a Pilates instructor. She has inspired many women to make fitness their way of life.

Bhumika Patel – Apart from her regular 9-5 job, she’s out there helping women achieve their running goals be it through Pinkathon or otherwise.

Zareen Siddique – She is a mother of two (15 & 5) and can give a run for her money to any 25 year old. Apart from being a runner she specialises in Post Natal fitness training.

Ratna Verma – She is a teacher, she is an excellent baker, she’s fitter than she even looks and did I tell you that she is a mom to two teenagers as well.

Kavitha Kanaparthi – I have admired her since the day I met her for her courage to stand up for what she believes is right. She is the only woman race director in India. What’s the big deal? She has created some of the toughest and truest international standard ultra marathons in the remotest places in India.

Nirupama Singh – Forget about the fact that she is a mother to two young adult boys, she has a kickass PB of 1:39 for a half marathon and 3:48 for a full. She is also a zumba instructor fitness coach.

 

 

 

 

 

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Boston Boost – A reivew

Fitness, Fitness related, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - December 1, 2015

In the movie Pink Panther 2, I remember Steve Martin going in to an ecstatic frenzy as he takes the first bite of “ambaagar (hamburger)”, and that’s exactly how I felt the first time I ran in my  Boston Boosts. It was pure love.

*Check his expressions at 2:18.

In the last two years, I have had many running related injuries.  This led to my coming close to dreading runs. And runners know how crabby that can make you. My Nike Free served me well, so did Pegasus but they were never perfect for me.

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close to 18th km at ADHM 2015

I know that shoes are not a cure all, but it does factor in a lot. The shoe itself doesn’t make you a better runner, but it can encourage a certain foot strike or can remedy things like over-pronation (which I did to some extent) – all important injury prevention aspects.

I have wide but small feet (UK size 4) and these fit me like the perfect glass slipper. Having suffered so much in the past, I was very skeptical but after my gait analysis, I was told by Dr Rajat (a renowned sports injuries doc) that neutral shoes is what I need. These don’t have extreme cushioning but are not minimalist either.

I don’t really know what heel drop etc. means. I just know what feels right and makes me forget that it is something external or something I need to keep worrying about. This one is light, fits right and gives my wide feet and big toe space, to breathe. I have been alternating it with Ultra Boost (neutral shoes with more cushioning) for longer and slow runs. I haven’t had the problem of black toe nails or blisters despite having done several distances between 15-20km.

For the last few months, I have also been doing basic strengthening exercises for my legs that Doc Rajat advised me about (I will make short video clips and share soon enough).

I did my Pinkathon 10km (my personal best 53:16) within a week in this pair, then MCM half marathon (1:54) on Nov 1st and my personal best at ADHM (1:50) on Nov 29th to be repeated again two weeks later at the Grand Prix Run.

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An Ironman is much more than Gold, Silver and Bronze

Fitness, Fitness related, For the soul, Marathons - Anupriya kapur - July 22, 2015

Disclaimer – This is meant to be a congratulatory note as well. I’m just wondering aloud about how so much misinformation is floating around. When Scoopwhoop and Firstpost can get it right, why not others?

I have utmost respect for Milind Soman for not only preparing and completing Ironman triathlon in the first attempt but for being such an evolved human being. A super model in his younger days to using his celebrity status positively to get women to start taking their health seriously. And coming up with a beautiful (and much needed) concept of Pinkathon where thousands of women proudly walk/run their first 5 and 10 kms. Yesterday, when an acquaintance walked up to me and said this year I definitely want to run 10km in Pinkathon and needs my help in training, I was like “wow, this is it”.

But then I heard a popular RJ on 98.3 FM say “Milind Soman world ka sabsey tough Ironman race jeet ke aaye hai” and Indian Express headline read “At 50, model-actor Milind Soman wins Ironman title in ‘‘toughest’ triathlon in Zurich”, I was beyond amazed. Now, most of us in running/cycling communities are aware that even attempting, being at the start line of a full Ironman, irrespective of your age, in itself is a huge achievement. It involves 3.8 km of ocean swim, 180km of biking and then running 42.2 km back to back within a stipulated cut off time. No wonder it’s called “Ironman”, even though a lot of women also participate and complete it (that’s a debate I will keep for later). 10609650_1530320693869937_1244388974474336706_n

But what about the rest who have no clue about how marathons, ultra marathons and triathlons function, which is also the majority of community listening to the radio and reading the paper. Completing it is one thing, winning such a title is a different game altogether. Elite athletes win these titles after putting in years and years of hard work. And then there are a lot of other Indians who participate and complete such events internationally. Case in point, there were 4 more Indians who did complete along with Milind Soman in the Zurich triathlon, one of them finishing his 12th such event.

Please don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking away anything from MS’s achievement. I hold him in very high regard. I think he’s one of the coolest celebrities that there is and still gush like a little girl when I get clicked with him.

It’s just that I have a tendency to believe when the “facts” are stated on better radio channels and newspapers. This is something I was aware of so I didn’t have to research to get my facts right. But what about all that I don’t know about. Is everything on media done to generate traction? What part of information I’m consuming is true and what is not?10565099_1530321033869903_8900765744755411717_n

 

 

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An injury is an injury is an injury!

Marathons, Running Related Injuries - Anupriya kapur - September 26, 2014

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A running related injury is like the dementors in Harry Potter for me, it completely drains and sucks the happiness and soul out of me. All of a sudden, I don’t know what to do and a very big part of my life comes to a standstill. There is nothing for me to share on FB (the addict that I’m) and all running related updates make me irritable.

In the month of March, post my first full marathon, my left foot was swollen and I was in extreme pain. I still went ahead and did an obstacle race a week post that. I still don’t know if it was a stress fracture or tendon sheath inflammation alone. Despite feeling miserable, I refused to acknowledge the seriousness of the injury. I started living in denial and continued working out (squats, lunges, burpees etc), running and standing for long hours (baking). I made myself believe that I’m over thinking a minor pain. To further make a point that all is well, I went out dancing wearing heels several times. Big mistake.

At that time, I was looking for answers, reasons for my existence, and the one thing that kept me going was my long runs. I couldn’t fathom letting go of it. But what is worse than an injury is running with an injury. I was being plain foolish.

I reached a point where the physiotherapist threatened to make me immobile by putting a cast on my leg. That’s when I decided if I have to run in the, well, long run, then I need to do things right. I followed RICE to the T and got my physiotherapy done regularly. RICE is Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevate – Since I’m from a non-athletic background, I didn’t understand how that can help, but it does work wonders.

Here are couple of things I learned the hard way-

– Stretch, Stretch, Stretch – pre run and post run. Even if it means running half or one km less than your targeted distance.

– Listen to your body and know your body. Give it rest if you are not feeling completely up and about. Don’t confuse it with “I’m just being lazy, I should be out running”. It’s not about being a hero.

– Dip your feet in ice cold water after every long run within 24 hours.

– Vary the pace to avoid injuries. I can run at the same pace for hours and that’s what I had been doing. I don’t do tempo, hill or interval training as I find it too technical. But Fartleks,  not only sounds funny, it is fun to do as well. It’s basically “speed play” involving unstructured and alternate moderate-to-hard efforts with easy throughout. You can read more about it in the link provided below.

– Don’t shy away from Orthopedics and physiotherapists. Knowing good ones is critical.

– It’s good to have crazy goals but running too much too soon is just plain foolish.

http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/whats-difference-between-fartlek-tempo-and-interval-runs

 

 

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Pinkathon Run

Fitness, Fitness related - Ankit Chatterjee - April 2, 2014

Despite it being a very muggy Sunday morning, the Talkatora stadium was full of energy, excitement and of course a whole lot of pink. My guess is that around 2000 women showed up to participate in different categories. I had registered for a 10 km run. I had gone along with a lot of members of Runbugs and all of them were very warm to me. In their company, I enjoyed the pre-run ambience to the hilt. The organizers (RunWithMe Foundation) made us do stretching exercises, with Milind Soman and Gul Panag at the helm of affairs on stage.
The run started on time and a huge number of amateur runners like me started their 10km journey. It was a scenic route through Lutyen’s Delhi, taking us all the way to India Gate and back. However, the weather was just something else. The energy sapping humidity and the scorching sun nearly killed the whole experience.
I was running alright and even having fun along the way as I stopped to pose for many photographers. When I reach the 8 km mark, I was told by one of the volunteers that I only had 5 runners ahead of me. They egged me on to run faster, but I couldn’t do much to improve my pace. I was tired and sweating heavily. When I finished the run, I was pleasantly surprised to know that I finished my run in 55 mins and 52 secs – my personal best in 10 km.
I ranked 6th. I could have done, maybe, a shade better had I not stopped to pose. But I love the pics from the event. In any case, for me running has never been about competing with others. It’s a personal space which helps me with my physical and mental fitness.
My son and husband were at the finish line and their sense of pride in what I do is as good a reward as any.

 

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Pinkathon Pre-run (or What a BORE!)

Uncategorized - Ankit Chatterjee - April 2, 2014

Since I had started running in India last year, I had not participated in any running event. I was eager to know what it must be like here, after all those fun and exhilarating runs in the Philippines. I got to know about a run called Pinkathon – a multi city, all women run, to raise awareness about breast cancer and promote fitness for women. I decided to participate in it. After all, it was for a good cause and offered an opportunity to run with Milind Soman. Apart from fact that he’s hot, Milind is one of the best amateur distance

runners in our country today. There were a couple of pre runs (for both men and women) which were organised in collaboration with RunWithMe foundation across NCR. I couldn’t think of a better way to get to know the running community of Gurgaon. On race day, I reached just in time to take it all in – the buzz, chaos, excitement, a lot of pink, stretching, nervousness and of course Milind Soman on stage. How I loved it to be back running in a community again! The feeling was a little short-lived though. I was aware that not too many runners, specially women, had opted for the 10km and that there would be stretches where I might be running alone. Honestly, I was scared and didn’t want to run alone on the notorious roads of Gurgaon. As I started running, I tried to break ice with one of the runners since his pace matched with mine and in all earnestness, I told him about my fear. Not sure what he thought of me, but the guy just sped off, leaving me completely flabbergasted. My notion of “Delhiites have a bad attitude” was further affirmed. So there were indeed these long stretches where I was running alone but there were enough RWM volunteers around, giving me confidence to keep going. Around the 9th km, I was feeling strong, and therefore a tad positive – smiling at people who made eye contact. But it felt like people had forgotten their smiles at home!
I was among the first few to finish. I tried to strike up a conversation (the general weather, the run, the time etc.) with folks who had either finished their 5km early and other 10 km finishers. I was appalled! Nobody seemed to hear me. It was as if I didn’t exist…
I felt like an over enthusiastic, over friendly, but dirty puppy who nobody found cute enough to play with. I was nearly certain that I’m not going to enjoy running here. But that didn’t deter me from getting a nice picture clicked with the sweaty, sexy MS.
I left the venue with a heavy heart and a craving for some good running buddies.As it turned out, the pre run did help me after all. I was pleasantly surprised when Ankush (founder of Runbugs, a runners’ group in Gurgaon) got in touch with me a few days later. He asked if I would like to join them on their next long run, over the weekend. It was
an offer I couldn’t refuse.
I was finally beginning to find a fraternity I so wanted to be a part of.
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Getting Started

Uncategorized - Ankit Chatterjee - April 2, 2014

As we were moving back to India, it had already been over a year that I had stopped running (the li’l that I did) due to my fractured rib. And yet one of my big worries (other than my 5 year old son adjusting to his new school and friend circle) was, where would I run? Who would I run with? Is it safe for women to run here in Gurgaon? Would it be fun running in the dusty concrete maze after all the greenery and cool that the Philippines had pampered me with?

It took us almost 6 months to settle down and get into a regular routine. Still tentative about running, I started going for brisk walks. While walking on a very warm June evening last year, I came across a runner and wondered how he could run when even the track was generating so much heat. I couldn’t help asking “Isn’t it too hot to run?” and he said “Run with me and figure it out for yourself”. And so I gave it a shot. I managed to keep up with him for 3 km. I was tired and soaked in sweat, but it felt really good. After that there was no looking back. All my doubts just disappeared. They evaporated with the sweat that evening.

Since then, I have become an active member of one of the best running groups in Gurgaon (Runbugs). With them I’m never out of running buddies. With them it feels safe to run in the most remote routes in the NCR – training, exploring and having fun along the way. Since then I’ve done the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, a 50 km Bhatti Trail Ultra Marathon, my fastest 10 km at Pinkathon and several other fun runs.

With this I learnt that however tough things might seem, one can at least try and get started – no matter what the odds are (hot, cold, humid, overcast or dusty/smoke – yup, that too is a weather in India!).

Getting started is what matters the most. C’mon, let’s go!!

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