Running towards fitness!

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Shama KarkalI discovered running by fluke in my late 20s. Friends convinced me to sign up with a running group and got me started on a six month journey to complete a full marathon! I finished my couch-to-full marathon journey in 6 months, running the Sacramento Marathon in October 2004 in 6:13:19

Having never run before—other than the mandatory runs as part of PT in school—there was a lot to learn! I cannot thank the San Jose Fit team and my coach Tom Kaisersatt* for ingraining the basics of running and marathon running; I realize I use them even today and that the basics have ensured that I have remained injury free.

I moved back to India  soon after my marathon and my running came to a grinding halt. Feeble attempts in 2005 didn’t continue too long (my husband reluctantly ran with me a few times, but didn’t want to continue!) and that’s where my running story should have ended.

I realized i was a social runner and enjoyed running with a team.

Thankfully it didn’t. While I stayed active with aerobics, yoga and walking, I still had a fairly sedentary life and my slowing metabolism in my thirties only meant that my girth expanded. I had seen weight loss with running earlier and somewhere at the back of my head, the idea of returning to running sprouted, fueled more by the desire to lose weight.

My return to running was launched when i took up CrossFit lessons with Pooja Bhatia in 2013. While I trained with her for only a few short months, I found my own thinking about fitness change and the urge to return to running only got stronger – not for weight loss but to be the best kind of person I could be.

I started with a 5K at the Pinkathon in 2014 and have not looked back since. Running alone would have probably been a damper had it not been for finding Runsulin (aka Trisulin), a motley group of fitness enthusiasts, runners and triathletes.

In the last few years, running has helped improve my sleep, productivity and forced me to learn about nutrition.

I haven’t lost weight as a result of running and don’t really care any more. Knowing I am stronger and fitter than I have been before is what motivates me to lace up and run—anywhere.

*My next full marathon in 2016 is dedicated to Tom Kaiseratt who succumbed to mesothelioma on Sep 9, 2010.


Shama Karkal is an avid runner and, when she is not running, spends her life helping build social enterprises. Her positive attitude to health and fitness, is inspirational. Despite all the travels and busy work schedule, she makes time to run. A discipline, she hopes all working professionals try and adopt.

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