What Have You Learned From Running?

by On Jan 24, 2021

What are the life lessons you learned in 2020?

What have you learned from being a runner?

2020 was a tough year for everyone, due to the pandemic crisis. It affected everyone's lives, from wearing a mask when we are out to practising social distancing to protect ourselves and our loved ones. It made us realise that our life is full of uncertainties, as nobody knows what lies ahead in the future.

Today, RunSociety is pleased to invite three passionate runners to share what they learned from being a runner in 2020. Besides that, they will be sharing what they are looking forward to in 2021.

1. Rashi Shah

Bio: Indian, 23 year-old, Strategist

What have you learned in 2020?
Rashi Shah

An avid runner, and an ultra-marathoner in the making. She completed fifteen 10kms, eight half marathons, and one full marathon.

RS: What have you learned from the pandemic?

Rashi: When all else fails, and life is full of uncertainties, two things stick by you no matter what - Family & Running.

RS: How has the pandemic changed your running goals?

Rashi: It has given me time to reflect on my approach to running from being someone solely focused on PBS to understanding the real value of the sport and finding pure happiness in the process itself. It has given me the motivation to train harder than I ever have before in this downtime, and to be able to really prepare myself for my long-term running goals in the ultra-running space.

RS: What's your greatest fitness achievements and regrets in 2020?

Rashi: Thankfully, 2020 has been my year of fitness without regret. It has made me more dedicated and determined about maintaining a routine, following a training plan, and going after my lifelong dream of attempting my first ever full marathon, which I successfully completed through the Virtual London Marathon in a time of 4:01:25.

RS: What are your resolutions for healthier and happier living in 2021?

Rashi: My 2021 resolutions are to focus on my training and trusting the process of getting to my 5-10 year goals without making any hasty moves. Over the past few months, I’ve started measuring each of my runs through a “Happiness Score," which I aim to continue in the new year, as that’s what made me fall in love with running all over again, and especially at a time I thought things were starting to become mundane.

You can follow Rashi on Instagram: @rash.in.a.flash

2. James Toh

Bio: Singapore, 40 year-old, Real Estate Manager

What have you learned in 2020?
James Toh

To James, running is a therapy and a form of finding his inner-self. People run for many reasons, and whether they are a fast or slow runner, the goal is to find happiness through the connection of the mind and body.

James loves a mixture of trail and road, and his regular route is Zhenghua Park to Bukit Timah Hill because staying close to the abundance of trails nearby accelerates his love for nature in no time. His average weekly mileage varies, depending on his family commitments; these days are usually 10km to 20km in one single session.

Tempo runs are usually evening workouts around his neighbourhood to recharge and unleash adrenaline. One loop consists of 5km with elevation, so three loops are his threshold, and he runs consistently to find a regime that will keep him healthy and stay in shape.

RS: What have you learned from the pandemic?

James: People have come to accept the fact that no one is immune to the virus, and we all have to do our part to be more socially responsible with our attitudes. 

RS: How has the pandemic changed your running goals?

James: No, physical races do not dampen my motivation, as I use running as a way to find solace and maintain healthy wellbeing.

RS: What's your greatest fitness achievements and regrets in 2020?

James: I am starting to run less due to family commitments, but running is a sport that requires you to spend so much time to do well. On the positive side – I am doing more strength exercise using a pull up bar/ parallel bar at my neighbourhood park, so I can build strength and speed to improve my performance.

RS: What are your resolutions for healthier and happier living in 2021?

James: Eat well, live well, be happy, and always remember to expect less but give more.

You can follow James on Instagram: @james_tzy1981

3. Trisha Thow Yoke Yuen

Bio: Malaysian, 42 year-old, Agri-commodity inspection manager for South East Asia

What have you learned in 2020?
Trisha Thow Yoke Yuen

Trisha just started running a few years ago, and her first race was the "Hello Kitty 5km." She has always been a gym-goer and had written off running early as being boring and monotonous. But, ever since she joined her first Obstacle Course Spartan race in late 2015, she has discovered that running could also be fun and challenging.

Slowly, she changed her mindset on running and also discovered trail running. As a person who loves nature, running on trails helped her to appreciate the beauty of mother nature has given us. She could just zone out on long runs, and her footsteps tap freely like a ballerina performing the Swan Lake. Plus, she could get the best ideas when she runs!

RS: What have you learned from the pandemic?

Trisha: I’ve learnt that when pushed to certain restrictions, our body adapts, and our mind toughens, and we get new ideas on how to make the most of our limited movement possibilities when we are in survival mode. We never really know what our body is capable of till we push ourselves to the limit.

RS: How has the pandemic changed your running goals?

Trisha: I now believe that there is no limit to what I am capable of. I used to think running is a marathon that is impossible, but in November 2020, I managed my first 100 miles or 161 kms. Now, I aim to run longer distances.

RS: What's your greatest fitness achievements and regrets in 2020?

Trisha: In 2020, I surprised myself a few times. I won the female veteran category 42km trail run in Bukit Kiara before COVID-19 hit in March. I’ve also won my gym challenge in biggest loser with more than 10% of my body weight in 8 weeks. As for running, I did a 100km run with my friend in October and finally accomplished running 100 miles for a good cause to help out a local dog shelter get some funding.

As for regrets, I try not to have any regrets, as I believe that things happen for a reason. We shall rise up and just try again.

RS: What are your resolutions for healthier and happier living in 2021?

Trisha: Keep it simple, be happy, and dig deeper. Surround myself with like-minded people, stay positive, and motivate each other. I am so glad to have amazing friends who are supportive of each other!

You can follow Trisha on Instagram: @ponytailed_beast

Do you have a running plan for 2021 yet? What are you looking forward to in 2021? We would love to hear your plans in 2021.

Samantha is an editor at RunSociety. A digital expert with a focus on the research and development of thought provoking and resourceful content, Samantha love Yoga and incorporate running in her weekly workout whenever she can.

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