Growing up, I was a lazy child. I would be happier playing a game of hop scotch, or any game that involved less or no activity. In school, if it were Sports Day, I would probably be on the Welcome Committee or in the drill, or the loudest cheer girl, anything but the girl in the relay run or participating in hardcore athletics. Because I was on the plumper side, my sports teacher insisted that I try my hand at shot put throw, though that never worked out too, so any kind of athletics wasn’t meant for me.
But, it’s been a long time and many years have passed, and believe it or not, I am now all geared up for a new Running Adventure with the World 10K, thanks to Nike, who got in touch and have put me up to the Challenge of running in Bangalore on 17th of May.
I guess after 3 marathons, it would be okay to call myself an amateur runner. And the fact that I pack my running shoes when I do travel – just in case there is a park close by or a gym. I have always shied away from the term “runner”, because in my mind it comes with a lot of baggage – all that jazz about timing, and performance, which are not my reasons for running. However, there is no denying the fact that a brisk walk or a run will always leave me in better spirits during the day and I simply run to feel happy.
While I did start running on the treadmill about 7 years ago, for the last 4 I have not seen the insides of a gym, and I run by the Sea when I do in Mumbai which is a great privilege . It’s dirty, smelly, people are bathing, washing clothes, but I accept it as a part of Bombay (Crib about it, and always insist that the besant nagar beach in Madras is cleaner), but when I look faraway in the distance there is just endless sea. My running route comprises of Band Stand and Carter’s Road and I must confess that after the first “Bombay Meltdown” (The mental agony a non mumbaiite goes through when they first move to Mumbai) Life is good thanks to the Happy Sea Darshans. That’s reason enough to feel blessed, draw energy and face another day and give it all I have.
I run to feel happy, clear my head everyday, and believe it or not, I think there is no better way to detox. I feel when I sweat, I let go of all negativity in me. A run always leaves me with a sense of achievement, of having completed something I started, and just time with my thoughts. They say running is a mental game more than a physical one. The first marathon I ran, my dad told me that it is important to finish the run, and a marathon is different from a sprint, so I must concentrate on finishing it.
I truly believe that the human body was made to be active, and over the years we have made life so easy for us, that those “10,000” steps that one “must” take are a virtual impossibility unless one is on holiday and has to walk. It takes a lot to be self motivated, to finish that 6 km run, to do those 100 surya namskars, or a set of squats, but thats the best part, that if you started it, and you want to finish it, on most days you will muster the mental courage to finish it.
I am proud of my Half Marathon achievements, and I must admit that familiarity with the route has a huge role to play in improving my timing. Year one – 3hr +, Year two, I clocked in two and half hours and Year three : 2.21 mins. Personal milestones and reasons to rejoice no doubt.
I know I tread unknown territories, because my visits to Bangalore have always been either work or recreation and there is always apprehension of the unknown, because I am a creature of habit. My best timing for a 10 Km in familiar territory has been 1.10 mins, and hopefully, this month of training will gear me up to better my timing.
Words of inspiration from Nike…
“If you’re brave enough to try, you’re strong enough to finish.
Let’s do this I guess then!
Do you have a running story? If you do, I would love to hear about it.