My friend told me he can't run in Cortal because he was invited to a going-away party that night.
I said, well, I'll run, sayang naman ang race kit.
And then I realized, he runs 10k and I run 5k.
Flash forward to a few hours later, with barely an hour of sleep in my lids, I am stretching my fat limbs in Quirino Grandstand, eyeing my co-runners and trying to see if they can hear the tub-thumping of my heart.
WHAT WAS I THINKING?????
I just did a 5k this month, my first! And it took me 50minutes to finish it!
And now, barely a few weeks later... I am running 10k? Alone!
Oh well. I can't back out.
I just managed my expectations. I was going to take it easy. I will not do any sprints. At every water station, I will stop and walk for 60seconds before running again. If I ever feel the need to walk, I will indulge in my 60second break.
So the gun was off and my 10k groupies soon went on ahead and I was running in my own pace, as in on my own, like there was a big space before and after me.
Some of the mamaw 5k participants were already speeding past me. But I wasn't about to let pride take over me just to have me limp the rest of the kilometers. Hold back. That was the key to survival.
I saw a lot of runners with polio or atrophied leg muscles.
They were stronger runners than I am. I thank my decision for not trying to gun it and try to do a speedy gonzales in the first half only to limp and die in the second.
I paced with two of the organizers who were also running. They were checking the route as we went along. On my part I could not help but pick up a few cups who have been discarded by other runners. It wasn't that difficult to hold cups while running, I am sorely disappointed.
CCP was quite a sight. It was like a human conveyor belt, people were running up and down the ramp in a hypnotic parade. There were also families having a picnic.
The sea smelled like almost rotten fish. But it was tolerable.
I clocked at 1hr 2mins in at the last 2k mark. But then I was
so afraid that I would conk out if I tried to speed up. So I maintained my slow as snail pace until I caught up with a guy wearing compression tights and I just ran with him all the way to the finish.
I did let myself loose on the final 50m and did a little sprint.
Too bad my PEx Running Club buddies weren't there at the finish line. It would have made my first 10k much more memorable.
Funny how before, my feet used to ache after training where I just run 6k. Perhaps I have
I started to marvel at my body. This body that I hate because it has gotten so big and huge and fat and disfigured. But after that first 10k, you could've gotten a welt in your body had you told me I'm fat.
I let myself become a fat-assed girl. I settled for all the wrong relationships. I was so in a hurry to settle down, to reach the finish line in life. I only ended up unhappy with myself and in the process perhaps I have also made some people unhappy. I am never proud of that.
Running has made me realize that the more you pace yourself, the more you hold back, the more you keep that potential energy in your legs, the better and faster your race will be.
I finished my first 10k in 1 hour 26 minutes and 10 seconds. I heard that that wasn't such a bad time. Although I dream of one day running at 4 minutes per kilometer, my 8 minute pace was a big improvement from my 10 minute pace just a few weeks ago with Feet2Run where I ran 5k.
One of my friends asked me how I can run such long distances. I said you just have to keep running. it doesn't mean that you can't stop to catch your breath and to walk, as long as you pick yourself up and run again. It's rather like the chances we are given in life. Every time we falter, every time we stop in the race, we are given a chance. It is up to us to use that chance to stop altogether and accept failure or to use it to start again and continue with the race.
I have always chosen to continue. In life and in my runs, I have encountered numerous stumbling blocks, but I have always chosen to keep running. God knows how I started, with barely a 50m jog and I die gasping for breath. That was just this March. And now I have ran my first 10k.
I am a long way from my far-fetched dream of becoming an ultramarathoner. But what really matters is that you don't stop running. That is the only difference between us mortals who run short distances and them who run hundreds of kilometers. They simply continue with the race.
My life is on restart right now. But I am hopeful that the next decisions that I will make will reflect the kind of runner I have become. I may not be fast but I have a dogged tenacity to finish the race and to conquer the distance.
|I am a minimalist runner!|