Monday, April 30, 2018

From Novice to Marathoner: My Unforgettable First Marathon Experience

My passion for running started way back when I was in LKG. Even at a young age, I would participate in various races, ranging from 100 meters to 1 kilometer. I had always been a sprinter, never a marathon runner. It wasn't until 2012 that I embarked on my journey towards running marathons. My passion for running was further fueled when Milind Soman, the founder of Pinkathon, organized a marathon with the goal of promoting a healthier lifestyle for women and raising awareness about breast cancer. Being an all-women's run, the event was aptly named the "PINKATHON." Back in the day, marathons were not as commercialized as they are now. They were primarily held with the intent of encouraging and raising awareness for various causes.

My First Marathon Experience... Here we go.. 

It all started when I saw the banner of The Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bangalore Marathon while travelling. On seeing the fifth edition of the TCS World 10K Bangalore Marathon banner, there was a sudden rush of adrenalin and a childish joy within me. I remember registering for the event on the same day and came up with a training target to go for, but I was totally out of practice. Still I decided to give it a shot.

During my Second Marathon @Zumba Session 
I ran my first marathon at Sree Kanteerava Stadium on 27th May 2012. 
The thought of running a 10K for the first time made me nervous, but I was determined to do it. On the day of the race, I arrived at Kanteerava stadium early in the morning and set off on the course through Cubbon Park. The cool breeze and the passion of the other runners propelled me towards the finish line, but it was not an easy journey. Despite the difficulty, I felt a sense of pride in my accomplishment. However, the aftermath was not as enjoyable. I struggled to walk even a few feet and was too sick to even hail an auto. Despite feeling dizzy and unwell, I loved every moment of the race.

My second marathon was Pinkathon, and I was honored to be a part of the first-ever event. The experience was unforgettable, and I cherished every moment of it.

Following my first marathon experience, my passion for running grew exponentially, and I began registering for any 10k race I could find. I yearned to participate in races across different cities, including Coimbatore, Salem, Namakkal, Pondicherry, Ooty, and many others. While I have yet to sign up for the big half marathon on my bucket list, I am eager to test my limits and take on the full marathon. Although the thought of running 42 kilometers may seem daunting, I am determined to overcome my fears through consistent training and practice. I look forward to sharing my progress and experiences through my blog, as running has become an integral part of my life, and I can't imagine not pushing myself to run just 42 kilometers.

I have been inspired to write about several marathons that have been significant in my life. Below is a list of a few of them.

  1. TCS World 10K Bangalore 2012, Kanteerava Stadium on 27TH MAY 2012.
  1. Pinkathon Bengaluru, Kanteerava Stadium on 7th of April, 2013.
  2. TCS World 10K run 2013 - Namma City Namma Run - Bangalore, Kanteerava Stadium on May 19, 2013
  1. Salem Marathon 2016 at Mahatma Gandhi Stadium - Salem on Feb 19th 2017 

  1. Vodafone Coimbatore Marathon at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium- Coimbatore on 1st October 2017. 

  1. Auroville Marathon - 2018 at Auroville - Pondicherry on February 11th 2018.
  2. Rasipuram Rotary Mega Marathon at Tiruvalluvar Govt arts college, Rasipuram on April 29th 2018. 
  3. Go Heritage Ooty Marathon at Lawrence School, Lovedale, Ooty on June 03rd 2018.  
  4. Go Heritage RUN - COORG Marathon at Field Marshal K M Cariappa College, Madikeri on Sunday Aug 5, 2018
  1. Bangaluru City Virtual Marathon | 21 KMS by Club MH 25 on 20 Jun 2019
  2. India International Yoga Day Challenge 2019 | 21 KMS (Virtual event) Run For Health on 21 Jun 2019
  1. Kanyathon 2023 3KM Family Run | Bangalore on 12th March 2023
Each marathon I run offers a unique and unforgettable experience. It brings me immense joy to see my loved ones inspired to run and asking if they can join me. Knowing that I can encourage others to push themselves beyond their limits and achieve their goals is truly rewarding.

our Run Timings:

If you are considering running a marathon, my advice to you is to let go of your limitations and take the plunge. Register for a marathon, and don't worry about running the whole way - you can walk or crawl if needed. You never know how completing a single race could change your life forever.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Rasipuram Rotary Mega Marathon 2018 : Step Up for a Cause

I recently participated in the Rasipuram Rotary Mega Marathon 2018, which took place near my hometown. The marathon was flagged off from the Thiruvalluvar Government Arts College in Rasipuram. As usual, I convinced my entire family to join me and register for the event!

However, as this was the first time the Rasipuram Rotary organizers were conducting the marathon, there were some organizational issues. The race categories were started every five minutes, disregarding the official start time. Additionally, there were no portable toilets or medical aid available, which was disappointing.

Despite these setbacks, I acknowledge that it's challenging to organize an error-free marathon on the first try. The Rotary Club has made a commendable start, and with time and experience, I'm confident they'll overcome these challenges and conduct a successful and well-organized event in the future.

Parents Atrocity: At the Rasipuram Rotary Mega Marathon 2018, there was a 3KM Run event category for children between the ages of 7-15. However, it was disappointing to see some parents losing their cool and shouting at their kids for not running continuously. The funny part was that these parents were not even running along with their children, but rather chasing them on their bikes and shouting at them.

It is essential for parents to understand that kids cannot run continuously on their first day. Today's children spend less time in free play and exercise than previous generations, who spent a lot of time walking and bicycling. Instead of yelling at them, parents should encourage their children to run using a firm and soft tone. It is important to promote a positive attitude towards exercise and instill a love for physical activity in children from a young age.

Rasipuram Marathon organizer should have set a necessary boundary for parents. They should not have let the parents inside the marathon trial. Also, lot of Vehicles were crossing the trails.

The Rasipuram Rotary Mega Marathon 2018 provided a fantastic platform for newbie runners and the people of Rasipuram to experience the thrill of a marathon. The cheering crowds at the finish line and the medals were a great incentive to keep going. I could see the excitement in the organizers as they handled the gunshot at the beginning of the race.

However, I hit a roadblock at the 4th kilometer. My shoes did not fit correctly, and my skin kept rubbing against the edges of the shoe, making it difficult for me to move forward. Despite the setback, I persevered and completed the marathon with great zeal. The certificate was provided in hard copy, but the medal could have been better.

On a positive note, the breakfast provided after the marathon was delicious, and we even received a free coupon for ice cream from Amilma Ice Creams as part of our registration. I have a fun story to share about our experience with Amilma Ice Creams, which I will write about later.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Interview with Rachana Krishna - Best Outgoing Student of VIT

Gone are the days where Best Outgoing Student Award are honored to the student with Highest Grades. These days, student should be highly creative, exhibit exceptional effort and must make a huge difference.

"Outstanding achiever" is every student's dream. 
I had the opportunity to interview Rachana Krishna who has bagged the VIT's Best Outgoing Student Award. In this interview, lets dive deep into Rachana's journey as she shares her interesting student life.

I hope students as well as others will find many of the tips useful and motivating.

Congratulations on achieving Outstanding Student award. Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi, I'm Rachana. I'm from bangalore, born and raised here. I did my B.Tech in Computer Science from VIT. Currently I'm working at Cisco.

What was your priority when you were a student?
When I started off B.Tech I only wanted to enjoy my engineering life but soon realised my kind of enjoyment lies in many things, achievements, accomplishments and not mere entertainment. Priorities are never a constant they keep changing with time. At each instance I had to focus on what was most important at that time and move ahead with it.

What specific activities did you engage in college to achieve outstanding student award?
Firstly, I never compromised on my main virtue as a student that is being academically good. I learnt the subjects to the best of my abilities and maintained good grades. Grades only matter to teach you school lessons but life lessons are completely outside of it. So I involved myself in a number of activities. I was always inclined towards sports and adventures and decided to become part of our college trekking club. I had a flair for speaking and writing as well and hence became a core member of some clubs and chapters like the Hindu E-plus, VIT community Radio for a short period. As I knew my strength was in the manegerial line I started working for my college fests and events.

How about your extra-curriculum activities? 
As I already stated, I'm into sports. I used to be an athlete in school. I couldn't really continue that in college however I used to swim in college as a hobby, play badminton occasionally. I also hit the gym in the evenings. I went on a number of treks and even organised trips to places like Coorg and Kerala where I had my share of adventure+learning. I did white water rafting, waterfall rappelling, kayaking, rock climbing.

What pieces of advice would you offer to the students who aspires for "Outstanding Student"?
One has to know what he or she wants in their life and there is no bigger achievement than this. A person who knows what he wants will make sure to reach the goal. By life I don't always mean the big picture but even small goals will do. Goals as small as hitting the gym everyday. They keep you motivated in life. This motivation can achieve anything in life.

Who was your mentor/s in your college? 
To be honest I have been my greatest mentor all life., because only you know what you want in life. However, My mom is my support system. I have a best friend from school who is often my go-to person to share with.

What was one challenge you faced during college and how did you overcome?
During college it's very common to look at others and compare yourselves. This is not wrong as long as you get something good out of it. But if this is something that's pulling you down its high time you understand that each one lives their own lives. I did face a lot of competition and was at many instances motivated to do what others were doing. But not everything is for everyone. When ever I thought someone was doing something really nice in their life I took that as a motivation to do something in my life. Peer-pressure if a big challenge, but I used it for my benefit. And ofcourse because I stayed in the hostel, I missed home a lot. This can often pull people down, so did it pull me. But I always remembered why I was here and what I as supposed to do.

What was your daily routine as a student and now as an Employee?
As a student first half of my day would be spent in classes and assignments. Second half I would spend some time on myself, meeting friends, gym, netflixing. I'm an early bird so my day ends a little quick. So far my life as an employee hasn't really changed much as I am still an intern and have my trainings.

Share us a time where you broke a rule for a student?
Oh I'm not a person who breaks rules usually. I don't think I have broken any major rules. Except I didn't always have an ID card around my neck. So yeah this was one small rule I broke.

What is your philosophy of life? 
You take  your life decisions because nobody knows you better than you. Have goals, they keep you motivated in life. The only people who matter in life are those who keep you going, ignore the rest. Work hard, party harder. And yeah there is no substitute to hard work. I believe that there are a number of success stories with smart work, but there are no failure stories with hard work.

What are your current interest and what is your learning right now?
I want to move into entrepreneurship and finance now. I'm reading more on these.

All the best for your dreams and Thank you so much for your valuable time! 
Congratulations Once again Rachana!  You truly deserve the award!!  Good luck with Everything!!! Cheers.

Friday, April 6, 2018

When Life Breaks You Down, A Fighter Reborn

I believe every woman has TRUE BEAUTY within her in all the roles she plays. For over 18 years across 650 plus salons across the country, Naturals has been helping the Beautiful Indian Woman get more Beautiful.
Today Naturals Salutes the Beautiful Indian Woman.
Presenting Naturals TRUE BEAUTY… 
This is a story about the a Women whom I feel "True Beauty"
What was your most painful life experience?
A Break-up? Insult by relatives or put-down by friends? Loneliness? dream getting shattered? Losing someone? No Job? Failure in Exam?
If you have answered “Yes” to any one of the above then read on…
Will a person who never ran in her life, would ever run a marathon?  Absolutely, Yes! They can!? What’s so special about it!? But, will a person decide to run a marathon after losing both legs?
Yes, That's the inspiring story of  Shalini Saraswathi who turned into an avid runner (a blade runner).
She made the decision of running when her life snatched both her arms and legs.

We all know about Nicholas James who has No Arms, No legs and No worries. Here is another inspiring story from our own India. It’s the story of Shalini Saraswathi.

It was when all my colleagues were complaining about office stress, spouse problem and concluded life hardly seems a worth living. At that point of time we received an email with a subject line Meet Bengaluru’s Blade Runner Shalini Saraswathi @ Bengaluru campus.

     While I was running a TCS 10K Marathon, I have seen her running but never in my mind realized she has such a beautiful inspiring life of positivism and determination. After attending her session, I realized why she is called as an icon of perseverance and hope.

Her story in short. Like millions of people out there, she had an extremely beautiful life,  successful career, a loving family and a great soul mate. She went to Cambodia for a honeymoon. After returning to India, She had to get admitted to hospital for a slight fever. Never in her wild dreams she would have thought some rare bacteria called Ricketssial would affect her and that would change her life upside down. Slight Fever led to multi organ failure and she went to coma for few days. Doctor declared her survival rate was 5%.

Next few years, she went to the hospital only to remove few of her flesh removed from her body every now and then. Shalini Saraswathi went on to lose all four of her limbs. But, that's not the end of the story.

The next year she realized she lost both the arms and both legs, but not her courage. A Fighter was reborn. She challenged the sky. “Does not matter what comes in my way, I will never give up and Don’t mess up with me”. She moved on from her pain and trained herself for a TCS 10k race in Bangalore.

Most of the time we listen to our mind which gives a lot of excuse. “Hitting snooze button”, “From tomorrow I will hit the Gym”, “From tomorrow I will start”. We love to listen to those lame excuses which mind offers and are addicted to it.

For Shalini, when her body did not help her to have what she wants, she trained her mind and made her body listen to her mind. It was not easy for her initially. When she went for a personal training no one knew how to train her. Yet, she overcome those struggles. How was it possible for her to come out it? She chose to look the brighter side. When her legs were about to amputate, she chose to wear a purple nail polish and admired it. That's the power of positivism she carried.

The one thing which was constant in her speech was “A big smile and a positive attitude”

Now tell me friends, can’t we deal with our problems more positively and happily? 
Small disappointments should never bother us. 
Everyone has scars around us, it’s in our hands and out choice to use those scars for a self-destruction or for a self-discovery.

Few lines from her speech today, “Walk in the rain, stick your tongue out and catch the raindrops, hold hands, feel the grass under your feet, smile at strangers, admire good-looking men/women, fall in love, call someone you have meant to, give big tight hugs, dance till you drop, wear your red lipstick, join that class you have always wanted to, buy the shoes you want, write a book, sing aloud, learn to play an instrument, bungee jump, sky dive, travel to Antarctica for all I care – LIVE TODAY AND LIVE IN THE MOMENT – you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow!”