The Third Runniversary

Three years ago, on July 1st, 2017, I began to run – and I still run. Those who’ve been reading this personal blog for a while might remember that it began as a way to lose weight, in a bet with my friend Tracy. After our little contest ended, I continued running because I realized how good it is for my mental health.

In the course of about 18 months after I started to run, I’ve lost ~25 kg (55 pounds). Currently, I’m running 2-3 times per week, depending on other physical activities (the morning after a longer hike, I don’t feel a physical or mental need to run, for example).

This helped to maintained my weight – obviously, there have been slight variations, but it’s been more or less the same for the last 1½ years. Shuwen and I have begun to be more active together as well, first with Nordic walking, and currently we are doing our daily “pandemic evening walks” in the neighborhood.

While it’s definitely nicer to be out in nature and on a dirt trail, I currently prefer to do my runs in the neighborhood too. One reason is that with the summer heat approaching, it’s better to be out early, before breakfast – the other reason is that with the coronavirus pandemic, it is way easier to avoid people in the neighborhood: crossing the street is simple, hopping into the shrubs from a single track trail is a bit annoying – it’s simple a nicer experience to run without having to be on alert.

Just so that I don’t always run the same route, I found some alternative loops here that include some short but strenuous uphill sections as well, which benefits my hiking too. I can honestly say that at the age of 49, I’m probably in better shape than I have ever been in my life.

I recently read an article about Jon Sutherland, a man who’s been running every day for 50 years now. It’s called streak running – a minimum of one mile per day, every day. It sounded appealing, and I think it’s a great way to get into running.

I considered it, but then dismissed the idea: to get “into the zone” where running is most beneficial for me takes more than one mile – ideally, I reach the state of effortless running, with the mind wandering freely until the stream of consciousness subsides, after about 20 minutes or ~1.5 miles of running but often, it takes longer. Thus, I prefer my current running schedule, where I try to run in the range of 45 to 60 minutes.

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