Sunday, May 15, 2011

My first 5K run - Girls on the Run 2011

This Saturday, I participated for the first time in a 5K run as a runner. Till now, I was a walker and Zumba enthusiast but running was far away from me though my husband is a marathon runner and has been a regular runner for many years now. For few months, he and my health coach at work were advising me to sign up for a 5K to get into a regular exercise routine. Their point was if I have a goal in front of me, I will definitely take out time to prepare for it no matter how busy my regular schedule would be. And that's what actually happened and I am so glad that I listened to them :)

Early this year, I signed up for my first 5K run - Girls on the Run Silicon Valley as a birthday gift to my dear husband. He was more than thrilled and was all determined to help me train for the run.

Girls on the Run Silicon Valley, in their 10th year of inception encourages preteen girls to develop self respect and healthy lifestyle through running. The 5K run is a non-competitive family-friendly fun run/walk event and all GOTR participants, their family members, friends or community members could join to celebrate healthy living.

Initially I started running on the treadmill and didn't find it very difficult to prepare for the 5K (3.1 miles) but the day I ran on the track outside, I knew I had a long way to go. My husband told me about Runkeeper, a wonderful website to track your exercising routine. I opened an account on the site and also downloaded their iphone app. With the Runkeeper on the phone, I would track all my runs and walks and see how the preparation was coming along. I was able to motivate one of my close friend to sign up too. We did couple of runs together and it felt great to motivated each other for a common goal.

With the preparation I had, I knew I will be able to do it but the question was whether I will be able to keep my target of completing the run in less than 35 min non-stop. It was a strange but an amazing feeling to stand behind the start line with my friend and ~2500 other runners. So far I have gone to many marathons supporting my husband and this was the first time the roles had reversed. It was very motivating to run with girls of all ages, their parents/coaches and other family members. Throughout the run, I had the goal in my mind which kept me going. I was on the top of the world, when I crossed the finish line with my son who joined me few yards before, with 0:33:35 showing on the Runkeeper.

I have heard and experienced through my husband, first run is the icebreaker and then you are hooked on to it. I was wondering the same on my way back when I was talking to my friend about our next run already !!

Girls on the Run Logo - Courtesy Girls on the Run

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Since I became a mom around 9 years back, I don't remember how many times I have told my mom how much I appreciate what she had done for her children and how much I understand now what it takes for a mom to raise a kid.

On this day to celebrate the epitome of creativity, love and care - a MOTHER, I wish my mom a very Happy Mother's day and thank her for bringing me to this beautiful world, fulfilling all my needs, giving me her ears when I had to share something and at the same time pulling my ears when needed, being my pillar of strength and teaching me how to be a good human being.

Below is the picture of a mother's day gift from my almost 9 year old son. I found it very creative as he has used different eatables to make the wood art and my kitchen will be blessed to have it on its wall.

I wish my mother in-law a very Happy Mother's day and thank her for helping me recognize my talent, encouraging me to follow my dreams and work towards full filling them. I wish all my sisters in-law and cousins a very Happy Mother's day and thank them for showering so much love on their sister and standing by her in life's ups and downs. I wish all my friends a very Happy Mother's day and thank them for being very supporting and encouraging, for sharing their experiences to raise kids and otherwise, and for being such a wonderful extended family.

Happy Mother's Day to All!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

7000 Bracelets of Hope

When I came to know about the 7000 Bracelets of Hope blog hop from Lori Anderson's blog, it was late to participate in the blog hop but I realized that the campaign is on till December 2011.

The Global Genes Project, working for children's rare disease awareness is collecting blue bracelets to show support and love to 7000 such families. Any jewelry designer, artist, crafter, scouting group, school group, church group, etc. can donate a bracelet along with a personal note of support and encouragement.

This is what I made.

I hope the bracelet brings smile to the family who receives it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Pravasvani - Business Networking Conference

I got the privilege to attend the first business networking conference organized by Pravasvani Radio on Saturday, April 30th and I must say that it was a wonderful experience and totally worth it.

For those who don't know about Pravasvani, its the largest Indian Radio in North America serving the South Asian community in San Francisco bay area and beyond. You can listen to their programs on KLOK 1170 AM.

Pravasvani - a Hindi word which is a combination of 'Pravas' meaning immigrants and 'Vani' meaning voice. So Pravasvani essentially means Voice of immigrants. I was really inspired to know what started with just a fun program of one hour - Shyam ka Safar with RJ Din Mani in the first year, expanded to 10-17 hrs of programming in the next year and then by the end of second year Pravasvani took over the ownership of this radio and was broadcasting fun and informational programs 24 X 7 with 25 RJs on board. Local businesses who sponsor the radio programs and advertise on the radio have been instrumental in Pravasvani's journey of growth and success.

This networking conference was a great opportunity for the local business owners to connect with the radio company's management team and other business owners in the area, and of course, meet the very talented RJs in person whose voice we have got so used to. All local businesses - big or small, established or getting started, were invited to take part at the conference and based on the applications submitted, a personal invitation was sent to the business owners. Menka's Jewelry was one of them and I attended the conference with my husband Arun.

We got to meet the Pravasvani management - Raghu Malladi (President & CEO), Dr. Atul Tandon (COO) and Raj Kumar(CFO) (L to R in the image below) and their team of RJs.
From Pravasvani-Apr2011

Some of the RJs from my favorite programs are Din Mani and Shreeja of 'Chai Time Shaam ka Safar', Khushkhush​al Khyati of 'Morning Masala', Jagruti Shah of "Khatta Meetha", Dr. Shobha Tandon of 'Health Hour', Bunty and Babli of 'Weekend Live'.

Me with Din Mani and Shreeja
From Pravasvani-Apr2011

We networked with many entrepreneurial local business owners. To name a few, Dinesh Gupta from Jewel of India Mall - first exclusive Indian mall in bay area, Srini Saripalli a Hypnosis expert, Dr. Rita Mitbavkar from UniSmile Dental, Deepak & Mudita Sharma from Fixtroniks, Jyoti Saboo a physical therapist from Pros In Rehab, Sangeeta Shukla a life coach from Polaris Life Essentials, Nathan Notary from Nathan Notary, Pushpa Pathak an expert real estate agent from Los Gatos Realty & Mtg Lenders Financial and Harjit Bhasin from Quick Alternations.

It was very encouraging and inspirational to know every body's story how they started their business, its current state and what they are doing to make it big or expand it further. I look forward to connect with more such business owners in future.

A big thanks to Pravasvani for organizing this conference and I hope to be on radio one day :)

Here's the complete photo album

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