Quad Day 4

January 11, 2012 2 comments

The 2nd week of Quad2 started off – things are now settled down and it’s becoming a routine. 4 am wake-ups are becoming easier and I am back to being among the 1st to the class. Enjoying the morning short bike rides.

Today was relatively easy. If anything, the warm up was tough! We learnt the right way to do a kettlebell deadlift – just a couple of sets of those which I really liked. Since it was more of a “learn it right” session, it was fairly easy with the emphasis on form and posture and stuff like that.

And there was this “conditioning” piece – a burpee 10-9..—1 workout where I am finally fixing my broken relationship with the burpee. I used to hate it. Now, I just dislike it. It was thankfully only the 4 step burpee (minus the push-up) and so I can still manage it. Learning to kick back instead of stepping back and surprisingly find it easier.

Biking back – I bumped into Hari, Venkat Rangan and Yash doing hill workouts and joined them for 1 short sprint up the hill. :-). Loved it. Especially, it was great to meet Hari and watch him kick it up the hill and enjoy the run like only he can.

Walked back to Dimensions talking to Yash and Hari.

Yash was apparently (learnt from VPS) a tad miffed that I sent the short Quad mailer to the group and I took this chance to speak to him and clear the air. Glad I did that.

Anyway, what is interesting is that he mentioned casually that the Quad folks were, unintentionally, rubbing a few fitness industry folks the wrong way. Reading http://thequad.in/why.html – I can see what Yash is talking about. The “they-cant-differentiate-a-quadricep-from-a-bulging-dick” kind of talk is not flying well with some gyms apparently. Lets see. Thinking about dropping in a word to the coaches.

Categories: quad

Neville’s Dawn to Dusk – and a few other heroes

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Yesterday (Sunday – Jan 8, 2012) was Neville’s Dawn to Dusk event – links are plenty, but here are some random ones:

Madras Round Table 94 HT Neville Runs From Dawn To Dusk



Clearly, a fantastic cause, a great runner and more than anything else – an awesome initiative. Plenty of us *think* about doing stuff to help, raise funds, do_your_bit and all that and very rarely *do* anything about it.

Something like this needs initiative; a genuine desire to help and contribute and a will to get things done.

In such events, it’s probably “easier” (hmm.. you know – running for 6 hours and biking for another 6 hours) compared to pulling in various people, engaging the ad/ media machine, planning and executing the logistics challenge and actually driving the whole event through. It must have been a bloody nightmare and so my respect for Neville has multiplied – not just for his outstanding running/ biking feat, but more for having pulled this off and having raised what, I am sure, must have been a substantial amount to benefit those who actually need it.

Now to my running heroes.

Sundar – This man ran a half before 9 am when the event was flagged off – and joined Neville all the way. Yeah – 6 hours of running + 6 hours of biking. The half was just a warm up. Sundar didn’t even get a mention in all that media blitz, or at least I didn’t hear any. Bloody incredible.

Painter! – I read his DM update and almost choked on whatever I was eating at that time. He was planning to run for a couple of hours and go home. Instead, he just kept running for the full 6 hours! I was like “what!” – I have never (and can’t even contemplate) imagine running that long unplanned. I mean – how can somebody plan to run for about 2 hours, and then just simply, unplanned – chug along for another 4 hours!  

That too from 9 am to 3 pm.

I ran too – from 9 am to 11 am, and it was so humid and hot that we (Rocket, Shahid and I) stopped. We couldn’t go more – not even to finish a half (which was our original target). We just stopped because we were too tired.. and Painter – 6 hours and when I called him, brushed it aside as if it was no big deal. “Ah. It was nothing” he says.. 

Categories: Running

A perfect morning

January 9, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday – Jan 7

It was so nice. It had just about everything – I biked, worked out at the quad, ran with friends and biked back – came home with a super buzz and didn’t feel a tad like a workout – It felt like I had a lot of fun.

At the quad – press, push, pull

They were out to kill us. I was beat at the end of the warm-up!

Then there was a short 2-set*8-10 reps of the press. I was struggling on a 12 kg press and had to resort to bent-knee thrusters to press it up.

Next were the rows which were much easier. I like the row. But this time, they introduced this different technique of rowing – straight on instead of side-on which I was not comfortable with.

So, first, here is the original (and conventional) row which I am comfortable and like to do.


This is what is described here in greater detail and in most videos if you search for “kettlebell row”.

But, the variation to this, what was introduced in this was what you’ll find if you search for the “Kettlebell bent over row” .

Raj and Arv asked us to follow whichever was more comfortable to us since they work the same muscle group, and so after 1 set on the bentover row, I went back to the conventional style where I felt better immediately.

Anyway, these were just teasers. The main killer came next – 50 jumpsquats (with weights) and 50 push-ups (unfortunately, I am still on knee push ups). I was paired up with Sivaram and it was a 5 min workout (I think). We swapped after every 5 jumpsquats and after 50 each, we were already wiped out. We managed about 30 push-ups each by which time, the coaches called time. Thankfully.

We staggered out of Bamboola. Biked so slowly to Dimensions and was there by around 0610.

The beautiful beginners run

Shahid started this “easy beginners 5k” a few weeks back in an effort to attract beginners and newbies to running. We felt that 10k or 1 hour was too intimidating and 0515 was too early a start time. 

The posts went out asking people to come in, enjoy themselves and do an easy run/ run-walk/ walk whatever, for any distance starting at an more earthly 0630.

The following beginners turned up: Bib Bala, Painter Senthil, Shankar, Shahid, Krishna, Sita (Krishna), later on – KK, and was it Manivannan who also joined. 🙂

And we went on this stroll through Boatclub, laughing, chatting, clicking pictures and having a whale of a time.

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In case that bright blue didn’t hit you because of that brilliant vintage, those ugly things are my beautiful vibrams and this was my “longest” run on them – 5.8 kms :-).

Sita even thought she saw Rajnikanth walking, but was certain about Sivakumar. We had our share of celebsiting as well.

Biked back.

Mornings couldn’t get better.

Categories: Cycling, Links, Photo, quad, Running

Some more benchmarks..

January 6, 2012 1 comment

Kettlebell swings are my favorite and I hate burpees. Both were on the menu on the 2nd day of QII, but surprisingly, and I am sure it’s an aberration, my ‘like-level’ flipped –> I did something wrong on the kettlebell swing and did something right on the burpee.

Couldn’t figure out what I did wrong on the kettlebell swing and need to get back to working on the technique – I couldn’t get the thrust or the snap from the legs, ended up using my back and arms and felt a twinge on my back.

It was a 4 step burpee and that is much better for me (it’s the push-up that I have a problem with) and it is somewhat possible to get into a decent rhythm on the 4 step burpee. It was a benchmark piece and I just got to 50 burpees in 5 mins. The girls nailed it – swetha, lalitha and sharadha – all got to 60 burpees.

Next was the plank benchmark. I quit at 40 secs – among the worst in the whole batch (of around 24 folks). There was this new person called Vijay who went over 2 mins and since there was no one else who had kept up until then, he stopped.

If painter was around, he would have been the winner of this contest. No doubt.  

Categories: quad

Jan 3 – The Quad Part II

January 4, 2012 Leave a comment

Here we go again!

As usual – today was squat time! There were also a bunch of general assessments to benchmark all of us.

The bloody weighing machine is wrong. It says I am 84.5 kgs. I am sure they rigged it high so that it will show lesser later. 🙂 . Crap. 84.5 is just terrible.

I squatted 24 kgs, 12 reps. So, that’s the other benchmark.

Anyway, it was good to meet all the other batchmates and kick off Part II

Categories: quad

2011 Review

January 3, 2012 1 comment

Basically, mixed year as far as running and fitness is concerned.

and now I go randomly…

The ITB injury at the start of the year was a bummer

The inconsistency in my runs, never having a plan, being totally messy with my schedules = a very patchy year

Hated having to cancel Mumbai and Bigsur

The Hyderabad and Munich marathons were wonderful. Totally enjoyed them

Enjoyed the quad workouts

Ah! IIT runs. Beautiful.

Am in 2 minds (at both extremes!) about being part of the ‘organizing team’ of the Chennai Runners half. 🙂

Made some real good friends this year

Still fat.

Categories: Important_Day

Filling in

January 3, 2012 1 comment

Couple of interesting weeks to finish off the year.

I had a couple of good 10ks and a nice half following the Shahid’s ultra. The half especially was super – On a 4:1 R:W with Shahid, we ran at a pretty good clip to finish the half in about 2:12 or so which was quite good. There was a lesson in there – even on a long run, it is better to be on the offensive than on the defensive. Cutting back on pace excessively and being too worried about the later miles upfront, and being ultra-cautious may prove to be counter productive. These few runs, I thought, was getting me back to my running groove.

And then I fell. Like a clumsy, fat oaf. Tripping on a tiny reflector but going down like a sack of potatoes, falling on my side where I had stuffed a water flask in my pocket – and hurt my quadriceps badly – or at least it felt real bad. It swelled up and even a slight touch ached. That was it. Out for more than a week and limping along most of the time, icing it and stretching it, hoping it becomes ok soon.

On that Sunday, since I couldn’t run, KK, Shankar and I went on this beautiful bike ride and KK took me to the broken bridge – arguably Madras’ most beautiful place.

251220111228 251220111232


Then, there were just 2 more runs – one slow one with the painter and another half with the monk.

Thane, thankfully, had settled down by then and it was actually very calm on Sat (Dec 31) morning. The devastating storm, which took 42 lives and laid to waste plenty of homes and properties, had crossed the coast and had left, paradoxically, a clean, washed and yet a littered Madras.

It was an awesome run with Ram that morning. The original plan was just to run to the broken bridge and back. But, the weather was so glorious that we kept going and finished with a lovely half done in a decent time. I did not stop the watch while we took a few mins break to admire the beauty of the sea down at broken bridge, and yet had a 21.8k done in 2:17.

Here are a couple of pics which shows Thane’s fury – giant trees uprooted at Anna Univ.

31Dec2011 _0704_Ram 31Dec2011 _0704


My Mumbai plans are all screwed. Totally gone. I had some ambitious plans but now, thanks partly due to certain things out of my control, but largely down to my bad planning, it now looks to be a race where I go and see if I can salvage a finish. 

Categories: Cycling, Injury, Photo, Running