The blog turned 12 in Feb this year. Originally setup as ulaar.wordpress.com, I migrated to Wordpress-powered self-hosting on Dreamhost in 2010. A few premium Wordpress theme changes kept things interesting. After my friend Rajeev Singh handily migrated my other blog to Gatsby, it was inevitable that this blog would undergo a similar transformation.
I’ve been on a Facebook sabbatical for nearly two years. My Twitter sabbatical is at 10 months although I’ll admit that I miss this platform a lot more than FB. The occasional tweetstorm (linked on news articles) is a nostalgic reminder of the pleasures (and time waste) that Twitter can be. Prior to these sabbaticals, I’d share all my blog posts on Twitter but was more selective about what I shared on Facebook. Unsurprisingly, most of my blog readers (and engagement) came from Facebook - Twitter folk can’t be bothered with anything that won’t fit into a thread. 2020 has been a moderately prolific blogging year - 20 posts in the past 8 months. While my readership had dropped, I continued to derive satisfaction from publishing my posts. When I started using Whatsapp Status to share my posts, engagement grew and, more importantly, reminded me that while reader counts didn’t matter to me, the ensuing discussion did.
So I configured MailChimp to manage email subscriptions on this blog. If you are reading this post on your email client, it means that you are a relative, a BHUKMP runner/alumnus, or have previously engaged with this blog - all in all a distinguished group of initial subscribers numbering less than 100. If you are offended that I took the liberty of adding you to yet another blog subscription, fear not — the frequency is not alarmingly high and the Unsubscribe action is just a click away.
Since the article count is approaching 300, I thought to create a slice of UlaaR - a curated list of posts that I enjoyed writing and am still not ashamed of sharing. This latter bit is important — every post that I published was no doubt worthy of publishing ‘at that time’. I now cringe at so many posts, some in the early years (when I was under the illusion that our R2I experience was oh so unique! and some in my rabid running years (when I felt that a race wasn’t over until I had provided a blow-by-blow account). But the rules of blogging are clear — one does NOT go back in time and delete posts!
“He likes running. He likes blogging. But most of all, he likes to blog about running.” Pithy words from my wife to a friend in the middle years of this blog. It should then be not a surprise that 100 posts are in the Running category. In The asthmatic who went up a hill and came down a mountain, I write about a 3-week Yamunotri trip that became a game changer. In vast upper body conspiracy, I had fun telling my transformation-to-a-barefoot-runner story as me eavesdropping on a conversation between a cast of body parts. I’m racing, not running is all about my standout year of long distance running across KTM, Bangalore Ultra and Mumbai Marathon. In the yin yank race I wax eloquent about my Malnad 80k ultra experience.
Considering I turned vegan over 7 years ago and vocal about my choice in my offline interactions, I haven’t blogged much about it. The imperfect vegan is that rare post in the evolving Food category. Adventures in buffet optimization is a paean to my gastronomic years in US covering the gamut of Indian food, pizzas, and burritos.
Maximizing (as a theme) is a thing of the past for me. In I don’t need…, I make all kinds of sanctimonious declarations that (shockingly) I still don’t seem to need. In minimalist in a maximal world I expound on my views on minimalism and why it has captured my imagination. Digital Visarjan chronicles my running stats tracking progression from the Garmin Forerunner to a digital watch to the Nike Running App to.. nothing.
There’s no doubt that becoming a long distance runner kicked off a virtuous circle in my life. What it did not do however is “fix my asthma”. When this finally hit home, I went looking for answers with a siddha doctor — which ultimately gave me the formula for getting healthy the slow way. Since I alluded to Twitter nostalgia, I must end with when a tweet triggered a hormesis habit change - switching to cold showers in Jan 2009 and not looking back.