Running is my blood group -- Arpitha Nagaraja

| Thursday, June 11, 2015 | |

  • I would proud to introduce myself as an "Athlete" than as an Engineer.
  • I don’t know from where to start !!! So many things to write.
  • I can't explain what Running means to me!!! I live with it.
  • When I run , I forget everything . I connect with myself completely. It gives me peace and happiness.
  • Kanteerava stadium is like Temple to me, I have emotional connection as I have had many PB's here (Long Jump & triple Jump) 


Good Old School days :-)

My dad is my inspiration, he has supported me a lot during my athletic days. He used to take me to ground early in the morning just to make sure that am safe. Since was living in small town there was no facility, I used to train on my own.( Only in holidays was attending athletic state/summer camps in Tumkur/Bangalore) 

In one of the district level athletic meet , District coach Shiv Sir was impressed by my performance. He spoke to my parents and included me to a camp which was sponsored by govt. I was very fortunate to train under him and was on cloud nine. My performance was at peak and my coach tried to convince my dad to send me to Alva’s Sports hostel, but he didn’t agree. But I didn’t lose hope and I made it to Nationals Athletic meet. Since I was one of the top athletes at that time, to my surprise, my name was listed in the Republic Day Award from the State Government. I owe the award to my coach and my Parents.

Dad used to travel with me for each and every event. He even came with me for my Nationals Athletics event held at Uttaranchal. For all state meets Mom and bro also used to accompany me so that I can stay in good hotel and get good food and sleep. Staying is a nightmare for athletes. We will be thrown to some govt school which I can't even explain the facilities provided for Athletes.
After looking closely in to these things, Pappa decided there is no life with Sports. Like every parent, My Pappa also wanted me to be good at studies.


Life in Mysore

I always wanted to join sports hostel or Athletic Academy. But, after entering 11th std ,Science stream was written on my fate. Early morning tuition..labs..assignments..full day classes,again in the evening tuition. So onnn..!!! I didn’t even get time for my training. But still I managed to go for training in Mysore(Ovel Grounds) weekly 2 days. I started to do Triple jump & 110mts Hurdles along with Long jump. But I was struggling to make it up for State meet. There were very good athletes from Sports Hostel. I was managed to get Silver in all the events and was listed under the state selection for Nationals. I was little reluctant to come to Kanteerava Stadium for the selection because I knew that am not up to the mark !!! To my surprise, I did my PB in Triple Jump but it was not good enough for the Nationals. I felt all doors are closed, I was shattered, cried whole night, Blamed myself..why the hell did I agree for my parents decision. I would have been in the list if had trained everyday !!! Now also,I am writing these words in pain !!!
The same story went on and on until I complete my Engineering.

There is some emotional bonding with all stadiums , especially Mahatma Gandhi stadium and Kanteerava stadium. These are my temples !!! I feel butterflies in my stomach whenever I see any stadiums, sometimes I do cry .I don’t know why I cry ☺ I feel my heart will curse me for lifetime for not being the Professional Athlete !!!


Corporate Life

\Fortunately I received a mail- Honeywell Runners Club looking for Nominations on my 3rd day in Honeywell. I was overwhelmed to see that mail !!! Immediately I contacted Runners club leader and shared my details. They welcomed me very well. Then we had internal run for Puma Urban stampede 2013 selection. I bought new shoes, tee & Shorts, I wasn’t sure whether I will be able to run 5KM as it was my first ever 5KM in my life !!! I finished in 40 min with 2nd place among 4 women participants !!! Wowwww !!! I can’t explain the happiness. Fortunately was part of Mixed relay team for the Puma Urban Stampede .I joined Snap Fitness to start the fitness activity but I couldn’t go to gym regularly due to hectic work. On the race day ,again I completed the race in 40min with all difficulties. Even though timing was bad, we were only 2 girls from the company ,so we got many appreciation mails from many people which motivated me. Then I started running/exercising regularly. In Dec2013 ran my first 10K(1:25) – Mid night marathon . I participated in almost all marathons, but I never improved my 10K timing !!! I did yoga, strengthening exercise at home,followed P90X videos..nothing helped My body was not at all supporting for long distance. Had breathing difficulty, fatigue,nothing worked for me. Everyone started asking me being an athlete why you are not able to improve your timing !!! I really needed structured training to transform from sprinting to long distance. Sprinters even have a different mentality than the distance Runners. When I started long distance, I really didn’t have patience to run for so long !!! Sprint/jumps will get over in few sec !!! Long distance needs increased endurance & consistency. Sprinting requires explosive strength, quick, fast and powerful steps with minimum ground contacts. I learnt long distance is a mind game !!! Training methods are entirely different.Also physical demands are entirely different.

I managed with 2 podium finish by training myself – 2nd runners up In Ajmera Thump Relay Event(Here,I got chance to interact with Bobby and had good photo session with him) & 1st runners up in Puma Urban Stampede National Finale 2015. My 5KM timing came up to 31min but still I wasn’t satisfied.
Since had seen Pacemakers in many events, I was very curious & wanted to join. But I was very reluctant to send a query in the Pacemakers site.So many they really consider me.. my timing is there any performance criteria to get trained..whether they really respond to my query etc..etc..To my surprise, I received a mail from Pani Sir in few hours. I was overjoyed , I told this big news to all my Honeywell running buddies☺



The day before the night I couldn’t sleep..I was so heart was dancing going to train in my fav stadium…hooo hooo ..yayyyy..yayyyy.:-)
I reached the stadium at 5 am, warm up was just started ,runners was on track. My first talk was with Dileepan Sir, He welcomed me warmly and told about the warm up routine. I did Namaskara to the track , was on top of the World!!!
I introduced myself to Pani Sir. He called Deepti & Deepta and told to join them ‘ma’. (‘Ma’ touched my heart my dad also talks like Sir )
I managed to do Interval workout on my first day. I was very much satisfied with the workout.
After 2 weeks I did 10K in 1:07 during TCS 10K route workout !!! That was my PB !!! I was on cloud nine !!! I started checking my nike app again & again because I couldn’t believe myself that I did !!! It was a magic ☺ My previous 10K in Ajmera Nice road run was 1:25 min !!! Unbelievable improvement. Then I ran well in Coorg escapade too.


Dream come True: 10k in 60 min

I did my PB in TCS10K mock run. Credit goes to Col. He paced with me throughout. I finished in 1:00:27 OMG !!! I was a surprise package for my Honeywell colleagues. Col. made my dream come true, motivated me throughout ,never let me to slow down.
I celebrated.. jumped..danced and celebrated. I was on cloud nine..yesssssss…I did it.. I told about my timing to whole world :-D

“The Run means Freedom... It means Pride..It means Perseverance..It means victory.. The Run means Everything”

Then comes the TCS10K race day. I was confident to finish under 60min but I couldn’t manage since was in F category I couldn’t maintain the pace.My app was crashed, I didn’t have any idea about my pace. I kept on motivating myself saying I have trained well,thought about interval training, ran in 60min last week,should break my PB today. Again my mind was saying you started with F section and your pace is not good!!! I am wearing Pacemakers tee, I should give justice !!! I will not give up, am running good ..I responded to my mind !!! This is where I felt that am controlling my mind!!!Finally I managed to finish in 1:03:12 .I was little disappointed with the timing !!! But I knew am capable of finishing under 60 min. There is a big improvement in my timing,almost 20 min improvement, what else I could ask for !!!
Am truly blessed to be a part of Pacemakers team. I can say Pacemakers team has given a new dimension to my Running Passion. Training in a group makes difference !!! There is such a spirit in each and every pacemaker. Again I can say “Age is just a number “!!!

Pani Sir is the best coach I could ever asked for, the most humble and gentle man. Sir, I love you,admire you Sir. I Promise, I will make you proud one day Sir.

Now, whenever talking with relatives..friends.. I open my mouth with Pacemakers.I couldn't stop talking about Pacemakers.They might think am mad:-D but it's ok:-)

Am more infected…more addicted to Running now…It will be getting more and more till my last breath !!!

Run... You will be a better person!!!

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