Saturday, April 3, 2021

Run for a cause

Recently, Procter and Gamble, the company I've been working for for more than 32 years, organized a run-for-a-cause event, where the kilometers that were run on March 13th were turned into dollars donated to the "Save the Children" foundation for the purpose of keeping girls at school. Access to in-school toilets and wash facilities is a serious issue in rural schools leading to many girls dropping out of school when they get the menstrual period. With the funds from P&G, "Save the Children" will build sanitation facilities in some schools to help curb this challenge that children face.

In the build-up to March 13th, run results were posted and stories were shared by many employees. When I shared about my 66k running event, Qarun66, I was encouraged to share my journey with running. This is the brief story I shared:

My running journey:

"The start of my life as a runner was a bit unconventional. 22 years ago, I started having severe pain in my back that Doctors were not able to find the root cause for. The pain was infrequent for the first couple of years and became permanent later. It was there day and night. One night, I could not bear it anymore and, out of despair, went out and ran. I didn’t get far. I was a smoker at that time and had not been exercising for a while. I stopped after a few hundred meters only, trying to catch my breath. However, for my big surprise, I noticed that the pain was gone for that night. I started getting out for a run every time I had pain and it became a hobby that I did irrespectively. I started joining races, 10k then a half-marathon, then I added swimming and cycling, finished a full marathon, did short triathlons, longer ones, Half-Ironman, a full Ironman, and a few Ultra Trail runs. As you can imagine, this was a very brief summary of more than a decade of progress.

Now, at the age of 58, I continue to enjoy long endurance challenges like my last Ironman less than 2 years ago and a 66k desert run less than a month ago. I am very economical in my training as I survive with an average of just about 8 hours of training a week, which is extremely low for such kind of distances.


My advice:

Find a way to keep yourself committed to exercise. Otherwise, it is easy to find an excuse to skip. I do that in 2 ways: 1. Run with a partner or join a group. You are less likely to say to others: “I don’t feel like running today” than saying that to yourself, and 2. Sign up for a race that you are not able to complete without training, and tell everybody that you signed up. They’ll hold you accountable by asking how your preparations are going 😊



Doctors found the root cause for my back pain and a surgery made it disappear completely, 11 years after it had begun. The only thing that remained from that bad experience is my running habit."