Yes, I did it. On April 14, 2019, I ran my first 10.55 km in a marathon. It feels amazing. Really great to be able to clear it off my bucket list (which was pending since many years). To set a goal and crush it. To do something you promised yourself you would. I am not really sure where to begin with, because I have so many different emotions swirling around inside of me. There is so much to share from this experience- from what I did, to how I felt and all of those jazzy jazz emotions.
Ohhh before I start let me make one thing very clear in the beginning itself- I did not sign up for the race because I loved running.. no no, not at all. I hated it. I was super scared of it. Yes..Just hear me out!
For some people, running comes easily to them. Or maybe I can say it better- running is just something they go out and do without much training, effort and worry. For me, it’s not easy. I hated to run since always. I loathe it entirely. About 2 months ago, I started to run. I had to do it because that’s the only exercise I could do in the limited amount of time I had in the evenings. In no way I could join any fitness class (because of my changing free hours everyday) and the only way to stay active was to walk and to run. And hence running. Also, I knew that running is a great form of exercise. But I did not truly enjoy running. I never considered myself a runner. All because I felt I was not good at it. I knew it was a weakness of mine- distance running. Uufff!
Running and I actually started off on the wrong foot and built an unhealthy relationship with each other. At the beginning of my running journey (not that I am a regular runner, but I try and run whenever I get some time), I used to force myself to run because I thought that it was the only way to reach my weight loss goals. It was always more about losing, rather than gaining anything. I used to see running as a punishment. So, I struggled with running, physically and mentally.
However, with each day, my stamina was increasing. Slowly, very slowly but I somehow started enjoying it. A little, okay. Only a little. I used to feel good on completing every round of the park where I used to run. But it wasn’t working. I was not regular at it.
So, I decided to enrol myself in a 10 km marathon run to give myself some motivation to run every day. I always had some strange fondness towards marathon running, besides my hate towards running 😜 but I never had the courage to actually enrol for it. May be because I had no one to accompany, or no one to take me to the place so early in the morning.
It happened in a jiffy this time.
One day, I was just surfing through the marathon runs happening in Delhi and I came across this tree-a-thon run, which drew my attention. A friend of mine came to me while I was reading about it and on asking, she agreed to join me for the run. Without thinking much, since I got a company, we both registered ourselves for the run. We knew that we will manage the travel part together (since it always is too early in the morning).
It was not a planned run. It was just two weeks to the run. Even though I was running on and off till then, I was not at all good at it. So, I decided to be regular at it. For the next 15 days. I ran that day in the park. It was tough. It always was for me. But I pushed myself. The first day I ran for 3 minutes at a stretch. And then a 2 minutes’ walk and the run again. I did it for three times. I was exhausted. Badly. For many it must be nothing, but for me it was a big thing. I completed 7 km that day. I was happy. I wanted to do more. Each day, I had to push myself to wear my running shoes and do it. The date of the marathon was the only motivation for me to do it.
Second day was a little better. I ran for 5 minutes at a stretch. And I did it for 3 times with walking breaks in between. It was another accomplishment for me. I continued running. it was tough. Trust me, it took me a lot of courage to drive myself every day to run, run a little more than the previous day but I kept doing. Five days before the run, I reached a stage where I could manage to run for 10 minutes at a stretch, then a 2-minute walk and 2 min run again. I reached 8 km.
I was happy but anxious- if I will be able to complete my first 10.55k run. Two days before the run, my body did not allow me to run. At all. I listened to what my body said. I could not run an inch. So, I decided to just walk. I was nervous but I decided to just go for it.
On the day of the run:
I had to reach Radisson Blu hotel, Dwarka, at 4.30 am so me and my friend decided to go by the cab. However, my husband not only dropped us to the venue, but stayed there throughout the run and came back along with us. Thank you pati!
We clicked a few pictures and did a little bit of Zumba before the run as a warm up and started the run at 5.30 am. I did not think of anything while running. My only target was to complete it without bothering about my speed. Being my first run, speed was not important to me at all. I ran and I continued. The energy of the whole run was extremely high. Everyone was running, in the best possible way they could. I timed myself, I wanted to see how much I could run. I started slow, at my own pace, which I could continue throughout the run. To my own surprise, I ran continuously for first 20 minutes without a stop. It was tough but the overall energy of the surrounding kept me going. I was happy but then there was a long way to go. I was tired. But I continued. I did not stop. I kept jogging. I became slow. My legs were hurting, and it was difficult for me to breathe. I pushed myself more and kept jogging. After 30 minutes, my legs gave up and I had to break the jog. But I didn’t stop because I knew that if I will stop, I will feel the need to do it again and again. I saw people stopping in between to stretch themselves, but I continued to walk. I walked fast and completed my first half of the run(5.3km) in 38 minutes. I was motivated to see other people running and jogging so I decided to continue the jog. In spite of the great pain in my legs, I started to jog again. I was slow, very slow, may be for others I was super slow, but I was moving and that was enough for me. I met a person on the way who motivated me to run by sharing his own stories of his 10 yearlong marathon running career. I kept moving. My legs were hurting very bad and my I felt lack of oxygen in my body. It was painful. But I also had another feeling of satisfaction that finally I am doing something which I have been wanting to do from a long time. I continued. Became super slow, my legs were numb, and I could not feel them anymore. I was almost at the end point. There was no chance to stop. I kept moving. And I could finally see the end point. The finishing line. It was just 200 metres left but my body had by that point given up on me. Finishing the last 200 metres was the most difficult part for me to complete. I could have stopped and fallen if there was no music but to my luck, loud Bollywood music was being played near that point and somehow the energy of the music was transferred into my body and I continued and finally finished the run.
I did it. I did it in 1 hour 20 minutes (to be precise- 80 minutes, 47 seconds).
But I completed it. At the end point, I had tears in my eyes. Tears of happiness, satisfaction, contentment and proud. I was proud of myself.
At the end point, my husband was standing and waiting for me. He hugged me and helped me to relax and stretch. I relaxed for a while and then collected my well-deserved medal. I was super happy. My body was numb, but the contentment level was super high.
For some people 10.55k run may be super easy, for some it may be impossible but for me it was an achievement, an accomplishment. The emotions were running throughout my body and I felt like I was on the top of this world.
But this could not have been possible without these two people:
1. Akshay, my husband who has been a constant support to me. He is the one who encourages me to follow my dreams, to do things which I have never done and who shows the faith that I can do everything I wish to. He was there throughout. He woke me up in the morning, drove me to the venue, waited for me while I was running, hugged me when I completed the run, took me back home and made breakfast for me. He knew the extent to which I was tired and that I, in no way, could manage to do anything else for the next few hours. He understood; he always understands. Thank you pati, for everything.
2. Vandana, my colleague-cum-friend, who helped to sign up in the event by signing up herself, who was always there to tell me ‘ho-jaega, bhaag lenge, chinta mat kar’. She was the one who went all the way from Chhatarpur to Dwarka to collect our t shirts and bibs (a day before the event) and somehow helped me to do this. Thanks, Vandana. Love to you.
Having run the 10.55k, I realize now that the race at the end was not the point. The point was that I ran several times in the last 10 days. I can now run for 6 km at a stretch and then slowly further- more than I have ever run in my life. While I admit that running is still difficult for me and just the thought that I have to run, gives me goosebumps, I feel incredibly accomplished for working hard towards my 10.55k run. I did not work extremely hard for it, but I feel I did a pretty good job.
To all the everyday runners out there, who may be are not even sure if you are a runner, let me tell you: You can be a runner!
IF I CAN DO IT, ANYONE CAN DO IT, TRUST ME.
Did my story inspire you? A bit? To run or to do something you have been wanting to do from long?
Do you also have an inspirational story?
Do share your views and stories in the comment section below.