The feeling of bliss and satisfaction after putting in a mix of passion, dedication, discipline, and patience. Imagine feeling that every couple of days. The feeling that you can do anything you want if you just put your body and soul into it. Imagine feeling that every day! That’s what running does to you :).
I never considered myself to be a runner but then got into this exhilarating ‘sport’ or rather ‘way of life’ serendipitously! The journey started last march when my highly active husband and brothers decided to run the TCS World 10k. I just went along with them, innocent about the drastic change that was about to happen to us! Thus, the training began and I started to realise that it would take a lot of time for me to actually enjoy running! Initial two months, I struggled with my breathing and couldn’t will myself to run beyond the 2km mark. I went out of breath within 200 metres and had to walk to get back to running. Luckily, I have a tiny runner group within my family who were always there to motivate me. They all made running sound and look very easy. I was getting frustrated with my lack of finding that ease and ‘runner’s high’. With the TCS 10k around the corner and realising that I did not train for a long run, one day, my husband decided to run along with me for 10km without a break. I know it was a very slow run for him even though it was completely challenging and scary run for me. I felt proud and tired after taking 1hr and 27 minutes to finish 10km. But, come TCS 10k and things changed! The whole atmosphere that day was unbelievable and I was able to easily push myself to a strong finish at 1hr and 11 minutes. Watching all the runners around me and the high energy levels propelled me into a different zone. I finally got my runner’s high and there was no turning back since then.
We had a couple of months of memorable 10ks with family and friends and even did a run-vacation in Shimla which completely got me hooked on to running. Life was going good with all the 10k’s runs that I was enjoying with my close ones. One day, after completing his first marathon, my husband announces that he wants to run the country’s biggest marathon- Tata Mumbai Marathon (TMM). I looked up and saw that there were only two categories in it- Half and Full Marathon. So, I had two options ahead of me- be the support team to my husband or run a HM! I wasn’t sure if I was ready to step up from 10ks to a 21.1k. After days of contemplation, I registered for the Half marathon quite half-heartedly, wondering how to prepare for it in 4 months.
Enter, Jayanagar Jaguars – Bengaluru’s oldest running community spearheaded by a passionate and imperious coach, Pramod Deshpande. We joined the group which had about 150+ enthusiastic highly trained and casual runners prepping for TMM and other 300+ energetic runners who trained along with us. The training was for 12 weeks and my monthly mileage suddenly grew almost 3 fold, along with strength training and good nutrition. For the TCS run and races after that, it was only the race day that felt important but during the training runs with JJs, I realised it’s the whole process that gives you the satisfaction and not just getting a desired time by giving your best on the race day. Perspective. The running community is one filled with individuals who work extremely hard, juggling both work and running and with an amazing attitude towards life and people. They are eager to give advice and help fellow runners based on their experiences. It is something that I strongly felt to always be a part of. I finished my half marathon super strongly at TMM, with a time that I challenged myself a week before the race (2hr and 30 minutes). The TMM theme song still resonates within me and inspires me further to believe that Running has become my passion. “Soch liya toh mumkin hai, Nikal pado toh mumkin hai”! “If you have thought about it, it is possible. All you need to do is just get out and make it possible”! Looking forward to more such amazing runs!
By Rohini Sayuj