Sandeep Verma was absolutely a normal person in mid-30s, just like anyone else, and one fine day I happened to read this post of my friend Neville j Bilimoria and it changed my life.
‘Run for your neighbourhood’ challenge!
The news came in a neighbourhood paper, encouraging people to join the training program for the forthcoming Chennai Marathon (2013). I got curious and decided to attend the training program. I was part of ‘Pettai Rappers’, one of the 15 running chapters of ‘Chennai Runners’. It was in September 2013. My first run was a 10k Chennai Trail Marathon run organized by Chennai Trekking Club.
During the training I first signed up for 10k at The Wipro Chennai Marathon that was to happen in December but as I progressed in my training program I changed my target to Half Marathon (21.1 KM) and 2013 Wipro Chennai Marathon was my first Half Marathon. I will always cherish the moment I touched the finish line and someone handed me the Medal.
For the first time in my life, I started getting up at 4:30 AM on a regular basis. The run would start at 5:00 AM.
Early to bed
Because you have to get up early, you are forced to hit the bed early. You need to have at least 8 hours of sound sleep then only you can run the next day.
Traffic Less and clean and fresh air!
Because The run would start early and mostly on the city roads (Chennai), you breath fresh air and run on the roads that are traffic free. A great way to start the day.
Running completely changed my food habits. I cut down eating junk, fried items, and sugar. Eating out has become a rarity. Started eating more fruits and healthy food.
Another interesting thing that happened as a result of running is when ever I visit new places, I make sure to look for opportunities to run there. North paravur – Cherai road is one of my fav running routes, it’s cool, windy, and breathtakingly beautiful.
A typical running group comprises of people across age groups and also from different walks of life. You train together, run together, share tips on running, help each other. The group is like an extended family.
Gym and Biking
In order to improve your running speed, you must have a strong core. So I started hitting the gym for the first time. Also started cycling for cross training.
Marathon is like Meditation!
Yes, almost. When I run it’s like I am meditating. The mind is calm and clear. It’s a great way to start your day. During my run, I plan for the day. Best of the ideas come to my mind while I run.
15 Half Marathons and counting!
So it’s been 4 for years and 15 Half Marathons and I am still running. Now busy training for one forthcoming Marathon in Aug (my first Hyderabad Half Marathon). Read more about me at http://www.sandeepvarma.com