How I registered for my first 10K and prepared for it

In July 2013, I took up jogging seriously to lose weight and become fit. When I started, I could barely jog for 0.5Km, but I tried to do walk/jog as much as I could. As days went by, the weight started coming off my body. I was also getting stronger and by end of a month, I could jog for a mile (1.6Km) without stopping in between.

TWCM

Feeling upbeat, I decided to look for ways to stay focused on this jogging plan. Participating in a running event has always been a dream. Since I was going to stay in Chennai until Jan 2014, I looked up for the Chennai marathon’s date. Only then did I stumble upon the news that registrations were already open for ‘The Wipro Chennai Marathon 2013’ that is to be held on 01.12.13. When I told this to my husband, he tried to coax me into registering for the event. Since I had wanted to enjoy such an experience, I was excited too. The only thing that stopped me was my dad’s impending transfer. There was a possibility that dad could be transferred out of Chennai and if that was the case, then there was zero chance for participation (Travelling with 2 kids for a running event in Chennai is always out of question). But DH’s point was, in the worst case, the money spent for registration would be a waste. Considering that we waste as much money on unimportant stuff, I was bought by this argument and registered for the 10K event in August 2013.

This registration motivated me to keep my jogging routine going. Usually, Arjun does not let me step out of the house without him. Even the iPad bribe would not work, if it is for allowing me to step out. So, I had to take up my jogging after dropping him off at school at 10:00 a.m. Sometimes the weather was awesome, but there have also been many instances when it was very sunny cutting short my workouts. But whatever be the conditions, I could only do it for a maximum of 40 minutes as I had to be with Aditi for sometime before it was time to pick up Arjun.

As days passed by, the ease with which I jogged improved leaps and bounds. As the weight kept falling off, my stamina also improved. One has to be careful here as running everyday is not recommended. But as a beginner I was not aware of that and hence was left with a lot of pain at the end of a jog. When I researched online, I found a lot of articles recommending running alternate days. I was thankful for finally knowing what to do.

My routine was a jog alternate days (3-5 days a week). I also did a little bit of strength training (squats, arm exercises, abdominal exercises, standing on tip toes for calf muscles) when I have time and energy after the jog.

Right when the preparations for the 10K were on track, I hit a roadblock. Wedding of my parents’ friend’s son was supposedly fixed on the same weekend as the marathon. I was disheartened as this would mean we would all be in Erode that weekend and not in Chennai. Since both my parents’ wanted to be there, there was almost no possibility of participation. After all this, I still was a tiny bit hopeful and continued my jogging routine. I was not working towards a long run every week and increasing the long run mileage gradually. So, I was not actually working towards running the 10K.

Two weeks before the marathon came the good news. The wedding date was not 01st December as we had assumed, but 11th December. I was overjoyed, to say the least. I thought all was not lost and tried to do a long run before the event. But due to a chest infection early November, my jogging routine was not on track. I was not very fit at that time. Hence, when I tried to push myself to 8Km on the treadmill 10 days before the marathon, I ended up being sore and dead tired. If this was how I felt after a long run, I was not hopeful of running a good 10K.

The mistake I had done here was trying to increase mileage by more than 30% in a week and sadly, I did this when I was on the road of recovery from a chest infection. Experienced runner’s advice is to increase 10% mileage every two or three weeks. It also goes without saying that we need to rest the body well after illness and we should in fact start slow. But what is done is done. I decided to keep these experiences in mind for future experiences.

Once the soreness and tiredness lessened, I jogged outdoors as usual. I did not overdo it and stuck to around 4 Kms on Monday and Wednesday. Since Sunday was the race day, I decided to rest after Wednesday. I drank a lot of water and fuelled my body with all the good nutrition from fruits, nuts, eggs. It was indulgence in the name of fuelling, to be honest J

On Saturday as soon as I collected my kit bag, I was excited. Yes, I am really going to participate in the first race of my life on Sunday. How was the first 10K experience? More on that in the next post.

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