Juley Ladakh

In my way of “Experiencing Hi-gh” to the Majestic Land & People of Ladakh, India, the journey of knowing, understanding and sharing happened…

With Juley Ladakh, I bring onto you how I “Experienced Hi-gh” while Volunteering to teach Ladakhi students, Trail Running at High Altitudes and Exploring & Understanding the magical Natural, Cultural & Eco-friendly wonders Ladakh offers!

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A Common Run with HIGH

Today, Ran a Very Common Run yet Quite Different...
Just some juggling with words, here's for you all...

Garmin went off to sleep, giving Numbers a break!
Shadows were running, while I was wondering...
Saw an Old fella spinning so high, inspiring the lot all right!
Smile I wore throughout went on, off to the crowd!
Ran I with belief through the hollow of darkness.. (No streetlights at 2000hrs ;))
Music poured in & out, through the earplugs and strides..
Sped on a high note, Cruised at an easy rhythm!
'BORN TO RUN' chipped in, enlightening me through its life in playlist!
AIR at the end, invited me to the 'People Of City'..
Moving , watching, working, sleeping, driving, walking, smiling..
I went on, only to 'DO SOMETHING' now...!

Summary : 10.6 km ||  01:08 ||06:24 pace

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Mumbai Full Marathon 2011

Before my thoughts get off in oblivion, I thought maybe I need to jot down my journey to my first full marathon. I always wanted to run a marathon but never followed any plan or training. Just out of curiosity, I registered for the full marathon way back in August’10. Doesn’t 42 sound small, may be or may be not? But when you go out and run, you know it for yourself! And I know it now, why marathon is called the Marathon!

Well, I started running kind of consistently from May’10 onwards though it was never as training for any event. Running for me came as an element that aligned my routine!
As for practice and so also for fun, I ran Pune & Goa half marathons apart from a 31k practice run in Mahabaleshwar. No doubt the magnitude of full marathon is what makes it so surreal.  Marathon is not just about the day of marathon but the result of days’ practice piled up till M-day. And Marathon is the best way to understand that results come only after consistent effort for substantial amount of time.

Rewinding back to the day before marathon... I along with a great runner friend Dhaval reached Goregaon after collecting all the bibs and jazz. Yes, ‘jazz’ why? For a double or triple dozen goodies that were handed over to runners included chat masala, a couple of other to-cook products such as noodles. Wonder whether M’bai marathon organizers have tied up with dieticians to come up with new research- spices & masalas are nutritious for runners! ;) Someone please help out dear sponsors to have better marketing strategies next year. Pre-marathon pasta was due; no way could I have missed it. Did had pasta and followed by amazing Gujarati dinner before finally dozing off.

The D Day was good. We reached reasonably early. Meet loads of friends both from Pune and Mumbai alike. I love the atmosphere at marathon start, so much energy buzzing around, WOOW.. before the actual ‘suffer-fest’ starts..! :O

Ran pretty good until I guess 27-30k, after which sun, concrete surface, humidity, Bandra Worli sea link climb, all started to test me real hard! Really don’t have any count of no. of Gatorades, water bottles, ice packs, relly spray I might have consumed! Rather than recalling my hard run I would list out what went wrong...

So, here’s some Learning I would like to note for myself or someone who care any....

- Shoe's your Darling:
Wear a shoe which you use while practicing. Make sure the size of shoe is bit bigger than your actual foot size since your foot swells after running a couple of miles. Went adventurous with different kind of shoe, not the one I usually use for runs and Suffering was very much evident. Not necessary to go for an expensive running shoe if you’re not up for but just make sure, there’s proper ventilation and space allowing your foot to settle in case it swells. Obviously considering that you don't run barefoot!

Rest is Game Changer:
 Don’t tire yourself the evening before the marathon. I was busy searching the streets of Mumbai for a specific dry fit cap all evening, Ohh Crap!

Surface speaks:
 Practice on the surface, be it concrete, tar or dirt track, where the marathon is planned to be. Especially, be careful of concrete surface for it hits pretty hard while at the same time it radiates heat on rather sunny day.

Lastly and most Imp:
Practice, Practice & Practice! Also build the knees strong. Try core exercises, yoga etc!

So, finally I did completed my first marathon, a total of 42.195 km in 5:49:03, dismissal timing though! Yet, I did it and must say it’s GREAT FEELING! Do it to know it, I say..

Lastly, I must thank all the Mumbaikars not just the organizers but the rock bands, civil people who came to streets to cheer us up...  I WOULD RUN MUMBAI MARATHON JUST FOR THAT BUZZ & ENERGY OF MUMBAIKARS, firstly and only then for the Superb Early Morning Views of Bandra-Worli Sea-link and Marine Drive! And thanks a lot Nitin to help me, a partial handicap then, get back from Mumbai post-marathon!

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Strawberry RUN 1-1.1.11

1-1.1.11? What's this number crunching all about?
May I ask you to trigger those mathematical tit-bits you learnt back in school days? No not much though! :) Well, before you are really bugged with all 1's-0's & symbols, let me go straight...

As 2010 evolved over into 2011...
  • On the very new day 1.1.11 of 11 year of this century,
  • I thought of Bidding Adieu to the Strong year & the Happening Decade ending on the Last Day -31st of Dec,
  • Pitching my 1st Strong Run on 1.1.11
  • Running exactly 11111k(binary equivalent of 31). Yes, its 31kms!
"Running at places makes you go places...!I don't know how, but it indeed does whether literally or otherwise! No wonder I have loved running on diverse terrains involving different challenges! And why not, all the runs at places be it -Auroville, Goa, Pune or now Mahabaleshwar - have left out colorful & unique memories coupled up with wonderful learnings! Reminds me of Ignite presentation "Travelling the Different Way" that I gave in Feb'10! Lived it somewhat...!:)

Looking exactly an year ago, I did the Strawberry Ride around the same time last new year and carrying on with the tradition, I thought why not jolt out a Strawberry Run this time! So, here it was the run from Panchgani to Mahabaleshwar and back to Pachgani, a total of around 31kms!

I & Sushil, a seasoned runner, started off the run around quarter to 10 after reaching Panchgani the same early morning on motorbike! Only thing I'd like to say about motorbike ride- it was freaking 'CHILLING-COLD' that morning & all I remember is my glove-less hands were Numb holding the straight bars of motorbike! 

Eventually after reaching Panchgani, we started off the run a little ahead from the main market at 9:52:15 am, keeping little targets mapped at Mapro, then Venna Lake. The road runs through the continuous tree canopy. Thereby, despite starting quite late, heat didn't really bother much. After negotiating a couple of climbs, we passed through the point of Mapro Garden, a popular strawberry resort, by 10:35:30. Tourist season being at peak, traffic was really heavy! Running down under a speedy SUV could have been a probable sight but given that we took up right side running alike right side driving of Europe, we gave ourselves more chances! ;) The straight route with umpteenth no. of gradual climbs & slopes goes on until the climax uphill just prior to Venna lake. Had chucked up 16kms  in around quarter to 3 hours by then. Given the tourist season, lakeside had turned out to be another chowpatty with loads of food stalls apart from regular boating. Realizing the shortage of drinking water, we made a quick water purchase & started off the back journey to Panchgani.

Though the route was same all throughout while running back to Panchgani, parameters were turning fatal. Noon Sun being at head, it's always a task! Further on with the day progressing on, tourists had started pouring heavily giving rise to hefty traffic & little space to run. Plus, as per my 21k experience, I'd never really felt any need for enough energy bars but for that day esp post 25km! May be couple more of those might have helped! Though we carried on the run, my strides reduced minimal to the extent that walking could have been faster.Considering Mbai full marathon 2 weeks from then, I deliberately eased the run rather than exerting much. Finally after a grind of 4 hrs my first strong run of 1.1.11 got a (period).

Well, talking about 0's - 1's, I m again stranded on the theory of 1's & 0's! Say white or black, say full or empty, say audible or mute! Wonder whether any characteristic is a variant of just two extremes or simply one of the varieties of different extremes ?? Leaving you all to ponder on... and add on to your platter...

W1SH1N9 Y0U A11 A H1GH N0T3 F0R TH3 SP3C1A1 Y3AR 0F 2011.... :D

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