Beyond the pain of the first run

Now I know why I was not consistent with my weekly runs last year. The body reaction from the first run was terrible. I lost appetite and was restless the whole night. My belly felt like it was carrying crashed quarry stones of various sizes. I ended up settling for a fruit for dinner. And the following day I could not manage to have breakfast. It is only after two days that the cloud of misery lifted up. Such experiences make consistency a difficult choice.

So it was with great trepidation that I approached Thursday’s run. My jogging partner, Andrew Khoko, was willing to give it a try though he had similar misgivings. We both considered the alternative – a walk over the same distance. Unfortunately, it was not psychologically satisfying knowing fully well that we had planned for a bi-weekly run. It had to be a run and not a walk.

Thursday’s Run with Andrew Khoko (right)

I warmed up and gave myself some pep talk. Then we started off without a warm-up walk like last time. The idea was to devote the entire distance to a run. Immediately the ankles protested and the body felt heavy. For some reason I could not even tuck in the tummy. I tried to reduce my pace in order to find a comfortable speed that would be suitable to the prevailing circumstances.

One kilometer later I briefly stopped and watched Andrew breezing away like a champ. I soon caught up with him and did not stop again until we reached our destination. We ended up covering some 6.9 km in just under an hour. But when we got home we could not hide our excitement. This run was difficult because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of pain, and fear of running on an empty tank, or in modern speak, running on low battery.

Stats of the Run

I can see that what separates the dream of a bi-weekly run from fantasy is just my state of mind. So long as I am willing to try again and again, I can overcome the obstacles inside my mind. As I sit down to write this article, the quarry stones in my tummy have not returned. My ankles feel great. And dinner has moved beyond diced fruit. The tummy is yet to return to being tucked.

I am looking forward to two more runs next week. In the meantime, I am preparing to go up Mulanje Mountain over the weekend. God willing. Enjoy your weekend and God bless.

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