Vandana Goel, Director at Convenient Constructions & Consultancy Pvt. Ltd., is a dreamer; she believes in following her passion and works hard to turn her dreams into reality. Let’s get to know the Iron Lady herself.
- Hi Vandana, Tell us a little about your background and what do you do?
Hey Sachet, I’m an architect with more than 14 years of experience in the field of architecture and I’m currently one of the directors of a fast-growing Project management organization. I’m also married and the mother of a young boy.
- When did you get into Running or Sports per se?
I reckon, I was always an athlete during my school time and since then, I hadn’t indulged in any physical activity. During school days I had always run long races (cross country, 3km,1.5km, and 800m) where I always won or grabbed a runner up position. On top of it, I was awarded the girl’s best player multiple times in school for Badminton and Table Tennis and represented the district in state-level championships. This thought gave me a direction to work upon and told myself: let’s work towards it.
Initially, I started with 10 min walk and increased gradually to 6-7 km in an hour and added a few minutes of running in the daily activity.
- What challenges did you face along the way?
Everyone has a turning point and I guess I also had when I was immobile for 6 months due to slip disc (the year 2014) and I was 74 kg.
I had first gained weight from 45-64 kg due to steroid intake because of lung infection in 2006 which never improved despite a lot of effort. In 2011, I further gained 10kgs during my pregnancy and reached 74. Post that I suffered from slip disc twice and I was left immobile for 6 months straight in 2014 and that made me think. After a deep analysis of all situations, I concluded that it is all because of the weight.
- Tell us about your achievements after suffering from your physical condition and how you got back in the game?
After a month of walking and running in 2015, I joined Zumba sessions which helped me building stamina and strengthening the core. Today with the help of regular running and Zumba I have lost approx 10 kgs.
In 2016 I ran my first half marathon Airtel Delhi half marathon in 2hr 50 min, my 1st ever official run without external training and recovery from slip disc and since then I have run several 21 km, 10km, and 15 km run.
Then, I ran the Airtel Delhi half marathon in 2017 which I finished in 2 hr 24 min, gradually improving my timing to 2 hr 22 min in ADHM, 2018 and the latest ADHM, 2019 in just 2 hr 20 min, all thanks to rigorous training from Fitso.
During this Journey, I also did
- Triathlon – HR26 – Podium finisher
- 10 km – Dwarka half marathon – Winner
- 10 km – 1947 run – podium – Second runner-up
- 15 km – Delhi Fitness run – Second runner-up
- 10 km – I can run – Second runner-up
- Games forest run – 5 km duo- Winner
- Wow! You’re a true inspiration Vandana. Tell me, Did you do it all by yourself?
No, I didn’t do it by myself. I follow the Fitso app for the running schedule which is strength training and run as well.
Hardly get time to run but the Fitso app gives me a fixed schedule and I plan my morning schedule according to the app. Credit also goes to my Coach Chandan from Fitso for guiding at each and every step of my running endeavors and apart from workouts within the app, he also gave extended challenges which eventually helped in improving timings for my 5km, 10km, 21km run.
He followed the progress rigorously during the journey to my 4th Airtel Delhi Half Marathon, 2019. He gave wonderful tips week before and the day before the ADHM which really helped and I finally completed the marathon in 2 hours 20 minutes, my personal best.
- So, what are your plans for the future?
In the future, I’m planning to do the Ultrarunning that has its own set of challenges and finishing the Ironman Tournament.
- What other hobbies or interests do you have?
Running, Walking and Zumba has become an essential part of my daily life. And I feel more energetic and positive and of course lighter after a hectic day. I take out some of my time for art, gardening, Indoor sports like Badminton and Table Tennis.
- Is there any advice you’d like to give to people who are just starting or thinking of pursuing it as a fitness endeavor?
I believe that it is never too late to start. A good guide can make you achieve your goals so is the case of mine. I’ve come to know that I’m so much healthier, stronger and happier than I was back then. This fuels me to keep pushing, keep working and keep smashing those goals. Onwards and upwards.
Shoutout to Vandana for crushing goal after goal, and showing the rest of the world exactly how it’s done.