Friday, March 9, 2018

Modern day innovations

Human beings are innovators. We have so many gadgets to make our lives easier. Some simple, some complex. Some complex machines which simply do the job while some simple machines complicate the job. One such machine which torments me everyday is the microwave, especially my office microwave.

I feel my anxiety building up as lunch time approaches. I get increasingly paranoid approaching the microwave. This reminds me of the experience of visiting a friend's place. I have this friend whose place I love to visit. My only worry is his dog. He has a very friendly dog who likes to "welcome" people and I am scared of dogs. Whenever I visit him, I just want to get over with the ordeal of getting past his dog. This dog scares me. All dogs scare me in general, but this one in particular knocks the living daylight out of me with all the jumps and barks. Once inside I enjoy my his company (friend's) and I don't even remember the ordeal with the dog.

This microwave experience is very similar. The one in my office is so complicated that I get scared to use it. I am convinced that with the right combination of keys this microwave could transform itself into a TV, or a telephone or a time machine. The person using the microwave before me would have used it for one of these purposes and I cannot find a way to use it as a microwave again.

This microwave finds the darnest of ways to make me question my 'microwave using skill'. I keep my lunch in this microwave, press a number followed by the start button. Nothing happens. One person behind me says, you did not press the timer button. Ok. I press the timer button. Nothing happens. Another person yells, you did not select at what power you want the microwave to operate. I say..... ummm... ok. He comes over and this is how the conversation goes over.

Him: what do you have in the lunch box?
Me: Rice
Him: Was it in the fridge?
Me: It was not
Him: When did I make it?
After discussing the recipe for the dish, how he would have made it, when was the last time he made it and also how his grandma hand ground all the spicies,  he finally suggests I have to use 750 watts of power for 2 minutes to heat my lunch. Now I hit power, select 750, timer followed by 2 and hit start. Nothing happens.

By now a small crowd of people who want to heat their food has gathered around the microwave and are discussing their version of the rice recipe. I know all these people as I work with them. One more person comes over and is eager to help so that I am out of her way and she can probably use the time machine to learn grinding of spices by hand. She presses another couple of buttons and hits start. I finally see the timer tick. The microwave is not heating the food, just the timer ticks. Why do I need a 'timer only' option on the microwave. No one said let me run to the restroom and back while I time myself on this microwave. Usain bolt did not have this feature while he broke the world record

Another colleague comes over and presses another set of buttons, now the timer starts again as well as the light inside the microwave. The group cheers. I too cheer this colleague. But soon we all realize that it is just the timer and the light but the microwave is not heating the lunch inside. Meanwhile I am worried that my luch would travel to 2018 BC.

I start to panic as a the crowd expands. Some people don't even have to heat their food. They have come for the show since mine is a small office and pretty much nothing interesting happens through the day. One guy even started distributing invitations to his house warming ceremony. His audacity at hijack my crowd. MY CROWD. I am fuming a little at the microwave, a little at the guy who invented this but mostly at the person distributing the invitations.

Another colleague decides to take a stab, at the microwave. He comes over presses a lot more buttons and hits start. The microwave does work, finally. But somehow the timer now is only 10 sec. After 10 seconds I collect my lunch and begin to walk out. Some asks me, just 10 secs? why?

Now I just eat out

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The year that was

Overall this year was good to me. Not many things happened this past year, however a couple of good things found their way into my plate.
1. Completed a full marathon in Jan and  another one in November. Both were with almost the same finish times. The one in Jan was exciting because I had gone in with a lot of preparation and excitement to see where I would end up. I was in the top 1000 and it felt good. The second marathon was more of a been there done that kind of a thing. I always wanted to run a marathon outside India. It so happened that the Philadelphia marathon did not require a qualifying time to enter. So I completed the Philadelphia marathon in November. I was excited about this marathon because I wanted to experience a reputed marathon outside India.

2. I  moved out to the US for a short term. It so happened that I ended up in the same place I was before. So I did not face any hassles which come with moving.

3. I got a chance to do a road trip after a long time. I drove a total distance of 4000KM in 7 days and enjoyed it.

For the coming year I look forward to a couple of things.
1. Spend more time with my family.
2. I have a couple more reputed marathons lined up for the end of the year. So I have a lot of travel and training to look forward to.

I also plan to more active on this blog

Here's wishing you a happy new year. May a lot of good things bump into you this year.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

SCMM 2017

This year's SCMM weather played a spoil sport for many. I was surprisingly unaffected by it. My training this year was not upto the mark. I did not run as many long runs as I wished at the beginning of the season.

I started off the season with a 34K on 11-Sep. Then on I built mileage gradually. However my mileage suffered in October. Then I had to change plans and came up with a plan to run 40K every week. This is much lesser than my 100K in the initial plan. I managed to stick to this every week in November and December.

To overcome the laziness in running longer on Sunday, I registered for two half marathons, one in November and one in December. Did one in 2:45 and another one in 2:00. Then came an opportunity to do two long runs pretty late in December. One was a 33k in Kharghar with three weeks left for SCMM. Another one was a 21K which I ran from Vashi to Bandra in the tapering time. These runs helped me to stay fit in the lat weeks of running.

This time around I did not pay much attention to what I ate during the day. How ever I stuck to eating a balance of carbohydrates and protein with dal and rice. I chose a vegetarian diet this entire year.

My runs were fueled by Fast and Up reload. There effervescent tablets are amazing. Now I feel how I lived without them all these years. On the race day, I started pretty early with a cup of filter coffee and a couple of slices of bread. I had one Unived Gel at the start and one GU Gel each at 10K, 20K and 30K mark.

Race day:
My race day start was not as smooth as I imagined. I had trouble after 4K mark. I felt very hungry and energy drained. May be not finding water at the star location had something to do with this. At the 7K mark I grabbed a slice of lemon with salt. Near 10K someone handed me chilled lime juice with rock salt. This worked well. I felt me energy coming back after this. By now I met Ashwin who ran with me till the end. It helped divert my mind away from the weather, and the tiredness in between.

Post race:
As usual my face was stiff after the run. I have been experiencing this in the past 3 races. I cannot speak and have difficulty concentrating for sometime. Once I lie down with my legs up in the air for 5 minutes normalcy is restored. Maybe this has something to do with all the blood being in my legs. Need to consult someone regarding this.

All in all an improvement of 4 minutes and 20 seconds in my completion time from last year on the same course. A dump of my race day pace, speed, route heart rate etc can be found here: