I celebrated my running anniversary this weekend in the 408k-Race to the Row. Achieving this milestone alongside Arjun, who was with me last year, made it special.
Running consistently for a year isn’t a big deal for most people, but it is for me. I went from a sedentary lifestyle in 2017 to turning it around in 2018 and logging over 450 miles of running in 2019. The year of running saw me move from just under 12 minutes to ~8-9 minutes a mile. The feeling of competing with myself freed me from all pressures.
To ensure I did not quit, I gave myself simple goals. Instead of trying to do too much, I focused on being consistent, and it helped me not to get hurt.
With 12 races under my belt in 2019, I feel comfortable thinking of myself as a runner. While running is a part of life now, if someone had told me in 2017 that I’d be signing up for races around the Bay Area in 2020, I’d laughed them off. And here I am now, not only signing myself up but also urging others to join me.
So, if you are new to running, please find some pointers that might help you.
Get out, get going: The first step is getting out there and running. Pace, distance, and stop-and-go does not matter. Find your groove – music, the trail, the route, a friend, a run club – whatever gets you going, do that. Some folks like to mix it up; I am a creature of habit. Again, do what feels right for you.
Don’t give up: Pretty much everything that can come your way will. Stay focused, make running, and make yourself a priority. Start with a smaller duration and distance. Push yourself to finish that regularly. In the first 2-3 months, you will discover “new” muscles, which will wreak havoc with your brain and test your grit.
Don’t give up. Don’t quit.Tweet
Remember, “Most people give up when they’re about to achieve success.”
Celebrate: When you achieve your goals, small or large – run for a week, a month, a distance, a time – celebrate. I even marked the experience of buying new running shoes. It signified that I had worn them off. Be thankful, feel lucky, and rejoice in the discovery of your own body. It is more than the keeper of our brain; it’s a paradise of our soul. That we are able-bodied to run is a blessing in itself and celebration-worthy.
If you want a partner to run a mile, a 5k, or a 10k in the Bay Area, contact me – I’d love to be a tiny part of your journey.
Most importantly, enjoy the journey. Good Luck!
PS: Making a special memory on the rare palindrome date (02/02/2020) is noteworthy too. Arjun and I were disappointed later in the day when the 49ers didn’t finish the job. Onwards...
PPS: Here’s a video of me pre-race looking forward to the event – https://youtu.be/DejWMRXzthg. Thanks to Run Local for creating and sharing this.
Great advice. And yes you have motivated me to run a race with you (510K). I look forward to running some more with you and Arjun in 2020.
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Thank you, Dwij! While 2020 has taken quite a turn… I am confident we will all be running together soon.