Been doing that for about two months now. Every weekend. It all started coz of the traffic at the treadmills in the gym and I needed to do my cardio somewhere.
The Krishna Kant Park has a perimeter of about 850 m. The first couple of weeks I struggled to finish two rounds. Since then I have successfully increased my run by a round every week and I have surprised myself by the results. Yesterday, ran nine rounds in about 50-55 minutes. That should be about 7.5 km at about 8-8.5 km. per hour. Not bad at all considering all those failed jogging attempts over the years. So now am thinking, that I can add a couple of more rounds to cap an hour of running. And then, I could work at increasing my average speed to maybe 10 km/hr. That would be about 12 rounds in an hour. Who knows, maybe I could run a half marathon in two and half-hours in a couple of month’s time. Hmmm…I think I should buy one of those zany digital sports watches, which record time in microseconds.
Ok, coming back to reality, the first couple of rounds are more or less a cakewalk nowadays and I hardly lose my breath except to let out a ‘whoosh!’ once a minute. By the fourth, I am breathing in and out regularly through my mouth, the sweat starts dripping from the forehead and I can feel the heat of the mud track through the soles of my shoes. By the sixth, my calf muscles start talking to each other and I am trying not to focus on the pain. That’s the toughest part. What does one think while running? How do you keep your mind away from the voice inside which says, "Stop! Stop!". By the seventh, now sweating in buckets and am wiping it off onto my T-shirt. The other walkers (not many runners around) now start noticing and the odd pretty girl gives me a stare. That helps. A lot. What doesn’t is when the shoelace comes off and I have to tie them back. That happened twice yesterday. I need to find a better way to tie those laces. It’s the eighth now and am running in the dark, as the sun has gone down and the lights in the park are feeble and many don’t work. I can really feel every vertical centimeter of the uphill parts of the track now, my hands start aching and I loosen them up by letting them down by my sides. My fingers and neck are stiff and I work at them as well while running. My throat is parched and my lips are dry. Now I start the grunt cycle. That works like this. After every 8 bounds, I let out a grunt. Not as bad as Monica Seles but enough to startle any remaining intrepid walkers as I overtake them. So I go, Clop, Clop, Clop, Clop, Clop, Clop, Clop, Clop, GRUNT! This rhythm helps me focus and takes me through the last two rounds. The last two hundred meters now and I am trying to increase my speed. That’s when I see her. She’s there at the gate, calling my name and holding out her hands towards me.
I can’t find her when I touch the gate but I know she’ll be there next week. At the end of the tenth.