Running: The book, the beginning and the life it changed.
I started running 6 years ago; that would be 2014. I've completed 3 full marathons and more than 25 half marathons.
I want to write some of my thoughts about running and its meaning. I hope this will help anyone who is just starting out.
For a beginner, running is always about performance. More interested in the physics of it: Speed, distance, time, and after finishing the first marathon it is PR(personal record) The attitude of competition sort of stresses you out both mentally and physically(not to mention the injuries) The attrtion rate of running is so high after 3 years. By attrition rate I mean runners droping off from running all together.
Competition helps, competition drives, but there is more to the running equation.
Running could be a way where you find your "self".
Listen to your body and respect it. Don't push too much(based on performance metrics). Start small, observe how you feel, push a little next day, a little the next day, and one day you'll know that you are running at the perfromace level you wanted to achieve. So listen, respect, push incrementally.
I don't know how to remove the irony for what comes next.
Don't think about running while running. I know this is difficult to put it words, difficult to grasp, and difficult to undestand and internalize. But lets see if reiterating it helps: Don't think about running while running.
This doesn't mean listen to music or podcasts during the excercise.
What I mean is, Meditate, OK, don't want to loose you there, lets say: Think deeply about what ever you want to think.
Your to-do list for the day. Solving a problem. Your work, family, politics, economics.
What ever, doesn't matter.
Personally — and my secondary motivation for running is – in the midst of the busy day, running is the only time when I could think and focus on one thought and most of the time I end up getting clarity or find a solution to a problem. It just helps.
Most of what I learnt and found about running comes from one source: A book by Haruki Murakami. His first non-fiction work. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running
It is a small book, like the one you can finsih it on a train journey. I make it a point to read it every year. Like an annual ritual. Helps me to be on track.
I've noted down some of the parts that I really loved. Some deep thoughts that any one who is starting to run must ponder.