Running a marathon is always an experience and participating in a run after a gap of 2 years makes a huge difference. I wish to share my experience during my last 10 km run on Sunday 25th November 2018.

On 24th November I received a call from Dr. Mahesh Bedekar that my t-shirt and bib can be collected from his Hospital in Thane. I collected my t-shirt and bib which had a number 1073. I immediately added all the numbers to arrive at a magic figure of double one that is 11(Eleven). I remembered the days when we used to play housie where in 11 used to be announced as two little legs. The number 11 gave me the confidence to join the race. I reached home in the evening and checked for the size of the t-shirt. After wearing the t-shirt I felt it was just made for me. The size was just perfect and projected my personality as a runner. My wife Mrs. Mamta Joshi complimented me for the look. T shirt, my track pant, my shoes all were helping me gain confidence and I felt like a perfect Runner.

After a light dinner on 24th I was just thinking of the run next morning when I received a phone call from my brother who was boarding a train from Thane station heading towards Khandwa junction. He had few queries and we had a short conversation. I thought of making an attempt to personally visit him at the station but did not go as I had to run the next day and I did not want myself to be awake late night. I was deep in thoughts as I was moving towards the bed. I experienced a lot of self-talk and I was putting a lot of pressure on myself by repeatedly going over questions and being unsure on my ability to complete the 10km run. Some of the questions which I recall are were:

- Will I be able to complete the run? PUZZLE OF MOTIVATION WHILE RUNNING A LONG RUN
- What will my family think about me if I fail to complete the run?
- What made me participate in the run?
- Did I make a very hasty decision?
- Was I overconfident when I took this decision of running?


Such apprehensions kept bothering me and I could not fall asleep. I tried to focus meditatively on breathing and gradually drifted off into an interrupted sleep. I remember In the Pic: Dr. Nitin Joshi (L) with Dr. Mahesh Bedekar (R) that I waking up literally almost after every 2 hours to ensure that I am ready to run on time and I should not be late. I got off the bed around 4:30 am in the morning and did some warm up. I took a cold shower and then by 5:30 am I was ready to leave for the big run of my life. I was to report at Upvan lake at 6 am. There was a lot of anxiety and pressure which was pulling down my morale. However, after getting into my running kit I felt better and Mamta cheered me up once again to ensure that my anxieties were at rest. She clicked a picture before we left. Her excitement and appreciation boosted my levels and we started to move towards Upvan lake. We reached the palm tree point just on time. This was the point from where the run was to start at Upvan lake. At the palm tree point we could see participants who were charged with very high energy. I met Dr. Mahesh Bedekar who extended a warm welcome to Mamta and me. Meeting Dr. Mahesh always brings in a lot of positive energy. He was one of the main organizers of this run and he did ask my wife whether she was also going to be a part of then Run. My wife said she had come to cheer for me. Dr. Mahesh encouraged her to run even if she had not registered. His encouraging words motivated Mamta and she decided to run for 5km.

The program started off with clear instructions of the Marathon route and facilities which would be made available on the route for the runners. A warm up session was organized by Mr. Nagesh Shetty before the run and I could see some very trained participant amongst the large pool of people. The entire environment was charged with positive energy and everybody had a smile on their face. After the warm up all the runners who were running for 10 km run gathered at the starting point.

I could feel my heart beats accelerate, faster than the normal as we were approaching the start line around 6:25 am. The chief guest flagged off the race sharp at 6:30 am. My journey began and there was still a lot of pressure. The climate was a little humid and that was not good for the run. There was a huge pressure of performing and coming up to your own expectations. This is one point where you create both positive and negative thoughts. Positive thoughts help you move ahead whereas the negative ones suck your energy. A lot of runners were running faster than me and after a Dr. Nitin Joshi after competing the 10km Run. kilometer or so I felt that I was the last person in the run. I did not look back to check weather I was the last or second last and continued running.

After about 2 kms I picked up a water bottle as I was sweating profusely. After completing 3 kms I did not see runners around me and I was on the verge quitting the run. I started doubting my own capabilities and more negative thoughts were pushing me farther in the race. I was getting convinced that I won’t complete the run. But as I was in the 4th km, I saw a lot of people losing their steam and I was still moving with the same speed. I could see people sitting for tying up their shoe laces or walking slowly to revive their energy.

Human mind has a tendency to compare the performance with others. I probably got little energy when I did see some of the runners unable to cope up with the weather condition and getting exhausted. I was still moving with the steady pace. The 5th km lapse was quite close to my house and I was tempted to move out, head home and relax. However, I did observe a young man trying his best to keep moving and I drew inspiration from him. I also motivated him which actually helped me to surge ahead. This was learning that when you motivate others you yourself get motivated.

I think we develop a lot of road blocks or the so-called mental blocks in the course of performing any activity. After completion of 5 km I realized that I still have some more steam and continued on the track. I must have completed 7 km and my brain started sending positive signals that I should be able to complete another 3 kilometers. I kept wondering who generates these signals in our mind. There is always a discussion going on about the difference between mind and brain and I am not sure whether it was my mind was generating the signals or was it my brain.

I came across a gentleman who was constantly running with my speed. He was making positive body postures to cope up with the drained energy levels and I realized that his body language and the vibes were helping me regain my energy. The run continued and I observed a couple running together. It was quite pleasant to see that both of them were trying to motivate each other with their success stories and helping one another to continue the journey. I could understand this as I over took them during my run and when I got slower, they overtook me. When somebody overtakes you and if this gives you a In the Pic: Dr. Nitin Joshi with a fellow runner positive charge this means that you still want to challenge yourself and put your best. It worked for me and I over took them.

I had asked Mamta to click my photograph near the finishing line. I was still running and I think that I was 300 meters away from the finishing line. I was excited and heard a group of people cheering me. My speed increased and I set into a sprint, as if I was running 400 meter race. I had all the energy now and I kept wondering from where the energy came into my body. I do not know but I did learn that our environment has a lot of impact on our energy levels. If you give positive instruction to your brain there is a likely possibility that it passes on similar instructions to your body and your body starts reacting to the stimulus generated by the brain.

Mamta was standing approximately 50m before the finish line so that she could capture a small video. She never anticipated that I could be running so fast that she missed clicking even a picture. I took roughly 71 minutes to complete the run and thanked the almighty. I received the medal of completing 10 kilometers and this again gave me a sense of satisfaction.

Gathering the learning, the thoughts and sum up my experience, I can say that everybody has an opportunity to explore his or her abilities and life gives everybody a chance. What is required is that we recognize such defining moments as they allow us to test ourself. And each time we face a challenge, it is a self-realization moment where we get to know a lot about our own self, our strengths, weak areas, the resilience and our ability hold a little more. I wish to thank the organizers and wish to share that this run was organized by the medical doctors in thane with the objective of initiating the clean thane drive. I wish to thank Dr. Mahesh who gave me an opportunity to participate.

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