Saturday, January 28, 2006

Show me the money

Running is not really a "cheap" sport as one may be inclined to think.

For starters, one needs a good pair of shoes based the foot type. Those old pair of tennis shoes, not really a good idea! This is a basic necessity even if you're a recreational runner (running less than 25 miles per week). Be prepared to pay anywhere from $75 and up. The pair I use is Asics GT 2100 and it costs about $80. And don't forget the running socks. Another $10. Those cotton socks don't breathe so I'd stay away from them.

Next come the clothes. Cotton shorts and t-shirt tend to chafe. Not really a good experience on a long run (greater than 5 miles). Typical costs is $50. I prefer Nike DRI-FIT apparel that cost me about $50.

I prefer to run with a heart rate monitor. A good HRM costs about $100. I use Nike Triax C6 that cost me about $85.

Running is a lonely sport so carrying some music around is a good idea. Those walkmans are thing of the past. MP3 players are much cooler and lighter. Flash memory based MP3 player work great as they are immune to skipping. These may cost anywhere from $60 to $250. I use iPod nano (details in another post) which cost me $250 + another $75 for accessories.

I've covered the "bare essentials". If one is pulling out all the stops, one might consider winter gloves, winter jacket, cap, water carrying equipment etcetera. Not to mention sun block cream, vaseline, gatorate, sports bars and gel, books on running and subscription to Runner's World.

So now you know why I run. Because after spending all this money, if I don't, I would be left with just these gears and no wife.

On a serious note, I started out small (with just the shoes and socks) and added what I felt was necessary as I went along. Guess you would feel better and you consider it as investment in your health.

So to borrow the punchline from mastercard:

Running shoes $80, Running socks $10, HRM $90.
The joy or running Priceless!!!

Happy running!

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The best of 2005

Groucho Marx said
I must say I find television very educational. The minute somebody turns it on, I go to the library and read a good book.
So take your mind for a jog, throw away all your worries, unwind and pick up a nice book. Here is my top 3 of 2005 if it helps:

By far the best book that I read last year was Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Since I talked about it in one of my earlier posts, only thing I would say is to read it as soon as you find some time. Lots of it, actually. It's a long one.

Rule of four by Ian Caldwell et. al. is a story about four friends, and no that is not why there is a four in the title :-), at Princeton who stumble upon a book that carries a historical mystery. The comparison to Da Vinci Code is inevitable. Although this book is bit more of an intellectural thriller. It reminded me of my college days and probably be more fun to read if you could relate it yours. You may find it difficult to put this one down.

Blink : The power of thinking without thinking by Malcom Gladwell is a non-fiction unlike the above two. The author, by way of case studies and research, explains how our snap judgements or unconcious decisions based on first few seconds of looking at "things" may be more correct than the ones we take after a long mulling over. Regardless of whether you believe it or not, the book proposes an interesting theory that is definitely worth your time. Being a small book doesn't hurt its cause either :-)

Happy reading!

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

New year resolutions

First of all, here is wishing you all a very happy new year. Pretty sure, everybody you met has said that to you, so, here is an attempt to being bit more specific:
  • May the price of your stocks skyrocket!
  • May you get the salary hike and promotion you've been waiting for!!
  • May you get the success (however you define and measure it) you deserve!!!
And while we are at it, how is that new year resolution going along? Don't you love them? What's a new year without some resolutions, so here is couple of mine:
  • 100 hours of running
  • 25 books
I read somewhere about a 'health bank'. What it means is that taking care of your health is akin to saving money. The more deposits you make, more wealth you have when you need it. So this year I've decided to make 100 deposits in running-hour-denomination.

I plan to read about 25 books that will hopefully teach me something new about various aspects of life in general. I have a pretty catholic taste to I'm going to read anything that I find interesting. BTW, this number does not include the books related to professional development or home improvement or such, which I've to do anyways. It would be my way of relaxing, I guess.

Reasonably challenging goals but I hope to achieve them. I will keep you posted on the progress on a quarterly basis (at least).

Progress so far:
  • Running: 1 hour
  • Books: 0
(Hey, I'm working on the second one. Currently reading: At First Sight By Nicholas Sparks)

Here is to a new beginning!

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