It’s been almost two weeks since I took my IPPT test (a standard physical fitness test to gauge the basic physical fitness of an individual), my best one to date.
The IPPT consists of four stations plus a 2.4km run, which I believe is the highlight of the test itself.
On the day of my IPPT, I remembered doing some mental calculations just before my 2.4, trying hard to predict my timing for that day. My fastest run till then was 10m 45s — which was actually a pretty good time by my standards — but I was not quite satisfied with it.
I wanted to go for gold, which requires a time of 9m 44s and below, but knew that improving by over a minute (with little specific training since my best run) was an almost impossible task. I considered going for silver, which requires a time of 11m 39s, allowing for a very comfortable pace.
But if I went for silver, I would not have been testing my limits. I would have been simply living within my comfort zone. Would I improve if I did that? Nope.
Just before the race, I psyched myself up by playing the Rocky theme song in my head over and over. My toes twitched, my legs itched.
“Get ready, 10 secs to go,” shouted the PTI, “jog on the spot!”
And off I went, at a pace I normally reserved for the final sprint. After running 400m, the run felt surprisingly easy. None of the early fatigue I so often felt on other runs were present. I pressed on, and increased my pace even further, almost to a sprint — this was it.
Every other 100m or so though, my mind would tell me to slow down; everytime it told me to slow down, I would push forward to overtake someone. My heart hated my mind.
My pace slowed a tad at the end, but I knew I had done it. No, not a gold, but a personal best. My time of 10m 02s was the best I had ever run, and put me into contention for gold in my next run.
I never thought I would be this close to gold. Five years ago, I struggled to complete my 2.4 — even a slow jog was too much for me. Four years ago I ran my first sub-12 minute 2.4, and I was esctatic. Three years ago I ran my first sub-11min 30s run. Three months ago I ran my first sub-11min run. Two weeks ago I ran my first 10m run.
Now, I’m going for gold!