Skip to content

Running, how it changed me

self, happy5 min read

I am here to talk about running and how it changed certain aspects of my life. So far I have run few marathons and few trail running as well. Before this, I wasn't a runner or never thought I will be doing something like this. I know there are lots of benefits to running, still knowing all that, it was never up on my priority list or things to do, i was just a casual runner.

This is how it started, one Sunday morning, I was at beach doing normal jogging and saw lot of people running and while coming, few questions popped in my head like, how did all this people gather in one place and start running? How did they know there is an event like this ? A Little another thought came in head that I should do it as well. I also thought "this is crazy".

Me thinking my own thought is crazy

After coming home, I had nothing better to do. So, I started googling a bit. I came up across a blog and in the comments I saw, someone say, "Marathons should be in everyones bucket list". I also have bucket list of things to do and I thought I should add this as well.

I start to practice running. First week of running was the worse, I was more stressed than before. You know, its just so much noise in the head, I was critizing and asking myself why I started this ? This is stupid ? And there were so many obstacles throughout next few months like,

  • Beach dogs chasing you
  • People in the sidewalks
  • Loose headphones, it just keeps falling off the ears
  • Loose Spex
  • Shoe prices
  • Mobile jumping too much in pocket
  • Blisters Sprain
  • Getting caught Traffic
  • Chafing
  • Diarrhea

At this point, I want to give up.
I was asking myself. Do I have to do this ?
And at the same time, I don't want to give up as well.

I have this silly logic of 30k, a count down. TTL(Time To Live). This somehow popped up in my head long time back,

130,000 / 365 = 82.1918 yrs

The moment you are born, this counter starts ticking and it doesn't stop or run as per your wish. To this counter it doesn't matter, if today is good day/ bad day / a awesome day or a sad day. It just ticks.

The target number is very volatile, it depends on various external factors, family, friends, works, traffic, food, travel and most importantly people in your environment.

17500/365 = 20.5479
210,000/365 = 27.3973
315,000/365 = 41.0959
420,000/365 = 54.7945
525,000/365 = 68.4932

Lets say you will be best between 7500 and 15000 that’s your prime age. There is no science to it, its just a range i picked, why ? Because with not much of effort, you can do all nighters, bar-hopping, take on challenges, easily climb mountains, your wounds heal faster.....

If I decide to do marathon at 15000, my performance might be much worse than today (or) I could be occupied with some other thing in my life during then, this might not even get into priority list. I cannot give up due to laziness. This math just makes this urgent like i have to do it now and i shouldn't remove it from my bucket list.

At a point, i was so serious with this, there was a counter app which i had found in Windows Store and downloaded it used it in my old windows lumia 920 mobile. I picked a number like 10k and everyday it decrements. It sort gives an idea, Time files. Start working. Work on those Todos.

So i decided to handle the obstacles one by one.

  • Beach dogs chasing you - When you find a dog, don't run, just do small jog (or) look for a small rock, street dogs are smart, they wont come near you.
  • People in the sidewalks - Take another route, dont run in hotspots
  • Loose headphones - Had to change headphone for iPod
  • Loose Spex - Got lens
  • Mobile - Nokia C1
  • Shoe prices - Buy it and wear it, till you tear it. Worthy investment
  • Blisters, Sprain - Got oinments, changed mindset, think its part of running and body upgrading your feet.
  • Getting caught in traffic - Sometimes i go back home and come in the morning (or) Learned to enjoy traffic look at people
  • Chafing - Got some good sport wears(inners, shorts & pants)
  • Diarrhea - Changing diet ( no more tasty street foods )

When I started this training, i was able to ran almost 3km with not much effort. I was very happy, but next day and afterwards, I felt like I cannot run more than 3km. So much of self talks. I really had to improvise on lots of things, i had no other choice.

1Jog --> Walk --> Jog --> Walk --> Jog --> Walk
3Run --> Walk --> Run --> Walk --> Run --> Walk

Brain is sort of like compute, what I found is, short distance running can give you ideas or help you make decisions, I am not running with that objective but something can popup. This is also a problem, you are drifting away while running outside. Thinking about too many things can exhaust you as well. So, to control the thoughts which is very hard, what tried to do is focus on people who is walking before you and vehicles passing or the sight.

At one point, I want to run continously without stopping, that’s my goal. So to accomplish that I had to set some mini-goals like I will run till this point then I jog but not walk.

1Run --> Jog --> Run --> Jog --> Run --> Jog
3Run --> Sprint --> Jog --> Run --> Sprint --> Jog --> Run --> Sprint --> Jog

Running in these events also helps you collaborate and meet new people. What do you know one of my best friend runs as well, so he added me to a running group in watsapp, so as a group we attended and ran in many marathons.

As i was getting bit serious with this, i started running during day time at beach as well during the weekend, its hot, humid, sunny and very sweaty. I think this sort of helped me improve as well.

At this point I have run multiple 10k's and as a group we wanted to take things to the next level. That meant doing lots of above things more systematically,

  • Regular training
  • Good diet
  • Slowly cutting down self talk by focusing on the surrounding ( too much self talks, exhausts brain )
  • Stopped using step-counter, stop-watch. Just started to remember distance covered by songs.
  • Telling myself "This is the New Norm"
  • During the marathon, tried to follow pace setters - These are individuals who will complete marathon in a predetermined time. If you follow them and run in their pace. You will finish in similar timings. Some act as a coach and give instructions some just run.

What i really liked about running is, after running a long distance, my mind sort of stopped talking, its went quiet, no thoughts. That was sort of like the best moment, it was so refreshing. Just before that, i was so exhausted but when the quietness hit, it was so calm and fresh.

So, i would say running helped me in

  • Time management
    • This is the system i followed almost everyday.
      • Wakeup
      • Go to office
      • Exercise in office for 1hr15mins
      • Work
      • Leave office to home
      • Go to beach for a run
  • Discipline - Life style changes ( Juices, fresh veggies, cut-off street foods )
  • Collaboration (Getting to know new people)
  • Patience. No instant gratification
  • Good sleep (Yep! When you are exhausted, you have no option)

Now marathon is checked-off my list.

Next. Once this pandemic gets over, I think, if i do anymore running, it will be mostly 10K.

This presentation i took in office ( NatWest Group EEP 2020 - East Cohort )

Here is the zoom video