Last Sunday, Naveen and I ran 10km during the Footsteps 4 Good run in BKC and supported Tender Hands India, an NGO that supports women who were rescued from human trafficking to start a new life through their Learn to Bake vocational training.
It has been an amazing experience and I learned a lot from this experience. So here you go: 5 life lessons that I learned from my first ever 10km run.
1) Start before you are ready
I still cannot believe that I used to be able to run only 2-3km in the gym while training for this run. When my friend shared with me that she would be organizing the Footsteps 4 Good 2016 run, I was determined to support her not only by promoting the event via my blog and social media channels but to actually take part in it. I had two options: choose the 5km walk that would be easily achievable for me or to challenge myself and to try the 10km run. I choose the 10km run –thinking that I would have enough time to practice and somehow make it happen.
But life happened. Life always happens. 36 hours before the run, Naveen and I ordered a pizza and enjoyed the evening on our couch. Since the time that we signed up for the run, we had probably trained only a handful (or maximum two handful) times. I was pretty okay of running for 20-30minutes and would achieve 2-3km. That’s it. But somehow I was able to continuously run for 1hour 16minutes and accomplish the 10km run without any walking break on that Sunday morning in BKC.
2) Keep moving
Don’t think that it was easy for me. I still remember that my legs started to become heavier after the very first kilometre and my breath become heavier with every passing kilometre. When I saw the finish line for the first time, I couldn’t believe that I had accomplished only half of the run. In fact, my muscles were tired and I could have easily said enough. But then, just a few meters before the finish line, I heard the commentator announcing that the guy in front of us was about to finish his second round. I felt pumped and loudly cheered for him. I felt inspired and I knew I could accomplish this. However fast or slow I was. My goal was not to run the fastest 10km run in history. My challenge was to complete the 10km running without taking a break. And so I continued. Step for step. Meter for meter. Kilometre for kilometre. Slowly, I ran. But the important point is: I ran in the right direction.
3) Run with your head up
…not just as a proper running technique but as a metaphor for life. Keep your head up and be confident. There were many runners that overtook me –right in the beginning and before crossing the finish line. But I can truly say that I have never felt more confident while running than during this 10km run. Instead of competing with others, I focused on myself. I was confident of myself –which showed in the way I was running (with my head up) and in the way I felt (happy and proud).
4) You really can do more than you think you can
I totally surprised myself with this 10km run. I mean… wow! I still can’t believe it. I ran 10km without any breaks or major pain. This totally boosted my confidence and helped me to realize that there are probably hundred other things that I am capable of –I just haven’t tried it yet and therefore don’t know it. If there is one life lesson from the many things I learned while running the 10km run that I find most important: it is this one. YOU REALLY CAN DO MORE THAN YOU THINK YOU CAN.
5) Enjoy the journey
Of course, it was an amazing feeling to cross the finish line… I was so pumped, I ran as fast as I could for the last few meters and I loudly cheered myself… But to be honest, the 1 hour and 16 minutes that I was running were the real achievement and fun. It sounds cheesy but it’s so true: Enjoy the journey.
Bonus Tip: You will feel even more amazing if you run for a cause. I felt extremely happy and proud when I saw my friend who runs Tender Hands India, the NGO that Naveen and I supported with our run, cheering for us on the side of the road. THI fights to end human trafficking and offers a vocational baking program for rescued women and young girls. Check out these amazing TROPHY SUGAR COOKIES created by them: