Friday, 31 January 2014

More Goodies from

Last day of the month and I am bestowed with some goodies worth praising. I ordered a protein powder and a pair of performance socks from, which has come home by courier today. I shall test them tomorrow or may be day after tomorrow. Though my primary preference is performance, ease of use and storage as well as maintenance, if it's an apparel or accessory. 

So this is Ranbaxy Revitalite Protein Powder, which is a pure veg product. The market has been abuzz with its nutrient properties as well as lot of other qualities. The ease of consuming it is another matter, which has attracted me to it. Let's see how it test tomorrow and what kind of result it gives me in a week.

Mizuno No-Show Performance Socks, this should go very well with my Nike Free 3.0 running shoes. Will give a review by this weekend. Till then, hold your horses.

~Raghu Raj Murmu

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Practice Run of 5 km

After I finished my first Full Marathon of this year, almost 3 weeks ago; my comeback has been pretty satisfying. I have been running a full round of the Kadma-Sonari Link Road and the Airport, which total the distance to 5 km. The non-stop running for 30 minutes each day has relaxed and soothed my leg muscles to a large extent. However, I need to get a regular massage therapy or I am scared that my lower back pain will emerge once again.

Lately, the JUSCO has been upgrading some parts of this walker's path with raised soil bed for beautiful grass, which does look very appealing. Wait till it gets all green. As for running, from tomorrow, I shall extend my running to 10 km or may be more, let's see how it goes tomorrow.

~Raghu Raj Murmu

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Review: Kalenji Belt 2 Water Bottles

Rear view of the Hydration Belt
Today I received Kalenji Belt 2-Water Bottles that has a storage capacity of 260 ml each. I have been longing for something like this for my training runs. The product costed me INR 698/- with INR 99/- for shipping from; making it a total of INR 797/-. However, the product is really worth the money that I have spent on it. The material is really good, supportive on the lower back, adjustable strap, plastic buckles, reflective lining. Here are couple of pictures of the product.

The mesh base with reflective strap confine 
Now the best part with this accessory is that it not only carries 520 ml of water or electrolyte mix or energy drink, it also has a zip pocket on each side to keep loose change and keys.
Zip pocket
However, the only problem here with these pockets are that they are just too small for a mobile phone. Though, a small ipod can easily be adjusted in there. Now let's review the bottles.
These two bottles are very sturdy and don't leak when they are hanging on the belt. Though if they are being pressed hard, water may drop out from its neck. The top can be pulled with teeth and fluids can flow out, while the bottle has enough grooves that it will not slip out of the hands.
Left bottle container
What you see here is the left bottle container, which is pretty strong and hold the bottle tightly. There is an elastic loop that goes around the neck of the bottle once it sits right in the container, to ensure it stays perfectly in its place.

Pros: Perfect accessory for the runners, though it has to be adjusted properly so it doesn't shake while running.

Cons: The zip pockets on each side are pretty small for mobile phones.

My Take
The piece if perfect for everyday 21-30 km training run, but for a full marathon one must use a camel-back hydration pack that can store water from 2-3 liters and has a pipe to sip it on the run, without risking the balance.A runner may start his training with this chic accessory.

~Raghu Raj Murmu

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Content Writers

With a huge flood of novice content writers, who are ready to compromise on the rates to get a break; have messed up the entire writing scenario of the industry. The industry is not only affected in terms of rates, but also quality. Since the novice writers have no understanding of the format, they just execute a make-do work on the assignments given to them. This in turn makes a bad impression on the end client and the middlemen who have no clue of how things work, end up having no business. Ultimately the expert content writers are left without any work.

This trend is dangerous and I have no clue when the scenario will be all right for us to work smooth.

~Raghu Raj Murmu

Friday, 10 January 2014

End of Rest!!!

Today is the last day of resting post-marathon. From tomorrow I shall start with some walk, stretching, cycling, weight training, calisthenics and some yoga before I make a full comeback on the track to train for my next marathon.

I am also looking for a professional coach or trainer in Jamshedpur to keep a check on my progress. If you know of any, please let me know at the earliest.

~ Raghu Raj Murmu 

Sunday, 5 January 2014

42.290 km Marathon Across Kolkata

Wake up at exactly 4:30 AM by Deep da, which was very nice of him. I took less than 20 minutes to freshen up and take a hot water bath. A lot of things were going on in my mind while I packed my daypack with the necessary things post-marathon. A bit nervous as I did not know what to expect here. Anyway, I went down the stairs with my daypack and found Suhana bhabhi at their door. While I was having a little chat with her, Deep da came out and we were off to the rendez-vous point for the Bullet riders who were to be the race marshals for Kolkata Marathon. Another 10 minutes to reach there and to my surprise, Bharat Ladsaria AKA Mad Teddy was there. Though he was shell shocked to see me there; I know I have that affect on many people.

After exchanging pleasantries, the entry and passage stickers were stuck to the Bullets and we rode to Red Road, from where the run was to begin. It was almost 5:50 AM now, whereas my reporting time was 5:30 AM. Deep da dropped me right before the start/finish line and I warmed up, stretched before I got out of my track-suit. Then I called him to ask where he was so I may give him my daypack. He was right after the stage where Usha Utthup, the brand ambassador of Kolkata Marathon was signing. The announcements for the gathering of the 42.290 Km marathon participants was going on and I was getting a bit nervous again. But I found Deep da, gave him my daypack and equipped only with my phone I ran to the gathering point. 

First Impression

After 20 minutes we were all hurdled towards the starting line and again a wait of another 10 minutes gave us all ample time to warm up. Hence, the marathon actually started at 6:30 AM rather than sharp 6 AM, which was the schedule time. To my surprise, there were only 80 runners present there when 150 registered for it. Either this run was the hardest or the most idiotic, for any athlete to run. I was about to find out soon.

Flag Off at 6:30

Flag off at 6:30 AM, I took off sprinting for the first 100 meters to avoid the crowd. Deep da and other riders of Eastern Bulls were on the right side of the road. They cheered me, while that was the last time I was to see them for the day because I knew, only Deep da would be there to 'collect' me in whatever condition I'll reach to the finish line. My energy level was gone a bit down with that initial sprinting, but I did leave at least 30 runners behind me, now I was among the top 50 runners out of which the elites were far ahead of me. By the time I crossed first 2.5 Km stretch, my breathing had become adjusted to my pace and I was overtaking other runners smoothly. Crossing the 5 Km mark was a piece of cake when I saw Deep da riding beside me, offering me to take a life. Right behind him was Bharat Ladsaria AKA Mad Teddy, he also offered me the same. But that was a joke, however, Deep da took my mobile and it was a good things because I was to grab bottles of water and run free.

My first flyover came after a mark of 6 Km and when I reached the 10 Km mark, the volunteers told me that an athlete was hit by a moving vehicle so I need to be careful while running. Dangerous Kolkata, I say...

After another flyover,  I crossed 15 Km mark without any hassle. At 17 Km mark I saw a man in black tights over taking me. He did overtake me, but I slowed down because my legs were hurting. That was a big mistake, my heart was telling me to run, but I denied that voice my attention and it costed me 30 minutes in the overall run. After 20 Km mark I was very happy, because half the distance was almost covered. Though I saw two athletes catching a cab and running away.

30 Km Check-Point

30 Km mark was exhilarating and very painful because now we were in the traffic zone, but the people were cheering us nonetheless. One more runner was shadowing me by now, his excuse; you inspire me because I don't want to run as my legs hurt. Bloody hell, it was certainly very irritating since wherever and whenever I would stop, he too would do the same. And whenever or wherever I start again, he would do the same. I wanted to bash him black and blue, but being a gentleman I couldn't do anything. However, he did catch a bus at 35 Km mark, which made me happy because I got rid of an unpleasant shadow with a negative aura, but I was sad since another athlete gave up.

Now I was running parallel to the river Ganges and I could see the water flowing coolly. Though I was the only runner now, who was running non-stop and no one to follow, so i had to ask the cops on the way for directions. I made it to the 37.5 Km mark water station. The volunteers over there asked me if I can run or else they would arrange the pick-up vehicle for me. My body was telling me not to run anymore, but the heart wanted to finish it no matter what. I smiled and continued my run, close to the red road, I again asked a cop for the direction and he stopped the entire traffic to give me a pass. That's being done almost everywhere on the route by the generous cops.


I reached Esplanade and the cops again helped me cross the junction. No there was the last flyover I was to cross, which was an awesome 3 km long endless and the longest flyover so far, but it was the last one. Towards its end, I saw two faint figures in green; two more tiered athletes. I wasn't alone anymore, but where was Deep da? Anyway, I got down the flyover running and again asked the cops next to the bridge for the finish line. They directed me towards the Victoria, now I was sure that the path is correct. 

Deep da waiting for me

Right outside the Police Park on Park Street road I found Deep da waiting for me, it was the most pleasant sight of the entire marathon since I started. Now I wanted to have the Sattu drink made by Suhana bhabhi, then some coconut-water, may be a chicken puff in Barrista and a lot more things to eat. He told me to finish the remaining stretch and he would meet me at the finish point. I was happy to oblige, last 2 Km to cover, but it was the longest crazy stretch to cover as both my legs were paining as hell. If I would walk, I wasn't able to pick-up my pace again, but since Deep da was to be there for me at the finishing point, I had to make it before he did. That last 2 Km was to be done at my best for him.

It took me another 5 minutes to get hold of those two runners who were hallucinating more worse than me and walking slow. I tapped on their shoulders and they were surprised to see me, I asked them to run with me, and run they did. We made our way through tarmac and confusion; asking cops and people for the finishing line. Another 10 minutes and we saw the stage at the red road. I picked up speed while these guys were hesitant to run, so it was I alone running towards the finishing line and Deep da wasn't anywhere to be see. I reached the finishing line and saw the man in black, Amit Mitra from New Delhi who is a regular runner. He told me that I finished in 4 hours and 30 minutes, just 5 minutes later than him.

Deep da arrives

Amit Mitra left and on the other side of the road, Deep da arrives. I somehow manage to cross the road and hug him. I have never been so happy to see him in the past two days. To sit on a chair was the most difficult task now, squatting would have been a punishment. I stretched my legs as much as I could and then got into my track-suit. We immediately left for home then, only made a brief stoppage to have some sugarcane-juice. That's all.

Blister-Blister/All Swollen

We reach to his store, I wasn't in a condition to climb up the stairs so I had to sit there for a while. Met Suhana bhabhi over there and after a brief talk I somehow managed to climb the stairs up to the second floor. Something was wrong with my sole so I opened my shoes and removed the socks, the left foot sole had a massive blister that was filled with blood. The blood was moving whenever I flex my sole. The right ankle was swollen to such proportion that my ankle couldn't be seen. I called Deep da and he took me to the doctor and I ended up getting a titnus shot in my arm. The doctor told us not to do anything to the blister and only apply Betadine cream to it.

That was it for the day.

~ Raghu Raj Murmu

Saturday, 4 January 2014

First Saturday of 2014 in Kolkata Preparing for Distance Running

I reached a bit late last night to Howrah and so to my host's place, but he was there to welcome me. The moment I walked into the alley, a dog came onto me and sniffed if I am a potential threat or not. I and my host walked up in a 100 year old British building, which has his store, a political office and a boy's dorm with couple of more rooms that are unused for now. There I met a young man with whom I happen to chat till 1 AM. Well, I had to sleep early to get up early for a jog in the morning, so I did at 1:30 AM.

Morning is always beautiful in City of Joy, the yellow cabs, tea hawkers on the corners, fruit vendors, newspaper hawkers, labors and all the hustle-bustle that one can imagine here. So I started to run, after 4 km it was traffic, so I had to come back. On the way I found some delicious fruits and bought some. The city certainly starts very early in full throttle because there was a lot of movement on the road. Anyway, I came back and freshened up; by 9:30 the breakfast came, which was a surprise for me for many reason.

Anyway, after the breakfast I went downstairs and met my host and his lovely wife. We chatted for sometime and thereafter I had to go to Park-Street to collect my bib and t-shirt. My host had to go for a rider's social responsibility event, so he dropped me close to where I needed to go. I reached to the designated place, but they redirected me to another location, which was right beside where my friend dropped me. It was definitely irritating because I had to walk around 3 Km to find out the location. Anyway, I registered myself with the invoice mail that I received when I deposited the money yesterday. I also got a green t-shirt as well, I wonder; why on earth someone would have green t-shirts for marathon. Couldn't they come up with something else; like blue, sky blue, purple, black, white. At least it wasn't pink, or else I would have fainted :-P

I texted my friend that I got it and I headed to see a very old friend to Kalighat. It was more than 10 year that we saw each-other, so it was exciting for both of us. I met him and we chatted for very long. The late lunch happened in a restaurant, which apparently has the painting "Gaja-Gamini" made by M. F. Hussain. Hard to believe but I saw it with my own eyes.

It took me sometime to reach back home because I was lost in the small alleys of Kolkata. With a busy day behind me, the night would get over soon, while the day will start early for me and my friend tomorrow.


~ Raghu Raj Murmu

Friday, 3 January 2014

Cut to Kolkata Marathon 2014

All the writing work executed, now it's time to travel to Kolkata to participate in the 42.290 km marathon, which is scheduled this Sunday, 5th January 2014. My art of staying fit and in shape this entire year is running my way through it. The route map is below and the way it looks like, it's actually a marathon tour map on foot. 

Let's see what happens day after tomorrow at 6 AM, when the race starts. I am keeping my fingers crossed. Everything is happening at the very last moment, even my online registration materialized today. Hence, now I am only left with one task; collect my bib and T-shirt.

Kolkata, I am reaching by Janshatabadi.

~ Raghu Raj Murmu

Thursday, 2 January 2014

52 Week Rupee Challenge

It is everyone's attempt to save some money and do anything that they have long desired for. However, saving through the conventional methods become a bit boring. so here is something that one may give a shot, it's easy and takes very less to begin with, but ends with a fine sum at the end of the year.

In order to save properly and more, I'll be depositing the weekly amount in my "Post Office Savings Account" because doing so it easy, withdrawal is hard as they don't have ATMs.

52 Week Rupee Challenge x 10

This is interesting, very interesting and absolutely feasible. All you have to do is follow the above schedule for 52 weeks straight, by saving the exactly same amount of your money for the particular week you are at right now; according to the weekly calendar. For example, in the first week you would save INR 10, second week INR 20, and further on. So by the end of 52nd week of the year, you’ll have exactly INR 13,510 in your savings account. It doesn't seem all that huge, but it happens when you don’t tend to take it out of your earnings directly and only put it in the savings account or a box at home. 

Now the chart shown below is with a different amount, which is appropriate for serious saving enthusiasts.

52 Week Rupee Challenge x 100

Here you start with INR 100 in the first week and reach to a savings amount of INR 13,5,100.

Enjoy saving and spending!!!

~Raghu Raj Murmu

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

First day of the year!!!!

So the 1st day of 2014 has arrived and I'll be working as usual. But when I look back to the year gone by, I realize that I have again lived a fabulous 365 days of my life that was packed with endless adventures and a lot mess as usual. Can't expect anything less from me. I have rode the entire west coast from Mumbai to the Southern most tip of Indian land; Kanyakumari. I did part of it solo though and rest with a beautiful companion. Had a fight with a very excellent friend of 8 years then became friends with some jovial people. The riding has been very limited for the past 8 months, but the adventure will begin very soon.

The resolution for this year is simple...

  1. Travel as much as I can...
  2. Strengthen my career in writing and allied field (Read more & Write more)
  3. Run marathons and stay 'Absolutely' fit
  4. Experience life by meeting more people while I travel
  5. Contribute more to my tribal community
Though people may say that the number 5 should have been on top, but I say; without the above four it wouldn't be practically possible neither I'll be qualified enough to contribute.

~Raghu Raj Murmu