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Feb 21 2013

Fitness Story of Deepa Nuna

I met Deepa Nuna when she won the lucky draw for the Valentine’s Day Laddoos on desideewar. I realized she stays close by, so I decided to drop by personally. I had heard about her- that she takes art classes in Flower Mound and Irving area (suburbs of Dallas, TX) and that she’s totally into marathons. In fact, couple of months back when I learnt that a friend’s husband was running his 10th marathon, I asked her if we could cover his story. She suggested that we first cover his guru’s story. She was talking of Deepa. So there I was.

Deepa has run several 5Ks, nine Half-Marathons and four Full-Marathons over a period of about 10 years. She won 1st place in the Red White and Blue 5K in her age category, 2nd place in the Dorothy’s Dash 5K and then again 2nd place in the Vibha 5K. She has trained 12 of her friends to run at similar events and is now training her husband and her 11 years old daughter for their first 5K.

Deepa first got introduced to running in 2000 by her neighbor. She was battling fertility issues at the time and as a result of the fertility drug that she was taking, her weight had shot up to 200 lbs (that was hard to believe, looking at her petite 110 lbs frame now). Her doctor advised her to lose weight before proceeding further. So that was her motivation. To lose weight to have a baby! She started running with her neighbor and lost 75 lbs in 12 months. She has since been running, even after giving birth to two precious girls, now 11 and 6. In fact, running 1 1/2 to 2 hours, three times a week helped her shed the pregnancy weight both times too- achieving the seemingly unattainable goal of losing 75 lbs in 12 months yet again after the first born and 45 pounds after the second. She is now 110 lbs, and more importantly, looks really fit.

We asked Deepa what keeps her motivated now? “The passion for running”, is her quick response. “It has pretty much become a part of me now”, she says. “I can never say no to running”, she elaborates, even if it means returning from a party at 3:00 in the morning and waking up at 5:00, because she has committed to a friend to run together.

(Photo Credit: Deepa Nuna, copyright desideewar)

We hear of knee injuries amongst runners all the time, especially those who participate in half- and/or full marathons over a number of years. So we asked Deepa if she has sustained any injury as a result of her fitness endeavors. Yes, she has. She has an injured IT tendon. An injury she incurred when she ran a full marathon a while back at the pace of another fellow runner from the neighborhood. We asked her what would she do different in hind sight? It’s very important to run at the pace that you train at, she explains. Also important is to give enough time between two big events. The year that she had hurt herself, she had participated in 2 half and 1 full marathon that were close together.

Any tips for our readers who may wish to embark upon similar journey to fitness? Deepa was full of suggestions. She suggests gradual increment of the distance- a mile a week. For every 3 miles up, go 1 mile down. For example, if at week 1, 2 and 3, you ran 1, 2 and 3 miles, go back to 2 miles on week 4. Another helpful tip for runners is to start with running for 30 seconds and walking for 2 minutes. Before you know, you would be doing the reverse, she assures.

Finally, since desideewar is all about staying connected with our roots, we asked Deepa how does she ensure that her two lovely daughters stay connected to their roots? I was very interested in her response. And interesting it was. She said growing up in a Jain family, she always attented Sunday “Pathshalas”, even teaching it in India at some point. Here too, she takes her kids to “Pathshalas” in Plano, Texas, every Sunday. Her kids also learn Hindustani Classical Music from a local music school.

As we said our byes, Deepa informed me that she intends to train a group of kids for 5K over the summer at no charge and invited me to have my kids start. It’s wonderful to see such passion for fitness, I thought. I promised I’ll.

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