"I want to run" were the few words i shocked myself April of last year. For some reason, i just got bored of hitting the gym and hitting the rock wall, not to mention that i was trying hard to break a weight-loss plateue. And so i decided one day to start running, and that was that.
A few weeks after, i met people who were into running and got myself involved in their random road runs. And so the first time was really awkward since i was the only girl in the bunch. There were five of us and the four boys were experienced runners. Dang!
Back at the gym, i could not even do a non-stop 5 minute-run on the treadmill and i was like, "how am i supposed to keep up with the pace of these gorillas?" - geeez, that's not something to be taken lightly. So yeah, i was greatly bombarded by the idea. By now you can figure how cringed i was then.
So the run started. The first few minutes of the run went really good. Much to my surprise, we were already running 5km non-stop. I thought to myself, "Wow! non-stop 5K! But just a few more kms, i'm gonna die already". Haha! As we ran further, Jopet, the leader of the pack kept on asking me if i was still doing fine and i just kept on lying. Gaaaahhhd.
Thinking i might throw myself down on the pavement, we started to walk 500 meters after reaching the 5km mark, and run back 500 meters again. So just the basic idea of walk/run intervals until we're done. We finished running 8kms. Running was harder than i thought it would be and definitely not easy by any means. The transition from treadmill to outdoor running was rough. I just never imagined myself to have the ability to run and so the challenge was intriguing.
Days went by and i remember getting up so early in the morning to run with the boys. It was pure fun! Wait until fun and pain collide. I experienced terrible side stitch and a knee injury known as the Iliotibial band syndrome. But hey, all these did not stop me from running. No excuses.
After several road run trainings, i signed up for my very first Official Run. It was May 13, 2012 in the OroBankers Run that i decided to do 10km. The effective convincing of my running buddy/coach actually pushed me to run the race. I can still clearly remember what he said, "have fun and just enjoy the race". So i did it. The experience was a mix of emotions. 10K to me felt like forever. Thoughts like, “why am i doing this? I never want to do this again” creeped in. Funny how it seems, somewhere along the course I felt like stopping. But for the love of crossing that finish line, i made it in 01:10. Not bad for a newbie. Being able to push through the pain and pull it off was just priceless. There is nothing like achieving something completely from your own sweat.
Eversince that run, I got completely hooked.
Just a week after, May 20, 2012, i ran 16K (Cosin Summer Run). Despite the very challenging route, i was able to pull off a decent time. 16K in 02:12. That very moment, i felt I was unstoppable and even hours later, i still did not have the exact words to describe how i felt about the race.
And so the avidness leveled up. I caught myself investing in running apparels, so does my training. My runs started to get intense as i was aiming for a half marathon as my next race.
June 17, 2012 was my first Half Marathon. My coach set 02:30 as my target. Yes, I was challenged, so i secretly wanted to do it sub 02:30. Indeed what my coach said that you run a little bit faster on race day was right. I finished 21K in 02:18 feeling physically fine with no injuries. I was ecstatically happy that i was able to finish strong and got my first ever medal. God is great.
After completing my first half marathon, I was never the same. As what i would always jokingly say, running ruined my life, in a very good way.
Fast forward to July, i found myself securing a slot for the Kagay-an Festival Marathon (42K). My training progressed in prep for my next race. The amount of my running seemed daunting but i was able to adapt as the training built up. Physically my body thrived on training. My legs got sore after long runs but it was nothing extreme. I just found myself running again after a rest.
A month slipped by so quickly and before i knew it, it was time to run my first Full Marathon. It was in August 19, 2012. Preparations were done, all i needed to do was to cross that finish line. The farthest distance i ran before this was just 30K. So you could imagine me at the starting line with all the jitters and cold-sweat wrapped into one. Good thing, my coach paced me from km 1 to 42. Met different types of runners but each of them just took me so far. God is just truly amazing that i was able to finish the race with a very decent time (05:14) and ranked 7th in the Women's Open Category.
This is truly a feat I am so proud of. I started this pre-race with the idea of challenging myself and pushing my physical limits and I did it with flying colors! Really, when you run a marathon, you have to run with the right reasons. Your head and your heart should be in it from the start. Marathoner, yes i am!
If you think I'd stop from there, you're absolutely losing the point. Haha! My craziness over running just went overboard when i signed up for Dahilayan 57K Trail Ultra Marathon, September 8, 2012. Crazy, as what some friends called me.
The marathon started at 3am. It was harder physically than mentally to me. Things went smoothly up until I reached the killer uphills and deadly downhills of Libona. The last 15K (Del Monte Pineapple Plantation) made a toll on me especially when i felt my legs getting super tired under the scorching heat of the sun. (by the way, that was my longest 15K ever). Anything was just rushing through my head that i started counting colored flags and posts to push myself to walk/run a little further. I was really focused on getting my body through that race in one piece since i felt I'm going to drop dead any moment. Thank God He gave me stronger legs to endure the distance. I was on foot for 10 hours that reaching Dahilayan Adventure Park almost made me cry. I ranked 7th in the Women's Category. God is great!
I knew the marathon was going to hurt. I never thought it would be easy. I just love pushing my body and i love having something to work towards. The huge sense of accomplishment was definitely worth it. I am just so inlove with running! Yes, I am a certified Ultra Marathoner. :)
My next race was the Pryce Gas International Marathon last December 2, 2012. I ran 21K in 02:25. That was my best 21K running experience. I loved the route and despite the very challenging last 7km uphill, i was able to pull off a decent time. Now I crave for more distance. I usually do long runs just to keep me marathon ready. I can't imagine my life without running. It has become my way of life. :) I literally dreaded running before, but now it's something i truly enjoy. I experienced Runner's high which for me an amazing feeling in the world.
As cliche as this might sound, if I can do it, so can you!
"Because fears, like limits, are often, just an illusion".
- Michael Jordan