Wedding Anniversary Run – Shibani Oberoi


Wedding Anniversary Day, 20-May-2016 8:00AM

Laying down in that soft cushiony American bed in New Jersey i think to myself, “11 years. Wow! 11 long years. How time just flies. It was like yesterday that i met Alok (my husband) and today i am here with 11 beautiful long years behind me, rather us. From being colleagues to boyfriend-girlfriend to husband-wife and now parents to 2 naughty boys. How life has changed”.   In this period, I wonder, how much he has changed and how much I have changed too. Just as our relationship has matured we appear mature (not old!)  too.

9:00AM A Mad Thought

This year we are in difference countries on our wedding anniversary. I am missing him. “How do I make the day special?”, I wonder. And then a whacky, unrelated but exciting idea strikes “How about running 11km on our 11th anniversary!”

I have never run this distance. I haven’t run at all since OUR MARATHON in January. The longest distance I ever ran was 8.5km in October last year. I know I just CANNOT run so much.

Well you know what, I don’t even like running long distances. I prefer short runs.

What if I feel thirsty during the run?


11:30AM Kidding Oneself
The number 11 sounds overwhelming so I reduce it to 6.8. I am going to run 6.8 miles. Even though 11km and 6.8 miles mean the same, a smaller number makes it seem more manageable.

I will do 2 loops of 3.4 miles each. I can take a water break between loops. Too many loops would be boring, 2 loops sounds perfect.

And I wear my beloved PUNE RUNNING t-shirt for moral support!


The Nike running app turned on and a quick warmup later I am on my way. My route is designed such that the incline is in the initial stage. I am new to Washington Valley so I simply follow the pathway as the music from my phone blares away.

The natural beauty on the route is enchanting. The cool breeze hitting my face adds to the aura. I am surprised I have run one mile already. The run continues without much drama as I complete the first loop. Half the job done. Or I so think.


After a quick 30 second water break and a stretch the monster in my mind wakes up suddenly, “bas ab bahut hua. Don’t run anymore”. I am dying to just sit down, put my feet up and relax. I can’t tell you how tempting it is to give it up. The monster in the head is winning. That’s when I read RUN BEYOND MYSELF written in bold letters in my PUNE RUNNING t-shirt. I experience a surge of positive energy. I still haven’t mastered the monster inside my head but I say to myself, “Fine. Let’s just run a little longer and see how it goes”.

The second loop run begins, very reluctantly. At 4.2 miles, I feel exhausted. The calf muscles are screaming and so are other muscles. I just ignore the angry messages from the different parts of the body and chug along. I cross Mile 5. Big achievement considering I was on the verge of giving up at 3.4.

Soon I complete Mile 6. I am extremely tired but a destination that’s so close gives one a new lease of life. It feels like a 5-balls-8-runs-to-win situation. I want to finish with a flourish and not just walk or crawl at the end.

12:38PM Over the Moon!

I visualize Pune University Main Building here in New Jersey as I sprint to the finish. I have finished my run in 58min 43 seconds! This is much faster than I had expected. In fact I hadn’t even expected to run 11km! I am ecstatic and over the moon.


Post Script

I realize later that I ran 6.91miles (11.12km). This run will remain special forever. I proved to myself that “Where there is a WANT there definitely is a CAN!”

Alok and the boys are very proud of me for what I achieved.

The next target is to complete 35 kms on 21st August, my birthday. Let’s see what time has in store for me.

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