I started my year of running on the 23rd of June last year and today marks the completion of a year of a fitness focused lifestyle. It was far from easy when I first started and I still remember the painful claves and absolutely aching thighs that weighed me down initially but I also remember the excitement of each and every single milestone I reached during this period. There was a bad calf injury that left me in a limbo for almost a week and I can still feel the seething frustration I experienced at not being able to go out and run, and this just within a few weeks of running. I knew then that I was addicted. J The rashes from the sweat, the cramps in the calves, the heat and the sheer exhaustion from the runs did nothing to waver my determination. Exactly 2 months into running, I ran my first ever registered uncompetitive 5km (colour) run with my regular running buddies Shalini, Jitendra and my other half Shripad.
Although, it was more of a fun run, it inspired me to register myself into my first ever 10 km (Straits Times) run and I did it. Again, far from easy and the unknown running trail added to the challenge. This was my first ever running medal and I was in love with it.
The love for running persisted and I registered myself for a couple more 10 km runs in the following months. One of them a (Puma) night run, to get a feel for the same and another an exclusive women’s (Great Eastern) run.
By this time the addiction was a focused obsession to build up my stamina to keep getting better and there I started toying with the idea of my maiden half Marathon. It was too early and I had no real training for this sort of a mammoth distance. I couldn’t stop thinking about it and finally made up my mind to try this distance out on my own to see if my body could cope with this. On the 25th of October , 2015, just 4 months into running, I managed to run my first ever half marathon distance and completed it in 3.5 hours. I knew I could do it J and that’s all I needed to register for an official half (Standard Chartered) marathon. My maiden half marathon was a tough lesson in many ways. I realized in the middle of my run how my mind could play with my resolve and despite the painfulness of what I was enduring and pushing my body into, there was a grit and a determination to finish it come what may and there I learnt, although extremely agonizing, it was critical to keep placing one foot in front of the other and keep going. The euphoria of crossing the finish line is something, that will stay with me for ever! <3<3. I have to state at this point that “Marathons change you.. You are an entirely different person before and after the finish line.” While I was struggling to cross the finish line, the only thoughts I had were to put a stop to this mindless stupidity of making my body go through this unnecessary pain, but the moment I completed the run, there was this immensely thrilling feeling of achievement and I knew I was not going to stop at this. If I could run a half marathon in just 4 months, then I could certainly train myself to complete a full marathon in a year’s time!
I started this year with a determination to run at least one registered run every month, with a half marathon every quarter. The ultimate aim is to run my first ever full marathon this year. So far it’s been a fantastic running year and not only did I run a registered run every month, but between the 30th of April and the 1st of May, I managed to run two different runs (10km Performance Series and 43 km Non-stop run) covering more than 53km.
Now the big question that many want to ask me. What is it I have gained from this mindless running for a year? J I weigh 12 kg lesser than Day 1, have dropped in size from XL to M, feel good about what I see of myself and have this amazing confidence that I can do anything I want to if I can stay focused and the most essential bit is that I love what I am doing & I AM HAPPY! J
A huge factor in the success of my journey so far has been the undeterred support from my family and friends who have stood by me. A special shout out to my partner for always being supportive. I am truly happy for those who got inspired by my journey and started their own journey towards a more fitter life. Kudos to you and I wish you the very best!
Does it stop here for me??? For all those who have been wondering and asking me what next after this…. Fitness isn’t a destination! It’s a lifestyle! It’s a choice. It’s a way of life! It’s my way of life and I intend to go on like there is no finish line!