Sunday, January 15, 2012

Journey to the Marathon

I had always been a spectator of the Mumbai Marathon every year until yesterday. I had read and heard a lot about the spirit that prevails throughout the race from my husband who had been running for the last 3 consecutive years. This inspired me enough to enrol for the 2011 edition. However fate didn’t favour me as I took ill enough to be hospitalized for 10 days which left me with no other choice but to skip the marathon. 2011 embarked a new journey ahead as I fiercely resolved to get my fitness back on track. I had lost a lot of blood and my physique had succumbed to weakness.

The first quarter of the year was a slow and steady one with a lot of emphasis to get my strength back. The month of May took a positive turn as my intensity in my cardiovascular exercises began to show a marked improvement. My confidence began to grow as I hit the treadmill with a vengeance in July. Meanwhile I had also started to take coaching in Tennis which helped me improve my stamina. In August I was signed up by my trainers for a competition scheduled in November. As I resumed training for that, my cardio intensity went a notch higher. In the meanwhile I had also started training on the road for the marathon from September. We made it a regular routine to run every Sunday without fail.

It was not an easy journey as the infamous November viral caught up with me-10 days before my competition. However medication and will power aided me as I went on to win the running competition in my gym. My marathon training continued. December again didn’t prove to be very favourable as I had a relapse of the previous year's illness. Thankfully, the degree of severity was that of a mediocre one and the doctors gave me a green signal to run the marathon.

I worked harder, took extra precautions to maintain my diet and most importantly, never lost faith in the almighty. The day dawned nice and bright despite the fact the sun hadn’t peeked out from the clouds yet. 6:15 am, the gun shots were heard and the half marathon commenced. With the iPod playing in one hand and Gatorade in the other, I set off to finish the first race of my life.

The first amazing feeling was running on the beautiful Bandra-Worli Sea link. Seeing millions of all age groups run was enough inspiration for one to accelerate their feet to the maximum. When we reached Worli Seaface, a roar of applause greeted us with enthusiastic supporters egging and cheering us on. Many of them were kind enough to offer refreshments in the form of biscuits, bananas and water. I continued with a vengeance enjoying the colourful atmosphere that prevailed in the air. Peddar road however proved to be a steep climb literally as I lost a little of the momentum there. However my beloved companion Gatorade held my grit throughout as I picked up speed on Marine Drive. I glanced at the Sun which was up by then and murmured a silent prayer. Racing past a few runners, I continued my journey smiling and waving at the onlookers. I finally saw a glimpse of the finish line about 500 metres away. Gathering all my energy left, I sprinted across with my arms wide open as I swarmed into the finish line feeling the runner’s high.

I stood there waiting for my husband to join me which he did 10 mins later. Euphoria had embraced us as we relished the moment of completing 21 kms in good time. While I finished in 2 hrs,3 mins, my hubby did it in 2 hrs,10 mins.

Jan 15th no doubt is an unforgettable day which marks my debut in the half marathon. Thinking back to those days where I would struggle to lose weight, never did I imagine there would be a day when I would attain a lean athletic physique to be able to run. It makes me feel that when running is enough to give you a high, it’s worth kissing goodbye to those sweets, savouries and late nights which do nothing but add bulk and bulges.

I also thank my dear trainers at Five Fitness whose constant support and encouragement kept my spirits up throughout the run. And my dear friend God who has been a silent supporter in this roller coaster ride. Running has instilled a new sense of faith, belief and generated a lot of positivity within me. As 2012 progresses I look forward to an even healthier and fitter me, gearing up for the next half marathon.



Blogger R.Ramakrishnan said...

That's an amazing story on what grit, determination,willpower,discipline & a positive state of mind can achieve. Extremely well written. Congratulations on winning the half marathon - a great & satisfying personal victory for you indeed!

2:01 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thanks a lot Rama.:-) Indeed its been an arduous journey but an unforgettable one!

3:07 AM  
Blogger KParthasarathi said...

I am extremely delighted to hear that you successfully completed half marathon.It is the outcome of perseverance and hard work you had put in despite the health setbacks in the intervening period.Best wishes for the next half marathon.
Good and glad that your husband also shares your interest and ran the marathon along with you.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thanks a lot KP!!With all your good wishes I hope to perform better and retain my fitness levels.

9:50 PM  

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