Running in the hill is a mystical experience, quite divine I must say. These are the times we realize the greatness of the nature.
BIB collection and the fun thereafter!
Apart from the health benefits, Running marathons comes up with several other surprises. Meeting great people is one of them. You meet people from all walks of lives, united by the same passion and will.
Ootyultra2018 was my first ultra hill run. We climbed close to a 1100 ft, reached the highest peak in South India, Doddabetta. Now Doddabetta is the highest mountain in the Nilgiri Hills at 2,637 metres. The path was so tough that I walked almost till we reached the top. But the view from there was awesome. This was early morning. The place was closed for the general public. But the return, the downhill part was the highlight of the run, I covered 1 km in less than 4 minutes! We were running at great speed, trying hard to compensate for the time lost during the uphill run. We ran through wilderness, we could hear only the sound of birds. Pure air and cool breeze hitting us.
At last finished the run strong and safe at the Tea Park. I could finish the race well ahead of the cut off timing. Received the awesome medal with the name laser cut. A well organized event I would say, great weather and quite a challenging route.
I was absolutely a normal person in mid 30s, just like anyone else, and one fine day I happened to read this post of my friend Neville j Bilimoria and it changed my life.
‘Run for your neighbourhood’ challenge!
The news came in a neighbourhood paper, encouraging people to join the training programme for the forthcoming chennai Marathon (2013). I got curious and decided to attend the training programme. I was part of ‘Pettai Rappers’, one of the 15 running chapters of ‘Chennai Runners’. It was in September 2013. My first run was a 10k Chennai Trail Marathon run organised by Chennai Trekking Club.
During the training I first signed up for 10k at the The Wipro Chennai Marathon that was to happen in the December but as I progressed in my training program I changed my target to Half Marathon (21.1 KM) and 2013 Wipro Chennai Marathon was my first Half Marathon. I will always cherish the moment I touched the finish line and someone handed over me the Medal.
How the life changed once I started running Marathons?
For the first time in my life, I started getting up at 4:30 AM on a regular basis. The run would start at 5:00 AM.
Early to bed
Because you have to get up early, you are forced to hit bed early. You need to have atleast 8 hours of sound sleep then only you can run the next day.
Traffic Less and clean and fresh air!
Because The run would start early and mostly on the city roads (Chennai), you breath fresh air and run on the roads that are traffic free. A great way to start the day.
Running completely changed my food habits. I cut down eating junk, fried items and sugar. Eating out has become a rarity. Started eating more fruits and healthy food.
Another interesting thing that happened as a result of running is when ever I visit new places, I make sure to look for opportunities to run there. North paravur – Cherai road is one of my fav running routes, it’s cool, windy, and breathtakingly beautiful.
A typical running group comprises of people across age groups and also from different walks of life. You train together, run together, share tips on running, help each other. The group is like an extended family.
Gym and Biking
In order to improve your running speed, you must have a strong core. So I started hitting gym for the first time. Also started cycling for cross training.
Marathon is like Meditation!
Yes, almost. When I run its like I am meditating. The mind is calm and clear. Its a great way to start your day. During my run I plan for the day. Best of the the ideas comes to my mind while i run.
15 Half Marathons and counting!
So its been 4 for years and 15 Half Marathons. And I am still running. Now busy training for two forthcoming Marathons. One in July and one in Aug (my first Hyderabad Half Marathon).