Jaipur girl Charu Thukral is among India’s Top 10 female runners and the fastest female runner in Rajasthan for two years in row. Charu shares her journey of how she picked up marathon running.
I feel blessed to have been introduced to running at an early age. What started from running in parks and small lanes of my hometown led to running on expressways. Now, there is hardly any road left which I haven’t covered during my training sessions.
Running and training for marathons have given me the best of life.
Before taking up running professionally, I hardly spent time close to nature. Actually, there wasn’t any way that I would even wake up before the sunrise.
Hardly ever did I stopped to introspect. Running and training for marathons have given me the best of life. The adrenaline rush is what takes me back to the track over and over again. Having dabbled with short-distance running in school, the idea of running in kilometers always thrilled me. However, I always doubted my ability to run long distances until I first did my 4 km run in my hometown, Jaipur.
It was my Coach and Fitness Trainer, Ajay Singh, who identified my capability to survive long runs. He had the vision that I can excel in running marathons.
When I started, I was never asked to watch my pace, distance, time that I was finishing my runs in.
My Coach played a major role in letting me be myself and not pushing against my mental capability. The idea was that I should naturally feel connected to running.
My heart used to be full of emotions and sentiments whereas my mind full of thoughts and noise. But whenever I ran, I felt devoid of any emotions and thoughts. I enjoyed that early morning silence and felt much closer to myself.
My heart used to be full of emotions and sentiments whereas my mind full of thoughts and noise-Charu Thukral
I know how the thought of running 21 km in a half marathon can scare someone who has never even attempted to run long distances. But that one push and the belief in yourself is what has made this a part of my life for good.
The thrill of finishing my first 4 km, 8 km and gradually increasing the distance is something that cannot be expressed in words. I think it is worth experiencing once in a lifetime.
Dealing with Inner Conflicts
More than achieving something for recognition or honour, I took up running to de-stress myself – Charu Thukral
I used to see how everyone around me was talking about their training programs and saw people running on roads, parks etc. My siblings too shared their experiences of running marathons. That’s how a flame was kindled and passion aroused and I decided to run a marathon, adopt a better lifestyle, and be a part of this glorious day and experience the joy of being at the finish line.
Doubts were still there, and questions kept on bothering me:
Will I be able to run if I’m not an athlete? Where do I stand in terms of strength? Do I have time to go through all the training and follow a regime?
Should I prepare myself mentally this year, and try it the next year? Will I be able to run a good race on the race day?
But I remembered Kahlil Gibran’s lines, “God rests in Reason…but that same God, moves in Passion” made me believe that “It’s now or Never” .
If the determination is there, we don’t question ourselves, we find answers to those questions. For me, everyone who ran a 6 km dream run, a 21.1 km half marathon or a 42.2 km marathoner are just a matter of minor detail.
There were times, when I wanted to give up, but I consider myself to be blessed to have my family’s support.
My trainer’s utmost effort and sheer dedication towards my outdoor, core and strength training made me sail through and achieve the honour of being among India’s Top 10 female runners in my category and being fastest female runner of the state for two years in row. Had I let those doubts and questions overpower my mind and determination, I would have never been able to get my capabilities tapped in the right direction.