Saturday, May 10, 2014

I run...

“When was the last time you did something for the first time?”

Simple and even silly as it may sound, pause and think when the last time you really did something for the first time was. I noticed that these days I am doing new things and I am really happy that I could do them planned or otherwise. Having done some things now I look forward to doing more and it all started with a head ache.

Sometime in February I woke up early one morning with a splitting headache. The usual response would be to pop a pill and get back into bed but on that day I decided to go for a walk. I still am not sure why I decided to walk but that became a landmark moment. I returned after the walk with a clear head and feeling active. Then I started walking regularly increasing the distance, and slowly started running. I was warned that with my bulk running was best avoided yet I took small runs alone. Then I joined Chennai Runners on Facebook and searched for a chapter in Anna Nagar and in April I found a group.

I am running with this group for two months now and have started doing drills, workouts and my body is getting used to the challenges. I wake up without an alarm at 4 am and never fail to sleep by 10.30 PM the previous night. I have joined a training programme for runners and have signed up for a plankchallenge and though I was intimidated by the challenge I have completed nearly a third of it and I am surprised at the way I feel these days. I have joined running drills by professional runners who guide, monitor, mentor and train you to do more with minimal injuries.

My running has increased my self-confidence, I have lost 7 odd kilos and I am working on losing some more. I feel lethargic on days I do not indulge in physical activity like a walk or a run and these days I avoid the scooter for short trips. From being a newbie who was struggling to run and falling behind the others I am now able to do my planned distances at a steady pace. I have stopped using sugar in my coffee and tea, while almost avoiding desserts and fried junk food. After a few days I realized that I don’t miss them so much and if I am tempted a spoonful suffices to satisfy my craving.

Today I completed a run of 14 Kms, a run from Bougainvilla Park near the K4 police station in Anna Nagar to the Gemini flyover and back in around 2 hours and few minutes (my GPS app crashed en route) and I did it at a steady pace without getting winded or exhausted. I actually managed to do an extended stretching session afterwards.

They say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and for many of the journeys mentioned above I have taken more than the single step. The challenge then is to avoid burnout, injury, boredom and worse lethargy. I was able to push myself a little more due to the support and camaraderie of the group I run with and especially to my running mate, a pretty young woman whose stamina always amazes me, she always helps me stretch my target just a little further. The other members of the group welcomed me and made me feel comfortable and they encouraged me to push ahead. Mornings have become a lot of fun and I wake up each day looking for the next challenge.

The group for those who are interested is called Tower Twisters, (there is a story behind the name) and can be found on Facebook. The group usually meets on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturdays for regular runs from the Bougainvilla Park on 6th Avenue, Anna Nagar near the K4 police station. The usual meeting time is 5.15 AM and the runs begin at 5.30 AM. Saturdays are devoted to LSD (Long Slow Distance) runs, like the one I completed today. Usually the Saturday runs end with a group breakfast that builds camaraderie and delights in the successes of each other.

The exhilaration at completing a new challenge, the happiness at doing something for the first time is what keeps us going. Why don’t you do something new for the first time?

(Picture courtesy – Internet)


JK said...

Nice write up Clement! I am sure you will do full in 2014 Chennai marathon!! All the best!!

Lakshmi Devi said...

OMG! You mentioned me in the blog!?! Am honored. Neatly written.. Way to go Clement!