I feel so freaking happy right now, seriously!!!. I remember being 13 years old and not even being able to do 3 laps around the track, I was good at high jump, Long jump and short distance running but gosh, I hated long distance running, hated it with fiery passion!. Few years later, I find myself running for leisure and even enrolling myself for a 10K race?! My mom must have thought I was playing a big prank on her when I said I was gonna attempt it, she knows how much I used to hate it.
I cant begin to tell you what a massive personal achievement this was for me, coming from an injury, building back my strength over and over again. Training was challenging not only because of the recurring injuries but also because of all the trips that made me had to stop for a while and then start back from zero again.
Running the We Own The Night race last Saturday was a massive reminder that everything is possible if you really put your mind, heart and soul into it. The race was painful because of a pain in my abdomen that started around Kilometer 2. Have you ever felt that stabbing pain on the side of your stomach while you run? Some say its because you drink or eat something before running, some say its because you don’t drink, it still remains a mystery to me.
Around 2K I started feeling the pain on my left side and all I could think of was breathing: “Focus on breathing and don’t think about the pain!”, I kept repeating this to myself over and over again, I kept running forward. I was covered in goosebumps from it, my entire body, it almost felt as if I was running inside of a fridge even if it was such a hot night. By the 8th Kilometer the pain had become so strong, I was feeling it all over my stomach, not only the left side, all over my freaking stomach!
“Dammit, why today!?, I’ve been training for months and today of all days I had to get this? Just keep freaking running, forget the pain!!!!”…I knew there was only 2 kilometers to go and I ran and ran and its all such a blur today if I think about it.
I remember approaching the Olympic Stadium where the finish line was, I started to get flashbacks from my track and field days, from when I was 13 and couldn’t bare the thought of doing 3 laps around the track. I sprinted the last few meters, crossed the finished line, “I JUST FREAKING RAN 10K!!!! OMFG!!!! MOM I DID IT!!!!! I FREAKING DID IT!!!!”, and then I broke into tears. I was so proud, so so happy, my pain was still there but who cares, I didnt, I felt like a champion!
If you can dream it, you can do it. Cheesy, but so freaking true!
P.S- HUGE thanks to my trainers Jay and Rutger for pushing me so hard and to Jay for running alongside me keeping me motivated. We started this together and we finished the race together. A MILLION THANK YOUS!!!!
Photos by Richard Nicholls