Accomplishment

I ran my first half a marathon today. Yeah!

 

39th annual YMCA half a marathon was held in South Mountain Park today. The run felt great. The course was all uphill / downhill. That made running very difficult. I had knee and breathing problems. My running partner had hip and foot problems. So, we had to walk for a few miles. Even thought I was tired and exhausted, I and my running buddy sprinted from 100 meters from the finish line. It was well received with claps and shouting from the volunteers at the finish line. It felt as if I was accomplishing something!

 

I had salt sediments on my face and on my glass at the end of the race. I had to wash it three times during the run to keep it clean. Everytime a grandpas overtook us, I cringe and try to beat him. It kept me going. 🙂

 

The organizers and volunteers were just fabulous. The last 2.5 miles were steep hill. I remember the lady at the foothills who was giving out water. She was shouting encouraging words to us as we walked past here. So, we picked up running again. I really appreciate what they did today.

 

My running partner was great too. Without him, I don’t think I would have signed up for this event.

 

I have had knee injury on my left knee and was not able to run for the last two weeks. I also had self-doubt about being able to run with injured knee. I did not want to permanently damage it by running on a race. But, I was committed to something and did not feel like quitting. I did some reading on the knee injury and found exercises to help with it. I have been doing those exercises for the last two days.

 

 

This is the longest distance I have run to date. My previous record was 9 miles on the road. I am in the little league now. 🙂 Once I run my first Marathon, I am going to be joining the 400,000 or so people who ever ran Marathon among a world population of 6.7 billion.

 

Aged Red Wine

Murugan and I were best friends during my Masters degree in Pondicherry. It was one of the most memorable periods of my life.  Searching for a tea shop at 1 AM at night, waking him up with a bucket of water, late night discussions at beach, going to a bar with him even though I did not drink anything, Boy! Lots of memories

 

It was great to be living by the beach, having our own resort accommodation called dorm, catered by a chef in a town that blends French and Indian cultures. Yet, we both were living a miserable collage life. 🙂

 

Since both Murugan and I were relocating often, it was difficult to keep in touch with him. We meet once in a few years, catch up from where we left, and bid farewell. I have lost touch with him since 1996. Interestingly we were both looking for each other’s contact information. I had been actively looking for him for the last two months. I received an email from him yesterday.

 

Talking with Murugan was just great. It brings back a flood of memories. This morning, Murugan’s brother, Lenin, called me out of nowhere. When I was leaving for the US, both these brothers were so helpful.

 

It has been 10 years. Wow! We both are still growing — professionally and personally.

 

Since modes of communication has grown so much during this period, I hope we keep in constant touch from now on.

Top Marathon Runner Gives You 10 Training Tips

 

One of Britain’s top marathon runners, Liz Yelling, has compiled a top 10 of training tips. Yelling won bronze at last year’s Commonwealth Games and was eighth in this year’s London Marathon.

1. Ring fence your exercise time. You won’t get to the finish line without protecting your time to train. You’ve made a personal commitment to your health and well-being so it’s important to you. Prioritize your time and stick to it.

2. Create incentives. Set goals and reward yourself when you reach them. These will provide you with drive and commitment towards the 5k and help you gauge how your fitness is progressing.

3. Plan your attack. Know what you are going to do in your week and when. Your plan should be progressive, structured and appropriate to your exercise history, level of fitness and 5k goals.

4. Variation is the spice of running life. Doing the same type of running can make your routine boring. Don’t just do the same run every day. Mix it up and try different things like varying the pace, terrain and time you run for.

5. It shouldn’t be all hard work. Avoid packing all your runs together. As a rule of thumb, for every day of ‘hard’ running, take two days rest or easy running.

6. Fuel yourself. Running is a great calorie burner but you still need to replace the energy you’ve used. Carbohydrate is the body’s fuel for exercise so eat a healthy, balanced diet and drink plenty of fluids.

7. Get some support. Running with friends is social and builds togetherness. Getting a coach can help you get the right advice from an experienced specialist and keep you motivated.

8. Get the right kit. Specialist running shoes are a must for injury prevention. Choose running kit that is functional and comfortable.

9. Be patient. Don’t expect immediate results. Successful running takes time, but you’ll love the benefits of looking and feeling great when they arrive. The more you do the easier it gets.

10. Enjoy it and have fun! Running shouldn’t be a chore. It’s something you do to boost your health, wellness and vitality. Just being out there doing it is a brilliant achievement and you should remind yourself how well you’ve done.

 
 

Long Run

I was desperate to complete a long distance on road. So last Sunday, we went out for a 10 mile run. Unlike I anticipated, it was a slow run.

On the way back, about a mile from home, I sprained near my left knee joint. I tried to put the pain behind and continue to run. I had to stop thrice before I gave up on my run. .

While it was a long run, I did not accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. I thought I covered about 8.2 miles. Today, my running partner had downloaded our route and sent out the map. To my surprise, we had covered 9.25 miles and we did it under 2 hours. While I am definitely happier, I am sad that I won’t be able to run for a while till my knee is healed.

I have a race in two weeks. I want to be able to participate in it and successfully complete it. Let us see.

Systematic vs. Opportunistic Programming

Systematic vs. Opportunistic Programming

In any large organization whose business is not software development, we can find two types of product development philosophies. The business side of the enterprise will see an opportunity to automate, streamline, performance boosting opportunity and would like a quick and dirty way of converting into a software. For example, in one of my client organizations, the claims processing division uses Access to automate Excel spreadsheets or manual work that is shared by small group of people. While this is great start for the benefiting group, it creates a maintenance and auditing nightmare for the IT department.

Hence, the IT department which, most of the times, reports to CTO, profess systematic programming. In this approach, the application is developed methodically and involves analysts, developers, managers, quality assurance, security, technical writers, disaster recovery, release management, and post implementation support plans.

The business will resist this approach because it bloats cost and extends product delivery time. Almost all the big companies will have some tension as a result of this contention.

A successful software architect need to look for patterns among these ‘quick hit’ software and try to create a sustainable product that can replace many of them when the business comes to IT for expanding the scope of one or more of such software.

Sprint

I managed to run 2 miles under 14:30 minutes. It is exciting to break the 8 minute mental barrier. We (I and my running partner) were not planning to sprint this morning. Since I had a 6 am tele-conference, I wanted to run a shorter distance.
 
It was cold and partner was having difficulty breathing. So, we had a walk a little bit. Still, we covered the distance in record time.
 
I do not feel as if I strained that much today. My next goals are to
1) to break a mile under 5:30 minutes on road.
2) to cover 12 miles on road.
 
I have been pushing myself hard in the gym. So, I could not run on last Tuesday. My running partner was doubting my running capability as a result. When people question my commitment, I don’t take it lightly. So, I made him to run faster today than he wanted to. 😉

Running Update

I have been running for over two months now. I normally get bored and drop out by now. Instead, I am totally excited about pushing myself to insanity. J

 

Since I did not want to be hooked to one brand, I purchased Adidas AdFusion. While it is a great and light shoe, it does not give me enough support. As a result I was having shin splits. So, I exchanged it for Brooks Beast. It is pricy. But it is so nice to run with.

 

I have been running 4 mile stretches at least three times a week. Since I have trouble holding air in my lungs, I have also started do some abdomen, chest and shoulder workouts. I am also doing at least one cross training for 30 – 45 minutes a week. This should help me with elevation during the race.

 

It is getting colder in Phoenix. So, running at 5:30 AM is getting difficult. I don’t mind it since climate during our upcoming race will be similar to this.  

 

I should be running 9 mile stretches this week. I am running only 4 to 4.5 at a time. I hope to catch up with my running schedule this week.

 

Burton Group

Last week, I participated in a workshop conducted by Burton Group on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). I had been using Forrester and Gartner for quite sometime. Recently, I started using Burton Group services.

 

Forrester conducst many web conferences every year to share their findings. This is nice. Still, their findings do not tell anything new that I did not know about. Also, they normally lack depth. Gartner focuses more on industry trend and also lacks depth. I found Burton research material and this last workshop very detailed and in-depth.

 

I was also happy to meet with and pick brains of experienced architects who participated in this workshop.

 

If you are technology agnostic and focused on enterprise-wide governance or architectural work, I highly recommend Burton group. Their licensing is also for the entire enterprise. I find that useful.

 
Here is an interesting Chinese quote I read recently: "The person saying that it can’t be done should not interrupt the person doing it."