Huffing my way through the Woluwe Run
Social media often draws a lot of flak - for its anonymous trolls, for personal moments paraded publicly, for…..well you get the idea. However, often it succeeds in achieving what it was meant to in the first place – help one meet like-minded people. That preamble Dear Readers was to tell you how I found myself at the Woluwe Run.
I was new to Brussels and was on the look-out for fellow fitness enthusiasts. That’s how I found myself putting up a post on a Facebook page for Indian Expats. ‘Anybody out there who would like to jog/train together?’ -was the gist of the message sent across. Fortunately for me, a member of IECB reached out and I was welcomed very warmly into a group of running enthusiasts. “Why don’t you try the Woluwe Run?” they said. And try I did!
The 6KM run was an eye opener; to the beauty of Brussels and to my lack of stamina. After months of being cocooned in a jacket, I absolutely loved the sunny day and as the route took us through Parc Malou, I was delighted to have witnessed such charming sights. However, at the 3km mark, the charm faded away as my body began to protest. Sad to say, my body wanted to lie flat on the nearest horizontal surface. I realized that my hourly visits to the gym hadn’t really helped me build the required stamina to sail through a 6Km run. With three more Kms to go, willpower was my only saviour. Thus, 50 minutes later, I huffed and puffed my way to the finish line. I must say though, there is something about the euphoria of achievement even when every muscle in your body is screaming in pain.
The highlight of the run for me came somewhere around the 5km mark. There I was, painfully slow-jogging my way uphill when a 60-something-year-old man breezed past me (Wow!) but not before he advised me to jog without scrapping my feet!
Someday, I hope to be fit enough to breeze past a much younger person on an uphill run!
It is not a dream anymore...
As a chronic asthmatic child, I could only imagine doing sports. So in my head, I was first-class Gymnast, figure-skater, synchronized swimmer, skier, biker, marathon-runner. I would often console myself – ‘yes, in my next life’.
But, thanks to Belgium with its fervor for sports all around, friends of IECB who keep mailing to build up the spirits and a partner who cheers and volunteers to run along, my marathon-run dream has jump-started after 22 years. Not only did I complete my 6Kms, I am now encouraged to test my own limits- 100kms walk in August 2017. I know that it looks impossible but this is exactly when my son Vishu’s simple catchy line starts to play in loop – “Don’t take the easy way, difficult is fun!” So, I look-up to Lekha and Monica for encouragement and my peers – Ruta, Dany to lean-on.
Big cheers to life and let’s see how many more dreams can be realized in a lifetime?
My running experience on 8 may 2016 at the 15km of Woluwe
Monica Flores Nocedal (Mexican origin- write-up originally written in Spanish by Monica and then she translated it in English)
I am not really a marathon lover but I run three or four times a week just to keep my condition healthy.
I did hear about running in marathons or half marathons or 5, 10 or 15 km, but I was not really interested. Then I heard from my neighbors that they were planning to run in the 15kmWoluwe. My other friend with whom I usually go for running also suggested me to run the 15 km there.
I signed individually and thought I would go alone. When my neighbor Ruta called me to ask if I wanted to join their group of friends who were also running, I found it very good idea and I accepted to join their group. I do not regret having made that decision. I think it was the best thing I could have done! I think the simple fact is it's very important to have someone else to motivate you when you're in this kind of event...
I chose the 15 km run, along with two others in the group. Others ran 6km. Our beginning (15 km run) was scheduled at 10:35 in the morning but it got late by few minutes as many people decided to attend last minute!!! And so we left. We three started together but in a while we got separated. There were no clouds, very few moments of shade, more pavement than normal ground, lot of sunshine and less water (only two places where we received water !!!!) ... the heat dominated. I was hearing everywhere breathing and puffing of many runners. Running in the "crowd" is not really my thing; I'm not a fan of the crowd. I tried to isolate myself mentally and think about my normal weekend runs with my friend or alone, and so did not feel the stress of someone else following me. For few rare moments I gave speed and sometimes fall still ... all in order to stabilize my heartbeat.
Occasionally I looked at my watch, which incidentally was going well (thanks Lidl !!!) and kept running. Once I heard "only 3 km is remaining" I said to myself "Yes you can" and kept running despite the thirst and heat that overwhelmed me. Once I saw the finish line I tried to run as fast as I could but it did not happen. When I came to the finish line I felt happy because I need not force my body. I felt overheated but I recovered immediately. I felt fresh once I saw the group. They were really nice supporters! We laughed and we took some pictures! It was a very nice experience, maybe to do it again (with the group!) :-) .