Random Ramblings from Zone 2

I am that "angry runner" from the Indian scene. Actually, I believe my statements are misconstrued and people just plain don't like me because I'm not afraid to call out the truth.

"Truth is like poetry, and most people f***ing hate poetry"

But off late, I have (atleast in my head) become someone mature. Someone who takes the higher road.

For example: Even though I have unfollowed/unfriended many narcissistic vapid people from my Facebook friend list, I still see people making condescending comments and posts despite their own stature.

Obviously I notice, but I laugh and choose to ignore.

And infact, this blog isn't even about this. It's about some random musings I have in my head during my z2 morning runs.

Since I have started training with Shreyas, I have learnt the art of the slow run and aerobic base building. I'm not a "fast" runner in the larger scheme of things but in the limited scope of the universe, I am, for lack of a better word "above average".

I can run 17 odd minutes (or below) for a 5k and can hold a decent pace for 42. Yet, I choose to run at 5:50-6 min/km, actually staring at the environment around me, looking at the people go by. People who are all out in their effort and they overtake me and I know, if I take my heart rate up by 6 bpm I will leave them in a cloud of dust and a puddle of sweat.

But I don't. I would have if it was 2-3 years back. I do not like being overtaken and I am someone who is competitive and takes challenges seriously.

I just had simple change in my thinking. Why does a random person overtaking me bother me so much? Am I this shallow, that I need to prove myself to everyone who is running out there?
Do I really need to show my strength by being loud? (Through a display of a small surge of speed)
Or do I need to wear my achievements on a T shirt? (Ironman/Ultraman finisher)

No, I am not that person who needs validation from other people. I do what I do because I love doing it. If the other person thinks I am slow, why should I even care? I don't run to show other people who I am, I run to enjoy myself and when I run with a timed goal I run to find my strength and to prove to myself that I am capable of numbing out the fear and taking myself to the next level.

And that segues nicely into my next point.

I know goals are important. My goals are very important to me, I take my timing goals and targets seriously and I like to push myself.

I've seen people whine and complain about their goals being tough and the path to achieve them being tough but why? Nobody really forced you to pursue that goal. You brought that upon yourself.
And when you chose the path, you accepted the difficulties that come with it.

If you are then whining about the path being tough, you don't really respect your goal to the fullest extent because the path is one part of the goal itself. (That was a little judgemental but it is the pure unadulterated truth).

But more than timing and performance goals, I believe my 1st goal when I started running, why I actually fell in the love with running was the pleasure it brought to me. And when we (including myself) pursue our timing goals we forget our first love. We forget that joy of running which brought us there in the 1st place.

When I run these days, (when I say run, I mean slowly meander about), I let the surroundings and my joy of running take priority. I listen to the birds chirp and ducks swim and flowers blossom. I listen to the sound of waves crashing into the rocks or the crackling of the leaves which are falling as Autumn approaches. I take time to appreciate the sun coming out and covering everything in a golden hue and changing the cold dark morning into a cold bright one.

I quit music a few months back and now I just listen to the nature on the outside and my body on the inside. Looking at the nature makes my problems feel irrelevant and insignificant. When there is so much beauty surrounding me, why should I bother with set of problems which might even turn out a different way?

When I do achieve my timing goals and have reached the final milestone, I can still run without feeling hollow about it because for me, the ultimate joy is not the timing goal but the joy which comes from running and I can continue enjoying myself in this state forever.

Running in the end, is my hobby, something I turn to if I feel frustrated in real life. What's the point of running if I am getting frustrated by it? And that too just because the clock ticked over a few extra seconds than I had hoped for? Running is my happy place and a sanctuary for my thoughts and emotions, and I hope to keep it that way.

And to zoom out and look at the big picture. Why bother with what others are lying or demeaning or putting down other people? I have a goal in life and a purpose I was born for. I want to leave this world a better place than I came in and I will do so.

I do not post about my training on social media, and people do justify it by saying "it inspires other people" but it is my belief and I may be wrong here, but if you look for inspiration from what others do that inspiration won't really last long. Motivation for me comes from within and not from quotes that people post each day.
Yes indeed it is heartening to see people do feats which are beyond my comprehension and I do look back to what others could do with their limited resources and willpower, when I am in the dungeon.
But in the end, it is upto me and my drive to do something with that inspiration.
Posting about my Z2 jog will not yield any extraordinary inspiration to anyone and because I am not looking for public adulation to go forward in life, I would rather avoid people being lulled into a false sense of admiration.
Yes, if I do well in an event, I surely will post about it and give back to the society, but even so my message would be to have people increase faith in themselves rather than getting some weird high from public praise.

It is, in the end my life and I choose the information I want to receive and react to and that's what I am doing now.

And I hope the same for you. :)


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