Footloose run – back to basics

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Coach Ravindra/Run with me Foundation organizes the most innovative running events every year. There is the Qutab Minar to Chandni Chowk half marathon, starry night run, double challenge (where you run the same distance on both days and try to beat your time on the 2nd day) and now the Footloose run. We were not allowed any gadgets in the event – no phones, no smartwatches and trackers, no earphones, no watches, no pacers and no asking people around for time etc.

The run had 2 objectives:

  • To get us back to the basics. Everyone’s first run is without all of these gadgets. Why do I need music to run? Why can’t I track the speed and distance without a tracker? After 3-4 years of running I should be able to.
  • To predict the completion time of the run. Can I predict my time? I still don’t know in what time I completed the run. Did I meet my target or did I better it? Can I train for timing without a tracker?

People who can’t afford gadgets run too. Why are we so dependent on them? Have running and marathons become a thing of the elite? Are running groups a new way of networking?

What I learned from this event :

  • I don’t know what pace I run at. I only track the average pace so when I go fast I don’t know how fast I am and when I slow down, I don’t know how slow am going.
  • The first 4 km are always challenging for me. That is the point where am wondering what am doing and why. In an event, the initial excitement and the other runners around me get me to a decent pace till 4 km. My body goes in auto mode after that and picks up pace.
  • I slowed down in the last 3 km. That is where I kept hearing the body pump trainer Anand’s voice in my head screaming “don’t stop. You don’t stop”. At this point I missed my smartwatch and music. The numbers on the watch would have made me push myself. The music would have been a good distraction.
  • I need to remove my dependence on a gadget to figure out my pace. It’s stupid. Does that mean I cannot run if I forget to carry a gadget?
  • This is the 2nd event I have participated in this year. Too many setbacks have impacted the running. Events help push you and meet a timing goal. You are always faster at an event vs while running alone or in a group. I think I will participate in more 10km runs this year.

How was your Sunday morning?


The horror of hunting for a shared flat in Mumbai

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It has been 3 months in a shared apartment and I think I like the place. Hope I haven’t jinxed it. Sure, I miss Suzette’s and Haiko. But Worli, Peddar Road and Colaba are close enough to go for a morning run.

But this post isn’t about that. I had expected the experience of finding a shared flat to be hassle free compared to staying alone. It wasn’t. I ended up having some weird experiences and meeting weirdos.

Flat no 1: At Versova

I hadn’t ever been to Versova until that day but I was looking for a decent flat in any suburb of Mumbai. I had landed from Goa from holiday and headed straight to the flat in Versova. It looked very quaint and attractive in the photos and the flatmate sounded nice on the phone. It was Tuesday night and the traffic was bad. I reached the apartments, somewhere deep inside Versova. There was a weird fish smell in the air and the building looked dilapidated. I couldn’t imagine where I would go for a run. I messaged the flatmate and told her I was heading back without checking out the place because I didn’t like the area.

Her reply: You are not even coming upstairs?

Me : No. I don’t see the point

Her : That is so rude. I cancelled plans for you

Me : I am sorry but I have lots of luggage and will have to book another cab. Plus am too exhausted for niceties

She was not happy and did not hold back on the anger.

Flat no 2: Chembur

A female shared pictures of a lovely flat in Chembur. But it was unfurnished. I was looking for a flat where I could move in with only my personal belongings so the lovely flat was off the list. This female sent me 10 messages trying to convince me that buying appliances was so much better than renting them or going for a fully furnished flat. I had to politely decline and reply to the messages in monosyllables.

Flat no 3 : Powai

This was the first flat I checked out. A fully furnished 3 bhk in Nahar Amrit Shakti that I fell in love with. The room had a BALCONY. I thought everything was final when I left for the Goa trip. But the female dropped a bombshell that the other 2 flat mates are vegetarians and I won’t be able cook non veg. I rarely cook chicken but eggs are my life and soul. And I don’t understand people who want to impose their life choices on others. Did I really want to inhabit the same space with such people? The females were stringent on this criteria and I had to let the flat go.

Flat no 4 : Powai

A lovely room with a tiny balcony through the bathroom and a great view. The rest of the flat was mediocre. The 2nd room in the 2bhk was inhabited by 2 females. I checked out the room and the flatmate mentioned she was moving out at the end of May. She had to speak to the owner for the agreement since it was due for a renewal. I kept following up for weeks. Finally, the agreement issue was sorted out. But the owner hiked the rent and it went out of my budget. Then the other 2 females decided they wanted to move to the other room and their room was up for grabs. That is when I gave up.

Flat no 5 : Chembur

I saw lovely pictures of the flat. It sounded like a perfect match – fully furnished 2bhk with only 2 people (so rare for only 2 people to share a flat in this city) and attached washroom. What could go wrong? The flat had a weird damp smell, there was no ventilation, the lift wasn’t working,  the white goods were a million years old and the furnishings were horrible. The flatmate was frustrated since she couldn’t figure out why she hadn’t been able to find someone. I was honest with her for my reason for rejecting the flat.

Finalising the current flat wasn’t easy either and involved lots of back and forth. Moving in wasn’t a cakewalk and it took 2 months to get the agreement done.

Dealing with flatmates has been as painful as dealing with owners or brokers. Infact it has made me appreciate brokers. At least you don’t have to deal with 2-3 people who dictate terms. Thankfully I haven’t had major issues with my current flatmates and hope it continues that way.