After childbirth, I went through some very traumatic situations and by the time my son was closer to his second birthday, he was diagnosed with Autism. I had resorted to eating anything and everything I set my eyes on managing to balloon up close to 85 kgs from my petite self of 53 kgs. It also made me irritable and cranky. To get control over my weight, I signed up at a local gym in 2006. Once when the gym was shut for maintenance, I decided to jog at Shivaji Park and to my surprise I found running outdoors fun and more relaxing than inside the gym on a boring monotonous treadmill.
After that day, I only went to the gym to lift weights and running happened 3-4 times outside. At that time, way back in 2007, Mumbai Marathon was the only race option available and I signed up for the half marathon just 2 months prior the race. With minimal training, knowing nothing, all by myself, I finished my maiden race in 1 hour 56 mins. I have never stopped after that and by the beginning of 2016, I have finished running 100 races including 10Ks, half and full marathons, a couple of ultra marathons and a duathlon.
I started with no goals in my mind. I also don’t really train with a lot of dedication since a lot of time and energy is utilised in raising my son, who is and always remains the top priority. When I win any race and bring a trophy back home, he lightens up and dances and tells me he is very proud of me. And perhaps that is the only motivation to go and race back. The only person I want to impress is him and he thinks of me as his hero and that’s what matters. The Boston Marathon was and will always remain my dream. May be if not in the near future, 3-4 years down the line definitely!
Up Close and Personal
To me, sport stands for
Liberation, a challenge to self and a path to healthy, clean and fit body and mind.
On a typical training day,
I do: I lift weights at gym and/or run in the morning/evening. If the day is good, i push some limits. Lift heavy or run faster.
I eat: Mostly home cooked meals typically traditional vegetarian maharashtrian food.
I wear: Shorts and tees.
I listen to: The tapping of my feet.
I recover by: A good night’s sleep.
I cross-train by: Weight training at the gym.
My idea of an effective weight training session is
If the body is not sore the next day, I haven’t worked out well. Also, if my workout for the day hasn’t induced good sleep, I haven’t done justice.
The moment when I discovered my athletic potential was
Throughout my school days, I have won most school and inter school athletic meets. So, getting back after childbirth was not very tough.
The three biggest lessons I have learnt so far in my athletic career
1. Never to compare myself to the other girls competing. All of us have different lifestyles, genetics, stress levels, and family support. I know my limits I put for training with work, home and raising a son by myself. If training is going smooth, i focus on challenging my earlier best.
2. Not push limits in training or racing if the day is not going good or the body is acting up. At the end of the day, I have to come back home to a loving son.
3. To keep my feet firmly grounded. Vanity leads to arrogance and bad sportsmanship. If you are humble, there is always space to absorb more and mind is less fogged by the haters.
Before a big race, I tell myself
Believe in yourself.
The toughest race of my life was
The Bangalore Ultra and The Matheran Endurathon. I could experience the pure raw intensity of both the trails and that nature can be as daunting in itself as its beauty.
The most memorable moment of my sporting career so far
Perhaps yet to come. It’s been 11 years, and i haven’t experienced something that will make a remarkably memorable one. That might also be because I have set my eyes on something else and i am waiting for it to be achieved.
My training sanctuary is
Shivaji Park-Worli Sea-Walkeshwar-Babulnath and back. Its a combination of beautiful serene beauty of Mumbai and also the covers some major landmarks.
My dream starting line is
The Boston Marathon.
I nourish my soul with
spending time with my son. I used to have other hobbies, nothing comes close to these now a days.
Unived helps me by
Smart fuelling. Also, since it’s close to nature I don’t have to worry at all about consuming chemicals. Pre RRUNN is one of my favourites, once you take it, you don’t have to worry about hydration for almost a few miles. It sets the system right. Next one close is the Organic Protein. With all the hard impact, it’s the sole recovery saviour.