Hey, or shall I greet with Salaam! I am Fateha aged 39, British born Bangladeshi from Birmingham. A teacher and happily married with two daughters and a keen runner.
Ramadan is a very special month in the Islamic Calendar as it is one of the pillars of Islam. Muslims around the world will follow the lunar calendar where the start and the end of Ramadan will depend on moon sighting. This month, I will be fasting for 30 days from sunrise to sunset without any food or water – yes even a sip of water is not allowed! It is a time where I devote myself to my God (Allah), I pray, become more spiritual, recite the holy Quran, ask for forgiveness and it is time of self-reflection on me as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, teacher and a friend. It is also important to think about those people in the world who are less fortunate than me and becoming more charitable.
Most challenging part of Ramadan is not getting enough sleep and lack of water; I am not too bothered about food as I suppress my hunger, but I really get thirsty especially when the weather becomes warmer. I am a mother of two girls aged 8 and 3 so my life has been pretty full on since Lockdown began! The most challenging part of Ramadan is having the same energy I have all year round for my daughters but during Ramadan I am extremely tired and exhausted especially in the morning – my girls are early risers, and they always need their maa to entertain them. I wake up at 4am to eat my pre-dawn meal which can vary from Weetabix, oats, berries, protein yogurt, fruits or a slice of toast and most importantly drinking plenty of water to keep myself hydrated throughout the day followed by morning prayers by the time I go back to bed to sleep…..I am up again at 7am where I am like a zombie! So, I do try to have an afternoon nap to catch up on my sleep!
I honestly love this month as I feel peace in my soul, and I find it rewarding that I am increasing my knowledge and I can share this with my daughters. It is rewarding for me to break my fast at sunset, I love cooking and preparing meals for my family and I always have a jug of water next to me at the table! The girls get excited decorating our home for Ramadan and then Eid-ul-fitr which is celebrated at the end of the month.
So here’s what is different about this year’s Ramadan for me……..I started running in January 2021, now I have the running bug and I absolutely love it! I was feeling anxious and worried how would I continue to run during Ramadan, my routines will change, sleep pattern, eating and drinking water habits will change, how will I fit work, family, Ramadan rituals and my running all in one month! I was getting really stressed….by the way I forgot to mention earlier I suffer from anxiety and depression but that is another mental health blog in itself! LOL! Anyway, I was lucky enough to embrace the first week of Ramadan in the second week of my Easter holiday, so I had a few days to adjust my mind and body before returning to work next week.
After seeing many Muslim runners on social media running during this month it really inspired and motivated me to run but I just need to find the right time in the day which would suit my daily life. I normally love running in the morning however I have changed my running hour to the evening. I attempt to run around 6pm so I can get home before 7pm to plan and prepare our evening meal for 8pm (sunset timings do differ as the days are getting longer). I am trying to maintain a 5K distance, but I am taking it slower than usual as I don’t want to exhaust myself too much. It is just so nice that I can get out for a little while and clear some headspace! I am not focussed this month about beating my PB – I feel it is more important to stay fit and healthy during Ramadan as well as becoming closer to my Lord.
I would love it if you could share any advice or tips on maintaining my running journey. You can follow me on Instagram @fateha7301
I am all about family, friendship and most importantly food LOL but now the game changer is all about RUNNING!
Have a blessed month of Ramadan
Thanks to Fateha for sharing her experience of Ramadan and how she is changing her running routine.
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