“I always loved running…it was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs.”
Avid runner I definitely am not. Neither can I be considered seasoned nor elite. But in the recent times I have discovered running.
For many years I’ve hated running. It cramps my calves, causes shortness of breath and make my chest hurts. It is boring and way too easy for me to just give up. Running leaves me alone with my own thoughts, my pain, and my own weakness.
This year, the Gods conspired to change that, causing me to listen to a friend, and signing up for the Great Eastern Women’s Half Marathon. As the dates started getting closer, the reality began setting in. I wasn’t going to ever make it, unless I start working towards that. However, not changing my routine of running around my estate meant I continued to be bored and lacked the motivation to maintain any proper training plan. Instead of running at least twice a week, I ended up only doing a run a fortnight.
Probably exasperated at how stubbornly lazy I am, I was given another chance to really get into this, when my colleague signed me up for a company runner’s cup, where the team of 4 had to contribute calories to the team by running. Being someone highly susceptible to peer pressure and the need to be fair, I had to make sure I was not dragging the team down. So, I had to run. And run, I did.
It started with the usual road runs around my estate, and then I joined my colleague and her friends at their weekly MacRitchie Run. Slowly I realise that running can be challenging, if I can find the confidence to explore new areas and routes, it can even be interesting. My runs got longer. The first time I went for a 3 hour run simply because I decided I wanted to, I discovered I can run. I realised running can be calming, if I allowed myself to stop worrying about my pace, my speed, my distance, my timing and all that peripheral things that cripple myself mentally. Once I stopped looking inward, and started enjoying the scenery, everything improved. I am even beginning to learn to enjoy each and every run. Of course, being physically stronger helped shorten the recovery period, which definitely contributed. A lot. :)
So while I still do not run every day, or even 3 times a week, I enjoy every run I take. Even if it’s only a short 4 or 5km run around my estate.
I guess now I run, because I can.