In our “Why I’m Running” series, Boston Marathon runners share what’s inspiring them to make the 26.2-mile trek from Hopkinton to Boston on April 15, 2019.
Name: Suchita Nayar
From: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Bib #: 26727
My dad, in India, discovered exercise in his late 40s. Rarely has he willfully taken a day off since. At daybreak as priests chanted into the quiet of the waking sky, he would begin pacing in a large terrace lined with potted evergreens. No special gear, no accompaniments — just him self-improvising through aerobic and yogic repetitions. Loathe to any disruptions in his 80-minute routine, even age has had to acquiesce. Now, at 83, his pace has slowed and his balance isn’t what it once was, but the exacting regimen has remained unassailable.
His steadfastness, initially foreign, became familiar when I discovered running way into my 30s. It was freeing — the morning sun, an undulating road ahead, and music. At first, lacking any real athleticism, I tackled short distances, but over time I built endurance. On weekends, I ran as far as my legs could carry me away from home and then weaved my way back, putting one foot in front of the other, totally spent. My limbs did all the work but a rhythmic high rebounded inside. This pattern miraculously has carried me through three marathons so far.
New in Boston, I was searching for ways to connect. I resumed running. The Longfellow aglow in the morning sun and the Charles playful, I was soon hooked again. When an opportunity arose for a charity run for children in need, I applied. Self-doubt has erupted tens of times since, especially when I picture encountering hills starting at mile 18! But a step at a time, I am cranking it up. When I hit a wall during training, I picture my dad still grinding out his morning routine, as if to free himself of time’s toll, even if momentarily. I will be the one running April 15, but he’ll give me the fuel.
Editor’s note: Entry may have been lightly edited for clarity or grammar.