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Here comes the Dubai Marathon! The big day is on the 26th of January 2018.

In 2017, I registered for the 10K run just 2 days before the event and felt I could have been better organised. Little did I think I would repeat the same this year, that too for a full marathon. I got the thought of running on 22nd and signed up for it on 23rd. With just 3 days of mental preparation and having run a max of 15 km ever in my life, this definitely seems a physical task. Generally, runners plan a strict training schedule and I really salute the efforts that go into it. After meditating on it, here are the 5 reasons I came up with on why I should run.

1. Running a full marathon has been on my bucket list since last year. Ever since I started teaching yoga, I haven’t had the time to run and the interest died over a period. As far as my fitness goes, I have been regularly practising yoga and lately started lifting some weights too. It’s nowhere near endurance training but I do have a good pace at walking and cycling. So I plan to combine the run with walk. As of now, the intention is to run non-stop for 15 km and then alternate the run with a walk. For every 10 mins of running, a 2 km walk may do the trick. I could add in a forward bend and a few stretches every 30 minutes. The official finishing time is 6 hours for a 42km run, which means I have to maintain a minimum average pace of 7km/hr to complete the run.

2. Krish and myself started running together last year but with my commitments, I couldn’t keep up with him. We have always done activities together, be it running, walking, cycling or trekking. This run is dedicated to him to show that despite whatever commitments we have, we will remain ‘ONE’ and will always be there for each other.

3. Run for a cause! As you all know, I am a strong advocate of using reusable bags over plastic bags. This run is dedicated to creating awareness on plastic pollution and appreciating all those who take an effort in making sustainable lifestyle changes.

4. As a family, we shifted to a wholefood plant-based diet 5 years ago. We have personally seen the changes and benefitted from the same. Over a period, we have been consuming almost 80% raw food. While the world believes that one needs to consume animal products to be strong, this run will prove that vegan power is equally strong!

5. Lastly, I turned 42 years old recently and there can’t be a better reason to do a full marathon to commemorate this.

I have to personally thank my dear friend and classmate, Sunil, a marathon runner, for guiding, motivating and giving me tips on how I could complete the run. A big thanks to all the feedback from Sunil’s fellow runners from Soles of Cochin, on how I could prepare for this event on such short notice. Some of the interesting points from my well wishers which struck me were:

‘Its all a mind game.’

‘Believe in the power of visualisation. Imagine holding the medal in hand and thank yourself for taking this brave simple as that.’

'Do not think about the distance, just move ahead with the flow.'

'Be determined that you will finish the race.'

'Run with groups or individuals who are willing to talk and it will reduce anxiety.'

'Look around and enjoy all the things you come across.'

'Thank the volunteers.'

'Think about the loved ones who want to hear the great news and you will reach the finish line.'

On this note, stay tuned for a blog post after the run where I shall share my experiences of running a full marathon.

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