A couple of years back, my only running was from my apartment to the main road where the office cab stops. Hardly about 250 metres. I will huff and puff to reach there in 3-4 minutes. Slowly, I started running at the gym. I was able to run with great difficulty, a KM under 10 minutes. The Fitness One guys started pushing me and I did a mile under 10 minutes once. I slowly started increasing the time I could run continuously and after a while I was able to run around 30-40 minutes continuously. My best on the treadmill was 5K in 32 minutes.
But then, running on the treadmill was no fun. Late last year I started venturing out into the real world. It was a completely different experience. I was back to square one. I could hardly run a couple of kilometres. Then subbuj joined me as my running buddy. We started slowly pushing our limits. Subbu has a Nokia N95 with Sports Tracker installed and that helped us track our progress. I was planning for training with Runner's High, but then a sudden trip sent me to San Francisco. Thankfully, it also helped me continue my running and I enjoyed every bit of my stay there. I also picked up a good running shoe there.
Once I came back, we started running at the Cubbon Park. One fine day, we decided to check out the Nike Run Club. They were just beginning to ramp up their training sessions and it was a blessing. Coach Beedu and Reeth were helpful with tips and helped in the training. Nike took really good care of us during the training sessions. They did a gait analysis, arranged pep talks, provided trial shoes and finally ensured that everyone gets mentally and physically ready for the run.
The day before the event was just like the day before an exam. I was a bit nervous and was also tired. It took me a while to realise that the main reason why I started running was to have fun and if I get tensed I would miss the fun. So the next day, I went to the run with only thing in mind. Finish it and if I can finish in 90 minutes I would be happy. Subbu and I started running on the race day and after a couple of KM, I felt that I could run faster. I slowly picked up the pace and got into a nice rhythm. Went to the 5K mark in 28 minutes and I was nicely pulling along. Then came the difficult part of the run, since the road was slightly steep from Dickenson Road to Kamaraj Road to Cubbon Road. I slowed down and after a few minutes started walking. I walked for a couple of minutes and then started running again. After entering into the Cubbon Park, it was the regular trail and I picked up pace. The last KM was the fastest pace and according to my watch, I finished in 58:28 minutes. Woohoo! We then went into the Nike Lounge and were royally pampered. There was one guy handing out cold towels, another guy taking pictures, a sumptuous breakfast, a foot message and some very nice music. It turned out much better than what I had imagined. When the official timings came out the next day, I found that I had done it in 57:43 mins. Nike has also promised that they would give a specially designed T-shirt, "I'm a finisher" for everyone registered with NRC.
So what are you thinking. If you want to start running, drop in tomorrow, 13th June, at Kanteerava Stadium at 6AM and join the Nike run club.
Pain is temporary, Pride is permanent.
-- Saw on poster by someone cheering for Runner's High