It all started in January this year. As a mother of two school going kids, a demanding job with an MNC and a spouse who is mostly on the move, the items on my daily to-do list is almost endless. With so much upon me, I knew I had to get into some activity/sport that could charge me with that daily dose of energy to manage everything without getting bogged down.
It is when I was trying to figure out which activity I could pursue, not taking away too much of my morning time is when I stumbled upon the Hyderabad Runners (HR) group and the Airtel Hyderabad Marathon (AHM) event. As I was already used to a bit of running on the treadmill earlier, I didn't take me much time to decide that running is what I will pursue. Though initially I started running just for fitness sake, gradually it turned into my passion as I started enjoying every run.
As I stay quite close to the Botanical Gardens (BG) at Kondapur, I mostly chose to run there. It was during one of those runs on May 1 that I bumped into the HR group who were just getting started with the 16 weeks formal training for the upcoming AHM. After getting the details, I wasted no time in signing up with them for the marathon training along with an enthusiastic group of another 25 runners, all of them with the common target to finish the AHM2017 strong and with a good timing...!! The 16 week schedule comprised of a series of sessions of yoga, strength hill reps and short runs apart from the Sunday long runs from May 1 through Aug 18.
Though initial days was a bit of a struggle to wake up early every day, later I found myself looking forward to the clock striking 5:45am and eager to get started with the sessions along with the group. The best part of our sessions was that it always ended with clicking a group pic which was meant to be the attendance record for that day..!!! As the days turned into weeks, as a group we became closer to each other and almost became one family. We had loads of fun on various occasions and especially on the day we celebrated the birthday of one of our buddy by doing a birthday run. Now with the training and race over, this group shall be truly missed. I hope to cross paths again with atleast some of them as all of us continue this wonderful journey of running.
Finally coming to the Race Day, it was one of the best running experience I have ever had. With an awesome weather, live music bands & cheering crowd all throughout the routes, one could not have asked for more. This AHM shall always stay very close to my heart for two reasons. Firstly, it was my first timed half marathon and secondly, I was running for a cause. I had supported an NGO (Her Choices Trust - For Women Empowerment) through an online campaign and managed to collect funds to the tune of Rs.9600.
I am proud to have finished my first AHM in 2:29:22..!! As I trained and prepared myself for this run, I discovered the better self within me, realized my potentials and also made a bunch of new friends. Not to miss the elated feeling of getting featured in full size pic in the Eenadu newspaper (Hyderabad Dist. edition) as a part of the article covering the AHM Dry Run that happened on Aug 6.
I would like to dedicate this run to my family, my greatest moral supporters, without whom I could not have achieved this. I am eagerly looking forward to the next AHM..!!
I would like to end this blog with my favorite tag line - 'Live, Love, Run'.