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I Put on My Running Shoes and Just Ran!!!!!

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The night before something big is usually mayhem. And for someone like me, I’m a bundle of nerves. People often say stay calm, but I really wonder how can one stay calm? Okay, so I was running a 10k, my first 10k can you believe that!

I ran my first 10k a week before the actual RACE day. This was to just check if I could even do a 10k. Well, to my surprise, I could actually. I did my 1st practice run in 1:27minutes. Of course, it was not continuous running I took many 1minute-walking breaks in btw, but the whole goal was to complete the distance. I was riding high on completing my 1st long run and yes I did cry. I hugged the Hubster for a good 5mins and I calmed myself down. I think running has made me emotional and I am not liking that one bit.

A day after, I started experiencing excruciating back pain. It was obvious, after being a couch potato for so many years and being active all of a sudden it would take a toll. I thought to myself two days and I’ll be fine. Over two days and the pain was still there. That was the last thing I needed before my “big day”. Somewhere in between these two days, I received a mail from the race organizers stating in BOLD that the race route would be “CHALLENGING” and “DEMANDING”. Seriously the Universe was playing with my mind just when I was feeling less confident. I started freaking out again. The pain made it even worst.

A day before the race day, I was in doubt, should I even be putting myself through this pain. Wouldn’t it be easy to back out since I had a genuine reason. But deep down I didn’t want to live with the regret of not going. I thought to myself screw the pain, I’ll just have fun. A friend had messaged me wishing me luck and said “you’re already a winner by participating”, that didn’t make any sense at all. I slept, keeping the alarm for 3am. Somewhere around 1.00am I woke up in my sleep and started freaking out that I am late. I looked at my phone and 1 seemed like 4 and I was like “shit”. I switched on the lights only to see I was hyperventilating and I still had 2 more hours to go. I finally went back to sleep again. I woke up at dot 3 and there was a sense of calmness around me. I am not a quiet person by nature, I make a lot of noise, I talk non-stop so for me to be calm was strange. Got ready, left home to pick up my other running friends from the gang. We were running late, but it felt really nice to have familiar people around you, I wouldn’t have been able to go alone in my 1st race.

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Reached the venue just 15minutes before our flag off and before I knew it, we were standing at the start line. My friends told me to take it easy, just walk if you have to. In btw, all this the Hubster was standing on the sidewalk and he gave me a wide smile and said go do it. I don’t know, but even in the tensest situations his words of assurance are enough to keep me going. One look at his face and my worries are gone. And like that, the race started, the next 2hrs would be a very challenging and fun ride I thought. Who knew what was ahead in store for me.

My strategy was simple there were 6 aid stations after every 1.5k mark. Run till every station and take a few minutes break there was my plan. I knew there would be some uphills along the route, but little did I know the entire route would have the steepest uphills ever. It was like running over an express flyover.

I started slow, I knew I had to have a decent amount of energy to be able to complete 10k. The goal was simple, complete the distance in less than 2hrs and do not give up at any cost. I was doing pretty good, strangely, I kept looking back to check if I was the last one or not, lol. Well, yeah, that would be so embarrassing for me. Out of nowhere the husband came and said “you’re doing good, stop looking back and you’re not the last so just give it your best shot”. I reached my 1st aid station and the volunteer gave me a big high-five and said “great going”. That high-five was enough energy for me to reach my next station. That’s when the real trouble started.

After around 500metres was an uphill, very steep and I thought to myself I am so screwed. I pulled myself through the uphill and reached the 2nd aid-station. Picked up water and started running again. Somewhere out of the corner, I saw another uphill and I cursed myself for even signing up in the first place. By the time I reached my 3rd aid station I was famished and I just wanted to stop. It’s so strange but I think the Universe, just didn’t want me to STOP. Every time I slowed down or tried to walk I kept getting a “ Keep going, you’re doing great” from fellow runners. Around the 6k mark, I was really tired and I just wanted to sit down. I saw my friend Nancy and she gave me a high-five and said crawl if you have to. I don’t know what was there in that statement, but all of a sudden I was feeling better and I started running again.

Running back and I came across one of the steepest uphill ever. I was out of breath and I couldn’t breathe properly. I thought to myself “I am too young to die, I haven’t even completed half the things on my wish list so I better pull myself up (I tell you, I can be such a drama queen) “. In between all this, one of the half marathoners came up to me and said you’re doing really good, just keep going. That was some reassurance and I slowly picked up from there. As much as I hated the uphills I thoroughly enjoyed the downhills. I just let go of myself and ran as fast as I could downhill. Reached the 4th aid station and I felt good as there were 2 more stations to reach. I thought to myself, I’ve come this far it’s just a matter of time I cross the finish line. To my horror came another uphill and I literally wanted to cry. Damn these uphills, its like they took over my run for the day.

Reached the 5th aid station and then the last stretch was a mud trail. It was uphill and downhill. I actually enjoyed the mud trail, but at the end of the trail I was done. I didn’t have the energy to even walk. Fellow runners passing by said “ don’t stop now you’re almost there”. And just like that I heard a huge cheer “ Go Koko, you’re almost there do not give up”. It was the Hubster. I pulled myself through and started running again. There was another 500metres to the finish line, but I was so tired that I just couldn’t push myself. A runner who had completed his run saw me struggling and said” Just one more minute to go, do not stop now just run” and I did. And like that I crossed the finish line. There were so many photographers at the finish line and the last thing I wanted was an ugly picture of mine to be snapped. I was breathless but I had this huge smile on my face. A smile, which spoke of how proud I was of myself. A smile that told me” never doubt myself again”, a smile that said “ I kicked some ass”. And no I wasn’t crying this time ☺

Now this run wouldn’t have been possible by myself. Firstly the Hubster, you have no idea what I would do if you were not around. You’ve sacrificed your fitness regime to help me with my run. You have always been my biggest support and motivation. All along the entire route you were there cheering me on, making sure I was alright. My first 10k is for you. I can’t thank you enough. My crazy family who’s always pushed me whenever I felt I cannot do something. Thanks a ton. It’s a blessing to have an amazing support system.

I have been training with this amazing group called Protons Sports. If I am even able to run today, it’s because of them. Its 99% their motivation, support and encouragement that I am able to take baby steps and reach this far. So Henna and Ankush thanks a ton, you guys are awesome and superheroes. The other friends in the group, everyone is so inspiring there is so much support always,so much of positive energy,you guys are superkewl. I’ll take a 1% credit for myself ☺ Also, I realized the entire running community are a bunch of amazing people, so much support along the way. I never felt like a newbie for a second.

Lastly, I would like to say we can cross any hurdle, be it pain, fear etc. If you have it in you and want something really bad, you will get it, with pain or without pain. There is an undying spirit in all of us that keeps us going even in the toughest of situations. My 1st 10k was super tough, but there was something that kept me going. There was some amount of stubbornness that didn’t want me to give up. This was a fight to prove to myself that I can do it. This is just the beginning and I have a long way to go.Just remember the beginning is the hardest. But there is no stopping after this. Oh, btw I completed my 10k in 1:46minutes (Apologize for the long post) ☺

My future goals, well I don’t beleive in planning ahead, I usually go with the flow. I just want to keep Running and take it one step at a time 🙂

Running Day 7 – The Road Ahead!

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Yesterday I was telling my younger brother, I may not attend the wedding of a close friend. He asked me why, I said I have my Running Training going on and I don’t want to skip it. His eyes popped out. My younger brother has been pushing me for god knows how many years to get fit and watch myself. I kept telling him, yeah you’ll see the transformation in the next 6 months, blah, blah, blah which of-course never happened. So yesterday, for a couple of minutes he acted like a storm had hit us. His reaction was really??? I said “yeah” I am serious.

So todays training was a 3k run along with a swim. I was happy today cuz I was able to run a lil extra than yesterday. It’s a small achievement, but small steps lead you to bigger ones right! Being Monday, I was thinking what the week ahead will lie in front of me. After reaching work due to reasons best known to me I was frustrated. I decided to take a post lunch off and visit a friend.She is a runner herself wanted to go drop off the TCS 10K forms nearby and go watch a film.BTW I signed up for the TCS 5.7K run, yeh now lets see how that goes. We watched this really cute film called “2States”, thoroughly enjoyed the film. In this whole process of starting to run and train, I found it funny, but I started to lose my appetite. Normally I am a poor eater but I love food and enjoy good food. I just don’t feel hungry or feel the need to eat. So yesterday I hadn’t eaten the whole day, but I was still energetic and fine. Really weird and wrong on so many levels.

I realized yesterday that it’s been a week since I started running training and all I’ve spoken to anybody is and only about “Running”, I was warned but yes its “Addictive”

Also, I learnt a lesson today if you know something about anything or anybody just “SHUT UP”. Don’t open your mouth and keep it to yourself, its the best solution and keeps you out of trouble. PERIOD!

Running Day 6 – The Road Ahead!

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Today I did a short run and then swam for 45minutes. There was a Running Induction Workshop being organised at IIM-B. So my afternoon was completely booked for the session.

In between getting ready to go for the workshop and all I was having a conversation with a really close friend who felt ridiculous that everything comes with a price tag. I found it strange, cuz I am a strong beleiver that when a price tag is attached to anything you tend to value it more. It can be anything be it a workshop you may be attending or the gym or anywhere else, it may cost you 10bucks or 10lakhs but when you pay for something you realise the value of it more. You tend to take the matter/situation more seriously when you pay for it.

The founder of Art of Living always says never give anything for free, make people pay for it then its value increases. Think about it!

Coming back to the workshop, it was a learning experience. We tend to think we know it all but there are so many things we are not aware of. It was an eyeopener and a totally knowledgeable experience.

Love and Laughter always

Running Day 5 – The Road Ahead!!!

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Soo yesterday was the training session with the group again. I look forward to these group sessions,  its so much fun and really motivating. I like this group, they are fun to train with, for a beginner like me its a great team to train with.

Yesterday, our Trainers Mother  had come to train with us, a really sweet Aunty. I was shocked when she told me her age, cuz firstly she didn’t look one bit her age and secondly she was so full of life and motivation. Also she rides a cycle, how cool can that be huh?? I haven’t touched a cycle after school, now that’s another story.

Aunty came along with me yesterday while I was running and all throughout my run she kept encouraging me ” You’re doing well” “Keep it up” ” Don’t give up”. I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s session.

So I ran/walked a total of 3k yesterday and then did stretches for 30minutes. After my run,got back home and went for a swim with the husband. It was so relaxing. I slept for the whole afternoon and towards the evening I started feeling a lil sick. It was like I was in a trance state, the way you feel when you’re high! I could feel my head spinning, felt dehydrated and my whole body was aching. I was present physically but my mind was somewhere else. I guess I was really tired, I don’t know but I felt weird.

Love and Laughter always

Running Day 4 – The Road Ahead!

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Today I had to do a brisk walk for 6kms. Thanks to my muscle pain I had to just walk for 30mins. But I didn’t want to. See, I am stubborn that way. When I make up my mind to acheive something I really push myself off limits to prove myself right! It may not be the right thing to do but I said it I can be a “Stubborn Machine”

So I ran today for 30mins and then walked for another 30mins, totally ended up covering 6kms. After that I did Cassey Ho’s thighs and arms workout. Right now my body feels like jelly I can’t even laugh cuz it hurts in the stomach but I am not complaining.

It’s Good Friday and its supposed to be a holiday but we decided to work today and take an off tomorrow. Instead I decided not work today as well, my mother-in-law is visting so I thought let me spend some time at home.

Happy Good Friday everyone and Thank God it’s Friday again 🙂

Love and Laughter always

Running Day 3-The Road Ahead!

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Yesterday while I was running I hurt myself pretty bad. I was already experiencing a lot of soreness and muscle pain but this was rock bottom for me. I continued running and then went to vote. Though it was a holiday everywhere in the city I was working yesterday.

All through the day I was pretty irritated. I had a weird feeling like something within me was waiting to explode. There was no particular reason but I was pretty much feeling in the dumps yesterday. Somewhere towards the end of the day I happened to mention to someone close that I signed up for a half marathon and I’ve started training. I was looking for a “Wow, you can do it” sorta of a reaction but I got a”Smirk, really let’s see how far you keep up with it”. That hit me, like solidly hit me. I didn’t react, I kept calm but I knew it pinched me within.

I came back home and was quiet. I went and slept for a while cuz I was really tired but I couldn’t close my eyes. The feeling you have when you lift maybe a 50kg and above dumbell I felt that way, heavy! My eyes were welling up with tears but I didn’t know why!

I got up and decided I wanted to run. My legs were hurting but I wanted to do it. So I ran for half and hour and while running I brokedown. Even now I don’t know why I cried but let me tell you I felt really good after the run.

Maybe what hit me was ” I cannot do it and will give up eventually”, I really have no idea!

Like I had mentioned in my earlier post I don’t know what I want to acheive by running but I guess I found my answer yesterday. I want to prove everyone wrong, I want to prove everyone who thinks I take my health and fitness lightly, I want to prove that I will get fit, I want to prove that I am committed and lastly I want to prove that I will not give up!

Love and Laughter always

The Running Bug!!!

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I loved writing since my younger days. I really don’t know when and how I took upto blogging, but all I knew was I liked it. I wrote diaries as a kid and blogging for me at least was like writing in a diary. When I started my blog I was certain that my blog would contain only happy posts. We all have so much drama in our lives as it is, I thought is it necessary to bog down my readers with sad, negative and dark posts. By nature I’m a very positive and happy person. I smile and laugh even when I am down. I push myself through tough situations by laughing. I’ve mastered the art of hiding emotions. I never express my problems or issues with anyone, I believe I have it in me to sort it out myself. Why bother someone else with my problems if any, everyone has their own story.

I grew up in boarding school and college for most of my life, I was away from home for more than 10years studying outside. I can attribute those 10 years of my life to making me a very independent person. At times I feel it’s not good to be totally independent cuz I don’t like asking for help. Its not an ego issue but maybe since I handled myself being away from home and family at a very young age I learnt to deal with everything on my own. Having seen a lot in life ups and downs and trust me I’ve seen a lot it has made me a very strong person. It’s made me appreciate life as it is, it’s made me to be thankful and grateful for everything that I have today, and it’s made me not COMPLAIN about life. It’s very rare that you will ever find me complaining about anything. I am not blowing my own trumpet,but People who know me well say I am very strong by nature and even the hardest situations cannot crush me. Friends and family say I give out positive energy and strength. Its funny cuz I am like the advice for people close to me, I am the lending support for someone who wants to throw out all their problems but I never go to anybody. Is that funny? Do I need to talk to people as well when I am down?? I don’t know, my aunt says its nice to open up at times, its nice to cry at times in front of someone else, nobody will judge you.

My upbringing is such that from a very young age my parents instilled in me that I need to be well educated and stand on my own feet. I still remember my parents telling me “ you may be a girl but don’t think we will get you married off at a young age. We want you to study well, get a job and be financially independent, you will gain respect”. “Stand on your own feet and never be dependent on anybody for your needs” is the phrase I grew up with. And today I am well-educated, I work, I love my job and I earn my own mullah and I am damn proud of it cuz I’ve achieved it with a lot of hard work and grit.

It’s been a lil over 4 years since I completed my post graduation and started working. I loved my job, it was really stressful and hectic but I enjoyed every minute of it. I got the tag of being called a “workaholic” . somewhere down the line, I started to feel the pressure of erratic working hours, crazy schedules and absolutely no time for myself. I ignored my health royally. My family was on my case to slow down. From my childhood I’ve been a very accident-prone child, name it and I’ve been a part of it. I don’t know why but I’ve always ignored my health. So while all these thoughts were eating up my peanut sized brain for the first time I felt the need to STOP and take a break. I felt the need for a holiday, I felt the need to just sleep for 48hrs straight, I felt the need to not worry about deadlines or meetings.
And out of nowhere I decided to quit my job. It wasn’t a hard decision cuz I felt it was the right thing to do. I needed a break for a while and not worry about what to do the next day. I wasn’t in a hurry to start looking out for new jobs as well or attend interviews. I had updated my resume, I started getting interview calls but I was not in a rush. I got a lot of nice interesting job offers but I didn’t want to take up any. No one questioned me as to why I was not doing anything, they all knew I deserved this break. So after 3 months of quitting my job, I decided to join my family business. I was always asked to work in the Business but I wanted outside exposure and work experience. I finally decided to take the plunge, I thought it was the right decision to make. Not many people were happy with my decision, they felt I should take up a job outside. I said this is a job as well and I am getting paid for it. Maybe that answer wasn’t my best but I knew what I was doing was right. It’s been over 6months now since I’ve joined the business. It’s been crazy, am back to being a workaholic, I work even on weekends but I am not complaining. It’s made me look at the other side on how a business runs and how to manage the show.

You might be wondering my blog title says “the running bug” and so far I’ve been ranting about myself. Hang on, I am getting there. The above was just the entree. Now lets get to the main course. I get bored really easily workouts wise and when it comes to fitness I am a complete fail commitment wise. I need to be pushed constantly to go workout and I hate working out alone. I can actually count the huge amounts I’ve splurged on fancy gyms but never made it to their doorsteps after a month. I’ve had personal trainers, dieticians working with me, for me but it was all short lived. I hate the gym, I find it really monotonous doing the same old treadmill, cross trainer and the likes. Workwise professionally I put in more than 100% and never give up but fitness per say I stay committed for a short period and after that its back to square one. In between yoga, zumba, crossfit, trx, Les Mills and the list goes on I fell in love with Les Mills. I really enjoyed these group classes, I never felt like I was working out. That’s what a workout should do you should not feel like you’re making an effort but you still look upto it every morning and enjoy it. I religiously attended my Les Mills group ex for 6months, I loved this phase of bodyjam,bodypump,bodycombat,rpm,bodybalance,shab’m,trx,cxworks.

I attended every class without fail and I could do 3-4 classes at a stretch. Yes I have the stamina when I enjoy something else I don’t move my butt. I feel the secret for being motivated and going for any workout is a good trainer. A trainer who motivates you and keeps you going. After a few months the trainers I connected really well with and whose classes I enjoyed quit and moved back overseas. There were new trainers of course but I didn’t enjoy the classes as much, there was something missing. So I stopped going to gym after all. In between I swam or did yoga but that was about it.

After a year of not going doing any other form of physical activity I signed up for Pinkathon 2014. A marathon to raise breast cancer awareness among women. I don’t know what made me sign up, I have never run in my life maybe in school but that’s about it. I wasn’t even trained or prepared physically. Plus I had put on oodles of weight. My family says I am still in the honeymoon phase of my marriage. So 15 days before the marathon and I had still not trained yet. I thought why am I even running when I’ve not even started training. Down to few days before the race, I started jogging on the treadmill. Fast-forward to race day I ran a 3k and completed it in 29mins. Not bad, I felt for a starter like me with no practice. But here’s the catch, I don’t know what it was but the bug caught me. I started looking out for marathons being held in the city and I wanted to participate. I signed up for a women’s day run but couldn’t attend it. But every day in my mind I wanted to start running. I wanted to go outdoors and just run. I didn’t though cuz like I mentioned I hate working out on my own. The husband was too busy to give me company. I hadn’t started training but I signed up for a few marathons being held few months down the line. I wasn’t practicing I wasn’t training but I just signed up. Why? I don’t know. I wanted to join a running group but in my head I was like everyone must be a professional runner how will I fit in. Out of nowhere a prominent running group Protons Running in the city came out with a holistic training for runners. The next minute I knew I wanted to join. The husband told me is this another fad of yours or will you be committed. I was so sick of hearing this committed word, especially when everywhere else I was appreciated for my commitment but fitness wise I lacked it. I shut him up and said wait and watch. I myself didn’t know if I would stick on. It’s been over three days now since I started training but I’ve realized I don’t push myself in the mornings to get out and run. I don’t run run cuz I am not there yet I mix between running and walking but I am Running, that’s what matters. You might be thinking 3days may be too short to speak but for me it isn’t, its like falling in love with somebody. When you fall in love with somebody you know it instantly I felt that when I first met my husband and now again when I started running. I have fallen in love with Running. My body is showing me weird kinds of signs in the form of extreme pain, discomfort and stiffness but that’s not stopping me from playing the game. Its like I’ve found my stand with working out. Running is here to stay. And guess what I don’t hesitate to run on my own now.

You might be wondering why have I spoken about my personality traits in the first few paras of the post. How is it related to running? It is related, at least for me. Like I said I don’t express my feelings much when I am down or stressed so when I run I tend to forget about them I tend to let go of it. It gives me a sense of calmness and assurance that everything will be okay. Its like running has become my invisible friend with whom I can share what’s on my mind. Running de-stresses me from all the pressures life throws at us. It’s helping me find a way when I am lost and I know I will reach my path soon. I’ve signed up for a half marathon I don’t know how and what it will take but I know I will make it. I don’t know where this journey will lead me to but I am in it. I’ll be sharing all my running experiences on my blog so stay tuned. Again its only been 3 days but I feel awesome, I can feel the changes both physically and mentally, lets see what the future holds.