When did I start running and why?

My running story starts with Parkruns which is a series of 5k runs held on Saturday mornings in areas of open space around the UK. They are open to all, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. I began running in August 2015 — just for fun; then I could barely run 3 km when I ran my first unfinished Parkrun. I was totally out of breath and could barely stand on my feet, and it was so horrible that I felt I was just about to pass out any minute. But the following week, I went over to the Parkrun again. This time I arrived 20 minutes early before the start, did not wear my running shoes and I was slightly hungover from Friday drinks at work. I was almost like a zombie when I arrived! You might ask — what was I doing on a perfectly beautiful Saturday morning at 9 am? Well, I was there early to observe how runners prepare, run 5km and watch how they warm up and how they run — some came with fancy gear, watches, shiny shoes, etc. All runners were stretching, chatting and seemed quite happy! I watched as they started running, I saw runners in all ages, shapes and sizes. Most of them completed their 5km, and only a few were walking at the end but still managed to complete 5km run/walk.

What struck me most, was that people who finished running were having a cup of tea, laughing, chatting, socialising with fellow runners. I was surprised for two reasons, how did even manage to do a 5km run (even the thought scared me back then) and why were they so happy and chatty? I just told myself, if so many people can complete a Parkrun easily (or so it seemed) then there is no reason why I would not be able to it. This was a turning point, I told myself that I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it. (I had read that in some books too) Seeing other people complete a Parkrun, albeit half walking, made me think that there definitely was a chance for me and gave me a sense of confidence. I knew I can do it the following week. I went through a phase of learning how to run, how to prepare, etc. I completed my first park run in October 2015 after which I have completed plenty of Parkruns 5km.

I stepped up to 10km — completed many races and then went on to finishing half marathon with my friend Julien in March 2016. I must say finishing a half and celebrating it was the best thing I did. In about eight months I went from nothing to half marathon. I had a few easy months in between as life got busy buying a new home, growing toddler and visiting in-laws. I was distracted and almost stopped running Parkruns. I thought there was no way to get back into running again!

But now, I’m back at running, trying to ramp up! I run twice a week with my local running group, Parkrun and a long run on Saturday/Sunday. I also do Metafit twice a week which is an 18 to 25-minute high-intensity workout using your own bodyweight as resistance.

There is a new running club which was formed recently at our Salesforce London office, and while running a 5km run along River Thames through Tower Bridge — the route was very scenic and beautiful. While chatting with fellow runners, one of my co-workers Chantelle asked me if I wanted to run the London Marathon and without thinking too hard I said yes! and that is how I got a charity place for NSPCC.

I am still worried about injuries which might come along as a marathon pushes your body to its limits. I know it’s a huge challenge, but I am going to keep that to one side and start training early. I now have a little more than one month, and I will take one day at a time and try to stay focused. Every weekend after a long run, I have a sports massage to help my muscles relax and mend. Taking care of my diet, massages and metafit classes are my way of making sure I care about my fitness as a whole which helps my running and marathon dream.