12 Half Marathons & 1 Full Marathon later, the quest goes on.
"What you seek is seeking you." - Rumi
"What you seek is seeking you." - Rumi
Q: How did it all begin?
A: I am not sure if it’s in my blood, or if I am genetically configured to run long distances, or if it’s sheer willpower, and temperament, or life experiences. Essentially, I am not certain if its nature or nurture that crafted a runner out of me, but I am positive it all began when I was a kid. From the time I was five, I have always loved playing exhilarating, adrenaline charged, fast paced or endurance requiring sports. I was always up for tennis, badminton, running, and several other sports that needed a holistic body movement. The surge of energy, the frenzied breathing, the sweat streaked clothes, a parched throat, a body gasping for breath and desperately trying to find its pace and rhythm, the intense focus of the mind in surviving the present moment, it’s always been an adventure that I was up for. Too bad, I never seeked it out, and interestingly, life did not offer much bandwidth to go embrace a sport for life.
To summarize: I was good at sports as a kid. And, then I got sucked into an alternate dimension of reality where playing sports was a thing of past. Over the years, I suppose my mind never forgot, and never got over the thrill, and the sublime consciousness uplifting experience. Maybe, it was only bidding its time until it was time to live in flesh and blood, that which was my first love in life.
Q: When did it really begin?
A: Once, I was walking with my cousin, and out of nowhere I tell her I would love to run marathons. I was probably seventeen back then. Then there was this other time when I was visiting my cousin, and we ended up seeing a live marathon in her city. I looked at the runners with a sense of awe like they were a special kind of breed, and felt wistful and tons of respect for these adventurous souls. Seven years later, I found my lost playground, and rekindled my long dead love affair with sports, and running at the rec center at Texas A&M University, where I was to get a Master's degree. Ironical, but then life is full of surprises.
To Summarize: I think it all began in my mind, and it continued to simmer, and grow. That which the mind never outgrows is a thing that the mind will find a way to manifest.
Q: How has it evolved, and come to be?
A: 2009 at the hallowed grounds of my University running tracks; I began to run - after two decades of zero activity. I went there as often as I could, 5-6 days a week, 4-5 miles each time, and kept at the tracks like a monk to his monastery. Running is the most consistent thing I did at the university, more consistent than academics, and thrusting myself at prospective employers. After I graduated in May 2010 from the university, I paid extra dollars without any qualms to continue running at the rec center. Finally, I had to move away in 2010, October to Houston to begin my first job, and I parted from my much beloved running tracks. For a year and half, I ran on and off, here and there, and did too little and went too slow. Finally, in 2012, I began training for my first half-marathon, which I did complete successfully, but in the process, it turns out, I ended up with IT band injury, and a sensitive ankle that ached and cracked, and I could not run anymore. Couple of physiotherapists, a thousand or so dollars, X-rays, and MRIs, and a miserable, despicable two whole years later, I finally could run again in 2015. But this time, I took an approach that was radical, and out of my comfort zone. Instead of training alone, I joined HoustonFit, an elite running group open to runners of all levels. This was an epic experience with incredible people, and I learned a lot about running techniques, methods and tricks. My whole outlook and approach to running changed. I was a different runner, I loved this group to pieces, and it was just the kind of adventure that my mind and body craved. I trained with them for my first full marathon for three blissful months.
Unfortunately, life goes on and I had to bid farewell to this wonderful group, and move to Georgia for my job. I haven’t been able to find any running groups I can train with out here, and it breaks my heart. I run by myself, and I am waiting to find kindred spirits, adventurous souls to whom running is a way of life.
Here’s some milestones along my running trajectory:
January 2013: Houston Aramco Half Marathon, 2 hours 8 mins 36 secs
April 26, 2015: Oklahoma Memorial City Marathon, 5 hours 23 mins 36 secs
May 31, 2015: Rockford Half Marathon, 2 hours 13 mins
July 19, 2015: Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon, 2 hours 33 mins 32 secs
August 22, 2015: Area 13.1 Half Marathon, 2 hours 32 mins 15 secs
November 22, 2015: Magic City Half Marathon, 2 hours 22 mins 35 secs
Conclusion: I have a long way to go. I have only gotten started with my running adventure, and I am daring to dream big. I don't know what the future holds, but I will try my best to stay true to a childhood dream.
The story so far
I was born athletic and running called out to me as a young kid. So, being a runner, is my way of staying true to who I am and bringing meaning, love, joy, adventure and peace into my life.