Beaming with pride at the start line of Bengaluru half marathon with my 2:45 pacing flag tied to my waist, I was all set to pay back to the running community. I had a running buddy help me out with a perfect pacing plan (which eventually fell apart on the event day and that’s a story I would like to keep for another day).
I saw the faces all around – excited, nervous, apprehensive, scared, sleepless – for most runners in my bus, it was their first half, the only thing on their mind was that they wanted to finish the run in 3 hours or less. Most had not run a distance beyond 10km. That’s when it hit me. I had done my first half in 2:50, I had not trained much, was over hydrated, bloated and by the 15th km, I had wanted to kill someone yet it felt like the greatest achievement ever.
Somewhere along the way I had started taking being able to run certain distances with ease (fast or slow, it’s all relative), for granted. It obviously requires effort and discipline each and every time but since I have been running consistently, a 21 km had stopped bogging me down. While I was encouraging others, constantly talking to them, motivating them to keep moving, I was reminded of where it all starts from and where I had been a few years back. I felt a sense of immense gratitude for all the other runners who’ve helped me by giving me right advise, helping me with correct training plans, pep talks and training with me.
We are all recreational runners at the end of the day and instead of cribbing about how most of us “new runners” are not training enough or doing the wrong thing, we need to help each other out. Of course personal goals are important but once in a while everyone can be a pacer.
Some comments I received on my mail which made my day –
“Hi Anupriya – My aunt and I ran the Bangalore half last weekend, and I believe she clung on to your 2:45 bus for a while. She finished just behind you guys, but was extremely impressed and grateful for your encouragement. She said that unlike other buses she has seen, you were extremely encouraging and took the effort to push other runners one by one. Just wanted to reach out and thank you so much”.
“Thank you for pacing 2:45 bus. It was nice running with you some distance. And your encouragement and motivation for the last 4km was awesome. I was able to finish in 2:40:54 (Garmin) time. I was not able to thank you personally after the run. A big thank you. Keep running keep writing and keep inspiring. Cheers.”
“It was lovely meeting you at the Bangalore marathon and running with you. Though I slowed down after the 15th km. Thanks for all the tips and the inspiration to do better. Keep rocking and I will be following your blog more closely! “