0 to 10K: Final Transformation

Author's Note: This is the final of a three part series.

You can find the other parts using the following links.
0 to 10k: The desire to rise
0 to 10k: Finishing 5K

During the fifth week of the "Couch to 5K program", I started pain in my shins. I had decided to spend as little as possible to cross the 5K barrier. As a result, I had not bought a new pair of shoes. Instead, I was running in an old pair of shoes. When I reached the fifth week, I was sure this time was going to be different, and I will be completing the program. I have been running three times a week despite my frequent official trips.

When I shared my pain with a friend, he immediately narrowed the problem to the shoes. My friend who participated and completed the marathon had insisted that the shoes are the most important thing for a runner. I had conveniently ignored the advice. As I could not stall expenses forever, I visited the Sweat Shop, underwent a gait analysis and walked out with a new pair of shoes. The pain in my shins vanished with the new pair of shoes.

To maintain my interest, I had initially chosen three different routes for the three runs in a week. As I ran longer, two routes proved difficult because of busy roads and frequent interruptions due to traffic light. I decided to use the on the road leading the to the University of Reading There was a busy intersection, but it cleared out fast. Then there is a lot of activity at the University. There are fellow runners, people playing various sports and students walking inside the University. When I finally ran five kilometers, I was circling the football field twice before leaving the University towards the Royal Berkshire Hospital. Soon, this route became repetitive, and the motivation levels went down.

I decided to change the route. I ventured out of the University and circled it from the outside to arrive at the Cemetery Junction. I realized I was covering more than seven kilometers this way. I became more emboldened. Instead of returning home from Cemetery Junction, I went inside Reading City Center before returning home. Very soon, I was circling the University, going inside the Reading Center from the east, proceeding to the west and then returning home. I was circling the University and also the Reading City Center now. I was also running 10 kilometers by doing so. 

My joy had no bounds. I was doing 10 kilometers in one run. I performed this feat at least once a week. This achievement was the second good thing to happen. A few weeks before this feat, I had gone in for a second health check. The doctor was happy with my lifestyle changes were working out. 

Nothing is impossible. We learned it as children. But I have abandoned these learning while growing up. As far as running is concerned, I have undergone many humiliations by consistently underperforming. I am not sure if underperforming is the right word for finishing last. So being able to run ten kilometers reaffirmed the learning. When I finally accomplished this feat, my confidence also increased manifold. It did not transform my body into that of a Roman God. But my mind underwent a transformation. There are no impossible tasks. There are only tasks which you are either interested to do or not interested in doing. 

Photo Courtesy: Petr & Bara Ruzicka


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