March has been a crazy busy month so far. March already comes packed with birthdays to keep me excited. This year, it also brought Vishwa’s 10th grade Board exams.
So this month has been about the birthdays.
About my daughter turning a teen and getting her own Facebook account.
About books – two friends have gifted me with books this month and I am rediscovering the joy of reading a physical paper book.
About Facebook. I started a page for celebrating my circle of women; my sisterhood that keeps me sane and is interestingly spread across ages and geographies, an invisible circle tangible only to me. Thanks to that page, it feels like I am always on Facebook.
More importantly it has been a month of 4 km runs. I can see some of you curling your lip. “4 km?”, you think, “that’s nothing”. Anyone with a will power to run for 20-25 min can easily run a 4 km. It is a meager 1/12th of a marathon. It is a blip. Most athletes will run 4 km as a warm up. Let’s face it, it’s not even a 5K. It is less than that.
I myself would have never considered a run complete unless it was at least a 5K, that was, until 18 months ago. But after a year of not running due to injuries, when I started again this January, I struggled. And after that long struggle I hold my 4km run like a trophy.
You see, I am not a natural runner. (Read my post on why I shouldn’t be running if you need more background on that). Growing up, I preferred books to outdoors and picked up running way later in my life. In addition, during the ten months I had stopped running, I had dropped a few kgs and had turned to a diet with much fewer grains than I had been eating. And I had aged one more year. I am not sure if it was the diet or my overall physical condition – in January, when I put on my shoes, my legs recalled what to do, but my lungs struggled. “Are you crazy? Can’t you just walk?!”, they would scream. I would run 300 m and stop, panting, as my head grew light and I felt I couldn’t go on.
Every run became a struggle and I was miserably slow. The ease that came with running, the rhythm body would fall into as the feet naturally go one after another, just seemed to have vanished.
The last time, four years ago, when I started running, the progress was a lot easier. I didn’t feel so weak. It felt like an easy hike adding km every week without much effort. This time though, it felt like it would never come. I was clocking 3+ km runs, but with a lot of pauses and breaks.
But I stuck with it. I ran more frequently. I ran short distances, but I ran pretty much every day. And then, after two months of progressing, literally meter by meter, the moment came when the switch finally turned on inside my body. My lungs and my legs finally began to work together.
Maybe it’s the iron supplement I started taking; may be it’s the diet; or may be it’s sheer will. Whatever it is, the 4 km at the end of 25 min comes as a start ( yes, I am still slow); hopefully the start of more easy runs to come. And I am left again, once more, wondering at God’s creation of this physical body which can extend to the limits to which you can push it.
So my dear friends, the corner where things turn around, it really exists. You just need to run long enough to find it. For now, I will hold this 4 km dear.