Neeraj Mathur is the Vice President for Product at fintech company ForUsAll. He completed the 2019 Run Local Series Star Challenge and, in 2020, is aiming to run his first Half Marathon at the Silicon Valley Half presented by Excite Credit Union on April 5. Below is an excerpt from his latest blog post titled Runversary at neerajmathur.com
By Neeraj Mathur
I celebrated my running anniversary this weekend by running in the 408k-Race to the Row. Achieving this milestone alongside Arjun, who was with me last year as well made it special.
Running consistently for a year isn’t a big deal for most people, but it is for me. I went from a sedentary lifestyle in 2017 to turn it around in 2018 and be able to log over 450 miles of running in 2019. The year of running saw me move from just under 12 minutes a mile to ~8-9 minutes a mile. The feeling of competing with myself freed me from all pressures.
To ensure I do not quit, I gave myself simple goals. Instead of trying to do too much, I focused on being consistent, and it helped me not to get hurt.
With 12 races under my belt in 2019, I feel comfortable in thinking of myself as a runner. While running is a part of life now, if someone had told me in 2017 that I’ll be signing up for races around the BayArea in 2020, I’d laughed them off. And here I am now, not only signing myself up but also urging others to join me.
So, if you are new to running, please find some pointers hereunder that might help you.
Get out, get going: The first step is to get out there and get running. Pace, distance, stop-and-go does not matter. Find your groove – music, the trail, the route, a friend, a run club – whatever gets you going, do that. Some folks like to mix it up; I am a creature of habit. Again, do what feels right for you.
Don’t give up: Pretty much everything that can come in the way, will. Stay focused, make running; make yourself a priority. Start with a smaller duration and distance. Push yourself to finish that regularly. In the first 2-3 months, you will discover “new” muscles, which will wreak havoc with your brain and test your grit.
Don’t give up. Don’t quit.
Remember, “Most people give up when they’re about to achieve success.”
Celebrate: When you achieve your goals, small or large – run for a week, a month, a distance, a time – celebrate. I even marked the experience of buying new running shoes. It signified that I had worn them off. Be thankful, feel lucky, rejoice in the discovery of your own body. It is more than the keeper of our brain, its a paradise of our soul. That we are able-bodied to run is a blessing in itself and celebration-worthy.
If you want a partner to run a mile, a 5k, or a 10k in the BayArea, contact me – I’d love to be a tiny part of your journey.
Most importantly, enjoy the journey. Good Luck!