Meet Dr. Rekha Lakhani, a multifaceted woman who has not only pursued a successful career in dentistry but has also embraced her passion for running marathons. At 35, she strikes a remarkable balance between her professional life, personal commitments, and her love for long-distance running.

The Marathon Journey

Running was always a passion for Dr. Rekha, dating back to her school days. However, it wasn’t until her husband, Harshit Dubey, who himself completed a full marathon, that she found the motivation to take up long-distance running seriously for herself. Her latent love for running was reignited, and she decided to embark on the adventure of marathon running, says Dr. Rekha.

Family Support and Encouragement

One cannot underestimate the role of a supportive family in achieving one’s dreams, points out Dr. Rekha, whose entire family stood as pillar of support, she says with gratitude. Be her husband, mother-in-law or father-in-law, all did there bit and played instrumental roles in encouraging her to take up running as an adventure. During her rigorous four months of training for the Ladakh full marathon, her husband and mother-in-law looked after her son, allowing her to focus entirely on her preparations. Her father-in-law even helped by taking her son to mathematics coaching classes, illustrating the importance of a strong support system in pursuing one’s passions.

Challenges Faced During Marathons

Participating in the Ladakh Full Marathon, which spans an altitude ranging from 11,155 to 17,618 feet, presented numerous challenges, recalls Dr. Rekha. The low oxygen levels in Ladakh make breathing difficult, demanding a special focus on breathing techniques during training. The terrain, with its initial downhill stretches followed by uphill elevations, can quickly exhaust runners. Extreme temperature variations, from 6-8 degrees Celsius at the start to 20-22 degrees Celsius by the finish, required careful clothing choices and continuous hydration and refuelling. 

Memorable Marathons

Dr. Rekha’s marathon journey includes two half marathons in Hyderabad and Mumbai, but the Ladakh Full Marathon holds a special place in her heart. The scenic route through breathtaking landscapes, clear skies, Buddhist monasteries, and the warmth of local residents and army personnel left indelible memories. The Ladakh Marathon allowed her to connect with nature and experience the rich culture and traditions of the region.

Daily Fitness Routine

Dr. Rekha’s daily fitness routine reflects her commitment to marathon running. She runs 15-16 kilometers on weekdays and goes for longer runs of 27-28 kilometers on weekends. To enhance her endurance, strength, and stamina, she also incorporates CrossFit training into her routine. Her diet emphasizes protein intake and includes pre-training snacks like sweet potatoes and electrolyte-rich coconut water.

Balancing Act

Balancing her profession, family life, and her marathon passion is no small feat. Dr. Rekha attributes her success to effective time management, setting boundaries, and enlisting the support of her family. Her flexible schedule and careful planning enable her to excel both as a mother and a marathon runner.

Running’s Transformative Impact

Running has had a profound impact on Dr. Rekha as a person. “It brings me inner peace, enhances my mood, and sharpens my focus”. She has learned valuable life lessons about the uniqueness of individual journeys, the importance of fitness, time management, discipline, and creativity. The release of endorphins during running has contributed to her overall happiness and well-being.

Advice for Beginners, Especially Women

Dr. Rekha’s journey is an inspiring testament to what can be achieved with dedication and passion. Her advice to beginners, especially women, is to start slowly, enjoy the process, and prioritize consistency over intensity. She emphasizes the importance of finding workouts that one enjoys and discourages comparisons with others. Dr. Rekha believes that every step counts and that “something is better than nothing” when it comes to physical activity.

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