Saturday, November 24, 2012

Running,Growth and Happiness

I clocked the last 2 runs at an incredible pace ( by my standards )

10Kms in 1 Hour 2 minutes.

If you are a pro I can hear your chuckle. But this is a 37 year old who had not run or worked out till 35 years of his life - and was never those athletic types.

And here I am - clocking better and better timings.

July 2012 I did 10K in 1 Hour 8 minutes

May 2012 I did 10K in 1 Hour 18 minutes

Nov 2011 I did 10K in 1 Hour 35 minutes

Feels as if my pace is increasing. The real reason for better timings is nowadays I don't take any breaks while running - not even slowing down for a walk. I am getting efficient in running. My pace seems to be the same.

I am growing well when it comes to running!

And this makes me happier.

But this happiness will not last long. I will be gloating over this 10k timings for another 2 or 3 runs and my happiness will wane. Then I will be setting a new target - either 10k under 1 hour or 12.5k.

Why I am doing this? Why am I not satisfied with my new timings? Am I greedy?

This running-growth-happiness is - I believe - is human evolution in a nut-shell. We always keep looking for faster, stronger and higher records.

Recently I heard an Oxford University lecture on brain - "Dopamine" floods the brain when the records get broken and makes the brain happy. And the brain wants more and more records to get broken because of this. This is a positive feedback cycle - which in turns lifts mankind as a whole.

Marathon ( 42 Kms )  was once the ultimate test for human endurance. But the last few years runners are pushing 100Kms and more.

Take any other field - we have invented Flights and can travel to anywhere around the globe quickly - but why aren't we resting on our laurels - why are we exploring Space Travel - why do we rejoice when records get broken - be it the Olympics or the world record for maximum hot dogs eaten?

Because in Growth lies our Happiness.

And in Growth lies our evolution to a better species.

Sorry if I have disappointed you since i did not touch on the negative aspects of growth that leads to  global warming, amassing illegal wealth, corruption etc. in this post - I am on a runners high now :)