If you’re like many office workers, your daily routines were upended when workplaces went remote. Some of us at Kinaxis became more active than ever before... and some of us started to celebrate the days when we walked to the mailbox.
Enter the Kinaxis virtual challenges. Our Nutrition and Fitness team, led by Carole Woodstock, used the shift in our lifestyles to connect our community, introduce us to new hobbies and build a global support system for staying healthy and active. She worked with a team of enthusiastic volunteers to host virtual classes and events to motivate our team to run, cycle, stretch and more.
This year, we hosted our second annual challenge, a virtual race where 158 participants walked or ran over 740 kilometers in seven days. To capture what the experience is like, we spoke with new runner, Prachi Bansal, a Business Analyst on our IT Business Solutions team. In our Q&A, she shares how she went from her first lace-up to completing a half marathon.
Q: You ran your first half marathon over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Congratulations! Tell us about your journey. Why did you decide to start running?
A: Before this, I was not a runner at all. I started with walking one minute then running one minute in the spring or early summer. I was on mat leave at the time. Because of the pandemic and having a baby during the pandemic, I couldn’t leave the house for six months. For me personally, running became a big stress buster.
I used the Couch to 5k app and once I shared my 5k with the team, people supported me and were so happy for me. So, I decided to go further. I did a 10k in the summer. Then for Thanksgiving, I ran for 9runrun, the emergency services’ run. I knew I wanted to run a half marathon in the fall. There were other events to choose from, but this was a cause I felt sympathetic with, so it was an opportunity to raise funds.
Q: What did you learn about yourself while you were training?
A: What I learned about myself is that I didn’t know I was so motivated. It’s hard to run. Your feet are sore all the time. Every time I started to go for a run, I thought about not going, but then I did and it felt good.
One of the biggest challenges is that as a person I try to rationalize everything, asking myself, “What are you getting out of it? Why are you doing this?” I finally told myself, just do it because you want to.
Q: How were your teammates at Kinaxis helpful? Did anyone motivate you, train with you or give you advice?
A: Everyone was so encouraging. I found new friends while I was training and a great way to stay healthy physically and mentally. I would especially like to mention Emma Franks. I had never met her before I started running. She started after I began my mat leave, but we emailed back and forth. She was so encouraging. She planted the idea of taking running seriously.
Q: What advice would you give to others at Kinaxis who want to start running or preparing for the next virtual challenge?
A: Two things for people who want to start running. We automatically think it has to be fast. Take it slow, take it easy and you’ll build up the speed. The other thing is to set small goals for yourself: I want to run to the next stop sign, or I want to run to the mailbox and back. Be kind to yourself. You can’t run a 5k at the beginning, but you will get there.
If there are people who want to run and you think you cannot, you can. I was one of them. Don’t beat yourself up about it. One day you will run your marathon. You never know what you can do until you try.
Thanks for sharing your story, Prachi!
If you want to learn more about our Nutrition and Fitness initiatives, you can read our Global Impact Report 2021 to see some of our past events or search #KinaxisLife on social media to see some of our latest milestones. If you’re working at Kinaxis, keep your eye on your inbox for more information about our next event, a global hiking challenge!