Manson & Marathon season is starting. Below blog (Aug 2016) was from my last half marathon experience. Sharing this as reminder and refresher to any running enthusiast. I will publish my new experiences on Aug 20th 2017 after my half marathon.
Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it. –Oprah Winfrey
Last weekend (Aug 28th 2016) , I ran my half marathon. I have been running on and off. I always felt running taught me the real lessons about life and most importantly about self.
At the end of the run, I was not really happy about my overall experience (painful in the last 5 km) and finish timing ( ~ 3 hr). I thought I could finish it with between 2.30 to 2.45 mins (this shows already that I was not very specific about my finish timing goal). Let me tell you what really happened behind the scenes.
- Specific Goal: I did not set a specific goal when I started training for this marathon. I did start with a 12 week plan but did not set any goal. I simply thought I would start along the plan and see how it goes. Towards the end of the training (not a consistent one), I thought I some how will/can try to finish the run before 2.45 mins. No, I could not finish because I did not have a clear-cut goal, strategy and a plan. In the first place I did not had the goal !!..This is what happens for most of us in life. We lead the life without any specific goals and then expect life to bring happiness, joy, ecstasy and what not…Why we don’t set a specific goal? We all know that intellectually we should be having specific goals in life. But we don’t. Why?. I think we simply don’t have the habit of setting goals and may be we don’t believe that goals are not required because some how we can manage Run a marathon and you will learn for your rest of life that goals are essential for a happy life.
- Consistency: You would have heard this many times that consistency is key to any significant achievements. Yes, this is absolutely true when it comes to consistent training. I did follow some of the weekly runs but I did miss the cross training and interval training. This has clearly resulted in my timing and overall experience. Some times I tried to do longer distances than in the actual plan just to cover my guilt on missing some earlier runs. But this further damages because you are pushing your body beyond and results in injury. Same thing happens in life as well – just to catch up we do some things beyond our limits or capabilities and we fail utterly. So the lesson here is even small effort fine but consistency brings the real power and performance. I some times feel it is better drop the things than doing inconsistently. Because the inconsistency creates more pain at the end !!
- What you put what you get: While I was in the training I do know that my speed is picking up and of course this is because I was not doing any of interval trainings. But still I thought I some how will manage and finish the run between 2:30 and 2:45 mins. If I would have accepted my current capability then I would have set my realistic finish expectation of 3 hr (based on my training pace). Then I would have been happy with my performance and overall experience. Very honestly my outcome is exactly based on how I have been training. It is simple – what you put what you get
- Honest Assessment of one’s Capability: When I was training I used to look at some of other runners how fast they are able to run. Then at times I tried to push my self. But I learnt this lesson very early on that you pace yourself not with others. Each and every individual is unique. And each person’s capability is different based on genetics, physiology, past athletic training, life style, habits etc etc. You will be in zone and at peace when you operate with your pace. How many times you have seen people trying to compare themselves with others and live a miserable life !!. Be yourself and try to grow continuously at your pace !!. Any other ways will hurt you for sure ..in the long-term.
- Get back to the track ASAP: During my inconsistent training, I tried to do some strengthening exercises at a new gym. Without proper ramp up, I tried to do some intense circuit trainings. I hurt my back very badly. I went to physiotherapist and she told me not to run any more. She asked me to take bed rest, only walking, etc etc. I was worried that I have to give up half marathon for this time. I did follow her advice for ten days. After that I have assessed how my body is able to move. I got some hope and slowly got back to running regime. The biggest lesson I have learnt from this experience was if life you will get off the track many times for many different reasons but you should focus on how quickly you come back to that track.
One can learn many many life lessons through running . Above points are key lessons I learnt during this run.
Thank for reading…But reading does not give any real learning. One has to have real experiences for real learnings in life.