act2create: 1000 calories burnt this week

This week I have been successful on my plan to run three times a week. The previous two weeks were too stressful at office and I couldn’t gather energy to run.

After two months since beginning workout I have learnt why I perform poorly in morning runs and perform better in evening runs. As soon as I wake up, I head towards the joggers park and begin my run without any stretching. My body which was inactive while I was asleep isn’t much prepared to go ahead. I have identified that due to this my running ends at 2-3 miles maximum. During my evening runs, my body has been active for most of the day and I end up running 5 miles comfortably which is double the performance. I need to learn from my mistakes and a lesson is learnt.

At times I feel that I seem to be reinventing the wheel but I love to learn this way. My focus is to complete a full marathon by Jan 2016 and I am nowhere close to it. Doubts seem to fill my mind when I feel tired at 5 miles run and 27 miles is way too long to go. Let me keep trying!

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act2create: running this week

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act2create: running this week

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act2create: running this week

act2create: Sorry for the gap, trying to bounce back

Without a moment of delay, I would like to apologize for giving no update for a while. I am accountable to you for my progress and I am posting on the blog after almost more than 2 weeks.

So as expected, my office job is taking a toll of my health. My 9 hour desk job does not leave me with anytime to have my lunch as well. I have however stuck to fruits, boiled corns and some healthy snacks in the evening. I could not manage to wake up at 6.00 A.M. as per the plan to become an early riser so February was a month of failed goal. I feel the need to sleep and I only find myself sleeping, waking up, going to office and working like a donkey, then coming home and going to sleep and heading for office. This has been my schedule for the past few weeks, The result of not having sufficient food but sticking to boiled food has made me lose 3 kilos. At 5 feet 8 inches tall, the ideal weight I should be at is 67-68 kilos but right now I am 63 kilos. All my clothes seem loose and I am no longer fat or obese. However, I have fat around my belly and I hope to loose it soon. In total, I have lost 18 kilos weight till now but I look weak at the moment. Losing weight was not the priority for me but getting in shape and staying fit was.

I resumed my workout yesterday and after a gap of 3 weeks, I ran 5 miles yesterday and 4 miles today. I cannot give excuse that my office work is demanding and I have no time for health. If I really want to, I can find a way to get past my problems. God give me strength.

Here are the snapshots for my yesterday’s and today’s run.

act2create_resuming-after-3-weeks
act2create_resuming-after-3-weeks
act2create_sunday run
act2create_sunday run

act2create: Running that extra mile

After completing my last successful 10K run, I am focusing my efforts on half marathon. It means I need to run for 13.1 miles straight with a better running average than my last run.

Yesterday evening, I decided to resume my practice after a week of sickness and cold in the evening. The target in my mind was running 7 miles or more. I began slowly and continued running slowly. Just 10 seconds before completing the farthest distance i.e. 7 miles I accidently hit the pause button on the Nike+ app but I continued running and resumed the running button on the app. 7 miles is my farthest run so far. I ran at a very very slow pace. Got to improve my average:

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My office work has become more demanding than before. I will be leading a team from now on and I now have the most demanding boss who is feared for his discipline. I am committed to my goal and I should not expect a perfect smooth environment in life. Let me keep trying….

act2create: Worry & Laziness pours in again

With my last victory of 10KM successful run, I seem to have gone in a relaxed mode. I had retained two days of rest for recovery and from today, I was supposed to resume my workout. My new boss, new team and new schedule is making me go nuts at the moment. Also, my wife informed me today that her office is about to layoff a few people and she is likely to lose the job as well. I am tense at the moment!

Life is always demanding and it will always be so going further. I need to give myself a reason as to why I can go further from here instead of settling for the small win. The mind needs to be relaxed to perform well.

Yesterday at night, I had set the alarm for 6.00 A.M. in the morning for today’s run. As usual, the alarm did its duty but I did not. I switched it off and went to sleep. Seems I am getting comfortable and carried away.

Reminder for myself: Get back to life. There is still a long way to go from where you stopped. Life is a joyride and it has its own ups and downs for good reasons. Enjoy the ride!

act2create: My first victory, my first ever medal! :)

My past few weeks were focused on preparing for the green run on 15th Feb, 2015 i.e. today. So here’s the conclusion for the D-day Conclusion=success!

As I do not own a two wheeler or a 4 wheeler, heading for the green run starting point at 5.00 A.M. was the biggest challenge for me. Around 45-50 KM away from my home I had to reach at 5.00 A.M. in the morning to the starting point. There was no way I could reach on my own at that time. Instead I headed for my eldest sisters place who stays 10 KM far from the starting point. The plan was to reach her place the previous night and head to the starting point on her scooter but fate had different plans. I reached her place as planned and thought I would get sound sleep but my niece fell ill. The entire night we all were awake and I barely managed to sleep for 45 minutes only. I was feeling tired and sleepy when I reached the starting point by 4.45 A.M. but I was committed to my goal.

I had my headphones on my ear and I was listening to “Running with the giants”. I hit the Nike+ app to know my speed and distance. It was great to see people of all age groups, young and old running with enthusiasm. I also felt ashamed that people were running at better speed than mine but I reminded that other people were not my focus of the run. I missed collecting the water bottle during my run and only managed to grab water at the 40th minute since I began. Before the race began, I was shivering with nervousness and my legs were shaking. I was afraid I would fail or get a cramp due to lack of sleep.

The moment of smile turned out to be the last one minute before the finish line. Everybody was clapping and cheering for the runners. Some even had funny messages posters in their hands. The time I crossed the finish line, I felt happy. I received my medal. My first ever medal in my life. I had earned it. 

I will be focusing my next goal on running the half marathon. Simultaneously, my timing needs serious improvisation and I am sure if I practice, I can do it. Tomorrow is a busy day at office and my office days are just about to get a little busier than what it already were. A challenging boss, a new team and new colleagues. God give me strength to take my goal a step further. Thanks for your likes, help and support which kept me inspired and going!

act2create-green run medal
act2create-green run medal
act2create-green run statistics
act2create-green run statistics

act2create: Notes for self before my first 10K Green run

When I began with my motive to be fit in January this year, I never thought I would be participating for any fitness events sooner this year. This Sunday morning, I am heading for my first 10K green run of my life. I have practiced and achieved the landmark of a 10K run during my practice phase and I am confident of my ability to complete it but I have failed on many occasions as well. I have failed so terribly that I stopped within 2 miles itself. Learning from my failures, here are the notes for myself:

  • Begin slowly. Speed will be gained gradually once you gain the momentum. The first 15 minutes are very crucial to be relaxed when running. It doesn’t matter if others are running ahead of you. Your focus should be to run slowly for the first 15 minutes.
  • Be sufficiently hydrated for the run. Your stomach should not be too full nor too empty.
  • Nervousness will pour in as this is my first run. Keep your head down and just run. Don’t stop until you have made it.
  • Your have practiced and achieved the same distance before very easily. There is every reason why you will make it possible!
  • People are staring at you is a myth. They are standing in the crowd to cheer you and they want you to succeed.
  • Breathe from the mouth slowly and exhale slowly.
  • The Chi running method is the most effective technique you possess. Put it to use and achieve success.
  • If you ever feel like stopping, remind yourself why you began in the first place.
  • If for any sad reason you fail in your first 10K run, remind yourself that the race began at 5.30 A.M. in the morning. Most of the people are sleeping on a Sunday morning. You moved out of your comfort zone and by simply participating you are one step ahead of those who never tried. This is not the last race of your life. So try next time.
  • You have done well so far. I am proud of myself!

act2create: Failed badly but bounced back :)

During my last run, I performed badly. To achieve the goal of successfully completing the first green run i.e. 10K of my life, I have been trying to prepare myself for the same in the past few days. During the last run, I only managed to run 3 Miles whereas the goal was to run 6.2 Miles or more. Yesterday was meant to be a day for run as per my alternate day workout plan.

As promised to myself, I wished to achieve my goal of waking up at 6.00 A.M. in the morning and I am preparing it slowly. The alarm for the morning run was set for 6.15 A.M. and I woke up when it gave its signal. I headed for the joggers park and I had my headphones, water pouch and my Cell phone with me. With all my eagerness, I began the run at the park and the goal today was to run for not less than 7 miles. With my current speed, it meant I would be running for more than an hour as I am running at a speed of 9.5 to 10.5 miles per hour.

I began my run and my ankles felt tired within the first mile. I was disappointed to see how tired I got in the first mile itself. I thought this was just my mind trying to play tricks with me and I decided to not to pay attention to it, By the time I reached 1.66 Miles, I stopped as my ankles were in terrible pain. Disappointed with this distance I was feeling ashamed of myself. I reached once again at the center of the park and untied my shoes to relax. I was in a total disappointment and I asked myself, what will you do at the 10K run on 15th Feb? Is this how I wish to accomplish? All my practice seemed to be in vain.

act2create - Failed run
act2create – Failed run

After this, I gave my ankles the time to recover and I was watching the people around the park. It was the saddest moment of my running phase. I stayed at the same spot for 45 minutes or so.

It was my mind who refused to give up that decided that I should get up and run again. At the same time, I thought may be I should try next time. I finally decided that I would run once again and I set the goal to run for 1 Mile in a comfortable pace. 3-2-1 and I started all over again and I achieved my first mile with no headphones or music in my ear. After the first mile, I decided to try running for the next mile and continued doing so with each mile. I ran 5 miles at the park and kept going. The paid joggers park is only available till 9.00 A.M. and the security guy indicated that I should stop my run or get out of the park. I was determined to complete my green run distance of 10 K which is around 6 Miles or a little more and I kept running on the road to achieve the goal. Yippeeee!!! I did it. I ran longer than before!

act2create - My longest distance
act2create – My longest distance

It is said that victory and courage pays and I do agree with it. I also achieved my new accomplishment, my total 50K run since I began with fitness from January this year. I achieved my orange band in Nike+. Also what a coincidence, this is my 50th post as well on act2create blog 🙂

act2create - 50 Kilometres badge
act2create – 50 Kilometres badge

act2create: The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

Today, I will be sharing an important book on Financial fitness. Irrespective of whichever country you may be living in, this book will make total sense to you. If you apply the principles outlined in this book, it will change and surely improve your financial life and your concern on the big question “MONEY“. How do I know? This book has sold 300 million copies worldwide and I have followed the principles outlined which work.

act2create - total-money-makeover
act2create – total-money-makeover

We all go through school, college and education to find a well paying job, profession or a business. Once we begin to earn, we see and feel money which was not available to us earlier while we were a student. When the money is available, our spending increases and our desires have no bounds. Apple Inc. releases the newest phone in the market and the thought that comes to the mind is to be the first one to grab it. We party in costly restaurants, buy the fancy clothes and shoes out of the money which we have earned. Once the money is no longer available, we have the option of credit cards and doom, you are now in debt. While you may be submerged in small debt, your habits do not change and over a period of time the small debt has compounded to a big one. Now there is more month than money in your pocket.

By the time you are living your life and working, marriage approaches and now you need a house. A new one basically. You now have a credit card loan, a home loan and a family to feed. So there is still more month than money. Once you are 40, you see that you haven’t saved much and now you wish to address that problem as well. So now there is a question about Retirement and saving enough for future. Fast forward 20 years and you are retired but you have less money and you are more worried. Post your retirement, you seem to be short of money and you are now looking for ways to earn money or you decide to rely on your kids. BUT will they help? If not then what will you do?

If the above story seems similar to you even in the slightest case then it is time to wake up. This book has step by step guidance on how to build your financial health. It is not about any shortcut but all about a proven plan for financial fitness. Once you follow the steps in this book, you will yourself see the difference and sleep peacefully. I found this book when I read about the description on one of the blog’s. I immediately rushed to see the reviews and there were all praises. I ordered the original book which was shipped to me from USA after spending a small fortune and I have been following it religiously. The money I have spent on this book has been worth it and I would highly recommend you to apply the principles as well. I have already shared in my earlier post why I hated credit cards (link). That was one of the step which I followed from this book. It has been more than 4 years and I do not have a single credit card today. All thanks to this book.

Conclusion: This book is highly recommended for your financial fitness. There are seven steps mentioned in this book and each step requires time ranging from 3 months to 2 years. I am still at step number 4 since I began about 3 years ago but I am less concerned today than I was earlier. This book should be made a part of school/college syllabus. 

act2create: Help which I take while running

Running for me totally turned out to be a broader subject than what I had thought when I began. I never cared how I should land my feet on the ground, I never thought how important it was to stay hydrated every 20 minutes nor did I bother how much distance I was covering. I simply had one plain goal and now I realize how vague it really was, “to run for 20 minutes daily”.

Its been less than 1 month and 10 days since I began with my new year resolution to stay fit, I have made some decent progress till now. I have failed many times, injured myself and even had many negative thoughts in my mind but I am dedicated to my goal. My daily office job comprises of a 9 hours desk duty and a 4 hours travelling journey. With the little time I have in the morning, I have been able to spare an hour of my time thrice every week to run at the park. I take stairs wherever possible instead of lifts and escalators and as I do not own any vehicle, I carry my 3 year old daughter to her school by holding her in my arms for a 10 minutes distance and return home walking. My methods are plain yet they have given results. I can already feel that my waist line has trimmed and my trousers are now supported by belts which are using new holes than earlier.

Here’s what I carry with me during running at the park:

My Android Cellphone with Nike+ application installed in it: This is simply an amazing app. I get numeric results using this application. I get to know the calories, distance in miles and encouragement from this app.

Shamelessly I stole my 3 year old daughters water pouch: My daughter received it as a birthday gift last month and she did not like it 😛 . I decided to put it to my use. I carry around 150-200 ml of water in this pouch and drink the water from it every 20 minutes while running. The objective is not to quench my thirst but I carry it with me to avoid my throat and mouth going dry. I can fold this pouch and I keep it in my pocket.

act2create - Water pouch
act2create – Water pouch

Corseca Bluetooth Headphones: These were gifted to me by my office colleagues. Instead of a wired based headphones, I use them to stay hands free and I do not have to worry if they may slip from my ears. They have a decent 700 Mah battery life which lasts for more than a week.

act2create - Corseca headphones and my digital watch
act2create – Corseca headphones and my digital watch

Audibooks: I have very spare time with me and I love reading. Anything which adds value to my life or helps me keep lifted, I simply love such posts, articles or books. With the little time I have, I do not get any time to read physical books. I tried reading some during my journey to office but it was painful for my eyes and I felt restless. I have atleast 10-15 audiobooks in my cellphone which cover topics from finance, positive thinking, discipline and you can name anything positive. If you guys can share anything which you think is worth reading, please feel free to do so. It is fun to get fit and educated at the same time while I am running 🙂

Digital Watch: Before the Nike+ app, I used to use the timer option from my watch to determine the duration for my each run. I do not use this now but it helped me earlier to gain the momentum.

Three quarter pants: They help me to carry the money in my pocket, my water pouch and also my cell phone. I feel comfortable with them.

Shoes: I am using the sports shoes but I feel they are a bit heavier. I will have to invest in a more costlier lightweight sports shoes shortly.

There is a phrase, “use what floats your boat“. I am doing the same. It is better to try various combinations and settle for what works for you.

act2create: Another failed day of workout :(

This month, I am trying to improvise on my goal of waking up early i.e. 6.00 A.M. and preparing for the first dream run of my life at the half marathon on Feb 15th, 2015. During my last two runs, I managed to run beyond 4 and 6 miles and I was happy with what I had achieved since I began from January this year.

As per my alternate workout plan, today was meant to be a day for workout. The alarm was set for 6.15 A.M. in the morning and I decided that I should manage to wake-up come what may. The alarm rang and I woke-up as planned. Also as I shared earlier, I am now carrying a small water pouch in my pocket to address the problem of my mouth and throat going dry while running for a longer distance. I was geared up for the run at the joggers park and 3-2-1, the Nike+ app gave me the indication that I should begin my run. The goal today was to run for 7 miles which meant I would be running for more than a hour.

I completed my first mile in less than 9 minutes and I felt great. The second mile seemed like a pain today and I felt I should quit. Every minute, I was telling my mind that I had to have a stronger mind over my lazy body and I should not settle today for less than the dream run distance. It was as if my mind wanted me to be strong but my body said, “quit!”. My legs were heavy and I could feel pain in my calves which made me realize that my running technique was not right today. Committed to my goal, I completed my third mile but I stopped at the center of the park. I felt terrible!

act2create: Failed workout landmark today
act2create: Failed workout landmark today

My biggest fear for now is facing a day like today at the dream run. I have practiced for a short time and I have achieved the dream run landmark during my last practice. If a day like today happens at the dream run then that would mean a big disappointment to me. I am sure it was just a bad today today but…