Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The running year gone by - a reflection

It's going to be a year since I took a first step towards fitness. It was in the beginning of March 2014 that I started walking & slowly moved on to running inside my neighbourhood park. Thanks to the internet I landed on the Chennai Runners page on Facebook & so on April 2nd 2014 I joined a group of runners and started running regularly.

From a barely 3km initial run, I started doing longer runs and decided that by December 2014 I will do a 10km in TWCM & lose some weight. I ticked both those boxes earlier than I thought. By December I had completed 2 half marathons & lost 14kgs weight.

A lot of people helped me in this effort but Venu Sir who guided me initially & George who trained me on the basics of better running stand out. I will always be grateful to them. Another person who helped me run was Lakshmi who trained with me under George & slowly we ran together & still do. A running buddy can be a great support for new comers & the high of doing my first 8km run with Lakshmi's coaxing is an unforgettable memory.

Somewhere down the line the limitations of the group I run with became glaringly obvious and to be fair to the group selflessness is a scarce commodity among people today & to expect it from others is an utopian thought. Other limitations included the lack of support for beginners, which is my biggest disappointment, the narrow minded approach that there can be only one school of thought when it comes to running and personality rather than policy driven leadership. I was part of the founding team and somehow ended up in the group that coordinates the group. With power comes great responsibility and my inability to do justice to my responsibility made me very uncomfortable. As I chose to move out from the active leadership role of the group, I went back to the start where as a newbie I was taking baby steps into the world of running & fitness. I am running and still learning, sometimes with a group sometimes alone.

I look forward to the year ahead with optimism and believe that running can be a team sport, it can be selfless, it can rise above indices of performance like the number of races finished or the ever changing personal bests both of which are incidental. Personally the joy on the face of a newbie completing a 5km for the first time is a high for me when I run with him / her. I am always ready to run with a new comer as long as they bear with my slow pace.

The targets for this year are simple:
- have fun
- stay injury free
- spread the running virus to at least one person a month

Fitness, medals and other things like I said will be incidental.

Happy running folks!

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