Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Why I started running?

A few days ago I completed the Kaveri Trail Half Marathon in 1 hr 45 mins. During the run, I overtook quite a few slow, tired and struggling 10k runners with a smirk of superiority and disdain. I was running as per a plan and saw these slow runners on the narrow trail as an obstacle. After the race, it was time for introspection and I realized that there was no reason for me to look down upon these slower runners – after all I was once one of them. There is no better lesson in humility than to remember one’s own humble beginning. Let's rewind to around one and a half years and start from there.

It had been four years since moving to Bangalore. Four years since I joined a start-up and realized that programming was something I enjoyed.  As the years went by, the time I spent at work increased and so did my waistline. I told myself I was too busy to spare time for exercise. Gradually, I realized what I was all set to become - one more fat slob working in IT and heading into middle age working away my life and health 12 hours a day for six days a week. 

It was at this point in time that I saw an article in the newspaper regarding the Bangalore Sunfeast 10k run with Sachin Tendulkar exhorting the people of Bangalore to run. Somewhere it struck a chord. Never having run before, I immediately registered for the 6k majja run believing that a 10k was outside the realm of possibility. The very next day I put on my discarded running shoes and headed out to the park. I told myself that I could walk for a day if required since I had done a couple of treks the previous year. Yeah. A blatant lie if there ever was one! You got to lie to yourself sometimes and if it were a matter of mind such bravado might even have worked, but the body always speaks the truth. I could not run more than two rounds – all of 700 meters. It was simply too tiring.

I kept practicing just because I had already registered for the event and did not want to give up so easily. Come race-day, I ran those 6 kms stopping at every aid station to replenish myself. I struggled and my legs were sore but I managed to cross the finish line. I promised myself that the run was the first step of a long journey.

These days I run almost a half marathon a week. I have lost around 8 kgs since I started running, completed three full marathons, get withdrawal symptoms if I don’t run for more than a few days and am preparing for my first ultra marathon distance of 50k. But I will never forget what those SIX kilometers meant in the grand scheme of things.


Sachin said...

Good one maga... I believe your inspiration and motivation levels are way higher than ordinary mortals... ;) To continue to still run with same passion is something which is very difficult. Hats off man..

Bharath said...

Thanks maga...
For me, at one stage the motivation was from the amazing running community in both Hyd and Bangalore.
It's a different story once running becomes a passion and a habit, your body demands it.