A bright and breezy morning on the 12th of October on the beautiful Ahmedabad Riverfront was the setting for what would become a rather exciting moment in my life – winning the 5 km run at the Pinkathon! This rather peculiarly named marathon was Ahmedabad’s biggest ever and what’s better – it raised awareness and funds for breast cancer awareness. However, for some of us from CIIE, who took part in it, the added incentive of running aside the ever-dashing Milind Soman seemed reason good enough to take part!
From CIIE, the Gulab Gang participating in the marathon included Priyanka, Ghazal, Nitasha, Jyotsna, Susmita, Supriya and yours truly, of course. Of these, Priyanka and Nitasha were running the 10 km run and the rest of us (who were not such pros) decided to opt for the modest 5 km run instead. On the eventful day, for half of us, the marathon was already done and over with in trying to get ourselves out of bed and reporting at the venue even before the sun was fully up! But the experience was worth it and personally, I have never seen Ahmedabad so happening before Navratri – there was loud music and people were actually doing an activity other than Garba.
Since it was the first marathon for many of us, we were really tensed, often wondering if it made any sense in competing itself. Two hoots to that! In any case, as mentioned earlier, for atleast some of us, it seemed as though the main aim was not to win the marathon itself, but to take a selfie with Milind Soman! Few of us did actually succeed at that, at least.
So how did we get there?
For the past 3 months, we’ve had a small ‘jogging club’ of sorts at CIIE comprised of Harshad, Shivam and myself. We’ve been going jogging everyday, even in the hot and steamy weather that Amdavadis have to deal with. Although we didn’t really train for the marathon itself, we were thrilled-to-bits as soon as we got to know that there was a marathon happening! That was until we got to know that the marathon was called “Pinkathon” and that it was just for women. So then, I was the only happy one and the guys became my trainers! Win-win again.
On the marathon day…
At the very beginning itself, I bolted. As I looked around, my immediate competitors were mainly groggy-eyed-but-determined little teens and tall beaming white girls (who seemed like they were there with ‘real purpose’). After looking at them, I had lost all hope in winning. But then, I thought that I’ve come this far anyway; might as well keep going on till nothing is left in the tank. So my immediate plan was to just complete the marathon. After completing 3 km, I noticed that my fellow runners had started slowing down, and I was still at the same pace. Soon I was in second place, and it felt great. The enthusiastic and cheering crowds on the way motivated me further to run faster towards that finishing line that was now in my view. When I finally arrived at the finishing point, it has been 25 mins since I started running and it was one exciting run!
What should you do if you’re preparing for a marathon?
If you wish to participate in a marathon in the future, or just want to build the kind of stamina that allows you to run at a given pace for a substantial amount of time – DON’T GIVE UP! This exercise (pun intended!) not only adds many more years to your life, it also boosts those health- and happiness-promoting hormones in your body. Regular running/jogging gets you fitter, faster and stronger. And believe it or not, this makes a ton of difference in our day-to-day lives. It’s a great way to shed weight or keep it off, and not to mention, lots of fun as well, if combined with good music or good company. I was lucky enough to have both.
Breast cancer is a real problem that women across the world face, and it’s important to keep oneself informed. For instance, did you know that 1 in 8 women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime? But there is hope – there is a 98% survival rate for a woman with early detection, in comparison to a measly 27% for a woman in an advanced stage. The least we can do is, inform our mums, sisters, girlfriends, wives and friends about the risks of breast cancer and how important it is to stay fit to avoid it! Women over 50 years of age are advised to go for annual check-ups and the rest can even do a self examination every now and then to sense any abnormalities. Here’s a helpful link: http://www.breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/types/self_exam/bse_steps.
Finally, it was fun to write this blog post. Stay happy, healthy and fit, folks!