Trust me it works! I completed my first half marathon (21.1 km) under 2:47 hours at the WNC Navy Marathon in 2017. Running a half marathon had been in my long list of to-do things since 2016. Being a sports enthusiast myself, I was tired of the lethargic and inflexibility of my body. We all deal with this and take our body for granted. But then, there is a calling, an awakening where we must get up and kick-start someday, right?
To bring us back on track, to be better every single day.
But this is just the beginning of a better version of yourself. I started running since mid-2015. Prior to this half marathon, my first run was for a literacy event – a 5 km race which took me 37 minutes to reach the finish line. When the fervor is high, you tend to push your limits. In subsequent months, excessive and improper running techniques led me to a prolonged knee injury which led to procrastination and lack of discipline. I couldn’t align myself for the next bracket of running – the 10 km. Intermittent training made me realize that diet and workouts went hand in hand in any sport. Weighing a 166 pounds, I had to lose weight to start running distance runs.
A low carbohydrate + high protein intake diet was the initial part of my eating habits that worked for 8 to 12 weeks wherein I could see myself lose that extra flab around my body, keeping myself light for the distance runs. Meanwhile, I recovered from the prolonged knee injury. From 2015 to 2017, my practice runs were between 8-12 km at a stretch. And that ignited a spark to run the next bracket of the run. In September 2017, I received a notification of Western Naval Command Half (WNC) Marathon. Without giving second thoughts, I registered myself for the event with a grit to accomplish the half marathon. Just to reiterate the half marathon is of 21.1 km.
With a 12-week course plan charted for the half marathon, I had a clear picture of the practice and my standings. And in 3 weeks time, I was easily able to hit the 5 km mark between 30 – 32 minutes. Running distances of 8 – 10 km was getting comfortable for me in the 7th week. Slowly progressing with every stride, in the 9th week, I completed a 21 km, out of which I walked for 1.5 km. This gave me a great sense of confidence and a vision of completing the half marathon on D-Day.
Just 10 days before the run, I had a swollen foot due to an improper foot placement as I was running the 19th km. The thought of training so hard and still unable to perform can be painful, causes sadness and disappointment. It was a lesson not to overdo training when the body needs rest and recovery. However, a week’s rest and proper compression healing technique made me stand on my legs on race day with 10000+ runners – men, women and the aged alike.
The running experience was worth all the efforts. You literally push your body and redefine your physical and cerebral limits by running long distance marathons. It’s the thought of completing the distance that motivates you with every single swing of your foot. Your leg becomes numb after the 14th km, but that’s where you should garner your mind and body to keep going and get the running drills to practice.
Running distance is difficult; not impossible. Three things that I learned and would love to share it when you start your step towards your first run:
- HARD WORK
- TRACK PROGRESS
And finally, thanks to the support of my family and friends who motivated me right from the eating habits to the essential running techniques that helped me on race day. @sheenafit and @alphamadhu, proud owners of BuiltByGoals, thanks for guiding me on the recovery foods and solutes which helped me recover faster than the normal. Last but not the least a big high five for @runtastic for tracking every single step that matters the most.