This is SUCH a lovely guest post from my running friend Rashi Bhargava. Rashi has been a cyber-mate for well over a year, as we trained online together, thanks to the pandemic. We finally met up for a quick run on Women’s Day but this post, describing her first ever live race, is just so damn inspiring!
Read it and cheer for a young woman setting out on a whole new fitness journey 🙂
“As I run I become. I read this quote while making bookmarks for my running buddies. I couldn’t understand the depth and deep learning behind this quote at that time.
But today after 18 months of running I have kind of understood the meaning behind ‘As I Run I Become’. I observe that my life is improving at the same rate that my running pace and stamina is improving. But the most impact has been on my productivity, mood and creativity because of running.
I started my running journey in Sept 2020. Since then I am part of a structured training mentoring program run by Dr.Rajat Chauhan. At that time Zero to 5k was a daunting number. But slowly steadily I have left behind 5k to gradually move to 10k. OK I admit I was very happy with number 5 and I wouldn’t have graduated to 10k on my own 🙂 I was pushed by my running mentor and my running buddies to come out of my comfort zone and see for myself what I am capable of.
Recently got the opportunity to run in The Super Sikh Run (SSR 06). It was not merely a race, it was an emotion, a milestone and even a life changing moment in my life.
The excitement of my 1st live run, electrifying atmosphere, foot tapping music, sounds of Dhols just added on to the fun and made it a memorable experience for me.
I had signed up for the race after a friend who had run the race earlier told me that I will enjoy it and it will give me good practice for next month’s LaUltra 11k. I have played cricket, Badminton, Volleyball all through school and I used to be sporty. SSR 06 sounded fun and good exposure to give me a feel of live race. Ever since I started running it has been on my own and occasionally with my running buddies.
The first 1.5km were challenging. I was overwhelmed by my 1st live run and seeing so many runners around me. The next 3.5 were hell 😉 I hardly slept last night and yesterday’s evening Wine & Cheese tasting session kept haunting me 🙂 I was like why the hell I had registered for the run where on a Sunday I could have been comfortable in my bed relaxing. If the next 3.5 were hell, magic of the run and infectious energy of my fellow runners soon started rubbing on me. My body was tired but deep inside I had the determination to finish this. And I just kept on going sipping water and ORS in between. I did not break any land speed record for 5k 😉 but I did beat my previous best by 4 minutes.
So, how did I feel?
After finishing, I felt on top of the World 🙂
After ages I could feel my competitive streak. A sense of accomplishment. What was important today was that I showed up despite lack of sleep, 45 km of driving one way and work challenge. Running is in our veins. We humans are born to walk and run. It is organic and primal, and it reminds us of the freedom of our childhood. SSR 06 took me back to my first athletic event I had taken part in, as a 7 year old.
While driving back home from the race venue,I couldn’t help reflecting on my 18 months running journey. How far I had come, how slowly I was embracing life of fitness. How I was building my resilience bank. Running is not only making me physically stronger but also mentally resilient. Running often requires you to dig deep, and access that “will” inside that many non-runners never access. I guess that’s why runners wear their bruises and blisters like a badge of honour.
Rashi, well done!
I shall quote your own words back to you, my friend:
“It was not merely a race, it was an emotion, a milestone and even a life-changing moment in my life.”
Doesn’t get more inspiring than this, right?
A milestone achieved and from here on it’s onwards & upwards 🙂
PS: word of advice, if I may, Rashi…perhaps avoid wine & cheese tasting sessions the night before a race…just saying 😛 😛