Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world – Harriet Tubman
Three and half years, that is what took me to reclaim my dream. And it came with lot of hard work, dedication, pain, self-doubt and loads of encouragement from friends and family.
My dream of completing the half marathon was aborted three years back when I broke a bone in my leg during the Mumbai Marathon. My dream was alive, dormant maybe but the spark kindled within me always.
According to the Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
“There is a time for everything,
And a season for every activity under the heavens…”
A lot of things came together, a way of Universe conspiring in making my dream become a reality; the gym I joined to, the functional training that stressed the importance on core strengthening, the trainers there who could understand and design the workouts according to my needs.
It was only in the month of March that I came to know that in order to register for a ‘timed’ running in the Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, you had to qualify and for this we had to run in any of the qualifier marathons recognized by the SCMM. And the qualifier run was scheduled in the month of June, which gave me hardly 2 months to train.
“The hardest part of any journey is taking the first step.”
It actually took a lot of courage to get into my running shoes and get out onto the track to run. The first day was slow and tedious. All I could do was huff and puff. It never is easy to run a marathon because it is monotonous. It requires a lot of determination to stay on the track and keep running.
Later, when I discussed it with my trainer, I was taught about the breathing technique and the body mechanics – the posture and how I should take the steps. I was running every alternate day and I was almost physically drained all the time. The progress was slow. I got a foot assessment done, bought a new shoes and new insoles to reduce the pressure on my foot and also the shin splints which I used to get after a run.
During the practice runs, which were not as regular as I wished it to be, I was able to clock only 7+ kms in one hour…that was not so great when I was looking for a qualification for Mumbai Marathon.
June 7th, the day of the run…
I was very stressed. One, the venue was so far that I was afraid whether we would be able to reach there on time. Two, the memories of my earlier run was freaking me out and I was experiencing psychosomatic pains and pulls in my legs. My mind was coming up with all sorts of ‘what if scenarios’ which were not encouraging.
The first 2.5kms of my run was bad. I did not get anything right, neither my breathing nor my pace or courage. I was ready to give up even before it all started. But, after these 2.5 kms, I fell into a rhythm…the rhythm that I had on the treadmill while I practiced. My breathing and footfalls were in co-ordination and my confidence improved. As I saw women run past me, I felt I should catch up…. better sense prevailed which told me that I was in competition with myself and not others, I treaded along. When I saw the board saying last 1000 mts, I was elated. I could not believe that I was actually completing a marathon. I gave it all, whatever energy was left and encouraged myself not to stop.
I finally crossed the finish line…too numb to feel anything. I had conquered my fears and I had run well than any my practice sessions and I had earned a place in the SCMM…I can run…again!!!