10k at 50
Turning 50, was like a realization that my bucket list has lots of unfinished things , and one of them was to be fit. One engages in lot of activities to be fit but to test your limits is the one which is most engaging and lasting, for it needs motivation and endurance. I was cycling for few years regularly as an exercise and used to do long distance (more than 40 km) occasionally. But then I wanted to do something which would challenges me and so one fine day I decided to try running10km.
For me who is not a sports person this was a little farfetched and odd. Well that’s how it is and believe me it is not an impossible task. What you need is three D’s. Discipline, Dedication and the Drive. And to add to the plate what is must is a running group to motivate you, push you and a supportive family who believes in you.
For me the drive was the need to prove it to myself that I can do it and I got the push from my daughter who was training to run. Once started there was no looking back. I will not say it was easy, it was really an uphill task with all sorts of health issues cropping up. It was like taking baby steps, 5 min…, 10 min……., 12 min…….., 1 km…., 2 km….and so on. A very slow progression. You really come to know your body and all the bones and muscles you have in pretty painful way.
Discipline was self driven but also supplemented by the running group. Whenever I flickered, the group was there to push me and dedication for the aim became stronger after each milestone. Crossing the finishing line at the running events gives you a high and you can soak in the feeling for some time but what keeps you going is setting the goals for yourself, week after week. It is a sport where you compete with yourself. One day you think increasing pace is your goal and the next day it running duration and not the pace.
I also realised that it is not purely a physical activity, it is also a mind game, where your mind tells you a stop after each km. And what keeps you going is a the will power. May be it is different with people who have been running for a long time but I really had to and still have to push myself mentally to run.
I have had all possible injuries till now; from daily muscle cramps to patella-femoral syndrome, plantar fasciitis and turf toe. I had to give rest to my body for each recovery and I think each one made me stronger and increased my self-belief. I can say I have emerged tougher after each injury and more knowledgeable on ways to avoid them and to cope with them.
I have reached my mark and it took me a whole year and lot of discipline and dedication. I have become stronger physically and mentally. And I am now aiming for more challenges, another milestone and another year of running.
Running gives you lot in life physically and the icing on the cake are the compliments and the toned body.
So I will always say, If you want it ; Go for it.