Experience one cannot forget

Roshni Cecelia Pereira is an avid runner, a house-wife and loving mother of 2 children. She happened to get into running to lose weight and since then she is unstoppable. Roshni was nominated twice for the Mumbai Road Runner Award night; in 2017 for Improved runner and in 2018 for Best runner.

Roshni till now has officially ran One Full Marathon, Eleven Half Marathons, Maiden 25Kms run, Seven 10 kms & One 5 kms and has won many podiums till now :-

  • 1st runner up @ Yeour Hill run – 21km
  • 1st runner up @ Keep on running (KOR) – 10 km
  • 1st runner up @ Goregaon Spirit of Sport run – 10 km in year 2018
  • 1st runner up @ Goregaon Spirit of Sport run – 5 km in year 2019

Pacing is the new liking of Roshni and she recently also had the experience as a Pacer to drive her bus loaded with people on time to the finishing line.

In just 2 years of time she achieved her initial goal of becoming a Marathoner.

You can read her experience of running her 1st official Marathon from her own heart.

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The Experience of running my 1st Full Marathon !!!

“The pride in finishing a marathon is much greater than all the pain endured during the marathon.” Hal Higdon

On Race day…

I woke up at 1.20 am when the alarm rang in a fraction of second, no, it wasn’t the excite of the race, but the frustration of fight (silly one though) which had not allowed me to sleep whole night. Got ready by 3 am left with Sunil and Varsha to the station to take 3.30 am train for CST station (now I wasn’t in the mood at all, as I had not cleared my bowel). Reaching station my friend Varsha asked  me where is the  Garmin, and I was like, Holy Christ!! no records of my first FM on such expensive gadget what a waste 😉 …….Uff…… but I was still chilled……. Met my BBG gang in the train and I was normal by then… Samuel was asking me to take his Garmin watch, that was very sweet of him even my other runner friend Sunil was giving me his earphones, he runs with his earphones all time, for me it was ok, as I run without it, so it didn’t matter. After wishing goodbye to the HM’ers who got down at Mahalaxmi, we others sat there relaxed. We (Alwin, Rahul, Xavier, Jaj and me) reached the venue and started with the warm up….. I heard a voice shouting my name and it was my friend Ritu along with her hubby passing by, I told her to carry on I will catch up at the B line up………. At the time of stretching few thoughts started running in my mind, how I registered for this day.

Registration period / Training ……..

It all started in my Runners forum  group ,lets register for FM this year and train together….the ones who wanted to do, had registered for FM immediately once the registration had started, I was still reluctant about it, frankly speaking,  I’m a bit lazy to get up early in the morning during winters, and that’s only best time to train for us runners and  Running a marathon is not anybody’s cup of tea. It takes huge efforts, determination and commitment for a long time. and I was asking myself : Do you think you have it in you ?. Finally made up mind and registered on 13th September 2018. I thought. I was excited, nervous, and anxious. What I didn’t realize was how much training for a marathon would change my life…for the better. Started with the Gym training since then and running most of the time 10kms, 15kms and 21kms in months of Nov and Dec apart form this only one 35km I had done with help of John (hubby) for water support, poor fellow was in the car for 4hrs ;-), everybody in different groups encouraged me a lot. But still I wasn’t satisfied with training plan the reason is, it was not a systematic one, the way the actual Marathoners train……no coach to guide, just got useful tip from few friends and my runner forum group and Sam (Samuel) he guided me with all the do and don’ts all the time till the race day (yes but this is for sure I trained hard and strong). So I decided do a 42 Km to overcome my fear before hand and later not crib on the race by saying Why did I register for the race, or abusing my friends for it who had asked me to register ;-).  I always wanted to do a Full Marathon but I didn’t knew it would be this soon in two years of running (Also, I dream of running Comrades 🙂 ) …. So on 22nd Dec 2018, I get up early at 4 am get ready and leave the house by 5am and after warm up of 10 mins, I start my run in my locality finishing around 10kms and I go running to Goregoan west (3kms) , and a few kms I run  there at back road (Malad west near behind orbit mall) , then I proceed on S V road till Dahisar end and return, I come to back road doing last 4kms there, weather was so pleasant  it felt like never stopping that day. I took few breaks at general store, chemist, D’mart to purchase water…….during this run I was only on salted dates, water (before the run I had eaten 2 bananas which I always do during run or event days)……. I finished my 42.24 kms in 5.09.35 hrs (including all the breaks) … What a satisfaction it was !!!! ………. that’s it I’m ready!!!, there  was nothing as such hitting wall that day……… We had planned for few days trip to Goa where I relaxed completely and recovered as well (for a week). after that did few runs in 2nd week of Jan and gymming for few days ,then last  week I was  completely on rest till the D-day arrived, as people around me kept saying I overdid it, I reached to peak and etc etc,  so I controlled myself by not doing anything more further which could lead to injury and failure of the mission, only things I did was hydrate, hydrate ,hydrate  carb loading, sleeping,  stretching  from the  third last day of the D day.

Back to race day ………..

Reached the B line up section I met Ritu and her hubby Vijay as we were talking n walking we met Bijay and his friend we exchanged greeting n wishes, my eyes were looking out to my friend Vishu (Vishwanth) as we both had planned to start the race together n support each other but missed meeting him. I met Sameer, he gave me some tips and that was my actual plan (not to run with pacer) run on your own. Meeting such friends who inspires you, gives me always positive kind of vibes. I’m happy to meet them before the race. 🙂

The race started bang on time at 5.30am by the time I could reach the timing mat  it was 5.33 am , it was dark, the road was narrow , I felt like everyone were going slow  or maybe it was over crowed, few of runners  dashed me , one guy stamped shoe from behind , so much of chaos starting 2 /3 kms, was going on a steady pace not shooting the HR(Hear rate), few kms later I saw Sunil sir and Sangeeta ma’am running together I went towards them and greeted n moved forward , I was running on the middle of the road  stamping  some of the reflectors , that’s when Sunil sir called from behind and said don’t stamp over it …… Thank you sir I wasn’t attentive enough at that moment . While I was reaching peddar road I heard sound screaming like some herd is approaching it  was 4.30 hrs pacer bus I was with that bus till the peddar road down also met my friend Mani who was running strong,  then I left as I wanted to go with easy . I was feeling better and the weather was also ok till then, I felt, when reaching at Worli I was searching for HMers friends who were running couldn’t see any. Slow and steady I reached Bandra Sea Link I was still feeling strong , At 19 km I stopped to use portaloo , told myself few kms and the half way is over, reaching Shivaji park it was 24km and I don’t know what happened then negative things started  running thru my mind felt like stopping  and walk off home, but I told myself why you want to do that did you train for this day to quit over a small silly fight  ,(this silly fight happens in every house and especially if your spouse is a non runner, mentioning about it here because one should fight with your moods and not to give up under any such type of circumstances) No I said, I shouldn’t give up, I’m running for my joy and I’m going to complete it !!…. battling with my heart and mind (also praying). At 28.5 kms mark I again stopped for portaloo  had to wait there for few secs as both of the portaloo was in use, I somehow reached Worli dairy where we had to go in loops which was a bit boring where the turn wouldn’t come it was like going on and on,  but  at the same time it was sight to see the Kenyan elite runners  running from nowhere pass by next you…( from 27kms  to 40 kms I was stopping at all the water stations for drink water  feeling  like throat was getting dried all the time but at the same time enjoyed the presence of Mumbai crowd along with their little ones offering salted oranges, salt, dates, jaggery, water etc etc.) reaching before 36 km I  crossed my friend Alwin then met my friend  Ravindra , at the  start of Peddar road met my dearies Shweta, Ami, Sopan, Umed (God bless all the angel volunteers and the crowd for cheering out there for us ) so sweet of my friend Ami  who offered me a piece of dark chocolate . few meters ahead met Prerna and Alpa they were shouting just run 7kms to go, run. At 38 km I met a friend Dinesh I wanted to run together but I told him to carry on and not to slow down for me.

Then the WALL HIT !! at 40 km, it sneaks up on you like a thief in the night. I wasn’t feeling pain, but my legs were starting to deflate, (but didn’t felt the same  during training run ) suddenly felt a kind of push from behind and it was Raj Vadgama sir  he told me don’t walk keep moving slowly, we are just reaching , it’s another 1.5 km to go and can be completed in 5hrs , come on keep moving he said to me. Thank you Raj sir for that push. Those last 6km I felt very humid with no shade that’s when I did biggest mistake consuming lots water which further slowed me down. At reaching the 41km mark suddenly I heard loud cheers from my friends from MRR cheering zone that boasted up my energy (thanks Yvette, Sam and Hemang), then my friend Hemang started pacing for that last 1km, I can’t thank him enough for that. He left at 100mts saying he will meet me later. Finally I reached the finish line with tears of joy in my eyes…….. And at last I said to myself, I’m a Marathoner !!!!

There was no target in mind as it was my first marathon and I wanted it to enjoy it fully, without any injury or tiredness left at the end of the run… I’m glad it happened the same also with an unexpected timing of 4.55.44 hrs of finish, what more I could ask for !!!  Amen.

 

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Investment is the best policy

As per me there are 2 types of investments that one has to make in life – one, which your financial advisor guides you to invest in to secure your old age and the second, which no one mentions or rather you hardly hear about it.

I am not a financial advisor so forget the first type of investment, I firmly believe in the second type of investment which is Invest in YOURSELF. I came across this phrase as I was searching something for work, “if you want to invest in something with minimum risk and a guaranteed big return, invest in yourself

We spend majority of our time working in an organization; but we do not spend enough time Thinking and Planning for ourselves, for our personal growth, for what we need to INVEST in our self. Investing in our self is one of the best returns on investments one can have. It helps one to think and focus on what really matters to us, which would improve the quality of our life. And the best thing is it doesn’t require much money.

Here are a few investments I do which helps me and hopefully can be helpful to you:-

  • Invest in Reading: According to a research, reading just 6 minutes or 10 pages a day can help one reduce stress levels by 68%. Reading is an awesome way to gain knowledge because books give you the power to explore new things and belief in oneself.
  • Invest in Writing: If you are writing or replying to emails, messages (be it on any social media platform), then you have a writer within you. Try maintaining a journal or try writing something daily. If not daily, then atleast periodically. Writing helps to enhance communication skills and helps to become a better thinker. You can read my blog on “Why do I Write
  • Invest in Genuine connections: Genuine people will always be helpful in your life. These are the bunch of people who will always stand by you at any time irrespective of anything. It’s very important to identify and maintain genuine relationships, you will surely get wonderful returns against this investment.
  • Invest in Kindness: Kindness does not mean saying yes to everyone. Kindness means understanding others, helping others and being concerned for others genuinely without any ulterior motives. I have been helped by many people from whom I have never expected anything in my life and in return I am trying my best to be of help to others whenever and in whatever way I can. Again, kindness must be without any expectation of reward or returns. My way of Joy of giving and Helping hand to a child.
  • Invest in Positivity: Our thoughts make us to do things. Each thought of ours shapes us and makes us act accordingly. No matter how bad a situation you are in always feel grateful that you are not in the worst of situations. Gratitude helps our thoughts to change, look at things in a better way and it ultimately helps to change our actions. We cannot have control over what happens to us but we can control our reactions and what we choose to focus on.
  • Invest in making a To-Do list or a Wish list: If you do not have a to-do or a wish list then make one now itself. Just write the things you want to do in your life no matter how small or big these things are. It will help to motivate you in the right direction and something to look forward to.
  • Invest in Fitness: Health is the only real wealth you have. If you invest in your health, you are free of all diseases. Almost all of them can be avoided with a little change in your lifestyle. If you invest only 30 minutes of your time daily performing any type of exercise you will get amazing rewards of it in the future. My way of staying fit.

Well these are a few of my investment tips from the new guruji on the block 😉. I hope they are of as much use to you as it is and has made a lot of difference in my life personally.

A perfume bonding

It was that time of the year, the Christmas festival which is known to bring cheer in life, an occasion that brings people closer with endless happy moments.

Last year, Raj Malhotra a Sales executive working with a multinational company clearly recollects that day which made a big change in his life.

It was the very first time that the newly joined HR head of Raj’s office introduced a new concept and hence came up with the idea of “Secret Santa”. For those who are not aware about this game then here it is; one has to pick up a chit and there will be an employees name written on it; he/she has to get a gift for that person whose name was picked, wrap the gift and drop it in the collection box in the office (ofcourse without writing the name of the person who has purchased the gift as the name of the game is Secret Santa 😊). Then on the decided day the gifts from the box are distributed as per the “To” name written in presence of all. The HR head made this Secret Santa game a mandate for each and everyone to play along. Raj has been working with the Sales team and is a hardworking person and most of the time traveling, meeting clients to reach his monthly targets. Raj would hardly visit his office and hence was not a very famous person among his office colleagues of almost 100 + staff on his office floor.

As usual Raj was out on field work when the HR person had distributed the chits across the office. In the evening once Raj was back in office to complete some work, at that time the HR person came and handed over the last chit remaining to Raj. Taking the chit in hand (without opening it) Raj was thinking whether he is unlucky or lucky to get the last left chit. Little did he know that this last chit will change his life.

Raj from his childhood days was always very particular about his style of dressing. He always had a liking for perfume and never missed out on applying it whenever he moved out from his home even if he went to play. As a kid he used to secretly use his father’s perfume whenever he got a chance to do so. His liking and taste of perfume increased as he grew up and from the last couple of years he had started using a very good perfume brand named “Kara Scentric”. Raj was awed with the fragrance and the long-lasting effect of the perfume.

So, the chit which he picked up was of a girl named Anjali Mehta. Raj was completely blank on the name as he hardly knew any of his office colleagues. Upon seeing the blank look on Raj’s face, the HR person informed him that Anjali had recently joined the company and is working with the Finance department. She is a hard-working girl and smart looking too (with a wink). Raj started thinking about what gift he should buy Anjali. Being a very shy person, he just could not figure out the perfect gift. Raj did not want to disappoint Anjali with some cheap and not useful gift and was not able to sleep properly that night and tossed and turned around with all these pensive thoughts. The deadline to drop the gift in the box  at the reception of the office was by the next EOD.

Early morning Raj got up and was about to leave when his mother asked him why he had not sprayed his favorite perfume and this sentence from his mother clicked a bell in his head and a big smile came to his face. He immediately hugged his mother and said thanks and ran out. First thing Raj did was catch an auto and went to a mall and he knew exactly which shop he had to visit. Since he was early the shop was not yet open and he had to wait for a while. During this wait he started thinking about Anjali and created an image of hers in his mind based on the description given to him by the HR. As soon as the shop opened he entered and asked for his favorite brand “Kara Scentric” perfume for women. The shop keeper knew Raj well as he was his regular customer and was also surprised that Raj asked for a women’s product. Raj asked for “La Dame” product of “Kara Scentric” and immediately got it gift wrapped and hurried to office to drop the gift in the box.

On the D day the gifts were distributed by the HR person, Raj was out as usual for a field meeting and hence he was not able to attend the get together. He was cursing his client for finalizing the meeting at the same date and time as the get-together. Since it was the Christmas weekend the office was closed and Raj was very anxious that whole time thinking whether Anjali would have liked his gift but on another note Raj was sure that the fragrance of “Kara Scentric” would make Anjali fall in love with the brand.

The next week was the usual routine as Raj was too busy with his field work and was not able to visit the office. He either went to the office early in the morning or late evening when most of the employees had already left for the day. One day Raj happened to be in office during lunch hours and was sitting at his desk engrossed in his laptop when all of a sudden the smell of a familiar fragrance made him look up. Yes! this was the scent of “La Dame” of “Kara Scentric” the perfume and Raj was very confident that this is same perfume he had brought for Anjali. And the lady who passed by him was a young gorgeous female. Raj could not control himself and gave a shout out to Anjali. On hearing her name Anjali immediately stopped and turned around to check who that person was. She was also surprised as how someone knew her name as she had recently joined the company and hardly knew anyone in the office. Raj got up from his desk and extended his hand to Anjali introducing himself and once they were done with their pleasantries. Raj immediately understood that Anjali was startled and shocked by such a spontaneous calling of her name.

Raj being a sales guy did not miss this opportunity and said “nice perfume, I liked the fragrance”. Anjali was speechless, she was not able to find any words to reciprocate her shock. Raj mentioned the name of the perfume she was wearing “Kara Scentric-La Dame”. Initially Anjali could not figure out how this guy knew her name and also the brand of the perfume she was wearing. She just said “Thanks” to Raj and moved on. That night Anjali could not sleep a wink trying to figure out how Raj knew details about her and all of a sudden it struck her that he could have been her Secret Santa. Next morning the first thing after punching into the office biometric device she went to that same place where she had met Raj, there he was seated at his desk having coffee and reading something in his laptop.

Raj smelled the fragrance once again and immediately looked up to see Anjali standing at the door looking at him. They both just stood looking into each other’s eyes dumbstruck. It was the breaking of a cup which made Raj and Anjali come out of their trance.

This was the beginning of a romance between Raj and Anjali which eventually ended up by tying the knot. Anjali was equally a perfume lover. “Kara Scentric” helped Raj and Anjali meet their love of life. Raj will never forget as how a perfume helped him find a partner for life.

Trust vs Doubt

Who is the winner between the battle of Trust vs Doubt? A Winner can be anyone but a loser is oneself. If “Trust” wins then “Doubt” will always remain hanging and if “Doubt” wins then “Trust” will end.

Trust – is a single word but has 2 different meanings; Trust in noun form means firm belief in reliability, truth and honesty. Trust as a verb means believe in the reliability, truth and honesty of someone. There is a great saying that “relations have to be built on trust”. Relations can be of any form; be it parent-child, husband-wife, brother-sister, between 2 friends, boss-subordinate and the list is endless. Trust is something that two people in a relationship can build together when they decide to trust each other. Trust cannot be one-sided. It has to be from both sides. Trust shouldn’t change with problems, pressures, conflicts, temptations between any relationship. No matter what happens, you should be able to count on each other. Trust is created by deep and innocent love and one who does not trust himself, cannot believe in others. Trusting one another is very important to strengthen the bond of relationships. We trust, love and respect God although we have not seen Him. Where there is no trust there is no love.

Doubt – it’s a feeling of uncertainty or lack of confidence. Instead of trusting one another in any relationships, if we doubt always, then by this act, the love in the relationship reaches to a complete end. Doubt in relationships is a sudden fear or uncertainty about the person we are with. There is no stoppage for doubting. One cannot change the mindset of the opposite person who starts doubting on the person which till now had a very healthy trust relationship with each other. Doubt is also the fear within oneself, fear to loose the opposite person. Sometimes we think we are doubting the partner we are with, but really we are assuming certain things about our present relationship based on past experiences. Doubt about our partner can also be our own doubts or insecurities about ourselves. It might be our own behaviour towards our partner that is being assumed as a “Doubt”.

We all, normally at some point of time have some sort of doubts in our relationship be it any kind of relationship which I have mentioned earlier, but the best remedy is to sort it out with our own trusted partner before it gets to a point where in there is no chance of turning back. If one has trust in the partner then let the trust not be broken.

Startup line …………

Running Marathons is now becoming the most trending sport in India. Every Sunday one can find a Marathon event happening somewhere or the other. A nice organized event will normally have around 4k-5k participants and the numbers are increasing day by day.

Well, I got into running marathons almost 2 years back and running each day is helping me getting stronger and stronger. Few weeks back in one such running event I was lucky enough to get myself positioned at the very beginning of the startup line. Till now I always use to start my runs either in mid of the crowd or at the end once most of the crowd has crossed the starting line. But during one of my last run event (Indian Navy Run) I tried the other way of starting the run before rest of the crowd. Surprisingly it was a delight to be among the first few runners to cross the starting line leaving all the crowd chasing you (minus the elite runners 😊).

Upon completion of my run I analyzed below few points of starting it among the first few runners :-

  • All your co-runners standing next to you are of the elite category making you feel proud that you are among them and you will have tough competitors 😊
  • You can run at your own pace since you are the among the first few to cross the starting line and do not have to bother dodging rest of the runners by asking them to excuse and give way to you incase you are a fast runner.
  • You can easily pick up a bottle or glass of water from any hydration points as later on it gets fully crowded and you have to wait for your chance and hence wasting your precious minutes.
  • More chances of yourself getting clicked by the official photographers before rest of the crowd pulls in.
  • You can achieve your PB (Personal Best) as the road ahead is clear and no blockage of others (I missed this by few seconds ☹).
  • You don’t have to worry for tripping over on any slow runner who is ahead of you.
  • No waiting in long queues for getting medals and refreshments.

I thoroughly enjoyed my run and was happy to experience a very different startup as compare to my previous races.

Unspoken fears of a runner …

As a runner I feel everyone has some sort of inside fear for running a Marathon be it your maiden marathon or you are running your “nth” marathon. Basis on my experience I have listed few of them.

Unspoken fears of a runner …

  1. First and foremost … will the alarm buzzer wake me up next day morning?
    Will I be able to get up and reach the venue on time?
  2. Fitness watch betraying …
    Be it Garmin or fitbit or any app in the mobile phone not staring or dying mid run. If your race is not recorded in any form means you did not run that day wink
  3. Using the washrooms during the race
    It is ok to use washroom before the race starts and get yourself lighter but using it during the race can cost your PB (Personal best) by few seconds which you would not like to even think about it.
  4. Will I be able to do my PB in this race?
    All the pre race efforts and hardwork should be result oriented. And incase it fails, you kick yourself.
  5. Not finding any race photos of yourself
    1st day, 2nd day after the race and still you are trying hard to search your race pics with no luck. This again means you did not run lol
  6. Looking weird in your race photos
    Finally you manage to find couple of pics and you are looking weird in running poses which means you cannot share your pics on any social media and which also means you did not run biggrin
  7. Your startup line section is not what you had expected
    All the practice runs and your app shows that you should be in section C instead of section F and now you can’t do anything to change it sad
  8. Your running app judging you
    Overcoming all the cramps and pains in each and every part of your body, finally you manage to reach the finish line and your app says you are 3.49 seconds slower than your usual runs. This is the time you feel like hitting the lady (for male runners and vice versa for female runners) who announces loudly in middle of so many co-runners smile emoticon

As a runner, what other fears do you have?

Drop them in the comments sections, let’s laugh together.

Girl on train

I was consumed with thoughts of her, the model on the magazine laying in front of me reminded me of her smile. I remember everything about her, the way she moved her hands while explaining something, the way she tilted her head while laughing, and the endless conversations we had while traveling in the train. I slipped into this imaginary world, where only the both of us existed, I’d take her on coffee dates where we’d share one cup and then hold hands while watching the sunset. My train of thoughts abruptly stopped as I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder, my heart skipped a beat and with butterflies in my stomach I turned hoping to see her beautiful face with honey like eyes and dimples that complemented her smile. Unfortunately the face I saw after turning was my manager’s, he stood there with his hands on his hips – his favorite stance when he’s angry – I looked around and realized I was in a tech meeting and by the looks of it my clients and colleagues were waiting for me to snap out of my dreams for a while.

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Two months back my manager decided to start work earlier; hence I have started taking the earlier train. Since my station is the starting point for the train, I get to choose my seat , which is generally the window seat, but a few weeks back I was late and I was pretty sure that my preferred seat would be taken.

As expected there was a handkerchief laying on my seat, in suburban trains there’s no pre-booking of seats hence people keep their handkerchief to indicate that the seat has been taken. I turned to find another seat and suddenly heard a voice saying “the seat is reserved for you” surprised and unsure if the pleasant voice was addressing me, I turned realizing that the woman had in fact saved the seat for me.

As I sat down she explained how she noticed that I occupied the same seat everyday and saved the seat realizing I was probably late for work. The truth be told is I sat opposite this beautiful lady everyday and I tried finding ways to start up a conversation but I never had the courage to do so.

Ever since that interaction I’ve been thinking about her, hence I drifted into space during the meeting. All I can think about is when will i get to see her ……..