Don’t just run with your legs. Run with your mind!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

So far, I had been running long distances from my legs. But last week, I did run 10km distance not just with my legs, but with my mind. I remember reading somewhere,  “Come on, young man. you’ve been running with your legs so far. Now run with your mind!” For a seasoned runner, 10km run is no big deal. He can cover well within 45 minutes. But for me, it was an uphill task. While I was warming up for the 10km run, with my left knee in pain, I was not sure, how long I could run. I had not run long distances for almost 2 months. Thoughts of staying out of the cross country passed through my mind. But I wanted to give it a try, and didn’t want to give up so easily.

The first mile
Half way

I managed to run first 7kms without much of a difficulty. Body was completely warmed up, breathing was steady, “legs were moving one after another”, rhythm was good and was sure of covering the distance well within an hour. But after 7kms, I started feeling the pinch. I wanted to go on, but felt like giving it up. Every time I saw a vehicle on the road, I thought I should just get into it and cover rest of the distance. But the joy of crossing the finish line, kept me going. I covered another 2km. The last 1km run, I must say, was one of best I have experienced in my life. There was absolutely no control over my legs, they just kept moving at the same pace. I started counting every step to cover rest of the distance. For a moment I thought I lost control over my body, but managed to get my steps right. “Come on! It’s all in the mind”, I shouted to myself, literally! I don’t know what happened to me after that, those words seemed to work like magic. All I remember is that my left leg which had bit of a pain in the knee was moving swiftly, following the rhythm of my right leg. I increased my stride, started breathing fast, kept going with the increased pace and my left leg was still following the right leg! Last 300-400m to the finishing line was an inclined road. I increased my pace again, started feeling breathlessness, but kept going, and finally, managed to complete 10km distance in 49 minutes!

I can see the Finish Line!

Crossing FP, the last step!

What a joy! I was happy, really happy, on top of the world. Not because I covered 10kms, but because I covered that distance with an injured leg, because this was the first time I ran the long distance with my mind. And it was yet another rare opportunity to take my limits to a new height. I feel this experience has a deeper meaning. It’s the last mile that matter the most. Its not about our physical ability or not even our talent, “but by the mental strength to stay the course, and run the extra mile. When you run with your legs, you allow the pressures to weigh you down. You allow obstacles to come in the way of your progress. You find yourself saying “I can’t!” But when you run with your mind, you become unstoppable. Your mind says “I can!”[....]

All my life, I have failed quite a few times, not because I didn’t try. But may be because I didn’t try enough in the last mile. The effort which matters the most. Thats where the mind plays a significant role. “Don’t just run with your legs. Run with your mind!”

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Manju. Keep running. 10 Km in 49 mins is not bad at all. These posts become inspiration to others who are still sitting on a couch. Whenever I run a Half marathon, I feel the same as you did at your 7km Marker and I keep telling myself, 'Nobody forced you into this. You knew the distance from the beginning, you knew what it takes to run this distance, you are the crazy one who paid $50 to take all this pain and exhaustion and now you are chickening out ?'
I totally agree, running long distance is not just about strength and stamina, its about mind too.

Nishad

Navneet Basutkar said...

10kms in 49mins is really great! then you must have run close to 12kms per hour continuously..
As said by you, "run with your mind" is absolutely true... And inspiring..
When you run long distances,
- your legs get tuned to run after some distance
- when you sweat out the water/liquid, your body becomes more fit for running further distance...
You know in Korea, there are marathons with 100kms and 200 kms.. :)
However half and full marathons are very common.
I have been running 10kms.. your words inspire me to go for half and full marathons..

Anonymous said...

Manju..well done.The idea is to give it your best shot ..and that you have done..so well done once again.

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