Pumped up kicks

It’s amazing what a difference some stamina makes.

I used to hate jogging. Then it became okay but a chore. I had the worst stamina ever. I couldn’t even do 2 km without stopping to catch my breath. But I would go on after a short walk only to stop again for yet another short walk.

Since being inspired by the marathon that took place in Berlin two weeks ago, I was so inspired, I rang up the husband to say, “We’re taking part next year!” He used to play football and then volleyball. 10km is a normal evening jog to him. But I was never into sports. 10km to me is a mini marathon – one needs to train for it.

I started to jog about five times a week. (Granted it’s only been two weeks since, and it hasn’t gotten full-on autumnly cold yet.) But it was a great achievement. I used to jog once every two months or so – you know, when you suddenly feel fat.

A friend recently ran a half marathon, and she advised me to increase the distance by 20% every week. I thought that was too much to think about for a jogging amateur. My goal was simply to be able to jog with the husband when he returns from India, without feeling like we should jog separately because I can’t keep up. I would do fun runs till December, and then we shall work on increasing the distance next year.

Last week, I just barely struggled completing 3km without stopping. When I did, it was a bloody miracle. I boasted about it to as many people as I could. Okay that was only 1/14th of a marathon. But I couldn’t believe it.

Two evenings ago, I dragged the flatmate along jogging with me. She, too, was not a jogger, and so I promised a short route. She struggled and was at a slower pace than I was used to. Then it hit me, no wait – I was exactly like her. Now I could do that distance easily.

Yesterday I decided to test out this new revelation. I combined two routes I used to take, and completed almost 5km without stopping. It was only when I came home to map out my run that I realised what I had accomplished (4.7km it was!). It was such an amazing feeling, to know that I could do it, that I wasn’t running out of breath, that I could go further if I wanted to.

What I’ve learnt, however, is not to try to outrun yourself each time. Instead, occasionally do short jogs and take a day off. The result the next day always turns out amazing!

The feeling of changing into running attire and putting on those shoes is the one with the greatest inertia. But once I’m out, I’m happy to see Berlin, be it in the quiet morning or the slightly spooky but pretty evening.


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