Rahul Goel

Running at IIIT-H

Posted on: May 20, 2024

Since late last year, I had started to run regularly, or atleast I thought I did. Being a beginner, I used to run a kilometer or so and then take a break of five minutes and then perhaps run another kilometer if I felt like it and then I would call it a day.

In November of 2023, I ran my first long run and it was a 10K which I managed to finish in rougly 68 minutes. I found myself really happy to even finish it because I thought I couldn't. That was followed by another 2-3 lousy months of light running.

On March 3rd of 2024, I participated in another 10K. This time I finished in 64 minutes which pissed me off. Months of (lousy) running and only a 4 minute improvement!? That day marked the beginning of the two physically fruitful months (March & April) I spent at IIIT Hyderabad covering a roughly 100KM each month running. To be honest, 100KM is a really small number of most of the runners on this planet. But for me, it seemed big. 100KM a month equates to roughly 3KM a day (I didn't run daily) which is in fact small. But for me, the small distance wasn't the problem. It was the task of just convincing myself to get up and run and the meta-tasks that came with it.

A whole lot of this became possible by finding the right group of friends to run with. Collectively, me and my friends at IIIT ran much more than what we would've run individually. Herd mentality helped. The runs without a group or a friend to chat with were really boring ones: I found myself zoning out and thinking about other problems. The other ones seemed to end quicker than usual.

Bit by bit, it happened. I finished the 100K roughly around 25th March and went ahead to do 111K in total. On April 14, I participated in another 10K and finished in roughly 57 minutes this time. With a sub-hour time and a 7 minute improvement in a month, I was elated. I had blood in my viens, sweat on my skin and Strava on my phone. I went ahead and finished the 100K of April on its last day.

I'm continuing the same in May as well as I write this. But I'm not so sure about finishing the 100K due to other things occupying life. What I do know is that I am keen on continuing this practice for the rest of the year, just to see how much time it'll take me to finish a 10K by the end of 2024.