|Great Eastern Women's Run 2016|
A few days back when I was in a taxi on my way to pick up my #GEWR2016 race pack, the taxi driver (a young a lad) had an interesting chat with me. He himself had run several 10-km run's but never a half marathon. The entire 15-minute ride was all about his running journey, his weight loss saga and why staying fit was important to him. Sounded a lot like my story. As I alighted, he said something very nice to me, "Don't give up. You have come a long way and that finish line will never seem too far after all this."
Like I said, I signed up in a 'jiffy'. There was an urge to run this race, but I knew there were going to be several hurdles that would come my way. My work routine, long distance running (that seemed like a challenge in front of my usual 5-6km I was used to), a strict strength training routine, family holidays- that break the momentum, hectic weekends that make it nearly impossible to get to those early morning runs, making sure training doesn't eat into family/kids time etc etc etc (the list was long). The body gave up several times in many weeks, but the mind somehow stood strong.
The last three months was about running regularly (I'd like to believe I did), yet it never seemed enough. I never managed to run more than 12 km in a single run and I was probably at my most unfit stage since the last three years. But I didn't want to give up. It was time for me to prove to the girls what I keep telling them- that it's all about being there and enjoying the moment.
This journey started three years ago for me, when running even a kilometer was a struggle. Several factors pushed me then- the Salveo Mantra running club and my buddies there, my determination to lose weight, to stay fit for my girls (and the thrill to beat them in a race). I was never the perfect runner, ran at my own pace and ran slow. The distances fluctuated, but there was never an ambition to run a long-distance race any day.
I have always felt the biggest joy of my fitness journey has been my 'no goal' approach. When I started losing weight, I never knew how much I wanted to lose (though am sure my dear buddy and personal trainer then will differ with me on this) and when I started to run, I never knew when I would stop.
The morning of my race when I left home at 4:30am, my heart felt heavy. I was ready to face the test with a single focus- to make the most of this personal victory. For me it was all about getting to that 'start line' (and never about the finish line). As I started to run my first half marathon, I remembered what the taxi guy had said to me and realized he was right- the finish line just didn't seem too far.