Shyam Sundar, a runner from Infosys, Trivandrum sent his inspiring story from the 2017 edition of 100 days of running. Check it out below, in Shyam’s own words.
A word of caution , this is not an inspiring story.. it is just a simple account of my 100 days of running 🙂
A typical day in office was coming to a close. An exhausted me was trying to wrap up. As I brushed through the mails which I have in my “To-Be Deleted” folder, I came across this mail from a Health Initiative in our Company. The name caught my attention. I read through the mail and immediately got interested. Before I could change my mind I went ahead and registered for the 100 Days of Running Challenge. I was in such a haste that I had half understood the challenge. Based on a quick mental calculation, I had assumed that I had around 110 days of which I could run any 100 to complete the challenge. The only second thought I had while registering was a trip I had planned along with my family to Cochin and Guruvayur. But the 10 days of cushion I thought I had made me neglect it.
Later once I reached home and settled down, I was thinking on the start and end dates again and realized that the event was only for 100 days and that I had to run every single day to complete the challenge. The next few days I kept thinking what to do. I visited the event site, reread all the event rules and also saw a few posts where people in the previous year’s challenge had run at airports and railway staions to complete the challenge. Now that sounded like fun :). I decided to go for it.
A little about myself – In the past one year, I have tried my hand at lot of things without having the will power to continue on it. I started with badminton, switched to Squash , tried a few days at swimming.. but then the enthusiasm would die down in a few days. Even though not overweight, I would have very much qualified to be a couch potato. When I started on this challenge I had set myself a target of 250 to 300 kms by the 100th day.
April 29th 2017- I started running. I started with 2kms per day. Then came the day when I had to go on the trip with my family (wife and 2 kids – 7 years and a year old). I was travelling to Cochin and from there to Guruvayur temple and to Trissur and back home. A 4 day trip with 2 kid and lots of luggage. On top of all the luggage, I did look silly carrying my running shoes and gym clothes in an extra bag. But then, it went much more smoother than I thought. I was able to run on all 4 days without too much of a trouble. In fact, I enjoyed my runs in Cochin and Trissur.
Once back from the trip , I didn’t have anything stopping me. I had started looking forward to my daily runs. Slowly from the basic 2kms I started stepping up to 3. But then close to the 30 day mark my enthusiasm got the better of me and I ran around 5-6 kms daily for 6 consecutive days. It was a big jump from 3 to 5-6. Then reality stuck, I started having pain in my shin and was forced to go down from 5-6 kms daily back to the 2 and 3s for next few days. I was disappointed ,alarmed by what I read on the web regarding Shin splints. I was worried I would have to stop running. I kept reading and in one article which put it very positively I realized I could continue provided I do not push myself too much. I tried that, slowed my pace, started pausing in between, did warm up and cool down exercises, some leg massage after my runs. Basically I pampered my legs for the next 1-2 weeks ,then Lo, and behold! I could start running back at 4 and 5 kms a day. This time I took it a bit slow though. I set myself target of 4 kms daily, revised my target to 300-350 kms in 100 days.
Samir Singh was my big inspiration. I initially thought it was a mistake and someone was entering data incorrectly 🙂 . Later I saw the article that came on him and realized it true :). I was awestruck . I felt so belittled , yet so inspired. If Samir Singh can do 100 per day , I decided I should do more, revised my target to 400kms.
By July, running had become a part of my life. Kerala monsoons meant I had to run around 40% on thread-mill. Any day the sky was clear , I would venture out exploring roads I have never explored before and run as much as my body would let me. I decided to give myself a perfect birthday gift by attempting a 10k. I completed my first 10K on 22nd of July 2 days before my birthday, presenting myself with the perfect gift- a big heavy load of self-confidence to last for the entire year 🙂
Once I completed a 10K, adrenalin kicked in. I wanted to attempt it again the next weekend ,which I did successfully . By July end I had hit the 400 mark which I targeted for. Now I yearned for 450 , on day 98 I still had around 23 kms to hit 450. I was thinking no way.. but then I surprised myself with 2 back to back 10K+ runs on the 99 and 100th day to hit 450.. From a meagre target of 300, I had managed to hit 450. I know my achievements are small when compared to most of the seasoned runners, but I don’t mean to stop here. This might be the end of the challenge for this year, but I consider it as a beginning for a new goal in my life, one of that to run a marathon someday.
I would like to close by expressing my sincere gratitude to the 100 days of running team for giving me this great platform. More than the improvement to my fitness levels, it has done wonders to my confidence- to try new things and go all out for what my heart desires. I learnt one very important lesson in these 100 days- Schedule your priorities and don’t prioritize your schedule. If my determination played a small part in me finishing this challenge a big major part was played by the motivation from my better half and my son who were ever curious to know how much I ran each day and how many more days I had left for me to complete the challenge. A big Thanks to everyone who helped me complete this year’s challenge. Thank you Samir Singh !!! for being the big inspiration you are 🙂