This is story of Monday, Feb 7th. A perfectly normal morning. However, there was carryover burden I had from the weekend. I normally do long runs in weekend and during the weekend gone by, I could not run due to extra studies for my PhD classes. The weekend of Jan 29/30 also had been similar and I made up for it (somewhat) by running a half marathon (21.1K) on Monday, Jan 31.
So on Feb 7, I was looking to do a repeat, do a long run. In fact, I was being more ambitious, I thought I will do a 30K. Now the way it works for me is that as I wake up around 5:15, I need to start my run by 6am for a 30k (with average time being 1 hour for 10K, so 3 hours for 30K). This allows me enough time to be home by 9:15 or 9:30 so I can start work by 10:00 (latest).
On Feb 7, what actually happened was completely different. Probably because of delayed time to bed the previous night, I snoozed my 5:15 alarm first to 5:30, then to 5:40 and finally I woke up at 5:50. After meandering around for 10 mins, I decided to test if my body was really ready to wake up, I lay down back on the bed, thinking that I will not sleep, just lie down and see. What I saw was the clock indicating 6:20, when I opened my eyes again.
Kicking myself out of the bed, I initiated my morning rituals, got myself a cup of tea and did my journaling. All of this took me another 30 mins and it was nearing 7am. With the 30K gone long back, I was fast losing hopes for even a 20K. By 7:30, I had wasted another precious 30 mins on checking mail, social media, listening to some Lata ji’s songs… all the stuff I intentionally avoid getting distracted by in the morning (for obvious reasons).
Feeling quite irritated and angry at myself, I decided to not let the morning go completely waste and go for a 10K with an 8am start.
I changed, put on my running shoes and was at the apartment gate (my start point) by 7:55am, ready to rock the world. No, nothing like rocking shocking. Nowadays I run without music, without audiobook, without even my phone, with my Garmin smartwatch helping me to track my running. And I just ran.
Taking a new route, I just ran, keeping track of my pace and the distance. As I clocked 4:50 for my first 1K, I was energised, as it was one of the fastest starts for me in recent times. I decided to continue at fast pace, hoping to do 5k in good timing and then decide if I do all of 10K or stop at 5.
With my 5K coming close to 26 mins, I was motivated enough to continue. The next 4k was relatively slower. As my overall time was 46mins, I was energised as I was in the race for a really good timing (good timing definition for a 10K means something close to 50 mins or less as my all time personal best is 49 mins). My previous best for this season and year was 53mins 20 secs, clocked a few weeks back.
So I decided to to put in my best effort for the last 1k and ramped up my pace ( I like to say, I switched to ‘beast mode’!) and did the last 1km in 4:50 with an overall time of 52:04 – my fastest time this year/season by more than a minute!!!
I was super thrilled at myself. From a lousy morning, brooding the missed chance for a long run, not being able to go for 30K, taking too much time to get ready for a 21K, I had still managed to salvage the morning with a fantastic show and got my fastest 10K. Instead of feeling sad about not doing a 30k, I decided to celebrate a record 10K.
Yes, this is not what I had initially planned for, but from perspective of doing a 10K, I had actually overachieved what I finally set out to do. And that is what matters the most. What you thought of doing 10 years ago as a kid has little value. What you thought was doable a year back may not be important now. But what you were sure of doing yesterday, how well an effort you put into that last goal, is all that really matters.
Perspectives change faster than the weather. Opinions influence us all the time. The ecosystem does NOT necessarily align with what we want from ourselves or from life. Disappointments and change of goal post is the most sure-shot part of any plan. These plans are meant to go wrong. These plans are all ‘subject to change at last moment’. Its the flexibility of the mind and not the rigidity of thought, which decides between success and failure, not your strengths and weaknesses. Our best of preparation will fall short at times, because circumstances were different. A missed flight can at times, mean a missed milestone for life. But a crashed flight might mean end of life. So look at the brighter side and re-focus on the revised plan and put all your energy and effort towards it. Success lies in not wishing for a better cards, but playing well the cards you got. Things will go wrong all the time. What you do AFTER they go wrong, will decide our destiny.
pc: surbhi mahnot on medium