By: Ayush Jain (LT MHPS)
Running is a passion; running is a source of joy for me; running is my escape from the daily monotony. Yet people ask me,
How can running pique any interest? Don’t you get bored running that long?
How can you give up hours of sleep and waste so much energy only to tire yourself?
To these people, I reply,
Running is something that challenges every fibre of your body, pushes you to further limits. Endurance running gives an immense sense of satisfaction having conquered mental and physical barriers. While there are other activities through which one can test themselves, nothing comes as natural as running. Humans were evolved to run, to outrun other species – tiring them in the process and hunting them as prey.
Running requires no implements, no equipment. There are no skills to be imparted and no training to be gained from another individual. Running is all about self-discipline, about relentless practice and that will to never give up.
Running to me gives a free rein, a way to escape numerous limits imposed in daily life. Running gives me joy; going up against natural elements like wind and rain; to put one step in front of the other – giving me a sense of accomplishment. It’s like the best sport I have ever engaged in!
The Airtel Delhi Half Marathon was my third half marathon after conquering the much tougher terrains of Cherrapunji and Shimla. I sought to challenge myself further and achieve a personal best as Delhi is entirely a flat terrain. ADHM was a different experience altogether. Seeing so many people run was a first, having previously run only in hills. It was a brisk start to the race weaving my way through the crowds and then settling into a rhythm at a target pace of less than 6 minutes per km. The green and clean vistas of Central Delhi coupled with a slight wintry chill, an awesome mix of music and scores of running enthusiasts all around made for an enjoyable and memorable run.
The 18 km mark was where the fatigue finally started to take a toll on the body. Unable to keep up with my original pace, I slowed down but maintained a constant to finish with a personal best of 2 hrs 11 mins 23 secs.
Qualifying for the D-line up in Mumbai with this timing, I have Mumbai and Pondicherry half marathons next in my sights. Running fuels another passion of mine which is travelling. That urge to run in scenic locations and prove my mettle in different terrains and weather is exhilarating!
I can only urge the readers to give running a try and maybe you will adopt running in your life as well.
Five such people ran their first half marathon this time in ADHM and some of them have related their running accounts in the following section of the article.
Hope you get inspired!!!
Prashant Rajpoot, SCM
For your First Half Marathon, Magazines and People say sleep well before “THE DAY”. So I went to sleep at 10 pm but my Half Marathon started way before in my dreams where I was running like a ninja without getting exhausted then “dddddrrrrrrrrr” my watch vibrated and showed 5 AM!
Awake, feeling fresh, got ready with all my gear on, like a RAMBO for the run. I, along with my team mates reached JLN stadium at around 5:45 AM and for the first time I saw nearly 30,000 red Tees which made me jittery. “Whether I could complete it or not?”, This was the big question on my mind as previously I had completed only 14 KM during my practice but one positive thing about people around you is that they keep motivating you.
The race started with a gunshot and with thousands of people running along I had to juggle my way through so that I could run comfortably (Now I know how Jon Snow would have felt in the episode, Battle of the Bastards from Game of Thrones). 15 KM were enjoyed with the view of India Gate and my playlist but in the last 6 KM it was very hard to convince my body to run. I started pouring water on my head while running, since my body was heated up. I could feel each step pounding on the road. Many advised me before the race to remain focused and to not stop, but in the last KM my body kept telling me to stop and I was thinking of all sorts of excuses to stop. BUT NO, I had to test my will power, this is what I had prepared for and with this on my mind I kept on running with my numb body and finally I could see THE FINISH LINE!
In the last 50 Metres came the feeling when you know that you are about to achieve something for which you practiced hard and woke up many mornings to run when others were sleeping in their cozy beds. FINALLY COMPLETED!! Phew!! Drenched, tired, pain in the knees and hungry – all of these were overpowered by a sense of achievement. I immediately rushed to the refreshment section, drank water, ate whatever I could grab and finally clicked a pic with Medal. Completed my first ADHM in 2 Hrs 16 Mins.
I believe these races are more of mind games than physical fitness.
Sateesh Hunagund, SCM
My pals are my inspiration to participate in an event like a Half Marathon. I first participated in a 10 KM run along with the SCM team a few months back and surprisingly completed and further qualified for 21 KM run. Again I practiced along with the team to build up the confidence and was able to successfully complete 21 KM. The result and satisfaction is worth the effort and I request all others to give this a try!!
T.S. Vikrambhat, SCM
My first half marathon was in 2015 – ADHM through which I had tested my endurance of running 21.147 Km and completed it in 2 hrs 36 mins 45 sec. I participated in my second ADHM this year too with a timing of 2 hrs 39 mins.
When you have a goal, you achieve it by undertaking all the measures that are required. I have read that if you practice a particular activity continuously for 21 days, it becomes your habit. With this in mind, I started running 2 Km daily for 21 days. I was curious to know as to what would happen if I continued and hence I ran on the 22nd day as well. But from 23rd day, there was no motivation and I could not continue. So what was the reason that I could not continue? Because I visualized my goal for only 21 days and once it was achieved, there was no subsequent goal. But I did feel a great sense of achievement on being able to run for 21 days continuously.
Subsequently, I set a goal to complete the half marathon distance of 21.147 Km in spite of not being actively involved in any sports activity in my school/college days. Once the goal was set, the preparations started. I started with 3, 5, 8 Km, and then progressed to longer runs of 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 KM and each time I could achieve my target because I had set a goal.
In hindsight, 21 days of continuous running practice did make running a habit for me. As we heard in our childhood, the moral of the story is,
“Set a goal which is attainable and do the ground work and you will achieve your target. Whether in work or personal life, be it a short term or a long term goal, one should have goals to keep life interesting and to achieve success.”
So Eat, Sleep, RUN, Repeat!!!
Ayush is an active member of Team Enlightenment taking care of the Writer’s Corner section. He takes interest in participating in Marathons and has done the same all over India. He also enjoys reading, blogging and music.