Saturday, September 30, 2006

Day 45 Week 17

As chuck said, running is cummulative, and so are all the other activities you do over the week. This week was I guess especially hectic, not just workouts but other running around and driving too. So I was not feeling very enthued about running today, it started in the morning itself when I did not want to wake up. So ran only about 6.5 - 7 miles today. After that as a little compensation, Shankar and I also ran a little uphill on the marathon route. It was a good preview, not very discouraging though as the hill was steep, but small. This week I need to take lot of rest, and want to run at least 11, and hopefully 12 miles next weekend. After that I can call it a day to my practice.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Day 44

Wednesday hills day, and they are killing. We first ran to the tracks and then ran back to 124th St. We were suppose to run up a not to steep but very long hill 3 times. First one was the worst, second little easier, third little more, and then I decided to just run another one, it was difficult, but did not kill me. Everyday I am amazed at how much progress I have made in my fitness since the day I started training. Its a life style changing experience!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Burrough's Mountain trail

I was suppose to write about this in the last blog entry, but I got totally carried away by the thought that this may as well be my last hike in the north-west.

So anyway, it was a perfect way to end the summer. We started around 11:30 from Srijan's place after my 10 mile run in Kirkland, with the apprehension that we are not going to get a campsite. But of course I could not start early, needed to run. The trip was especially great for me as I got to carry my telescope out to Mt. Rainier. 405 was as usual quite crowded, once we were on 167, it got better. On the way we called the campground, and a lady told us that its full. What a disappointment. Still with some hope we continued onwards, checking out a campground on the way. Once at White Water Campground, to our surprise it was quite empty, and to more surprise, Palani and party who were ahead of us were no where in sight. After pondering over what to do for 30 min, we decided to take a campsite and then go looking for others. We drove to sunrise point, and there it was, the magestic Rainier, standing there with all its beauty, unobstructed view. If I was not so tired, I would have enjoyed the view much better. But I just wanted to get back to the camp and relax and eat something. Still no sign of Palani and party, so we decided to go back to the campsite and wait for them there. Luckily on the way back, we met them. Then started a discussion about which campground to take, Shayon and Palani were much taken by another one outside the park, but I wanted to stick to White Water, not wanting to waste time driving up and down. So ultimately we stayed there only. ( I AM a control freak, as Palani mentioned twice later. )

Once all back at the campsite, we setup the tent. Shayon leant his first lesson at setting up the tent and did quite a good job of it. Srijan was as usual busy being the cook. Palani and Aparajita got firewood. Perfect example of teamwork, I should suggest this for our next team offsite. After lot of effort and usual shouting from Palani, the fire started. For some reason unknown to me Aparajita got the credit for starting it ;). Maybe because she was most excited about grilling potato. Khichdi was also ready by then, and we all ate happily. Potato grilling never happened though.

After dinner was the best part, start gazing, finally after a long long time, looking at the stars thru the telescope without light pollution. It was a moonless and planet less night, which sort of disappointed others I guess. But I was thrilled to see so many stars again, being able to read in star light again, brought back lot of memories of nights spent on top of clock tower gazing at the stars. After spending some 1/2 hr there, we came back to the campsite. Fire was burning heartily and it was time for cards. We again played judgement, Shayon winning the game, sometimes I get the feeling that he is indeed smart :), not that winning at judgement is any measure of smartness in real life. We finally slept at about 1, deciding to get up at 4:30. The burden to wake everyone up was on me.

And I did a great job :), everyone was up by 4:50. We quickly paked up a bit and then started for sunrise point in Palani's car. On the way I saw Orion and Venus, nothing like the site of planet of love first thing in the morning. We were at sunrise point while it was still a bit dark. First we tried to cook maggie, but there was no matchbox to light the stove, Srijan's planning, huh. So we had a breakfast of bread, jam etc. And we also saw the first rays of sun falling on Mt. Rainier, making it all colourful. It was a amazing site, beautiful!!
...from dark to dawn...

Once Mt Rainier was fully lit, and our stomachs were full, we started on the 7 mile hike. The hike was quite good, very steep uphill in the beginning, but the distance was not too much, about 3 miles. The sight on top of burrough one and two were very rewarding. On the way we crossed very windy paths, wind blowing thru its full force, nothing to bind it, something I just love. Makes you feel so free, away, connected to the nature. All my tiredness was gone, it was lovely. One of the things on my TODO list is to kiss on top of a mountain with wind blowing all around us, muy romantico!
On top of burrough two, we were as close to Rainier as you can get, unobstructed view, just wow! The trail reminded me so much of Inca trail, partly as I was very tired, leg aching, and the uphill hike, looking at further uphill trail ahead, reminded me how it was climbing Dead Woman's Pass. And then the steep descend in the end.

Then was the difficult decision, go up to burrough 3 or not. It looked very steep intimidating. If my leg was not aching so much, I would have loved the challenge. But after 10 mile run on Saturday, I did not have the courage, and well, had to drag everyone else also with me. Feeling pretty bad about that, it does not happen often :(
Anyway, we stared 4 mile downhill trail, loosing about 3000'. By the end I was totally exhausted, just moving moving moving. Finally reached the campsite. Packed really fast. Decided to cook hakka noodles after a lot of arguments. People actually wanted to mix hakka noodles with maggie, can you believe it, dilute the taste of maggie with something else!!
Anyway, we made noodles, ate, packed and then started back to civilization. I was dead tired by the time we came back in Redmond and all I wanted to do was put my head down and sleep sleep sleep.

Monday, September 25, 2006

2006 hiking season

As the summer is coming to an end, we set off on the last hike for the season (and possibly my last one in the north-west if I decided to move) at Mt. Rainier. We started the season with 4 day Inca trail in Peru, other than 2 practice hikes before that in April, and now ending in September with 7 mile Mt Rainier hike. And what a season it had been, with marathon practices every Saturday morning, and after that rushing out for a hike. Thanks to Srijan and all who accomodated my can't leave before 10:30a.m. limit, not that they would anyway have got up and left before that, there had been some really nice and relaxing (mentally only) trips.
1. Little Si - literally this was the first hike in April to practice for Peru, just Rahul and I, there is no need to say how nice it was.
2. Some Lake, another practice hike, just Rahul and I again.
3. Inca trail - the big one, this I would say was the practical beginning of the season, and the most difficult and at the same time most rewarding and memorable hike I have done and will be doing in near future.
4. Surprise Creek - first group hike, and a kela as snow was still packed on the mountains blocking our path altogether.
5. Cascade Pass - nice, moderate relaxing hike, highlight was snow sliding when we suddenly came upon a patch of snow near the top.

6. St. Helens - windy ridge, after a long time, it was as amazing as ever. We again walked down to the spirit lake, and walked up to the windy ridge look out. St. Helens.
7. San Juan camping - no hiking, just ferry ride and camping with Srijan, Subo and his friend.
8. Burrough's mountain trail and camping at White River campground in Mt. Rainier

Can't say what 2007 has in store for me, if I am still in the north-west, I have a wish list -

  • mailbox peak
  • lake 22
  • surprise creek (actually reacing the lake this time)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Day 43 Week 16

Ran around 10 miles near the house only, ran on the Woodnwille-Bothell road towards the office, it was a nice run, quite tiring, lot of uphill and downhills, but doable. Did not go for th group run as wanted to go hiking on rainier over the weekend. It feels nice to think that I can actually just go out of the door and run 10 miles, I would not say that it was easy or getting any easier, but its still doable, running for 2 hrs, who could have thought 16 weeks back that I would get there, and not just running 2 hrs but also go out and hike 7 miles next day, I am amazed at my own abilities.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Analog - SciFinFa magazine

I have always enjoyed SciFi, though till now most of what I have read is Asimov, and I always want to read magazines. So when browsing in the library my eyes fell on this magazine called Analog - Scientific Fiction and Facts, I immediately grabed one. Read a couple of stories from it, very interesting. Short stories are quite different from novels, they have to move fast, and don't drag and usually have one cohesive topic to talk about. I am going to try reading more of them.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Day 42

Since I missed running yesterday, went today morning. Tried to run at high elevation on the treadmill, it was ok, very tiring, I could not run for long without holding on to the side rails. Need lot of practive.
27 min, run / walk - 1.85 miles.

The Client - John Grisham

Read John Grisham after a long time, and it was as thrilling as ever. Though I found this book a little less surprising, I guess after reading so many books from the author, I can kind of guess the twists and turns in his story. Still it was a very pleasant read and I could not put the book down before reading it from cover to cover. Very interesting story of a man who first plots to steal lot of money and then plots even more to free himself of all the charges, does he succeed and then end up living the life of a rich man? Does he get away with it? The story is full of crosses and double crosses.


No, I don't know Dandiya or garba, but that does not stop me from being enthued about the event and to plan to drive all the way to Sammamish for that. Last weekend we tried real hard to go, I got up from my sleep at 10:00 (I had slept at 5:00, guess was just very very tired), then thought for 30min about what to wear, weather to wear any jewellery or not, and then do I have any jewellery!!?? Of course I should have thought about that one before wasting 10 min on thinking to wear or not :). So anyway doing simple math, it was already 11:00, and it would have taken me another 1/2 hr to get dressed in the absense of a full length mirror. So in the end it did not seem worth. Hopefully this Saturday will be planned better :)

I have already taken first step and looked up the info on web.
Event Summary:
This year, our annual navaratri garba dance is organized for two weekends in SEPTEMBER. Everyone is cordially invited to this colorful traditional dance event. This is not a Gujarati only event, we have plenty of non-Gujaratis and non-Indians coming to Garba every year.Events are on 22nd Sep, 2006 (Friday),23rd Sep, 2006 (Saturday),29th Sep, 2006 (Friday),30th Sep, 2006 (Saturday)


Sammamish High School

100 140th Ave SE
Bellevue, WA

Sep 22 2006 8:00PM
Sep 30 2006

No. of Admission : $5/members per evening,$7/non-members per evening,Free for kids below 11,Free for seniors above 62

Contact :
Sammamish High School
Phone : 425- 456-7600

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

what is the message in Hindi movies

I finally watched Parineeta today, took off from office early as not feeling well and then sat and watched the movie. And it got me thinking. The guy, Shekhar here, was a totally jealous jerk to his beloved, calling her names, not trusting her, and leaving her when she needed him. Then there was Devdas, same story, Devdas, total coward, Fanaa, Amir Khan did the same. And in all these stories the girl just waits, accepts the guy in the end, forgets everything, why? Are all these stories of one sided love? Can you love someone, and still not trust them? Then what does it really mean to love someone. Haven't we always heard that marriage is built on trust, and love is not?
These movies are sending such wrong message, showing the women as devis of forgiveness, setting unrealistic expectations from them, showing that its acceptable for a guy to be a total jerk and then suddenly open eyes one day and be forgiven, just do his manmaani. This is 21st century for God sake!

simplifying the english language

Today we were talking in office about British and American english, and I made a statement that except US and Canada, everyone else follows the British English as most of the countries started on english from british colonial rule. So someone pointed it out to me that even Americans learnt it from there, so I wondered why they chose to do it differently ( like everything else they do differently!! ). And the same person pointed me towards this -
Do a search for "daniel webster" ("webster's dictionary" is named after him). He "simplified" (and I use quotes liberally) the English language for the US and Canada so that it was more "consistant".

yes, quite a funny sentence, words consistant and english are used in the same sentence without the word "not". And of course I do not understand how taking the u off from colour can do anything to simplify english language. If this Daniel person really wanted to simplify and consistify the language, why did he not change "but" and "put" to be pronounced in the same way, and why not take the "p" off pneumonia (or however its spelled). Or maybe what he did was redefined "simplify" and "consistant"!!

Asha Seattle presents AllGoRhythms there!!

Come and enjoy a night of bollywood music -

Asha Seattle presents AllGoRhythms 2006 - featuring our very own Pankaj Kakkar ( drum rolls!! )
Saturday, October 14th 06, 5:30pm
Sunday, October 15th 06, 3:00pm
Mercer Island High School
Performing Arts Center
9100 SE 42nd Street 
Mercer Island 
Ticket Category
Front Rows- $20
Back Rows- $18
Kid (2-12 yrs)- $5
UW Students- $15
At Door- $22 / $20
*Kids under 2 yrs (on the lap)- Free

*Dinner Box coupon (Available Saturday)- $6 ( at the venue $7 )
*Snacks & Chai available on Sunday for purchase on the spot
For Tickets, you can either buy online or let me know, I will keep some aside for you:

Please feel free to forward this e-mail to anyone who might be interested.

tuls - Life is Beautiful - Marathon log - Book reviews - Travel blog

Monday, September 18, 2006

Day 41

Ran for 20 min - 2 miles on treadmill at 5.5, it was hard, felt like giving up a lot of times, but still could make it, running for 20 min at 5.5, can't believe it!! Feeling just great and enthued.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Day 40 Week 15

Back on my feet. After running for 10 miles last 2 weekends, I decided to cut back today. Ran at the madison park trail for first time, its mostly flat, did 7.4 miles. Because of the inactivity of last week, my legs started paining quite a bit, left leg calf muscles seem to be in little trouble.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

fallen sick :(

Just when things were going great, and I was thinking that maybe I can shoot for a full marathon, I went and got myself sick!! No practice this week at all, might be able to run on Saturday, but probably not too long.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Why you should read HHGG

My conversation with a non-believer.

Urvashi: he heee [nose smile]
have you read hitchhiker's guide ? you must have...
did you like that ?
मेरे द्वारा: of course I have read them
and love them
Urvashi: hmm.. I put it down after 2 chapters...
must read it again.
it didn't make any sense at all !
मेरे द्वारा: u need to open your mind to understand them
Urvashi: haaahahahhaha [nose smile]
मेरे द्वारा: and also accept the fact that they are non-sense
Urvashi: haaan - thaaaaaaat no-one told me earlier...
so I was wondering whyyy it wasn't making any sense !
what's the point then ?
मेरे द्वारा: just to open your brain to some radical thinking
out of the world sorts
add another dimension to your thinking
Urvashi: hmm [nose smile]
मेरे द्वारा: very imp things u learn are -
how to fly
what is the importance of a towel
Urvashi: [nose grin]
okay - I didn't get that far...
maybe should just press on.... (like running [straightface] )
मेरे द्वारा: ur knowledge is imcomplete without knowing these things
Urvashi: he hheee..
मेरे द्वारा: though u will need to press on a lot
so it also teaches u to be patient
Urvashi: haaahha [nose smile]
मेरे द्वारा: to have faith that in the end u everything will start making sense
Urvashi: but doing a PhD also teaches patience !!!
yes - precisely [nose smile]
मेरे द्वारा: it will train u for PhD
Urvashi: he heee....

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Day 39 Week 14

Woohoo run in central park, ran for 2 hrs, I guess between 9 - 10 miles, the last 1/2 mile of uphill was obviously the worst, but it was ok, its not that unimaginable now :)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

second impression of New York

This was my second trip to New York, first one being new years time few years back. This time though I was just a visitor, but was also checking out how livable the place is, and the conclusion - not at all! Nothing unexpected in that, living in Seattle area, I have taken the beautiful greenry, mountains, sunrises and sunsets for granted. And here, you can't even see a simple sunrise and it rises and sets somewhere behind some really tall building. There is no wind coming into the apartment, as there are tall building all around, and of course greenry and mountains are totally missing. Its a real total concrete jungle. Even the central park feels suffocating, its just too much trees and water packed in a small area. The streets give you the impression that you are back in Delhi or Bombay, but of course the familiar Indian-ness is totally missing. As for people, well, its common knowledge I think that people in east coast are not that friendly, everyone just gives an impression that they are really very busy, if you ask something, they just glare at you as if you are the stupidest person in the world !! I can't wait to get back to my peaceful life in Seattle. If it wasn't for Rahul, I won't even dream of moving here.

Day 38

Ran for 20 min in central park again, was a easy weekday run. After that ran up a tiny hill twice, it was not that hard since the hill was small, plus of course I am in much better shape now. Planning for longer run on Saturday, maybe a full round of central park.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Day 37

Ran for 30min today in central park. It looks so flat, but its all up and down with a gentle slope. Aim to do a full round of the park this saturday, its going to be less than 10, maybe 8, can increase it by adding the lake, should be fun.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Day 36 Week 13

Last weekend did not run much, don't know why, work? packing? etc. etc. all excuses
Saturday was on the plane whole day, so of course no running, just flying.
Sunday, no chance again.
Today ran for about 45 min in Central Park, yes the real one in New York. It was ok, very crowded, nothing special, our Kirkland waterfront is much better, at least it gives an illusion of free open clean air.