I did my schooling from Sainik School and have been very close to running, drills and sports. My love for outdoor activities has been so much that when I stopped participating after my engineering first year due to frequent injuries, I was missing something big time. I came to Bangalore for my masters and then got my first job here. Quite a few times I planned to get back to running. I registered myself for Contours Woman’s Day Run 2013 but couldn’t make it due to some personal reason. Then I registered for TCS 10K 2013. I participated in it only not to get my official timing and then I left it. I never registered for any runs after that and even stopped practicing, busy with sleep, eat and work. I joined new organization in end of 2015. In 2016 met Akanchha who would always keep checking the running calendar and register for one 10K every month. While discussing with her got to know that Akanchha and Rohan (her running partner and husband) make sure that they run a 10K every month if not more and that’s where I found my liking towards running which was lost somewhere.
I shared with Neha, my liking towards running, why I left and one day I would like to run again. I did give her an excuse of time as well and also mentioned that I would like to spend time with our 4-5 months old baby as much as possible. I got a sort of scolding from her. She told, had I gone mad as I left running due to some silly reasons and giving worst excuses, I should better start running again as it may be possible that looking at me my kiddo may pick up running while growing. I shared with her on a lighter note, its better if I run which will give my son a chance to pick something from me. Else he has no option because I don’t know anything other than this. But I knew within my heart that was so trueJ. Her words were more than mere support and encouragement that I was looking for. I was all set to run. Very next day I asked Akanchha which is the next run she is going for and registered for Bengaluru 10K which was scheduled for 10 July 2016, and started practicing for it.
On Friday we went together to collect our bibs and timing chips which was provided in a bag along with t-shirt. On Saturday when I opened the bag at home, my bib with timing chip was missing. It seemed like a flashback from 2013 but it was happening in 2016 and I was set to miss another run when I felt I was ready. Next Monday Akanchha told me about the route and how good the run was. I asked just one thing, which is the next run we are going for. And we registered for HSR Freedom 10K run scheduled for August 15, 2016. I started practicing for it but took it very lightly. No structured plan to follow, I did run a couple of kilometers in morning for few days. In the name of Long Slow Distance running, I had run a 7.5 KM doing some calculations. August 15 was a long weekend and my parents were coming down to Bangalore so I planned to take them to the venue on August 15 for my run. At the last moment I realized, let’s keep it simple and only I will go for the run as I was not sure how long I will take to finish it and how I will finish it. But I was not thinking too far and taking it step by step. Rohan collected our running kit comprising of bib, timing chip and t-shirt. The next day Akanchha gave it to me and I confirmed that it had everything required for run. I told my parents on August 14, I will be going for a run on 15th morning and my father asked do I practice at all for running and spat came the reply ‘yes, I do’. Who knew that this pseudo confidence of mine is going take a hit very soon.
I reached the venue well in time and the warm up session started. It was not very crowded but more than decent gathering of runners. Akanchha and Rohan joined soon. The run was flagged off for 10K and 5k together. I started my run with full confidence taking average strides at my running pace which I practiced during my long run of 7.5KM. I knew I can run 7.5 KM which is 3/4th of 10k so I can try and cover the remaining 1/4th also. To me it seemed as if I was talking about a butter scotch cake. I never like taking water breaks during my run so I continued without water break. The participants for 5K took the diversion towards finish line and we continued. Around 7KM my confidence took a hit but I told myself that I can run 7.5KM easily so I will continue and then keep extending the target. At 7.65KM I saw an incline and that was it. I quietly listened what my inner voice said and accepted to start walking now. I told myself, I will start running again after the incline. Hardly few meters, incline was over and time to run again. In next 500 meters or so I was running out of steam, my legs were saying a strict no, my throat was drying up and head was hitting hard. At that point of time I didn’t know the technical term ‘hit the wall’ but if I would have known it, I would have named my condition the same. Had few sips of water at the next water station and decided to cover the remaining distance while running and walking. I touched the finish line at 01:08:19 with a mixed feeling and some learning. I received the message with my timing details and I had finished my first timed run officially. Met Akanchha and Rohan, collected our medals and had breakfast. It was time to head back home and reflect upon what I could have done different to not fall in the situation that I was an hour ago.