I Ran 10 kilometres for 10 days straight-B7
I was kind of tired and bored of the same workout routine that I’ve used for the last two months, so I decided to change things up and give myself a challenge. I set a goal to run 10 kilometres (6.25 miles) every day for 10 days straight. The plan was to get up at 5:30 and start running by 5:50AM. Here’s a day-by-day account of how things went (This is not a scientific informational article like the others, it’s more just an expression of my thoughts and feelings as I went through this challenge)
I woke up at 5:25, I washed my face, drank lots of water, got my workout clothes on, and sat down to lace my shoes, I did everything in slow motion to delay the inevitable run that was coming soon, I’ve run before and I truly hate it, it hurts a lot and I am not a natural runner, a few years ago my max running capacity was like 200 metres (1/8th of a mile) after which I would gas out, thanks to regular practice I got up to 1 kilometre, then 2,3,4,5, 6 and then I decided to jump to 10. Since I didn’t have a proper track nearby I just went and ran in the streets, I picked a loop that was about 400 metres(1/4th mile) and did laps around it. The beginning was pretty bad since I had woke up just 20 minutes ago my body wasn’t warmed up at all (please don’t be dumb like me, warm up before going to exercise) and that’s why I had a 7 minute per kilometre (about 11 minutes per mile)pace, after being 3 kilometres into the run the muscle on my shin bone began to swell up and made it super hard to run, with every step it felt as if my shins were being burnt. I had to stop multiple times to stretch out my leg, luckily the pain went away after the 5th-kilometre mark (3 miles). I noticed halfway throughout that my form was horrible, instead of using all my energy to run straight, a lot of it was being wasted in rotation, my arms didn’t go forward and back like professionals, Instead they went in a curved line, once I became conscious of this mistake I tried to correct it, my speed instantly improved, the pace for the first 5 kilometres was around 7 minutes 17 seconds per kilometre (11 minutes 30 sec per mile), yah I know, I actually got slower, but after the minor correction my pace started improving, I completed each lap in about 6 minutes and 50 seconds, my pace improved bit by bit, as It came around to the last 2 kilometres it was much easier to push myself because I was so close to the end of my workout, my form deteriorated as I pushed harder, my abs started cramping a bit and the pain in my legs was excruciating. I stopped thinking about 2 kilometers, I just took it one lap at a time, this way my mind won’t be overwhelmed and I’ll be able to run better. The final lap came around, I ran hard, for the last hundred metres I tried to sprint but what came out was a horrible form run that made me look like I was running for my life, despite the amazing last kilometre effort, I came up with a 6 minute 47 second per kilometre pace because of my slow beginning rounds, after completing the run a feeling of pure joy, more than I have experienced in a long time, came upon me, I was so proud of my self, these positive feelings lasted for a bit before I started dreading the run tomorrow. In the end, I got the 10 kilometres done in 1 hour and 7 minutes, since I’ll the doing the same run over and over, I don’t think I need to detail it so well for each day(I really don’t want to bore you), so I’ll just group several days together.
Day 2-On day two, I had a tough morning, I woke up at 5:30 and felt horrible, even after washing my face and drinking 2 glasses of water I still felt like I needed to go back to sleep, I wanted to quit really badly but I knew how horrible I would feel If I gave up so I got up and did it anyway. The beginning of the run was rough and my calves were sore from the day before, I kept telling myself “don’t worry, you’re calves will be pretty warmed up soon” and they eventually did, after that I chunked the run into small bits and got it done in 1hr 5 minutes. Day 3-Day 3 was probably the smoothest, I woke up naturally at 5:15, got ready fine, and went on the run, nothing special happened really, cuz it was a pretty smooth run, I finished in 1 hr 2 minutes. Day 4-was the worst, the waking up part was alright but when I started my run I knew something was wrong, the bottom part of my feet near the arch, hurt a lot, I kept on running but the pain kept on increasing, once I got to kilometre 4 I was questioning whether I should even continue on and risk injury or just go home, I paused for a bit but I couldn’t get myself to go home, I had already done 4 kilometres, after being 40 % done I didn’t want to throw it all out so I kept on going. No this isn’t some heroic moment where I go all out for the last 6 kilometres, I actually walked the 6th kilometre which took me 9 minutes and 29 seconds, and ran slowly stopping many times for the 7th 8th, and 9th kilometre. The last two kilometres is when my adrenaline really kicked in and the pain became more manageable, I ran the last 2 kilometres fast but unfortunately due to the overall slow run I finished in 1 hr 10 min. After going home I put ice on my leg hoping to heal it before tomorrow. Since my leg hurt so badly, I paused for a total of 12 minutes and 39 seconds just trying to massage and heal my legs, hopefully, it gets better from here.
Day 5- woke today on day five, expecting my feet to stop hurting, but unfortunately, they hurt even worse than before and I can feel it when I walk. I got my normal morning done and went out to run, nothing new happened, it was like a repeat of day 4, I had to pause a lot, my starting miles were horribly slow, and my feet kept hurting just not as intensely as the day before, overall it was a horrible run that finished in 1hr 10 minutes but on a positive note my last kilometre was done in just 4 minutes 52 seconds.
Day 6- Today was the day I finally broke through, I think my body finally decided to actually adapt for this challenge I am doing, I still felt horrible waking up at 5:30 but once I began my run my body came into form pretty quick, Oh and on a side note I added something to my morning routine, for the first 5 days I used to run in a fasted state (because I usually never eat at 6 in the morning) but I felt like my body needs some fuel to function properly so I ate 2 bananas, a tablespoon of seeds and nuts and 2 good day biscuits, not my usual choice of food but I had to get whatever was available quickly.Now coming back to the run, my times started off at 6 minutes 59 seconds for the first kilometre, my speeds then just went up from there, my run was starting to feel more smooth, my form was better and my stride was longer, It felt like the pieces of the puzzle had finally started to click
Day 7-Today was the best day so far not only in this 10-day challenge but in all time, It was my faster ever 10 kilometre time of 58 minutes and 10 seconds. Let me tell you something, the pain in my leg still isn’t gone but after trying ice and ball massages I have loosened up the pain enough so that it doesn’t stop me from running, after running I am extremely proud of myself and feel like I accomplished something.
Day 8-9 The days of Clarity
Day 8-I expected this to happen way earlier, lots of runners say that the long challenging runs give your mind a lot of time alone where it’s not at all distracted by anything, so due to this lots of runners get huge realisations and clarity on their runs, I was hoping this would happen in the first few days but it took until day 8, I did have some realisations on days 1-7 but they were more general like, I need to increase my pain tolerance, increase my time management, discipline, etc. Today on day 8 I feel like I got rid of a huge invisible burden that had been lying on me, I have many goals set up for myself like do well in this exam or get popular on your blog, or grow your social media following. I also know that each of these takes time, dedication, and patience, these things take years to happen, even the exam I’m studying for is two years away, despite this I have always had a sense of “Why aren’t the results coming yet”. I used to ignore the fact that these results are not linear, they are more like a compound curve. on this run I got rid of that sense of expecting stuff and felt like I got rid of a blockage in my chest. I felt more free and in the moment, I was able to enjoy the process much more after this run and not only look for the results to come.
Day 9-This was another amazing day in terms of clarity building, as I was running I started thinking about the past, of how I used to be a timewasting person just going through life willy nilly, years passing by with no growth, I started my true journey of growth in July 2019, this was when I got to know about David Goggins, his story inspired me to work way harder, to not stop when it hurts, it made me realise that our true potential is way wayyyyyy beyond anything we can imagine and the only way to find out that potential is trying your best every single day. Today I just started having flashbacks of my journey and how it’s been nearly two years, it’s April 2021 right now, the months flashed by in front of my eyes, I went over my mistakes, and my solutions, my defeats and my triumphs, I looked back at things that held me back or harmed me, things that poisoned my brain without me even realizing it, as I began to compare that old me to the current me I felt a sense of great pride for the sheer amount of hard work I have done on myself and how it has paid off, I became more inspired to keep on pushing so that I can be even better 2 more years down the line, I felt a greater connection with who I am as a person and where I am trying to go this sense of connection and clarity which had been drowned out by constant noise of the world and binging youtube videos had finally come back. I feel like a new person and I can’t wait to finish my run on the tenth day.
The Final Day-
Today it was much easier to get out of bed, go out and start running, it was probably because of the fact that I knew the challenge would end today and I would emerge victorious. I knew from the last nine days that in order to have a good run I needed a good start, because If I took 7 minutes for each of the first few kilometres(which I had done for the first 7 days or so) then I would not be able to get sub-hour timing. My first kilometre took 6 minutes and 22 seconds, and the second 6 minutes and 24 seconds, from that until my 7th kilometre each kilometre was taking me anywhere from 6 minutes 6 seconds to 6 minutes 16. I knew I needed lots more to make the time under an hour so I rapidly increased my speed, my 8th kilometre was 5 minutes 45 seconds, my ninth kilometre has excruciation calf pain and my abs started to hurt but I was so focused on finishing that the pain just didn’t matter, my whole body ached everywhere but I kept my eyes on my next step, the ninth kilometre was 5 minutes 25 second. Now it was time for the final lap, the victory lap of a long drawn out horrible challenge that I took on for myself. I felt like I was sprinting, I could not stop thinking about the pain anymore, all I wanted was for it to end, I kept on going and going, the weakness of my own mind made me pause for a bit in the middle, my mind was racing with excuses of my I should stop for just 10 seconds but I knew deep within that if I stopped for 10 seconds I would lose my momentum, I would lose the adrenaline rush, I would start to feel the real pain, I would be defeated and won’t get the sub hour time done, after this thought I just forced my mind to shut up and kept on running, at this point my form began to break down, the last 300 metres looked like I was running for my life from a dangerous predator but then it finally happened “Congratulations, you’ve completed your workout”. I sat down on the steps in front of my house, gulped the remaining water in my bottle and sat there peacefully, everything around me was quiet, the small troubles of life didn’t bother me too much at that moment, all I felt was presence in the moment, I had conquered my own mind and defeated my inner weakness to complete a challenge that I consider one of the hardest I’ve taken on in my life. The feeling is so surreal, I’m in complete pain, yet I’m laughing and enjoying my accomplishment. I opened up the door and walked in to begin a day that was going to be awesome.
The point of challenges like these aren’t to test your fitness, it’s all about the mind, the mind has sensors that tell us to stop going when we feel pain or something is hard, while this is meant to protect us from dangers, in the modern world it also protects us from doing things we dislike or are scared of doing. This stops us from succeeding in life because success is a hard and time taking process but since our mind wants to protect us from pain and suffering, so it may even prevent us from succeeding. The point of this challenge was to get closer to becoming the master of my own mind.