The perfect swim

Day of swimming around Dubovica, Hvar

In a pool there is little to see; swimming in open water tears away the blinkers, and suddenly you have a world of visual stimulus, just as you do when out on your bike or running through the countryside.

The perfect swim anywhere you could choose would be in a tropical sea, from beach out to an island and back, looking down as you stroke to see stingrays. Swimming there, surrounded by fish, warm salt water keeping you buoyant, you are alone with your thoughts yet entirely happy with them. There is nothing to compare with that.

— Alastair Brownlee, in Swim, Bike, Run: Our Triathlon Story by Brownlee, Alistair; Brownlee, Jonathan

After 4 days of heavenly swimming around islands in the warm Mediterranean, I’m dreading going back to swim in the pool at Surrey sports park. Couldn’t agree more with you, Al!

The perfect swim

Down Tow Up Flow Half Marathon

DTUF Route
DTUF Route – Marlow to Windsor, mostly on muddy towpath

Ran my 2nd Half, and only the fourth 10 mile+ run, of the year on 26th July, at Down Tow Up Flow (DTUF) half marathon. Raghs had discovered this race, and when she decided not to run it, I signed up instead1.

DTUF is a point to point race, run on the Thames towpath between Marlow and Windsor. The route alternates each year between Down-Tow (Marlow-Windsor) and Up-Flow (Windsor-Marlow). This year it was running as the river flows, from Marlow to Windsor.

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Down Tow Up Flow Half Marathon

Broken streak

A 12 day streak of S&C exercises – squats, bridges, donkey kicks, plank, RDLs, hamstring & calf stretches – got broken today. I’m, surprisingly, too upset about it. Way more than I should be.

Way more upset about this broken streak than about missing the weekend long run, which I plan to catch up on Monday evening anyway.



Run like a tourist – Exmoor coast edition

Edinburgh was the best place to get started on ‘running as a tourist’, and now Exmoor coast provided the next opportunity.

We had rented a large house for a long weekend, and drove in on Thursday after work to make most of the 3 days. Despite late arrival, the night was spent drinking and playing games, and the sky was already turning bright by the time I went to bed. Running was no where on the cards.

View from 200m above our window
View from 200m above our window

Yet, when I woke up 4 hours later, and saw the view from our window, I knew what I had to do. Running vest, shorts, water belt, shoes on, and off we went – I and my best running buddy, Chewie.

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Run like a tourist – Exmoor coast edition

Thank you, Girish!

The bike
It all started with this bike (the green one in front)

21 February 2010

I rode the 12Km Bandra ‘cyclothon‘ – an organised ride, on closed roads, through streets of Bandra.

I didn’t own a cycle back then. I hadn’t even thought of riding that cyclothon, let alone going and buying myself a cycle. The idea was all Girish‘s, supported by MehulAmit and a few others on twitter1. We signed up – Raghi borrowed a bike from her friend, Simran, and Girish offered to lend me one of his old bikes.

We, Girish and I, didn’t know each other that well back then. We may have met once or twice, and had chatted on twitter for 6 months or so. And despite just that feeble connection, he didn’t just encourage us to sign up for the event, but also offered to lend his bike.

I loved the cyclothon. It was just 12 Km, mostly through narrow, potholed streets of Bandra. Yet, I thoroughly enjoyed it (as did Raghi, I suspect). It’d been 9 years since I’d last ridden a (my) cycle, and that small event brought back flood of memories of cycling.

Thank you Girish for lending that bike! Continue reading “Thank you, Girish!”

Thank you, Girish!

Run like a tourist – Edinburgh edition

My Edinburgh run route in red, half marathon route in green
My Edinburgh run route in red, half marathon route in green

Running while on a vacation has been high on my plans ever since I finished the couch-to-5K program in early 2013. I’ve carried along my running shoes to 2 Lake District vacations, one vacation in Scotland, and on 2 trips to India. Yet, for various reasons – primarily because I became overwhelmingly lazy once on vacation – I never got running, and the shoes came back unsoiled.

Edinburgh, my favourite city in the UK outside London, was just the perfect place to finally get started.

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Run like a tourist – Edinburgh edition

Shit and Run


Of all the blogs and books that I’ve read about running – and I read an unhealthy amount – no one ever talks about this one thing – shitting on a run.

If we were to go by books, blogs and public discussions, it’d seem this just doesn’t happen. Ever.

Yet, I’ve heard people softly admitting about having to do it. I know people who’ve done it, and lived to tell about it. And, for the first time, on a 20K off-road run last Saturday, I had to do it. Since, no one else publicly writes about it, I am.

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Shit and Run


Weight has gone from 75.4kg in late April, to 80.1kg today. 5kg up in 2 months.

Total running distance for May and June, combined, is less than that for any one of the previous four months!

Last week was the first one this year with zero activity, of any kind – running, cycling, swimming, spinning or gym work.

Time to declare this the bottom, so the only way is up.


Training Update – 3 weeks to Fred

Fred Whitton isn’t far now, just 2 weekends left in between. Training has been going well, almost. Had planned to ride 2 big rides in April – one with lots of ascent, and the other long in distance.

Rode the first one on 12th. Joined Andy, Nick and Damian for the Leith Hill Octopus, and followed it up with 3 reps of Box Hill to make up some more climbing metres. Combined with the ride home, over Ranmore Common, Greendene, and the home climb, the climb totalled up to just over 3000m of ascent. Item one: checked.

The 3000m ascent ride
The 3000m ascent ride

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Training Update – 3 weeks to Fred

Meon Valley Riser – the good, the bad, the ugly

Meon Valley Riser, Long Route
Meon Valley Riser – The Long Route

Rode a new sportive, the Meon Valley Riser, last Sunday1. I needed a longish, hilly ride and there are few sportives 100 miles or longer this early in the year, even fewer hilly ones. That it was located in a part of South Downs that I’d never visited before added to the draw.

The Route

Meon Valley Riser - Profile 100mi
Meon Valley Riser – Profile 100mi

Long, rolling, and pretty, with a couple of hills each thrown in at the beginning and the end. There were poor road surfaces in places, but nothing worse than what we see all over here in Surrey. There were also a few high traffic roads used, but almost always on a descent or a fast flat – nothing that couldn’t be managed.

With 2100+m of climbing in 102 miles, it was hilly for the south-east, but not really a killer. In any case, as things turned out, the hills were to be the least of my worries.

The Weather

That wind be crazy!

The weather forecast wasn’t great – it was supposed to be quite windy with gusts reaching 71km/h, and rain all day long. I’d been trying the previous 12 hours to get out of riding it, dropping hints all around hoping Rags would take pity on me and let me stay home.

No luck. She did take pity and ask me to ride the 50 mile route, but that was her just being smart. She knew, as did I, that if I did go out, I’d be riding the full distance.

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Meon Valley Riser – the good, the bad, the ugly