Vijay – The Running Machine

My name’s Tim I’ve been trekking for close to a year now, and I had started running only to do better at treks: being able to trek longer without feeling exhausted. The more I ran, the more the reason for running started to change. There was an almost sadistic pleasure in the pain now, and before long I was running for the sake of it. And right after I started getting better at trekking and running, I also started to feel a drain in my motivation to keep running. So When there was an option to interview Vijay ( Flying Machine in CTC) i grabbed it immediately and interviewed him for this cover story series.
Why do we run? And how do we keep up the motivation that is forever diminishing? And considering that you’re someone who has been able to keep up their motivation so high as to accomplish that which you have, your input on this would be invaluable.
Could you tell us about yourself? Your interests, your hobbies, your take on life,
I work for IBM India Private limited as a software engineer. My interests and hobbies include Meditation, reading Books, keeping Mother Earth clean and green, and trekking in mountains and Forests. Life is beautiful by itself. I don’t know why we were chosen to live on this planet but since we were chosen already live it to the fullest till you breathe. We are a mere speck in this cosmos. Do each and everything with a sense of gratitude remembering how small we are compared to the ultimate. Shower love towards everything that comes your way and you will become one.
When did you start running?
Last year around April, In May 2015 I ran my first run with CTC along Eliots Beach with my friend Anup Shenai. It was also our first run in terms of Kilometers! Then I wanted to experience a hill run. So I joined Kalrayan upper hill ultra run conducted by CTC in July 2015. I started training for this seriously in June 2015 and that is when my experiment with running turned pretty serious.
Why did you do it?
Running makes me observe my inner self, lose my ego, and live in the present moment most of the time. It is akin to Meditation with physical exercise. When I run in remote areas like mountains and forests, I get connected with nature in unbelievable ways which can only be experienced. Till date I have participated in seven hill runs organized by CTC and my love for it has only been increasing at end of each run. Also we get to meet and run with amazing people, whom you haven’t met before, from all over the world and share ideas and have fun.
 How do you sustain it?
Running has become so natural to me within short span of time that I need to make effort to not run! When you run for all the right reason the question of sustaining it doesn’t arise. In terms of physicality healthy food choices improve my endurance in long runs. I drink lot of fluids, especially clean water and fresh fruit juices, and eat more vegetables. I do not pick vegetables. I eat whatever vegetables are kept in front of me. Running form is very important. If you do not run in the right position, with correct foot landing it can really make you suffer and injure. Meditation helps me in improving mental strength and in keeping unwanted distractions and senses in check. The oneness of runner and the activity itself is vital.
What are the ways your motivation dips and how do you counter them?
The only time when my motivation dips is due to lack of proper running environment close to the place I stay. My regular start time is 4 to 4:30 in the morning and even then you have vehicles polluting the air we breathe. To avoid this, I take my cycle to Eliots Beach or Marina Beach as we have more green cover and less pollution there. Also you have many people running along with you which is really a booster. At rare occasions when I am low I remind myself past images of professional runners such as Kilian, Scott Jurek in their best form.
What does running mean to you now? Has your perspective about it changed over time?
Running was always a spiritual practice for me. As I said earlier running, according to me, is akin to meditation. When I run my mind activities lessen and I get high. I do not care whether I get thinner or fatter. It is more about inner experience than fitness.
Was CTC in any way influential in your development as an athlete?
Definitely. My first run was with CTC and my running practices in hills were also with CTC. So in every way CTC was a great factor in developing me as an athlete. I have participated in seven hill runs (Kalrayan, Jawadhu, Wayanad, yercaud, Meghamalai, Bodimetu, Ooty) organized by CTC and they made me stronger and stronger at the end of each run. For me CTC is not an organization. I treat it as one member of my family. I also attend Tree plantation activities, Treks, Cleanups organized by them. After 
I started to run, my participation in tree plantation and maintenance has come down. Sometimes I feel guilty for that.
Could you mention any significant events you’d participated in?
I am very new to running. I haven’t participated in many events. I have run only three half marathons (CTM Sep-2015, TWCM Jan-2016, CRHM 2016) and one marathon (Auroville Feb-2016) till date. Those include two podium finishes in Auroville and CRHM. My personal best in HM is 1:28 and FM is 3:19.
And what are your goals for the days to come?
I am more interested in increasing the distance rather than improving my pace. A 100 KM podium run in two years down the line sounds good to me. I have plans to run 800 KM with Peter and Co. in and around Himalayas over a span of 16 days coming August. I would also love to participate in best trail running events of the world such as UTMB.
I hear you also trek. Can you talk a bit about your trekking history and CTC?
 I started to trek before I started running. My first trek was a social trek to Nagalapuram with Bala home in Feb-2015. Also I have been to many moderate treks organized by Sankaranarayanan and Peter. In Feb-2016, Peter organized a two days ultra trek to Nagalapuram with a group of 6. We covered total distance of 52 Km which includes 44 Km walk and 8 Km run. That was when I knew that a trek can be challenging than an ultra run .
 As we were completing this cover story Vijay amazes everyone once again by winning 1st Place in the Half marathon category in  D2D Night Marathon.
About the Author:
Timothy works for an IT firm and has interests in digital art, the outdoors and reading as many books as possible.
You can follow his art work (amateurish doodles, more like) at

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