I find myself in a dilemma these days: having attended a session on Science in Running. There it was all science behind running; something that is probably is working on everyone’s mind. Noticed this phenomenon around me, since taking retirement from the Army.
In the Army always had one guy (either Senior or an Instructor) to lead and all others followed; there was only loyalty and integrity to the Organization and belief in the person in front. That made us all follow that person and run; whatever distance he set for us!!! No questions asked, No calories measured, No BP taken before and after the run, No checks on lactic acid, No check on threshold level, when it comes to training and Many No’s to every other check-ups except follow the order.. And People did it – doing it and yet working well!! Everyone had once a year a medical check-up and that’s all…
Has it to do with Abstract Psychology or Concrete science? Wondering, How Psychology worked at its best. But then, now that one knows a bit of science; has it started worrying me more… Is it putting necessary or un-necessary caution in my mind… Is it that, I have stopped delivering longer and faster runs because of knowledge of science..
Isn’t it that everyone is made and groomed differently not only in habits / mannerism / food intake, so on and so forth? Some eat rice as staple diet and some bread; do I need to change this habit because science shows something different about rice and wheat..
When it comes to Individual Fitness or Running, doesn’t the same logic apply? One’s threshold level or lactic acid or heart rate or whatever may be different, yet in the Army, it was all the same for everyone; no different yardsticks.. When it came to running 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 km running, everyone just did it; be it day or night and every time gave better and better performance, isn’t it all in the mind though abstract and not concrete! Where do I draw a line between Pure Fitness and Frills!!
Pure Fitness! No Frills!
Today after a long time I went for a eight km run followed by Yoga for an hour. What an inspirational way to start a day. How did I miss it for past six months? You can blame no one but yourself.
As I started to jog, I found; I took almost a km to feel like wormed up; which used to be in about 400mtrs or so. After warm up; initial 5 mins were fine but then started feeling pain in the knees and calf’s; it started telling me that something is wrong there; was it just an illusion as I had not run for a long time or was it real? It was difficult to make out but kept my mind on running / jogging, wanted to remove that thought of pain – it was difficult but continued and tried to bring on memories of my last run, when I did half marathon. The thought of having run half marathon itself made the pain go away!; when I started visualizing how I felt after that event was quite refreshing and gave me further strength to continue; however en-route at a road junction thought process broke and again feeling of pain and uneasiness re-surfaced.
I don’t know what to call it but I found I had finished about 4.5 kms by then. This time I was determined and wanted to remove the thought of pain (said to myself, let whatever be the case need to complete 8 km today!). Started looking around and reading various sign postings and advertisements; one of them reminded me of the beautiful memories of the shopping for running shoes; which were so light in weight. Again I found the thought of pain had vanished and I could go for another3 kms; probably I was in a different world i.e. the feeling of having purchased light weight shoes which were in blue and white in colour with an orange colour sole and how I had picked them up in one look at the store. After the purchase how we had a treat of chocolate ice-cream. Then I looked at my shoes felt proud and saw the end of 8 kms and was there in 40 mins.
Having completed I was feeling top of the world (was it a runners high!!) and felt like I could run more, I don’t know what was stopping me from doing this for past six months. Was I so busy in work or was it that I did not allow the thought of running coming to mind or I did not think of that amazing moment / that satisfaction after having run half marathon. I was amazed at doing 8 kms non-stop even after a break of six months. What was it? I didn’t pay attention, I was just happy and went for Yoga and did it for an hour without any pain or any uneasiness.
Now when I sit alone after a bath and breakfast; looking at the blue sky, I realize how sweet and happening memories (be it visual or feeling or touch or taste!!) of different times kept me alive for 8 kms, made me go that extra mile. It also kept me wondering how I kept myself aloof from these most significant moments in life; do I need to keep revisiting them often. I am sure they would keep me going against any odds.