Ruchi first started running as part of working out and keeping fit. It had been necessary to her for many years as living in the countryside in Yorkshire it was a great way to experience nature. Abroad, during Ruchi’s travels, she found it a great way to see a place and regularly ran when she stayed at Hong Kong harbour, in China, Germany and Sydney harbour amongst other areas and when she lived in London.
Running was great for fitness and stamina but not so great for knees! Ruchi Dhir took up hot yoga and swimming to balance out the impact on her joints and get into the habit of thorough stretching.
When one of her friends passed away from an aggressive form of cancer in 2010, running was the most accessible way Ruchi felt she could contribute to cancer awareness by taking part in a sponsored run. She soon became hooked on them. Following the 10K at Temple Newsam, she trained for the 10K Colour Run at Harewood House and another 10K Race for Life on the Stray in Harrogate.
Running had always been a favourite of Ruchi’s to see new places. But, as her fitness level increased, it became a way to clear her head as well. Nowadays, like most people, she was connected continuously and stimulated through her mobile phone, texts, apps, emails and often over two-time zones as she was dealing with the Far East. Running gave her the release to combat that constant connection and engagement which is almost impossible to escape with today’s technology.
It was her intense work pattern which led her then to something which could sustain regular fundraising. Fundraising is fun but, as Ruchi Dhir found, you’ve got to do something you enjoy to be able to maintain it. And running for her was it.
She became inspired by one of her friends who ran 10 x10K runs in one year, and two marathons, to start fundraising. Her first two races of 2018 were with fix events. The race organiser in London specialised in 10K and 5K runs as well as marathons. They organise runs mainly in and around London and were, at the beginning of 2018 (before the beast from the east hit), two of the only race event’s organisers hosting 10k runs so early in the year. Ruchi Dhir ran the 10k at Stratford Olympic Park and the 10K at Richmond Park two weeks later.
Both events were well attended and had a great buzz considering runners were up at about 6.30am-7.00am on a cold Saturday morning to get to the start line on time. However, by about 10.00am it was all over in time for breakfast. The organisers also cover Victoria Park, Hyde Park, Greenwich and Regents Park amongst others. The atmosphere was addictive and what started as 10K runs to cross off on her list became warm-ups to try and run the 100k in one week later in the year.
She took the opportunity at her recent trade fair and client meetings to tell her clients. She raised £500.00 over a couple of days towards her 10K target.
Ruchi Dhir Launches Charity Initiative!
She chose both St Gemma’s Hospice and The Yorkshire Air Ambulance as her charities to support. This was in part due to the care she had witnessed at St Gemma’s when one of her friends and, on another occasion, a work colleague, had passed away there. She saw how they maintained the dignity of the patients admitted there and how vital the warmth and the caring atmosphere was to people in their last days.
She had been introduced to the Air Ambulance by her brother, an orthopaedic surgeon in London. He had been working in trauma at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. He had explained to her the huge difference they make in saving lives as they can transport people to hospital who are minutes between living and dying. They make a massive impact and are entirely privately funded. Ruchi Dhir and her brother took part in an abseil down the Royal London Hospital to raise funds for the charity which was both exhilarating and terrifying.
But it brought home to Ruchi the importance of pushing yourself when fundraising as a small gesture to those people who both charities support, who often face the battle of staying positive on a day to day basis to deal with whatever obstacle has been put in front of them and rely on those charities to help them.
Running those 10K runs will go on throughout 2018 with the aim of raising the 10K to be split between both charities who will use and utilise it so well.
As well as the practice runs and the yoga and stretching, another big part of the preparation, Ruchi found, has been diet.
While it is important not to fall into the trap of demonising carbs as people often do nowadays, it’s still important to pick the right ones: green vegetables Ruchi Dhir found, were good enough for a weights workout, sweet potatoes, porridge, whole grains, beans, and lentils. And, besides the carbs, vegetables, (lots of vegetables). Admittedly part of the fun of running a 10K is the big breakfast afterward, but preparation is key.
After body, there is mental preparation which Ruchi completely overlooked. At her first two races in early January, she half expected to see people like her, just having a go to see which level they were at. She was surprised that there were so many focused runners with clear goals. In her first race (3 laps at the Olympic Park in Stratford), she spoke with a few of the experienced runners who had been training and regularly practicing, and many just focused their mind or listened to uplifting music to get through the last few kilometres of the race.
Common themes in Running
It’s so easy for your enthusiasm to be drowned out by the “you’re not going to finish” voice in your head or the “why did you bother, you’re not good enough.” Just being able to quieten that voice was an achievement that could be taken away after the race. It’s important to focus on the positive and believe that your body is strong enough, that trying is winning. Use the race as a celebration of what your body can do, as opposed to seeing it as a punishment. And fundraising was just part of that; setting and achieving those running goals for 2018 seemed natural when you had committed to people or charities who really benefit and support the people they are treating. It was a small way of practicing gratitude and reminding her that if she could run those races perfectly or imperfectly, at least she could run them. And the adjustment of diet and the mental and physical training in preparation for them, was still a choice for her where those people cared for / rescued by her chosen charities faced hurdles and the challenge to stay positive on a daily basis, often through no choice of their own. The common theme they spoke about was ; It’s so easy for your enthusiasm to be drowned out by the ‘you’re not going to finish’ voice in your head or the ‘ why did you bother , you’re not good enough’ , or ‘you shouldn’t try big things , stick to smaller , manageable goals , why are you even trying’ . Just being able to quieten that voice was an achievement that could be taken away after the race. Just to be able to focus on the positive and believe that your body is strong enough, that trying is winning and using the race as a celebration of what your body can do, as opposed to seeing it as a punishment, carried so many of those runners as well as the exhaustive training and preparation.
And fundraising was just part of that: setting and achieving those running goals for 2018 seemed easy when you had committed to people or charities who really benefit and support the people they are treating. it was a small way of practising gratitude and reminding her that if she could run those races perfectly or imperfectly but at least she could run them. And the adjustment of diet and the mental and physical training in preparation for them, was still a choice for her where those people cared for / rescued by her chosen charities faced hurdles and the challenge to stay positive on a daily basis, often through no choice of their own.