Sunday, March 17, 2013

what running has taught me

it's been a while since i started running and i have ran a few races here and there. i have also ran in trail and finished in top 50. that's great for a first timer like me. and it makes me really proud.

my first trail run where i finished 38th overall
after all these races, had to reflect and look back at my accomplishments. it's not a bad thing after all, is it? well, i didn't look back to gloat or anything like that. i just had to so that i could see what are the effects of running to me and my lifestyle.

so, first and foremost, running gave me a wider set of friends. i had to join a running group so that i can have someone kick my lazy ass when i slack off. that was the idea, anyway. but what i found are people who would lift me up whenever my self confidence dips. i have found me friends who are there to cheer me no regardless how good or bad my performance is. they also offer a tip or two to improve myself and my running. i cannot be thankful enough for this blessing.

second, unless you die, you should never quit. in a race, you will experience all kinds of humps that will test your determination to perform. you will experience fatigue, minor injuries and sometimes, even storms. these things will not kill you and they will only help you be better in the future races. so embrace the pain and tough it out and finish the race. pain is temporary but quitting will haunt you forever.

my running friends
third, you may suffer a major injury that will force you not to finish or race at all but as long as you can recover and get back to running, bounce back strong. you owe it to yourself to make it up and perform a lot better. but keep in mind not to overdo it because you might end up with another major injury that will force you to give up running altogether.

fourth, never race without a game plan. a race is not always won by the strongest runner. most of them are won by a runner with the best game plan. know your strengths and weaknesses, know the race route and plan accordingly. also, prepare your body through proper training and diet. a race does not start on gun start. it starts on the first day you train for it.

five, always feel good about yourself when you run. give yourself a pat on the back whenever you finish a race, PR or not. because only when you feel good that you will keep running. the moment you feel bad, it will pull you away from running and that shouldn't happen. never let a bad race or a bad training ruin your running career.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

TBRDM 2013: my first full marathon

i dunno what made me do it but without any running activities or any form of exercise for the longest time, i signed up for the 2011 we run manila. it was a 10k run and i am not even sure whether i can cover the distance. i signed up maybe because to force myself to exercise and get back in shape.

wait up. flashback to 2009, we were practicing basketball in colegio san agustin in makati for the office basketball tournament. as i drove strong to the basket, with 2 defenders waiting for me, i had a bad fall. i wasn't able to move well and my knee was swelling bad. i had it checked up and found that i fractured my femural bones and completely tore my ACL. reconstructive surgery was done by doctor gar eufemio.

at the earlier part of the race
ok, back to 2012. i joined ANR-ortigas united after deciding to take running as my sport since i cannot play basketball like before anymore. it was fun and i consistently attended their sessions simply because it is fun.

then there was a session where everyone was talking about the TBRDM. my curiosity got the better of me so i listened intently. they said that joining it is fun and definitely worth the registration fee because of the training given to the participants. to make the long story short, i was persuaded to join despite my lack of mileage and experience.

my balloon of happiness
i offset my jitters by joining the bull circles, bull sessions and races between the registration and race day but i still felt that somehow i didn't train enough. i felt that i could've given more time to running and exercising. training gives me confidence that i can. what coach lit said kept echoing in my head. you cannot do in the race what you didn't do in practice. the longest distance i ran before the race was 25kms and i started to panic as the race day drew close.

race day. my family and girlfriend came with me in nuvali. the support was overwhelming but i am still nervous and jittery. i am trying my very best to calm myself. i saw some friends, some of whom i met through my training for this race. it helped me relax.

gun fired. runners went on their way through the course. the wind was cool. i savored it sweeping through my face and hair. i told myself, this is where i belong and running is what i do. i was able to finally compose and control my nerves before the first hydration station. by this time, i was chatting animatedly with my running buddies billie, doc nini and ferrita.

running alone and the sun is starting to rise
the plan was to pace them through the first 21k of the route. this will be my first 42k so time is of little importance. through the first half, i served as their clown along the race. i kept sharing jokes and tips all along. i even asked a particular guard where is the tricycle terminal and how much is the fare going to finish line. at one hydro station, i asked kuya if i can have cloud 9 and said "pakilista na lang muna sa pangalan ko".

i was having fun until my body reminded me of my lack of training. at 17k mark, my left leg started to hurt. i paced my buddies a little slower this time to take my legs to the finish line. i also talked and joked less until i noticed that my buddies were not with me anymore. before i know it, i ran at my comfortable pace to somehow ease the pain. i felt a pang of guilt about leaving them behind but i know deep inside that they've done their homework and that will be enough for them to finish.

thanks to my fellow runners and chasers, i was able to run through the pain. the nuvali view also helped me forget about the cramps i am suffering especially when a rainbow decided to join the cheering squad. though i never thought of quitting, i literally dragged my left leg which is cramping.

cramps and distance conquered
when i saw the 40th km marker, i told myself, this is it! 2kms should be a piece of cake even to a runner like me. or so i thought. km40 is the most evil among the markers. this is where the devils in my head started mocking me. there goes your confidence, you conceited you! said one of them. another one said "you really thought you could pull this one off without proper training?"

but when i took the last right turn, the strength and energy that long left me found me again. i started running as fast as my hurting leg would take me. along this stretch, people, all of who i don't know, cheered me on like they would their friend. it was overwhelming. i kept my smile and kept saying thank you to everyone for the cheers. then i finished, my medal was handed out and i heard the sweetest music in my entire life. tyo boy ramos' voice boomed behind me and said james timothy havana! that's my teammate! congratulations!

how sweet it is!!!