Roopesh shares what it feels like to start from absolute scratch and run your first 10k ever.
"My 100th day at Sport Shack: Its 8th Nov 2020 6.44am, on a cold morning at Pashan Road, where the Sport Shack mentors and the runners have gathered for the long run, each had their own targets, and I specifically have a special one, I am scheduled to run my first ever 10km at a single stretch.🏃🏽
On the previous day, I’ve gifted myself a pair of running shorts and a t-shirt saying to myself, "Aakhir banda 10k bhaagne wala hai, banta hai boss!!"
My mind is taking full advantage of my wavering grit to do this herculean task and one thought is racing through my mind, "Naye kapde le to liye hai, lekin bhaag paayega??" 🤒
Slowly we warm up and stretch as per routine, and we line up to start. Shubham's voice is loud and clear, "3…2…1… go!”, and with a deep breath, I take my first step not knowing what is to come.
First 1k, I am running with perfect a stride, perfect form. My mind goes "Bhaag le beta style mein, ab to bas shuruvaat hai!!!"😊. As I’m running, I realise that I am running with the seniors of our running team- Anisha and Pooja. It was when I started panting hard 😤, that I realize I am running too fast and decide to slow down a bit, there’s a long way to go.
Close to 2.25k into my run, the uphill from the Pashan Circle begins, and I feel the niggles in my calf and I tell myself, “Bas itne mein hi halat kharaab?"🙄. I shrug away the thoughts and push on.
Close to 3.5k, the uphill road is almost over and I see Manish with a photographer clicking photos of the runners. I smile gracefully and pose for the snap 🤩 while I continuing to run. Meanwhile my mind mocks at me, "Bhai, ho gaya photo-shoto toh ab zara running pe dhayaan dein??" 😐. I continue to grind.
This is the first time I have run over 4 km one way on the Pashan road, though I had run till 9k on other terrains as part of my training with Sport Shack (I must mention that the Garden there is awesome and in the morning its really refreshing).
I see the fellow runners returning after touching their target halfway mark for the day and I think to myself, “Lucky them”.
As I approach the U-turn at 5k a smile appears across my face, but it hardly lasts for a few seconds. I hear a voice in my head,” Abhi aadha baki hai" 😲. I am still happy and looking forward to the rest of the run, but I’m also a bit anxious at the same time, as I turn heading back to where I started.
Around the 6k mark I see my office colleague jogging casually. He greets me and I respond him with a "HI". With a wry smile 😏, I say to myself, "Ek baat hai Bhai, tera form, isse to better zaroor hai” 😏 . I hardly have my proud moment, until I see Anurag smoothly race past me at almost double my speed and I think to myself, "Kya hua??? Aise bhaag ke dikha!!!"😬
It is downhill between the 6.5k to 7.5k mark and though I am breathing heavily, I do manage to speed up taking advantage of the downhill.
It is 2 km more to go and I can see that it’s only one slow gradient uphill and I should be through. I can see Utkarsh cheering me and my mind starts to support me, "Bas ise paar karle, ho jaayega"
It was 9k and a patch of slow gradient uphill is still left. This is always the most tiring part of the run 🥴. I’m still unsure whether I will make it and I talk to myself, “Bas thoda aur, baki can be done".
I can see the Abhimanshri chowk. My watch shows there is 250 m to go, I am completely drained😣, but I am in no way giving up having come this far.
Finally, I reached the 10k mark exactly at 8.00am. I complete the 10k in 1:15:40, a pace of 7’34”/km. I was cheered by the Sport Shack runners and the mentors clapping 👏🏼👏🏼 for me and I couldn’t believe that I had completed my first 10k. 🏆
Rewind to 1st Aug 2020, my first day of running at Sport Shack, I started my run with the Adults Batch. I ran close to 2k at a stretch walk/jog and if someone would have asked me what was your aim, I would have said, “I aim to maintain consistency and try to run a 5k in a single stretch, nothing more”.
The main reason why I stayed positive, was the systematic training schedule which the Sport Shack mentors had laid down. The constant motivation, the professionalism, the passion of the whole group is contagious.
My first motivation is my younger son Anubhav, an excellent runner who has been a part of SS for over 3 years, the SS mentors, the consistent (almost) SS adult group (Priyanka, Anisha, Pooja, Sayyda, Heer, Meena, Nidhi, Shilpa, Vimal and a few more) and of course, without being too modest, myself for (almost) consistently showing up. 🙂
So on my 100th day of running with Sport Shack, I ran my first ever 10k.
In the days to come, I kept hearing between my ears, "Tune kar liya bhai!!"👍🏼