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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Longer distances, shorter time: You wouldn't know until you try. It won't happen until you try hard.

Four months ago I decided to shed the fat and run. I was 180lbs.

Here's the summary so far:
feet2run Road Race: 5k: 50mins
Cortal Road Race: 10k minimalist: 1hr 26mins
Merrell Trail Run: 10k barefoot: 5hrs 30mins

Now, I am 150lbs (or lighter, I haven't been as crazy checking the scales lately since I can see the changes in my mirror anyway) and my recent race results is as follows:
Run United 2: 10k minimalist: 1hr 12mins

I can't begin to tell you how ecstatic I am. Or yes I can: YEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
There. Let me regain my composure. I am so happy, can you tell? Hahaha.

I give credits to Mia for telling me about Milo Apex Running School which I am currently a student of. Kudos to the team of Coach Jim Saret and my 5k Coach Janette Agura, who herself is a multi-awarded athlete. I give credits to AstroboyRunner for pushing me beyond what I think I can, isa rin kasi siyang matigas ang ulo. I give credits to PinoyExchance Running Club for showing me how much a running community means.

But mostly though, I thank myself for being so hardheaded. I thank myself for deciding to train barefoot even though a female barefoot runner is not a usual sight in UP or anywhere else for that matter. I thank myself for bravely running in my fat suit, it was entirely embarrassing at first but when I started shedding the weight and started gaining more ground, it was liberating. I thank myself for running almost everyday even when every body ache started showing up. I thank myself for the challenges, for running on roads, dark streets, different cities, alone, with strangers. I thank myself for pushing even when I am dog tired: for finding ways to cross train with swimming and other sports.

I thank my crazy past for my want to escape it, to be far away from it as possible that it fuels my every run. Now, though, I look forward to my future, I'd like to think that I run fast and try to cover longer distances because I want to be as close to it as possible. My every day is filled with thoughts of this: running, moving on, moving forward and never putting on the brakes.

I started this year running away from a difficult situation. Literally, like a teleserye queen, I found myself with the clothes I have on my back, the money in my purse, running away and never wanting to look back. By the end of the year I hope I have covered enough distance to separate myself from that situation and to bring me closer to better decisions and better situations just as I bring myself closer to better finish times and less post-run injuries.

Start dreaming of ultramarathons. Your 5k time now won't matter, what will matter is that you dreamt of running the distance and you did your training grounded in reality. No one can stop you but your doubts. Keep running.

Run like the Tarahumara!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

5, 10, 25: I can keep running if I keep my mind away from the numbers.

Rexona Run 2011: 3k: 45mins
Feet2Run, May 2012: 5k: 50mins
Cortal Run, May 2012: 10k minimalist, 1hr 26mins
Merrell Trail, June 2012: 10k barefoot, 5hrs 30mins

After Merrell, I felt like I could take on anything. As in anything. That's when I saw the Frontrunner 2nd Valley Trail Challenge, an event scheduled in July 1st on Nuvali. It has a 25k category and an ultra 50k. The terrain, or at least from what they showed in the photos, was lovely and kind compared to Timberland. No mountain climbing, no rappeling, no slippery slopes to navigate. There was only the heat to deal with and the distance. They have a five hour cut-off for the 25k. I said to myself, I did that long in Merrell, why can't I do it in Nuvali?

So me and a friend, who shares the same crazy passion for running as I have, registered for the event. He is doing 50k and I am doing 25k.

As the days pass I realize how stupid I was to register. I haven't ran 21k in a road race. He hasn't ran a marathon. But he is a local mamaw. He has ran 21ks like they are a walk in the park. For myself, I can't say I have even mastered the 10k.

I am doing LSDs like crazy, the farthest to day is a 14.86k from Katipunan to BGC. We have burned our skin running in Commonwealth at noon time for heat training. I am Kenyan-colored right now. If only my legs can have a teeny Kenyan characteristic too.

Some friends talk to me like I have just signed up for a trip to Hell.

Some though, like ultramarathoner Boo Toledo, tell me I'm gonna be fine. To just keep one foot in front of the other. Shuffle, keep shufflin' when you hit the wall.

So that's what I'll do. I'll keep running. And I'll imagine there's a t-rex behind me.