Monday, January 27, 2014

Reading will spur running- but where is the reading material?

When I signed up for my first 5k run last year, I was little skeptical about standing on the starting line on the day of the run. The word “running” used to conjure painful and awkward memories. My brain cautioned me about my endurance level and reminded me in a subtle way, about my low stamina due to being a smoker for several years. Needless to say, I was looking for all kinds of excuses to convince my co-runners that a 5k race was not the right place for me to be. Then I was thrown into world of 6 am training runs and peculiar aerodynamic shoes and guess what? I liked it very much! After a couple of runs, I found out that running is not as “terrible” as most of us think. I have been a runner ever since.

From that point onwards, I wanted to run and most importantly, I wanted to run like an educated smart runner who knows what is required to be fit, and how to run without injuring yourself especially when you are in 30s or 40s. I gathered more and more information about this sport through magazines, blogs, excerpts from high profile runners’ interviews and even articles from Harvard business school. I liked it all but there was always a missing element, a quandary, something I never got from there. I could see little variance between our thinking and their thinking – I would say due to a cultural and social gap. Moreover, some of the authors were so high profile and “Ironman” like that I thought running marathon or half marathon is not meant for average human like me. I tried to find some informative and motivational articles on this subject from Indian authors but could not find anything substantial enough to inspire me. Even TimesofIndia had articles on this topic authored by non-Indians, but they, unfortunately also had a limitation of not knowing Indian culture, which was reflected in their writings. No wonder, we don’t find a lot of Indians participating in long distance races. The drive or push is not enough to move us over the threshold and relish the true sense of running while reaping the benefits.

I have been researching for past few months as to why running is good for us and what it takes to embrace running as hobby. I looked upon the Internet, talked to professional runners, as well as novice ones like me to get a perspective. Although I am not a good writer, I decided to blog my findings and thoughts to convince my friends and people from our community. I realized that there are only few minor tweaks required to be made on our end to achieve the maximum benefits out of all the information available on this subject. If we make these minor adjustments, we can fill the cultural, social and environmental differences, leading us to run for our benefit. In my upcoming blogs, I will divulge more information on the amendments we could make in our lifestyle to enjoy running. Remember, besides improving your health running can also immensely boost your confidence and take you to a different level, professionally.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts or ideas.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Running sounds boring – here’s what you should do.

I was sitting with some friends at a birthday party yesterday and frivolous conversation started about running. The common complaint was : “Running is so boring”. I was not surprised. I had similar views less than a year ago. This is usually said by non-runners or by those struggling to become runners and sometimes even by those who are one time runners. Yes, running is boring but only in the beginning as you are panting along the trail or treadmill. This is no different from other sport which requires physical activity to a certain degree.

Remember – real health, happiness and a genuine sense of accomplishment comes from vigorous exercise only. Quite simple - What could be more convenient than running?  You don't need any elaborate gear. No special playing field or apparatus. No need to juggle the schedules of others or cause any disruption to commitments. Most importantly make your own rules and follow your timings.  The only thing you need is a comfortable pair of shoes and the inclination to get out the door. 

To overcome boredom, here are some tips –
  1. Make running comfortable – switch between interval running and walking at frequent intervals.
  2. Set up personal goal – you may start with 1 mile or even 1 km without care for clock timing.
  3. Sign up for a 5k run in next 2-3 months - think about your goal and an overall objective while running.
  4. Let few of your friends, family, kids and whoever is important to you know about this endurance raising endeavor.
  5. Buy high quality running gears from top brand companies like Nike or UnderArmour as a reward to yourselves just for thinking out of the box. Believe me that will help tremendously.
  6. Listen to music while running – your favorite childhood songs if you don’t like the new ones.
  7. Stick to your run schedule – it does not have to be daily with some cross training on no-run days.
  8. Use one running app to log your activities – this will give you a perspective on your performance and a determination to move forward.
  9. Meditate – After a month or so of continuous running, you will be able to time your breath with rhythmic running which will help in focusing you mind. There is nothing like repetitiveness of running to lull you into a meditative trance. And that is when you will start enjoying your miles and miles of running.
  10. Brainstorm – Once you learn the art of running at your own relaxed pace without gasping or losing your breath, you will find that not only does your mood improve, but your creativity flows like no other time.  

Just think this - You're one of the lucky ones. You're doing what millions of Indians wish they could do but can't due to various reasons. Enjoy the gift of being able to run with so much information and support. Day by day, you will get stronger, and faster, and fitter, and leaner filled with lot of pleasure and success. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Join the virtual runner club

The main reason I started writing this blog is because a couple of friends back in India encouraged me to share my experience of running. I think it created a sense of inspiration for them.  I will not consider my job done here, until I motivate few of them to run at least one marathon in their life time. Now, I see the value of blogging, especially when I get a call or email from a few of them to discuss the struggle and initial suffering of achieving that first goal – finishing the very first mile. Nevertheless, I think there is a tacit understanding between many of us that it is something achievable which can truly be a life changer.

However, I do see barriers in our mindset that keeps many would-be runners indoors - Self-consciousness and lack of enthusiasm. Precisely for this reason, I consider my blog to be a link between all of us to alleviate any concern and intimidation by any negative notion. I read in a Men’s Health article that half of all runners are over the age of 40, and a third are women. Most of them were slow and overweight when they started. So, why be embarrassed and look for excuses? Join our virtual runner club and let the race begin. We all will march together on this path to attain our active solace.

Check my previous blog on what you need to start running. Simple mantra is – go at your own pace. If you like listening to songs, download your favorite songs of Kishore Kumar or Jagjit Singh or whoever you like on your iPod and listen while running. It will make a huge difference! Your initial gains in fitness will come quickly and that will be enough to inspire you in initial stages. Look forward to the golden years because running is a marvelous way to diminish the effects of ageing and maintain a healthy lifestyle. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

My encounter with an elite marathon runner

Last Sunday Jan 19th, I volunteered at the Houston marathon 2014. After the race, I got an opportunity to meet a few of the dazzling runners who all finished the race within 2 hours and 30 minutes. Mesmerized by their performance, I was looking for an opportunity to chat with a couple of them.  I noticed a guy standing in the corner calmly sipping his protein shake. I approached him and greeted him with a smile. He had flown all the way from Virginia to participate in the race! We talked for about 15-20 minutes on various topics related to long distance running. As a novice runner who recently sensed the joy of running, I was eager to tell him about my ongoing preparations for half marathon. I also told him about how I had been following a rigorous schedule and running almost 40 miles a week (Check my blog link) to deliver the best performance.

But when I heard what he advised me, I immediately understood the flaw in my training program and how I was inviting injury to strike me. He said there are two things cardinal to a long distance runner, if you want to enjoy it for a long time. First is that “Don’t overdo it” and second “let your brain gradually work on your endurance”. In other words – don’t force the body to quickly get into long distance running because it may back fire resulting in a big injury which could altogether put a stop on your endeavor. Go at your own pace, don’t compete with anybody and speed does not matter a lot here, what matters the most is the sense of accomplishment you cross the finish line.

That was a decent eye opener for me as I realized that I was too quick in my preparation. I enjoyed running thoroughly and never cared about the negative impact of my actions. Boy, this could shorten my stint with running sooner than later. I want to enjoy running for my entire life now and it has become a hobby for me which gives pleasure and motivation to be cheerful every day. Keeping that in mind, I revised my running calendar as shown below. I am feeling much better now and my body has also responded positively to this change. Many thanks for the expert advice from that Virginian runner.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Houston Marathon 2014 – from a volunteer’s viewpoint

Today I volunteered at the Houston Marathon 2014 with a few of my friends, and WOW what an event!

I started around 4:30 am in the morning from my house to be a part of the race crew at Gatorade station which was located at 4 miles from the starting point. I was told by our crew captain that we as volunteers will be setting up tables and will have to fill around 10,000 cups with Gatorade and water for the runners by 7 am. Total number of runners registered to participate in the race was around 30,000. 

The first group of runners who arrived were from an elite group who were running very fast! They did not care for Gatorade or water and just passed by like a fast train. First to arrive were male runners; 10-15 of them and then female elite runners – super men and women.

In another 20 minutes or so, more runners started reaching our station and a few of them asked for
cups of water or Gatorade while running at around 8-9 miles per hour.  By quarter to nine, I noticed a surge in number of marathoners reaching our station. At least 100 volunteers like me were furiously working on handing them cups of Gatorade. Boy, that was too much to handle, and cups were vanishing very quickly without proper planning – that’s when I realized why our crew captain instructed us to stack cups in four layers.

Our work at that station was finished by 8:30 am. The Houston waste management company sent their vehicle and people to help clean the road and collect all the trash. The road was open for traffic by 9 am or so.  At that time,  a couple of other friends and I decided to head out to grab some breakfast at a place near the 22nd milestone. We sat in an outdoor area of the cafĂ© watching the runners pass by while having an omelet, pancakes and coffee. There was a band playing to boost up the morale of all the runners along with people cheering from the sides.

The 42nd running of the Houston Marathon, the largest single day sporting event held in the city, culminated at George Brown center when an Ethiopian Bazu Worku took home the men’s victory with a dominant time of two hours, seven minutes and 32 seconds.  It was an exciting completion of the race, as another Ethiopian Abebech Bekele made a late surge and stole the victory on the women’s side, amassing an impressive time of  two hours, eighteen minutes and 27 seconds.

In the end, I would say that spectators, volunteers, crew and officials who took part in today's half marathon and marathon, made the event truly amazing and memorable! Great job to everyone who came and helped out! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Volunteering for Houston marathon

Tomorrow is a big day for all the runners in Houston area when the major and most prestigious event of the year is happening – Chevron Houston Marathon. As a novice runner, this was a good opportunity for me to fathom the excitement and to get the first hand experience of this fabulous endurance contest but I could not get myself registered. Anyway, there is always a next time. I have promised to myself that I will not let my enthusiasm go down to participate in this race next year being a proud Houstonian.

On the positive side, I am part of 7500 race crew who are volunteering to help organizers hosting this amazing event. I am very excited to be part of the crew who are involved in pre-race and race day volunteer opportunity. In my opinion, volunteering has the “happiness effect”; it helps you connect to people in your community and also brings a natural sense of accomplishment. Since I am an avid runner myself, my role as a volunteer in the race gives me sense of pride and identity. Moreover, what would be more fascinating than watching thousands of marathoners on their race course. I am definitely going to share lot of pictures from the race in my next few blogs to enthrall my readers. Even my kids are thrilled about this race which has generated so much buzz in the city.

As for today, I went for my usual workouts to gym rather than running outdoors with my kids. I prefer to take a day break after couple of days of long distance (more than 10 miles) running to prevent overuse injuries and restore glycogen stores.  I love lifetime fitness in my area, my kids love it for the facilities they have. We had some good time together and I think I am all set for volunteering in tomorrow’s mega event.

Friday, January 17, 2014

2500 Pageviews in first 10 days - Thank You.

This is a big encouragement for me. I also hope that few of you might have tried running after reading my blogs. If not then please do.

Looking forward to more of your comments.


Houston Rhythm and Blues Half Marathon

I am pretty excited about my next race which is on Feb 9th – Rhythm and Blues half marathon in Houston. 

Check out the link below –

I am a casual runner who has recently taken up running. Therefore, I am training hard to put up my best timing in the race. Sometimes it is good to challenge yourself to perform better. Today I ran 10 miles non-stop in my neighborhood. Although I like running in my area, from next week I will go on a different trail to join a group of runners. I hope that would be more fun plus will be a good learning curve for a novice like me.  I have a gym membership as well and go there for workouts, but running outdoors has its own charm. In addition to exploration and appreciation, running fills what no gym can offer. And a larger portion of fitness enthusiasts would concur to that. Also, when running outdoors you are able to take deep breaths of fresh air that has a natural ability to raise your mood and elevate your senses. Personally for me, I feel less exhausted and running long miles becomes easy to attain.

Now, I feel that training for an event like a marathon helps to keep things lively and interesting because there are goals set in place. You challenge yourself all the time and then make a sincere effort to extract the best out of yourself.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Why is running good for Indians?

We all have heard about meditation at some point of time in our lives. A few of us have even tried meditating in the privacy of our homes or any quiet place. Result?  Eternal peace, calmness, freedom from anxiety and so forth.  Isn't this sound very familiar? Or remind you of some guru preaching to his disciples about the magic of meditation? This is enough to compel many of us to try this easy way of relieving stress from day to day life and feeling relaxed.

Question is - Have you ever tried it? Did you feel what you anticipated? I did try it once or twice and believe me I could not concentrate to the level where I could attain the best outcome. I talked to couple of other folks and got similar answers. That made me think, can this really happen and if so then is it that simple? Anyway, I am still searching for the right person to give me convincing answers.

Nevertheless, I got that sense in running. Running is like meditation. I am not a guru but a common man like you and millions of other people in this world, who have families and work 9 to 5 every day to make their living. So, this is a very honest confession from my very own experience. I was reluctant initially to run but once I entered the world of running, there was no return and it changed my whole life.

Dear friends – I got my answer to the question about meditation with a little twist- instead of sitting in a closed room, go out and start running. You will soon be able to focus like a swan and have concentration like Arjun. That is precisely the reason why people who get into running feel healthy and happy all the time. Most people who go to the gym are regular attendees; have you ever wondered why? Well, it is because they are captivated by the thought of running, and enjoy the multitude of benefits.

When I grasped the truth about this democratic sport, I promised to myself that I will at least let people know through my blog. Ironically, I was never a good writer. But, hey, I can still try for a good cause.
Even science says that “The biggest benefits come from vigorous exercise like running". Here are common benefits mentioned below in my own words -

  • Weight loss for sure. You will look younger.
  • No need to take any cholesterol medicine even if you have high cholesterol.
  • Your brain and body will function better because you will feel fresh most of the time. You will be less depressed and more productive. You will feel more confident and sharp.
  • You will sleep like a baby.
  •  If you are a smoker, you will start hating cigarettes. This could be the easiest way to say goodbye to smoking.
  • Your family and kids will start appreciating your efforts more than ever. You will become their hero.
I sincerely hope that some of you will at least give it a try now. My only advice for you is to move at your own pace. Never compete with anybody. You can do it with a partner or just by yourself. Feel free to comment or ask questions. Welcome to the magical world of running!

High School evacuated after bomb scare – no running yesterday

Yesterday was one day, I will never forget. Not because I could not go running – just kidding..  but for other reason. I was in a meeting in the office, when my daughter texted me ‘dad – there is a fire in our school.. Oh no it’s a bomb threat ’. Really, are you serious? I did not pay enough attention, just ping my wife to talk to her for details. Later on when I came out of the meeting, I noticed that the news was flashing on all TV channels just like they show in movies.  Helicopters hovering over the school, SWAT, FBI, Katy ISD police, and Hazmat team in their special suit, it looked like they were planning for some major strike against somebody in the school area. When I contacted my daughter, she and other 3600 students were already out of the school sitting in a baseball and football field away from any imminent danger watching this show. Nevertheless, she sounded very excited to tell the story to the world. Later, ISD officials ordered the school to be evacuated and closed for the day with nobody allowed to take anything out of the school perimeter, not even their cellphones if student or teacher left them in school at the time of exiting their classroom. People were not allowed to take the cars out from parking lot for the entire day.

Check the link below if interested in reading more –

After I came back from work, we glued to TV for hours to get more updates on the situation. Interestingly, they found the suspect who happened to be a senior student and took him into custody. Story over in a very dramatic fashion with happy ending though. We considered ourselves so fortunate that everybody got out safe and sound.

That’s enough of serious talk. Let us come back to this blog core competency area which is running or jogging. I did run today, around 8 miles to get some personal satisfaction.  I do want to write about another topic tonight but it is too late.  Please wait for my next blog!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Why Indians are generally reluctant to running?

Less than a year back, I was so disinclined, unenthusiastic and reluctant to running that the sheer thought of jogging made me feel useless and unproductive. One day last year, one of my colleagues signed me up for a 5k race and to save my face, I decided to take up running just for couple of weeks. Least did I know that this event will change my whole life in time to come. I have been a runner ever since. Less than a year… just in less than a year, I realized that there is nothing that a good jog can’t improve.

Today when I talk to my friends and family, they all admire what I have achieved and truly believe in what I am experiencing. However, when I go to any race – 5k, 10k or half Marathon, I rarely see any Indian in 35 plus age range participating. Believe me that hurt me most. Why guys? Why this reluctance? You need to understand that best therapy comes not on couch but in running shoes.

I talked to several of my friends in US, even in India and everybody has all kind of good reasons not to run or jog. The funniest comment I hear most of the time is “I don’t want to be Salman Khan or I am not a movie star so why to bother”.  In US, people claim to be busy all the time, weekdays or weekend. Running errands, taking kids to soccer game, attending birthdays, backyard work, carpet vacuum and the list goes on and on… I do the same too - but ask yourself – can you not spare one hour for something which could become your lifelong hobby and help you lose weight, improve fitness, relieve stress and above all make you feel accomplished.

We could spend hours on Internet or watching TV but do not want to jump out of our comfort zone. Most of us have joined a fitness gym at some point of time or bought a treadmill or elliptical at home but after a while either that goes for resale on eBay or Craigslist. And on a lighter note, I also know some folks who used it to dry wet clothes.

Yes, running may be hard initially. When I thought a year back to the times before I was a runner and I never wanted to try because running is just so darn hard! I remember how many times I thought about how crazy or boring it is to run. But, then one good day I took running and that became life changer. The key is to go for it at your own pace and your body will adapt after couple of try. To make it easy, just think about how it can make you like happy and healthy.  Most of us don’t understand the value of running because that’s not something we learned growing up back in India. The emphasis was just on study, career building, get married and then live happy ever after like a fairy tale. Unfortunately, we still have that mindset and that is why we ignore the long term benefits of running or jogging. And often, we come up with lame excuses.

I hope some of you may get into the world of running soon. As for me, I will continue writing these blogs to share my real life experiences and give few motivational tips. Whatever helps…

Sunday, January 12, 2014

What do you need for running?

Good things to know if you want to start running! You’ve heard this is inexpensive and has a multitude of benefits.  From my own experience, I can tell that it is a great problem solver because it directly soothes your brain which is the control center of all your anxiety, emotions and thoughts. Today let’s focus on basic gear and other things you might need to “Sri-Ganesh” the best thing of your life – running.

  1. Comfortable shoes – some say barefoot running is good but I would still prefer to run in shoes, just for my own safety. Go for one which is lighter and feels like you are barefoot. Nike free run shoes are the best in my opinion.
  2. Shorts or pants – Depending on the weather.  I would say use running shorts that aren’t too long (ones you use to play basketball with your kids).
  3. Socks – Any brand is good but make sure it’s good enough to protect you from blisters.
  4. IPod – Listening to music is always good because it keeps you distracted and you will not feel exhausted while running or jogging.
  5. Drinks – I prefer water over any other drink. But, the point here is that you must keep yourself hydrated all the time. Especially, if you plan to run more than couple of miles either on a tread mill or outdoors.
  6. Stretch a little before you start and after you finish the run to reduce any soreness.
  7. Make all the excuses you want but get on with it. Just concentrate on one reason that brought you to running. Your focus will work like a magic.
  8. Keep track of your running because that is a great motivator. I consider myself a novice runner too, but keeping a writing diary helps me sticking to my goal.
  9. Lastly – if it helps, register for a 5k race and start reading about running.  You will find lots of amazing stories on the  Internet  to motivate and keep you on track.

That’s all for me today. On the personal side, I did achieve my goal for this week that was running 40 miles in a week. For all of my readers, who are interested in knowing, I will be running half marathon on Feb 9 in Houston.

I often think about the day when one of my colleague signed me up for the 5k run last year. My whole life changed the day I took up running and every day I feel like I am becoming a better person.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fit Indian – My son had a basketball game today

I promised to myself that I would go for running today no matter what. Most of us who are here in US for at least a decade know how busy our weekends are. It seems that is the only time to fix up stuff so that the following week goes smoothly. I also had few things in my to do list - taking off Christmas lights from yard which I put for Diwali and most important, my son had a basketball game which his team won after playing neck to neck for first three quarters.  He did play well and notched five scoring shots. This is his second KYB season and he takes so much pride in representing “A team”. Here is the link, if you want to watch today’s game.

We came back home, I was feeling little drained yet decided to go for the run in my neighborhood. Weather was pleasant and I knew that by the time I was home again, I would feel mentally refreshed. I ran more than 8 miles as my goal was to complete running 40 miles this week. 

That’s all for today, friends. Tomorrow, I’ll write about what all you need to take up running as a beginner. And I honestly want at least few of you to start because my whole life changed the day I took up running.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday Run - 1/10/14

Last few days in US were freezing cold. Even Southernmost state like Texas was hit badly. Generally, Houston weather is pleasant in January - around 40-50 F but this week it was down to 15-25F, below freezing. Unbelievable... 

Anyway, I could not do any outdoor running in past two days. Today, I was working from home and between two conference calls I had some free time. I decided to hit the gym for workout and little bit of running. Although, I avoid trade mills for long distance running but today was an exception. And so glad I ran 7 miles in one stretch. The dip in the speed is when my office folks called me to discuss something :(

Oh, this is the screenshot from one of the apps - Nike Running which I use to track and log all my runs. I like this app because it is so easy to use and basically not very fancy.

I have few races both 5k and 10k lined up in coming two months and half marathon planned in March. I will continue to post the detail of preparations in my blogs.

Please do comment or if you are a runner, feel free to drop an advice or suggestion. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Commitment day run 2014 – Houston

Today I will share my first running event of 2014 on Jan 1st – a Fun Run/Walk dedicated to starting a national conversation about living a Healthy Way of Life. What a fine way to start the New Year, besides going to the temple or staying at home.

After attending a new year’s party on the night of the 31st, it was not easy for me to wake up early in the morning, and drive for 20 miles to get to the run. However, I knew that the post-race satisfaction would triumph over the unease of leaving the bed so early on Jan 1st considering I slept around 2 am the prior night and refrained from drinking barrels of scotch at the party. As expected, hundreds of enthusiastic runners were present at the event ready to start the year with a resolution to become healthier and happier. 

Post event ceremony was also gratifying when event directors reminded everybody that “we are different” than millions of people around the world who would still be in their bed with a hangover or a headache. I could feel the pride in the air as many people around me felt contented and accomplished.

In my upcoming blogs, I will share many more stories and experiences for all my readers to enjoy and consume. I would consider my blogging effort to be successful if I could motivate even one of my readers to take a little step out of their comfort zone towards making life more healthy, eventful and fulfilling.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Common Indian - Breaking the stereotype..

When I think back to a few years ago, I remember a time when I attempted to go for a jog around my neighborhood. My stamina and energy were so low that I asked my daughter to come along and follow me on her bike with a bottle of Gatorade, in case I felt dizzy or ran out of breath. Yet, here I am today running several miles without even pausing for a minute.

 I now realize the basic mantra behind enhancing endurance – and that is to keep trying and taking small steps first. Then begin to challenge yourself. Just believe in yourself and remember as soon as you finish your first run, you will feel spectacular and there will be no looking back.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Common Indian - Breaking the stereotype

Who am I? A common man - Aam Aadmi!

Well - I am a common Indian living in Houston,TX with my family. I have a beautiful wife, a very talented daughter who is in high school and a sporty son who is in 4th grade. I would like to write little bit more about me for now, in context of my first blog.

I have an engineering degree with MBA and currently work for one of the largest oil and Gas Companies in the world as senior manager. I will furnish other details later in my blogs to make my writing more meaningful and to the point. Needless to say at this point, there are many Indians and individuals like me and therefore I am a common man.

However, what makes this blog interesting (at least in my opinion) and may prove to be motivational for some of the readers here because I know that lot of us are on the same page looking to do something just for themselves to feel accomplished and internally satisfied. A little bit more than just money, house, status, luxury etc.

I would like to share my real life experience here which really made me feel spectacular, positive, and energetic and of course accomplished in a very short span of time. And that is because I picked up running – running like Forrest Gump…just kidding..

 I was never really an “athlete” in my life, Yes, I played cricket, volleyball, and football during my school days in India but the focus was always study, study and study… Joined a decent engineering college then MBA, got married then kids, job overseas. Age 40 now... then what…?  I was not a health freak, just an occasional swimmer. The transition to jogging and running was indeed a major shift in my lifestyle…I will write in detail in my next blog about how that happened…but believe me, the truth of the matter is, everybody’s passion is driven by their own ideas and way of thinking. What is worth mentioning here that I have run almost 500 miles in past 7-8 months. Participated in several 5k, 10k and half marathon so far. Every single time I take part in these events, I feel proud of my success and how far I have come with just a bit of effort and a lot of heart. I have lost at least 20 pounds of weight so far, I am maintaining a healthy lifestyle, look and feel fit and better than ever before.

To be continued in my next blog...